Monday, July 6, 2009

In Process...

Here are the first several stages of the piece I am currently working on, I'm going to break down a few stages for you, so you may better understand this craziness. After completing this piece I have only one more to crank out for my Show opening this August at the Base Gallery, in KCMO. The show is going to be called, Beguiled: The Folklore Of Women. And if I can get the work I still have to complete finished in time (note panting breathe) I will be.... well, really happy. stay tuned for more!

Stage One:
Here you can see my conté sketch, it's the soft red outline everything is built on, also I should mention I'm working on un-gessoed hard board, which is basically really nice light toothy masonite. I prefer an off white surface, not because it's logical but because off-white is just way more approachable in my opinion, and it's nice to work out from a mid-tone surface.
Stage Two:
Which I refer to as the hulk stage, in which I lay down all the darkest shadows in green, specifically Marine Green. I only use prismacolor pencils, no snobbery, it's just what I learned on and if it ain't broke don't fix it, so color names are specific to that brand. So, hulk stage, which you can see in the neck, nose and mouth. I'm working really lightly here, just laying out a map of tones to build upon later.
Stage Three:
The sun burn stage, where in I use Carmine Red, a pinkish red, to "put the blood in". I'll use this all over the whole figure, but I won't put green or red where my white highlights are going to go.

Stage Four:
Here I go back over all the image with white, it's sort of a pinkish, zombie burn victim stage. The arm is the only thing that has been lightened with the white in this photograph. It's important to get this white very even but not too heavy. Also, as I mentioned both layers before this are very light, because the tricky thing with colored pencils in not building up too much with them. If you're frugal you can get about eight to ten layers of color down, then the wax build up will prevent anymore perfecting, whether you like it or not. I'll use the white lightly in the darkest shadow areas, but I will still put the white where it later won't belong for both consistency and blending purposes. I always go lighter on this stage than is needed. I work up my lightest lights and then I'll work back down into my dark colors, with colored pencils, it's always easier to go darker after the fact, they're transparent, so you'll never get your whites back if you cover them up.

Stage Five:
After laying down white everywhere, I'll go back in with Carmine Red, and Marine Green the two colors I used before and define the shadows (green) and mid-tones, (red) more clearly.
Stage Six:
Laying in the darkest shadows with Indigo Blue, and Raspberry. The only places in the image above where Indigo and Raspberry are used are the inside of the mouth, nostrils, eyelashes and shadows behind the fingers. Everything else is just the polished Marine Green, Carmine Red, and White.

Stage Seven and then some:
A lot more has happened here, you wouldn't be able to see all the little tweaks I've added about... six more colored to the skin tone, not counting the colored I used in the eyes. I'll have to come back and update the color list, but basically, once I get all the tones just right, only then will I start adding other colors, usually just those three colors are too pink, so I use two different oranges, Pumpkin Orange, and _____, and two different mossy soft green blues, Jade Green, and ______, these two blues are good for nail beds and veins, I also recently started using the pinks, Nectar and Henna which are closer to an actual skin tone than any other pencil I use, they're good for blending and warming shadows. Eye color is always a mix of whatever feels right. I wish I could be more specific for you here, but at this stage things get really intuitive. You'd have to just sit next to me and watch and listen to me babble at you.

Stage Eight:
Now that the skin is finished I can start all the embellishments. The mask is also colored pencil, in white, a very light blue and a few cool grays the specific names of which I can't currently recall. I'll tweak things until the very end. I look forward to showing you the completed piece. And I'll update those missing color names tomorrow when I head back into studio. Also please disregard the smashed spider, these things happen, I live in the country, and I doubt it will be part of the finished piece, although currently I'm rather enjoying it.

1 comment:

sarah makes pictures said...

Thanks so much for sharing some details about your process. I had been wanting to ask you about these very things!