Behind the Scenes - Opaline Dreams
Opaline Dreams was interesting in that it was my first attempt at mixing Prismacolors with Neocolor IIs, which are water soluable. Neocolors look much like a Crayola crayon when you hold them (although they are still considered a colored pencil - imagine the 'lead' of a colored pencil wrapped in paper, instead of wood). It takes a bit of experimenting on a test scrap of paper to determine the right combination of crayons to achieve your color, especially since, once you wet them, the color will be very intense. For this piece, I intended to use the Neocolors only for the darks; this was because I really felt the gray green color of the Colourfix paper was a key part of the skin tones and fabric, and wanted it to show through in the lights. Since Colourfix can be difficult to get a full range of values on, having solid darks on a lighter paper also helped address this. After the Neocolors were laid down on the paper, I brushed water over them and blended them over the paper. For the darkest area on the right, I used a very small brush and meticulously evened out the tone. For the hair, and darks on the right, I used a larger brush and more freely 'painted' with the water. The result was fuzzy, and uneven, which is what I wanted. It gave the periphery of the piece a softness that was in line with the mood.
The remainder of the piece was straight Prismacolors. I spent the most time on the folds and lace of the gown, although it was the skin tones that I found to be the most difficult area, since there was a constant push and pull between going too far in one color and not enough in another. I tend to end up with an unusual mix of colors in my skin tones, and this one was no exception with greens, purples, and creams.