After quite a while of not being able to deal with it, I am now back to working on “serious” pieces for my next application to the Society of Animal Artists. I snapped a nice photo of Mick about ten days ago, and then, a few days later, I laid out a quilt that I thought would make a nice background. I put it in the same spot Mick had been, tried to arrange it like the blanket he was sitting on, then took a photo at the same time of the morning to get matching light.
For a few days last week I then worked on the drawing, including the painstaking process of drawing the quilt. Today I transfered my drawing to the velour paper and finally laid pastel to paper.
Shelley came up to see how I was doing. She remarked on my process, and I was able to see pretty clearly that my objective on this first layer is to simply block in basic colors and save my lines in the process. But in this piece I’m taking the further step of exagerating the value contrasts right from the beginning. I think those contrasts will be expecially important in this piece. Plus, learning to portray the drama of light is one of my new goals.
I began with the eyes and pastel pencil. But I just find that the pastel pencils are too hard for the first layer on the velour paper. They may work better on sanded paper as the texture may rub the pigment off the pencil. But on the velour paper, the hard pastel pencil point just mashes the texture of the paper. So I switched to NuPastels.
One other thing that I’m trying in this piece is to not be quite so concerned as I usually am with getting precisely the right color early on. The fact is that pastel colors are limited – especially with the NuPastels that I like to use in the beginning. But this velour paper is a very nice surface for glazing, so I can modify my colors with layering.
So far, so good.