You may recall this past April 10 when I posted a drawing that I intended to paint. Here's the link to the topic. This turned into a class demonstration on the basics of color and in painting the old fashioned way which helps in better understating of digital processes. On June 23 after several weeks of short work sessions I finished it.
Late last year at our old location I sketched a composition on punched illustration board used for painting backgrounds for animation production. I wasn't happy with what I did so I set it aside to work on it at another time. After the move I attempted to revive the work and see if I could salvage it. My intention was to render a pencil drawing of a character inspired somewhat by the silent movie star Clara Bow.
Here's what I came up with...
I was facing a problem as I embarked upon the first step of coloring this. The image was drawn in soft graphite pencil. If I were to lay down my underpainting in the manner I usually do which is to use sweeps from a broad brush I'd lose the image. The watered down pigment would wash it away. I solved the problem by making a pad of tissues and then lightly dabbing the board with color. Here's the result...
Once acrylic paints dry they create a plastic seal over the image. So no matter how many layers I applied on the board's surface the drawing would not be affected by the subsequent brushwork. Now I could get busy bringing the painting along to completion by first laying in some darks by using transparent washes.
Once that step was done I began to lay a foundation for her flesh tone with a suggestion of a light source. By mixing white into the pigment the color becomes opaque and we start to get some coverage to block out the background texture.
Next I spent a little time blocking in the whites of her eyes.
With that done we get a feel for the balance between the light tones and the dark. Also we get a sense of the character coming to life. This was followed by more modeling of her flesh tones. This step involved adding some blush to her face and slightly accentuating shadows.
I went on to add the subtle red tints in her face to her upper torso.
Now it's time to go back into the darks and really bring them out. Contrast between tonal values is a very important aspect of working in color. Healthy contrast between tonal values really brings a composition to life and is necessary in giving the work a sense of completion.
Adding highlights to the hair and a finishing touch to the eyes and lips finally brings the painting home. So after nearly 12 weeks of short work sessions the last 2 of which were with a small group of painting enthusiasts meeting at the Academy on Sundays here's the result...
Now I can share the painting online and at local art shows here in Burbank once it's framed. Also since I kept a record of the progress of the work I can use it for educational purposes and in publishing as is the case here.
The painting measures 10 1/2 x 7 7/8 inches (about 26.7 x 19.7 centimeters). My original intent was to give the image a feel of a silent movie film with slight tints of color. Hopefully I've achieved that goal through the impression it gives you.
Thank you for checking in and following along. I'll be back soon with more creative fun!