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.


  1. Its looking fantastic already. Thanks for sharing info about the colours you've used also.
    Looking forward to seeing more progress.

  2. Thanks Sue!
    Glad to share my learning experiences. I'm always fascinated by how other do their artwork, so this is my little bit.