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Portrait artist, fine artist, educator, student. Trying all means to keep from getting a day job in the tough times, but still supporting myself as an artist! deejaystar@yahoo.com Follow any and all of my blogs. THANK YOU!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Girl and the Yorkie

I have been doing a dog blog, and in the middle of it, I became obsessed with pastels again. Between cute kids and dogs, one has a lot of latitude, so I did a cute kid with a dog.

Here we go again. The paper this time is a block of rough watercolor paper that was acquired for me at a yard sale by one of my minions who like to buy grab bags and drop them off!!! (He got me a great new easel and some amazing old Old Holland oils too, sigh, I love friends!!)
This is 9x14...one of the dangers of odd yard sale finds is that they are MORE non standard than the usual watercolor block!

Our goal here is a white t-shirt with a scruffy grey dog. I am going to use a lot of dark blue for the gray in the dog, so a mass of purple right there in the middle is a good choice to make the lights sing.

Like I did with the previous post, I just begin finding color matches. NORMALLY I would key the lightest light, to the deepest dark, but I had sort of lost my way here. I started dark first and it is a lot more work. Marking in the hair and colors on the very rough surface makes for a bit of a challenge.

But you can see how the pinks are beginning to define the flesh over the stripe of cool in the arm.

One of the nice things about creating your own color base is that you can make a dark surface against which to play your lights. I was not doing well (I will admit, this started with no real plan. IT MAKES A LOT OF DIFFERENCE WHEN YOU PLAN!!) for fear my flesh would go way too dark, and I didn't like how the face was starting.... so I did magic!

When you are using two mediums to get your effects you can do even more magic: I used a fine brush and diluted the pastels to cut a sharp dark edge on her profile. My reference had a light face in shadow against a dark background figure and I liked that face....

Literally I was painting with my pastels... some dark blended here and there. NO MORE PAINT but using the pastels a bit like watercolor pencils. So then I started playing into the dark background. As you see, the pastels are clunky and clumpy which is random, but makes for a lot of interesting variety in surface and line. I also wanted to deal with a lot of halo and backlighting for them both, so the background had to show more contrast... note the strong light on top of her arm, wisps of hair and the top of the dogs head. All of these twinkle of color reflected the strong daylight from behind.

The final result has a bit of changing in the background, and the loose stroke, I think suits the cute little terrier in her arms.

The big finish!

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