Sunday, April 19, 2009


Hello my darlings, hope you're all having a wonderful and peaceful Sunday, I certainly am. Mass was beautiful today and the priest's sermon gave me a lot of food for thought. Had brunch already and since I'm home alone today, I started painting right after cleaning up the kitchen.

I'm sad to inform that I managed to wreck both Spencer (the black poodle) and Reid (the chestnut horse) and I just didn't feel like starting either one of them over again. I will, most certainly, but not today. Instead, I decided to work on the "Dog Breed Project" going on the Animal/Wildlife Forum at WetCanvas. This month's breed is the Labrador Retriever and there was a choice of several reference pictures to choose from. The one below just spoke to me right away and I knew this was the lab I wanted to paint. From now on I'll call her "Deirdre".

If you're still interested in learning my colored pencil process, I will be posting this project with detailed information on what I've done in each step.

For this painting, I'll be using White Stonehenge paper and mostly Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils, Verithins and Art Stix as well as a couple of colors from the Prismacolor Lightfast line and a few Faber-Castell Polychromos. I'll also a small and a medium Yasutomo Niji Watercolor Brush filled with Gamsol Odorless Mineral Spirits (OMS) instead of water.

In this first step, all I did was very, very lightly outline Deirdre with a very sharp Prismacolor Verithin True Green. I then used a Prismacolor Art Stix in the same color to quickly cover the background with a flat wash. Notice that I'm not concerned with my strokes being perfect and covering every single bit of the paper and that's because I'll be dissolving the pigment with OMS. If I was using the layering technique I'd be laying down the color with a very sharp pencil, circular strokes and very light pressure.

I used a square make-up cotton pad wrapped around my finger, then dipped just the very tip of the cotton in OMS, patted gently on a rag to make the pad just damp with OMS as opposed to dripping with it. I then gently, and gently is the keyword here, rubbed the entire background with the cotton pad still wrapped around my finger and using a circular motion. Closest to the edges of Deirdre I used the small Yasutomo Niji Watercolor Brush filled with Gamsol OMS.

Next installment coming soon. Knowing myself very well, I'm sure I'll have the unstoppable urge to paint her eyes very soon, way before I finish the background, so when I do it, I'll post pictures of the process. I know I should finish the BG and get over and done with it, but someway, somehow I can only connect to my subject after I paint the eyes, so Deirdre will have a beautiful pair of liquid brown eyes before the day's end...

Many hugs and have a wonderful Sunday.

Where I am: In the peace of my studio
My mood: Very creative
What I'm listening to: Faure - In Paradisum (Requiem)


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