Sunday, 30 October 2011

Nil Desperandum! The portrait continues ...

Worked a fair bit more on this, as you can see.  I've just had a tip from Pauline Longley about applying mineral spirit to the base colours and then continuing to work on as usual.  Thanks Pauline, I didn't think of that!  I'm not a big fan of solvents to be honest as I'm not too bothered about having a smooth finish, however, it may have been useful here in getting a smooth light base to work from.  Can't do it on this one now because I've done a lot more work on it.

After a lot of brain-racking about the waxy light pencil problem, I thought maybe a different kind of pencil might help so I dug out a neglected tin of Caran D'Ache Supracolor water-soluble pencils.  I figured they are harder and not so waxy as my usual cps.  I have a set of 120 so a good colour range and I'm using them dry.  Bit of a gamble, they could be really scratchy, but they are going down really well on this paper and they sharpen to a lovely fine point!

You won't believe the number of times I've almost ripped this picture up.  I vacillate between thinking "this is utter c**p, why am I wasting my time?" and "oh it's not so bad, I'll keep going and see what happens".  Well I've kept going and I'm in positive mode at the moment.  The main problem I'm having is trying to get smooth transitions between shades of colour ~ so important for drawing skin.  I seemed to manage this ok on my previous portrait (Rachael) but I think this is harder because the paper colour is so dark.  I'm doing a lot of colour testing around the edges of this drawing and using up a lot of cotton buds blending too!  It's all good learning I suppose.  Lots more to do so I'll soldier on, including adjusting his left eye which is too big.

It's anybody's guess whether my next post will be this portrait or a flower image I've got my eye on!


Chrissy said...

I am loving the light in this. I understand the frustration with waxing, it seems to be so much worse when you least need it ~ if that makes sense....I will be interested to see how you get on Caran D'ache. I have never tried them......but, I have also used solvent or more preferably zest it on portraits to smooth them out.

Katherine Thomas said...

Did I write this post? Your experience with this portrait is a mirror of my own this weekend! It's looking good, Janet. You have the shapes and contours all laid out, it's just a matter of pulling it all together. Keep at it! Let me know what you decide to do with the solvents or otherwise.

Janet Pantry said...

Thanks Crissy. Yes, I'm liking the Caran d'Ache on this paper ...we'll see :)

Hi Katherine, thanks, I appreciate your words of encouragement. I'll not use any solvent on this one just continue with the pencils dry :)


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