Monday, August 22, 2011

Moving Along

I've spent the last week or so darkening the background, fiddling with Sam's hair and finally starting on the his jacket.

Here are two closeup progress shots I took when I was working on Sam's face. It just seemed to me that something looked off in the first shot. When I carefully studied the reference photo, I realized that I hadn't brought his hair out enough on the left side and it also seemed to be missing a little height.

Making some slight changes to the hair proportions made it look better to me and I moved forward. I wanted the make the hair color a little more like the reference picture which seemed to have a cooler light falling on it. My colors had too much warm browns and yellows in it. So I went looking for some pencil colors that might do the trick.

I ended up using the Prisma Ginger Root and Luminance Buff Titanium for the hair highlights. I put these down over the previous colors basically covering up the yellows there from before, as well as what I could cover from the yellows in the paper that was still showing through.

I also looked for cooler browns and midtones to darken the shadows and to darken the hair color in general. I used Coloursoft Black Brown and Brown for the darkest values and Prisma Bronze and Sandbar Brown for the mid tones. I know there is some Prisma Greyed Lavender in there too. Also there is a light wash of pale vermilion in the front bang area that brings back just a little warm reflected light to this area of his face and hair.

The closer I got to finishing the hair the sharper the pencils as I tried to model the hair with a little more detail. There were quick transitions from light to dark along the long sides of the clumps of hair, while the transition from dark to light on the tops or flatter planes of the clumps might be smoother and more gradual as they came to a highlight and then quickly darken depending on how abruptly the hair curled away from the light. Basically I was paying close attention to how the hair appeared in the reference photo, trying to follow the play of light and shadow without getting too mired in the detail.

Friday, August 12, 2011

A Supernatural colored pencil piece

Here is a piece that I started back in May. It's not quite done, but I realized it was pretty close to being finished and I had never mentioned it here. Better late than never!

It's drawn on a 7 x 9.5 sheet of Pastelmat paper. I bought this small pad of paper some time ago because I wanted to try out the Pastelmat, which I had heard so much about. It turned out to be a great paper for both colored pencil and pastels.

This project was sparked by this screen cap from the Supernatural TV series. These characters have inspired a lot fanart from me :-)

The animated gif shows my progress. The animation cycles through twice before stopping. If you want to see it again, just reload the screen as you hold down the shift key on your keyboard.

I started with the contour line drawing which I traced directly from my reference picture, making just a few adjustments to the composition. I moved Dean on the right closer to Sam so their figures are overlapping a bit. I changed the background to distant vegetation, though many colors in the original background inspired me. I also shifted the direction that Sam's eyes are looking. I have him looking directly out at the viewer.

Since Sam's figure is slightly out of focus, without much definition in his face, especially his eyes, I had to hunt around for other references for his face. I'll probably make other minor changes to his clothes before I'm done.

Since the paper size was small, I was able to print my outline directly to the paper and thus save myself the tedious job of transferring it via light table or tracing paper.

I started with Dean's face, going mostly with pink tones, some lights and reddish browns for the shadows. Since the paper is yellow toned it really cut down on the yellow colors I would normally use to build up skin tones.

I'm trying to remember the actual pencils I had used at this stage. I think is was mostly Coloursoft's Soft Pink and Luminance's Titanium Buff and probably some Primacolor White for the lightest colors.

If I had more than a stub of Prismacolor's Deco Pink, I would have used it to add the pinker tones. I used Coloursoft's Pink which is a pretty close match to the Deco Pink and probably more colorfast. I've heard that Prisma's Deco Pink was not colorfast and that is why it was phased out of Prisma's selection.

I know you can still get Deco Pink pencils from Ann Kullberg's online store and I considered doing this for a while. But then I decided that I might as well just wean myself away from any dependence on that color completely. At some point all the old stock is going to be depleted entirely and then we'll all be out of luck :-)

All the rest of the colors are probably Prisma's, in darkening values, Light Peach, Peach, Burnt Ochre and Tuscan Red.