Sunday, 7 February 2016

New Work for the New Year

Shadow Falling It was a great relief to get back to some graphite pencil work, a medium I feel very at home with and although this wolf portrait is very detailed, I found it relaxing to create. I've been wanting to draw a portrait like this for quite some time but been unable to find a suitable reference photo to use. Those I had were either not sufficiently detailed or not quite the right pose. I really wanted an intense look. As an experiment what I did was to take one of my old reference photographs, crop it in half so I just had the left side of the face, then flip it horizontally in Photoshop to give me the right side of the face before joining both halves together. The result was a very symmetrical face with an intense stare. With the addition of some dramatic lighting I ended up with just what I had in mind. 'Shadow Falling' 10.25 x 9.25 inches graphite pencil on Arches cold pressed watercolour paper, now framed and for sale on the Mighty Fine Art website.

Shadow Falling
Butter Wouldn't Melt was my next project. I don't often do pet portraits nowadays but was seduced by this very cute ginger kitten from a reference photograph on Paint My Photo. So I got out my coloured pencils this time to see what I could do with it. I recently won a new set of Cretacolor pencils and thought this a good opportunity to road test them. They are quite hard, ideal for retaining a sharp point to get a high level of detail, but don't have the intensity of pigment that my Prismacolors do, so I finished with some of the Prismas on top.

If I'm going for a dark background as I did here, I always like to get as dark as possible so my method is to start with black ink (hence the more suitable watercolour paper rather than anything too flimsy) and once dry, finish with layer after layer of my darkest darks. Once burnished I can achieve a totally dark and even background which retains depth rather than the flatness of plain ink.
'Butter Wouldn't Melt' 9.5 x 6.25 inches coloured pencils on paper. Framed and ready for sale from my Mighty Fine Art website.

Butter Wouldn't Melt
 Drifter Finally I decided it would make a nice change to produce a painting in a single quick session. I'd had this little raven in my 'to-do' pile for quite a few weeks so chose this scene to create in watercolour. I reckon it took less than 2 hours to complete but was very pleased with the result. I decided to offer this little painting unframed, so it is mounted and wrapped in cellophane for protection and on offer from the Mighty Fine Art website.
'Drifter' 14 x 7.5 inches watercolour on paper.


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