Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Do you preliminary?

What do you do before doing a final finished drawing/painting?

Sometimes I do mini studies before comitting to my final image. Usually really small like 3-4 inches max and some even aceo sized 2.5" x 3.5". Colored pencils really allow for this with their teeny tiny leads. When working that small, the leads are like little tiny brushes that swoop in with broad strokes of color, at least on sanded paper like Wallis or Fisher 400.

This is my head study for my other daughter's portrait. The final image will have much more going on with her shoulders showing, space above her head, space to the side of her and even a prop. I just wanted to play with the colors I'd be using and to use it to decide how dark I wanted to go with the dark side of the face. Its about 3x3" and on Fisher 400 paper.

I'd love to hear what preliminary work you do before a big piece.


Kasie @ ~The Art of Life~ said...

Wow! This is so beautiful...and it's just the preliminary!
I do a drawing, but not in color. I know my work would definitely benefit from doing more preliminary studies. I have a problem with being impatient and wanting to jump right in, lol. :)

MaryAnn Cleary said...

What a lovely preliminary sketch!

Many times I will work on the composition before doing a large painting or even a small one. I will make small, simple sketches using charcoal or pencil blocking out the basic shapes with the light and dark areas. By doing this, I try to see what makes the composition work and if there is anything that can possibly be done to improve it or make it stronger.

Jennifer Rose said...

That is a beautiful portrait :) Lovely colour choices.

I usually draw the line art for a piece to make sure anatomy is right and where I would like things to be placed. If its a surface I have never worked on before I do a few little sketches to see how the CP acts and blends on it.

The line art comes in handy if I mess up a big piece, just transfer the lines again and hope that I don't make a mistake again. :p

Nicole Caulfield said...

Thanks for commenting!

Kasie - I agree - I don't do preliminaries all the time, but do see the benefits whenever I do. :-)

Great processes Maryann and Jennifer!

Shawn Falchetti said...

I usually do thumbnail color sketches on the surface I'm working (especially for toned Colourfix paper). Occasionally I'll do a more refined color study. I think it all depends on how new the color combinations are to me; when working in a series with an established palette, I may dive right into the main piece. If I find myself adding lots of colors as I progress through a piece, I usually ping myself for not having done the right homework!