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Showing posts from April, 2017

PADT Challenge German Shepherd pastel portrait

PADT Challenge - German Shepherd

Back in July of 2011 I tried my first challenge piece with the Paint and Draw Together group.  I was still working fill time and felt it might help me get a bit more productive.  Plus, I find with challenges that I end up doing subjects I wouldn't normally pick for myself.  Anyway, I was really faithful for a lot of years, but have drifted off into other things, but always keep an eye on what is being posted and try at least to comment and participate a couple of times a year.

Well, I saw this stunning dog and just had to do him.  When I was younger we had a Shepherd, but I, even with all the dogs I have done, I have never drawn a Shepherd.  So now was definitely the time.  I thought I would check to see if Colin had ever done…


Well I think it is ok to post this now as this was a commission I was working on in January for an April anniversary gift and should be in its permanent home by now.  This is a good sized piece for me and is done in acrylic with a little gold leaf here and there.

You might wonder why the gentleman has his suit jacket off, well in the reference his wife was wearing it as it got cold in the ball room.  But she had such a beautiful dress on I decided to add that back in, I also added the necklace, the disc actually wasn't in the picture and added more stars in the background.  But I think the crowning glory of this piece is the crystal mask and it took me a few coats to get all the sparkle of the colors into it.   I was very for…

Into the Light

Into the Light
Well, this is based on the first advanced lesson from Colin Bradley.  As I have done previously, I am using a different pose than he did, but a similar concept.  then I still work through the instruction videos but I have an actual reference photo rather than his painting to work from.  I also utilize the colorization in my reference piece.  I am hoping this works as it was a daylight piece that I worked into a nighttime piece, but am cheating by saying he is coming into the light.  Think I can get away with that?  The next lesson is going to be a baby Orangutan and I am going to use my reference photo, but I am going to change the colors to the one that Colin did.  Keeps it interesting and helping me to really work into my color mixing …

Tiger Tester

Ok, this is a small, 4.5"x5" tester of the colored pencil powder blender and texture fixative.  This needs to be used on a sealed paper, either gessoed paper or what most people are using is the sanded paper.  Unsealed paper just sucks up the blender and doesn't give a good effect.  This happens to be a scrap piece of Colorfis and was a rust color.  The paper was pretty dark and it ended up that I couldn't really bring the whites to where I wanted them.  But even after the first layer if I didn't know I wouldn't think it was color pencils.

I put the first layer on the entire picture, then I used a Sofft sponge (these are the same applicators that you use with the pans pastels), like the kind that comes in powdered eye makeup, and the blending powder, use really barely any amount, and then blended.  It creates some dust as you move the CP around and really you need to have a good amount of colored pencil on the surface for it to work well.  You can see in the…

Kingfisher At Morning pastel portrait

Kingfisher in Morning
I am really have a difficult time getting this picture shot and showing the true representation of the colors.  After about 10 tries this is the best I am going to get I think.

This is another intermediate lesson that I tried (you can see the instructor's picture below).  Again I wanted to use a different pose so I had a good reference shot to work from, but utilized the background and branch idea that Colin did so I could get the technique down.  Not intended to match it perfectly as I didn't like some of what he did and wanted to go my own way.  Well I didn't get the technique down, my head tended to blur the colors together even though I kept sharpening the pencils, but I think it looks more like my photo than his would.  Also, in real life the bird isn't quite so blue, really…

Majestic Tiger pastel portrait

I think I mentioned that I was thinking about studying with an online English pastelist, Colin Bradley.  I have worked through several of his free lessons, this being one, and decided to bite the bullet and today I joined for a period of time where I will have access to multiple complete videos.   So that will probably determine the subject matter for the next few weeks.  The lesson Colin did was of a full-faced tiger.  I wanted to do a similar pose but not the exact piece that he did.  I wanted to see if I could take the techniques he was discussing and apply it to a similar pose and lighting conditions.  You can see Colin's piece below.  I did find this super reference photo at PMP, one of two tigers in the picture, but I really…

Border Collie dog pastel portrait

This little guy is a freebie lesson from Colin Bradley, an English pastel artist.  He uses strictly pastel pencils and has a variety of subjects and lots of YouTube videos.  Looking at his community where people post their lessons it strikes you that his teaching style/techniques must be very good as there is wonderful, solid work being done under this instruction.  I did one of his cats for the 30 day challenge and was intrigued with his lessons and thought/am thinking about studying with him for a bit.  Anyway, since I have been out of sorts for almost all of March, I decided to give this a try with a friend I met at PMP who was working on the same free video lesson.   Same subject, similar look, but each style is unique and hers turned out just lovely.  Even better, I gained a new artist friend!!

Anyway I started using Stonehenge paper, oh what a difference paper can make, and it was a tremendous mistake so I aborted rather than continue and started again.  I went to an old pad of…