Sunday, August 29, 2010

Back to the Drawing Board

I had a nice long break, but I'm back at it. My main excuse for not spending time on the artwork lately was the garage remodel. But the garage is looking good now, at least on the outside, and I can concentrate on drawing again.

There were some other issues that had me dragging my feet with this piece. I didn't like how the red shade of the sweater was looking. I mean, it matched my reference, but on the art paper it looked dull. I had plenty of time to stew on this and a few other things during my little hiatus, but with a few ideas and a little inspiration I'm hitting the drawing board again.

Here I started working with a brighter red over my previous applications of Raspberry and Crimson Red, Scarlet Lake, to be exact. I also started adding shadows using Black Raspberry.

Because of uneven lighting from one progress shot to another, the colors look more different than they really were. Still they give an idea of the changes as I struggled to find shades of reds that I liked. I added Soft Pink (CS) for highlights on the shoulder area which toned down the bright red again. Unfortunately I didn't like it.

After a few more trials and errors I think I finally found a combination of reds that worked for me, from darkest to light; Black Cherry (P), Deep Red (CS), Scarlet Lake(P), Pale Vermilion (P), and Deco Orange (P). I never would have guessed that the orangey reds of Pale Vermilion and Deco Orange would work for highlights, but they seemed to do the trick.

Also, I liked the Black Cherry much better for the shadows, instead of the Black Raspberry. The Black Raspberry seemed to muddy the red color as it darkened, Tuscan Red, even worse. Finally I tried Black Cherry which worked much better. The difference seems to be that the other reds have a dark brown base in the color while the Black Cherry is more of a dark purple.

I had to remind myself to use my Prismacolor Palette Guide to choose the colors more carefully before even trying them on the paper. I acquired my palette guide in a Linda Lucas Hardy workshop a few years ago but had never really used it. I realize now that it is a wonderful resource to be able to carefully study the subtle color variations in similarly colored pencils by perusing little color swatches placed right next to each other. It's also great for refreshing your memory on the whole Prismacolor palette when choosing a color in general.

Fortunately I invested the time to fill out the guide when I first got it. :-)

This is very similar to the CPSA Lightfastness Test Result Workbook which actually includes colors from a large variety of popular colored pencil brands. I also have this workbook, but have only filled out a few color swatches here and there. It will be a great resource if I ever get around to filling out all the color cards.

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