Friday, April 2, 2010

It's all in the process

The other day I didn't have any canvases to work on because Chris has been so busy with his own work he hasn't had time to build me any, so I decided to do a pastel drawing for the first time in a while.  I've talked about the results of that on the blog before.  Today I thought it might be interesting for people to see what the process of developing a pastel drawing looks like.

Step I:  I gridded the paper then drew in the image then filled it in with the appropriate values: light, medium, dark.  At this point it doesn't really matter what colors I choose because they'll ultimately be covered up, but I choose bright yellow because I want what shows through to be bright and bold, and I chose purple and red since they're the hues I'm aiming for in the end product. 
Step II:  I began to use more accurate colors to depict the body.  I used more values here, perhaps 5-6 of them.  I kept my strokes broad and loose.  I was planning to smooth everything out with my hands once I had more pigment down.
Step III:  By this stage, I realized that I was really liking the look of the strokes and the way the different layers show through, so I determined that I would leave them as they are, without blending with my fingers.  I think the picture has much more vitality this way.

Final step:  I worked to refine the colors and the form then I spent a while on the scar trying to make it look realistic and beautiful and 3 dimensional. 
When I catch a glimpse of this picture on the computer, a small view of it, it looks like a flower pod about to open.  In fact, it reminds me of a drawing I did of a fern tightly coiled in Costa Rica a few years ago.  The inner folds and roundness curled in on itself appeal to me very much.  Here's that image:

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