Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Self Portrait WIP4

A few more tweaks to the mouth.  The Prismacolors weren't subtle enough so used Polychromos pinks, it is still a little lipsticky looking so I may tone it down more.  I have been gently touching in some shadows on the face with dry pencil as and when I spot something. 

A little experimenting on some spare paper and I quickly discovered I need to work the hair from dark to light.  So the hair slide is in and the first shadows of hair using a mid brown (I was very blonde at that age then went mousy before going almost white).  I have also tested a Neocolour white blended with spirit and I think it will work nicely for the dress.  I don't seem to have pale enough colours for the shadows on the folds on the dress but with an application of white over the top tones them down nicely so I feel more confident about doing the dress now.

Self Portrait WIP3

I added a layer of Derwent W/C blue grey to the background and blended it again, I am happy with it now as the colour recedes.  Then of course I couldn't wait to have a go at the face.  The Zest-it has smoothed out all the lines and wrinkles (if only it could do it for real).   I have also tweaked the mouth a little more.  I will probably put more colour and definition back in the face but will wait until the hair are dress are done.  I have a dilemma, what colour should I do the dress.  I have no idea what it was originally but I think it was probably white and I'm not sure how well white will take on the light grey pastelmat with zest-it.  If I do it girly pink then I think this will fight with the face...um some experimenting needed I think.
I have been trying out the same technique on Strathmore vellum but the zest-it doesn't work as well as on Pastelmat.  I really enjoy this method of working as it is so quick compared to conventional ways of using coloured pencils.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Self Portrait WIP2


I adjusted some of the shading on the face and worked a little more on the eyes and mouth before scribbling in some greens and blues on the background.  In the second picture I have used Zest-it mineral spirit on the eyes, mouth and background but still have to do the flesh.  Notice how the spirit enhances the colour.  The background in this photo looks much bluer than in reality and I much prefer it so will have to give the picture another coat of a blue/grey.  I seem to be going great guns with this and I really don't want to do much more until I do the demo at the exhibition so will have to start something else tomorrow to make sure I keep my fingers off it.

Self portrait WIP

Feeling both inspired and daunted by the UKCPS Exhibition I realise I need to up my game if I am to gain a place next year.  I can aspire to the skills of other artists but the imagination and creativity seem to be beyond me.  In those few moment before falling asleep or waking up the ideas come flowing but translating them into a piece of art is another matter.   So a little more experimentation is required.


I am using a very small black and white photo on a contact sheet taken in a studio when I was about 2 or 3 so there is not much detail.  The size of this pictures is a little bigger than A4 and I am using Prismacolor on light grey pastelmat.  In the past I have layered colours but this time I have gone straight in with the desired colour and tweaked a bit as necessary.  It is very grainy at the moment but I will by using Zest-it to smooth it out.  I don't like the harsh shadow on the forehead, although it appears like this on the photo so this will go.  The eyes are not quite right yet.  I always seem to have a problem lining features up when the head is on the tilt, I naturally want to straighten everything in line with the paper.  I may also have the top lip too wide but the mouth is slightly open so will wait a while before I adjust that.  I have used white, cream, a range of pinks, jade green, tuscan red and burnt umber.  I will work on the background next, this will be interesting as I need to reserve the curls.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

UK Coloured Pencil Society Exhibition

UKCPS Exhibition

Here is a link to the gallery of the UKCPS 10th anniversary exhibition currently being held at the Central Methodist Hall, Westminster, London.  It really is an exhibition not to be missed.  The standard is very high and there are daily demonstrations, workshops, a silent auction, have-a-go area and prints and cards for sale.  The exhibition finishes next Saturday and I will be in attendance on Thursday and Friday this week.  If there are any UKCPS members going along please make yourself known to the desk and if you can offer a couple of hours of your time to help with stewarding so much the better.   Your society needs you.

I was delighted to find a little red dot on my zebra picture.