Thursday, May 19, 2011

Progress on Lucy

I tend to procrastinate quite a bit once I start a new piece of art because to me it's not a hobby and it's not relaxing, it's work...and sometimes it is a labour, but in case you might misunderstand is a labour of love and something I have to do!

I'm finally getting into the groove with Lucy and making some progress. Creating a pet portrait in coloured pencil is a tedious process at the start (at least my process is) and it takes time to work out the colours and get comfortable enough with them to work along without confusion. When you are working with a handful of pencils, or a lapful in my case, it is so easy to grab the slightly wrong colour when working in a similar value and colour range as it is with most fur. And then there is the sharpening factor...the pencil must always be needle sharp to get the best laydown, so I am always sharpening, sharpening, sharpening which disrupts the flow from eye to hand. Never the less, it eventually starts to move along and gets comfortable.

On my lap while working on her fur is FC Brown Ochre, Bistre, and Burnt Sienna and from Prismacolour I am using White, Black, Ginger root, Light Umber, Sand, Chocolate, and Sepia. I expect I will stay predominately with these pigments for the rest of the piece, I might need a few more or a few different pencils if something isn't working but most of the difficult decisions have been made.

I have some family obligations the next few days so I will have to leave her for the moment, the weather forcast is calling for more rain on the weekend so I will probably continue with her then.

I've also put a few more pics up on my Birds etc page.


Sunday, May 15, 2011

Lucy is taking her time

Well, as I thought, I spent most of the last 2 weeks doing things other than in the studio working on Lucy or another wildlife painting I have on the easel.  We decided to take a few days and head out to Rondeau which is our favorite Provincial Park and a hot spot of activity during the spring migration of birds.

Unfortunately we got there a bit early this year to experience any big waves of warblers or other migrating birds but we still had a great time as always and I am happy with the pics that I did get.  I did take Lucy along to work on (and the real Lucy went with us of course) but after spending morning, afternoon and early evening walking the trails with 10 lbs of camera, lens and binnies around my neck the cozy little bedroom in the back of our Airstream was calling to me.....

So that I don't mess up the flow of WIP posts of my work I have set up a separate page for some of my bird and wildlife photos.  You might see some of them reappear someday as a painting or drawing! is back to being cold and very, very wet again which means no gardening this week unless the weather forcast is very wrong :-) so I should have more of Lucy to show you this week!


Monday, May 2, 2011

a bit of progress on Lucy

Just a little bit to show you since the last post, I had to spend most of the week preparing for my "Pet Portrait" class at the C2C convention in Toronto....the class went great, and all the students did a remarkable job on their kitty.  I am always so happy to see more artists turned on to the fun of working with coloured pencils!

As I thought there just weren't one or 2 pencils that I could put together to get the "right " colour for our golden Lucy dog, in fact she has been causing me quite a bit of trouble!  I tried this combination of pencils, Nope! and then another combination of pencils, Nope!...take it off and and try again, and then once again when I finally found the right combination that I feel gives an accurate rendering of her true colour.
 I ♥ my electric eraser!

I finally hit on the right combination of 8 pencils after 4 tries...sometimes it just takes a while when working with a translucent media like coloured pencils to get not only the right pigments but getting them layered in the right order.

you can see all my scribbles on the paper and at the top is the combination that finally got it least for this section of her fur, I know that I will have to make adjustments as I work through the light and dark areas.

The spring migrants are really starting to arrive now, I was greeted this morning by the sweet sounds of a native White Crowned sparrow calling outside our bedroom window, and upon rising noticed a few White throated sparrows, a number of female Purple finches and one female Rose Breasted grosbeak at the feeders as well. If the weather is good, I will probably be outside for most of the week taking photos or working in the gardens, hopefully I will still have some energy to work on Lucy in the evenings!