Friday, February 29, 2008

Drinking it in?

Here's what I'm at with my response to "Shades of the Tropics". I've added more pinks and yellows, and some blues. The skin is starting to look like a rainbow! Maybe in a later post I'll show a close-up of the skin. I never seem to use the same colors for skin tones - I just don't like the idea of following a formula.

I'm thinking of calling this one "Drinking It In" or something like that. I'll probably finalize the title once I have the image reflected in her sunglasses!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

And the Layering Continues...

Here I've added a few more colors to the palm trees in the background, but most exciting (for me) is that I've started with the layers of color on the skin. Maybe I'm crazy, but I actually enjoy the long, arduous process of creating the contours of the face and hands with layers of colored pencils. Background trees and other objects are not as important (or enjoyable) to me, and I will use far fewer layers and colors for them. Creating textures in clothes (like the tank top here) ranks somewhere in between doing faces/hands and background objects.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A Bit More Progress...

Today I was distracted with other projects, but I did spend a few hours on this piece. I started defining the sections of the hair, and added layers of color to the sky, chair, palm trees, shirt, and that yummy strawberry daquiri. Although completing a piece on Bristol board takes a relatively long time as compared with Pastelbord, I really enjoy the slow methodical process of layering various colors to achieve realistic colors and textures.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

First Work in Progress Photo for "Shades"

Okay, I haven't done much on this one yet, but I decided to go ahead and post it anyway due to the recent requests I've received to post more works in progress. I first sketched the portrait, and I clean up the sketch as I add the colored pencil. In this photo, you can still see some stray lines around the sunglasses that will be cleaned up later. Oh, I should mention that this is Prismacolor colored pencils on 12"x9" smooth Bristol board.

Another Tropical Piece - WIP

I decided to do another piece based on photos from my recent trip to Jamaica, and this one will be a response to my previous "Shades of the Tropics", shown here.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

I just wanted to post one more update: I'm almost done; I just need to make final touches to the background and then I'll photograph the final piece and add it to my online gallery (

I've finished working on the sweater and mittens, and I've started to add some trees. After this piece is done, I think I'll start something with no blue or grey!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

"Winter Blues" Closeup

I am still working on my "Winter Blues" piece, but I wanted to post a close-up view of the texture of the hat (and those bags under my eyes- yikes!)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

"Winter Blues" Update

Ah, now this is starting to look more human. I've worked on the face a bit more, and added some eyelashes. I'll probably attack some more of the sweater next.

"Winter Blues" Progress

Yikes! This is definitely still looking pretty scary. Here I have added some shadows, highlights, and color, but I need to subdue those dark red lips. Also, the eyes are not completely colored in and are lacking eyelashes.

"Winter Blues" Update

In this second progress photo, I've added a considerable amount of colored pencil to the face to give some base color. The nice thing about pastelbord is that I can add white on top of color later on for things like highlights and shines. (When I'm working on paper or bristol board I need to be careful to leave white space as the white colored pencil will not show up significantly on top of darker colors).

"Winter Blues" Work in Progress

Talk about an ugly stage! I decided to post some progress photos of the piece I'm currently working on. It's 12"x16" colored pencil on pastelbord, and I'm thinking of calling it "Winter Blues". In this photo you can see that I've roughly blocked out the shadowed and lit portions of the face, and some of the sweater and hat are done in colored pencil. I should also mention that I used neocolor water soluble pastel crayons underneath the pencil to give the base grey and blue colors for the sweater and hat.