Shawn Falchetti, CPSA

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The Artwork of Shawn Falchetti

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.