Thursday, May 14, 2009

Follow Me - Catch Up Post

When I came back to work on this piece, I began to layer colors on Dean's face. I was going at it very slowly and probably being way too tentative, but I wasn't sure how to work the layers yet. I did know that there has to be enough colors deposited on the paper before you can blend them with added layers, with brushes or with your fingers.

The part of Dean's face I started on was not really a good place to test this out because I wanted it to remain as one of the lightest spots in the whole piece. I really couldn't add too many other colors into the mix apart from the pale pinks, yellows and creams here.

As a side note, I found a great new color to use in the highlights for skin tones. The color is Buff Titanium from a trial batch of Caran d'ache Luminance pencils I bought recently. Before this I had almost exclusively been using Prismacolors. It finally clicked with me that maybe I should try out some other brands, especially the ones praised highly on other people's blogs.

I had been using white to try to blend into the pinks and yellows to get highlights and brighter skin tones, but the white just made the color look too cold. That's fine if the effect you want is silvery or cool light, but for a warmer bright like the one I want for this piece, it just wasn't working.

I want the colors in this portrait to be as if the figures were in bright daylight, the skin tones tan and maybe a bit golden. Titanium buff is an off white ivory color, warmer than stark white, but not as yellow as the Prismacolor cream color.

I have a whole lot of Buff Titanium on the right side of Dean's face now, which did blend nicely with the underlying colors. Of course from a distance, it looks just like the color of the paper. :-)

In the close-up you can appreciate the blended color a little better. Of course now it is probably too white.

In the next shot, I have layered a little more color into the shadow areas of Dean's face, added darker colors in the bit of background on the right and also put some color in his hair. I probably should have done this before and not got so caught up working the brights on his face.

Applying colors to the surrounding areas gives you a better idea of how everything is going to work together eventually. I realized I needed to see some of the dark areas to judge the lights better. Now that I think of it, I'm sure I stumbled to this conclusion previously, but it must not have impressed itself sufficiently on my brain. Hopefully it will take better now.

It was hard to tear myself away from working on Deans features, especially his nose and lips. I would be trying to work on the shadows when before I knew it I would be back to tweaking his top lip or eyelid. I indulged myself a bit more by seeing if I could put a few freckles on his nose before firmly turning my attention to other areas.

And this is about as far as I got on an April weekend some weeks ago.

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