This Saturday I will be giving a workshop for CPSA DC115 titled "Evoking Mood with Neocolors and Colored Pencil", and I've got an area in my studio filled up with all my prep materials. Like laying out pieces prior to a show, it's always fun to see everything all at once, together. Here's a few snapshots:
Finished! Time to complete was 9 days, probably around 30 hours. After coating the piece with fixative, and letting it dry, I did some color correction throughout, and then final detail work. I always try to avoid using black until the very end; it's my trump card for values, and once I play it, I can't go any darker. You can see how the hair has more definition from where the blacks were introduced. I'm happy with how it turned out - I really wanted something softer, which worked with the waxiness of the Neocolors, to have a more painterly feel to it. Now I just need to mat it with a backing and place it into a plastic sleeve. If you like it, you can bid on it at the CPSA Silent Auction, which is July 29th at the 18th Annual International Exhibition in Santa Clara, California.
Here's the progression side by side:
Just about done! Tomorrow I'll hit it with a coat of fixative, then do a few tweaks and further color correction.
Picking up some steam, now. There's a point in every drawing where the hardest parts are done, and you get to play with colors and details. Feels like I've reached it with this update. Started to refine the lace, although there's still a lot of color correcting to do there, and some detail work. Looking forward to dabbling on Tuesday (although it will be competing with my Lost addiction, so I probably won't be as productive!)
A couple of hours Friday and Sunday working on color balancing, especially the skin tones, and further refining the face and hair. Haven't done much yet with the lace - but that will be last so I don't have to rework it several times for color and value balancing. Starting to come together. More updates to come later in the week.
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.