For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf--her wolf--is a chilling presence she can't seem to live without. Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: In winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer, a few precious months of being human . . . until the cold makes him shift back again.It is also inspired by the fact that I love SNOW and while looking through American Artist a while back, I came across an article on Jeremy Lipking who is a master at depicting women in ethereal winter scenes.
Now, Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away. It's her wolf. It has to be. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human--or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever.
& here is my study, please click on it to see it better. It is just a little study - 4" x 6" and is sort of like a thumbnail sketch. I abhor doing thumbnail sketches, I must confess. The little 3 vlaue studies of weird shapes just never compare to the real thing. So what I prefer to do is an at scale color study using the same pencils I will be using for the final. This allows me to work out some of the most important colors/values and have the pencil numbers all ready to go when I start the real thing. Usually I do these studies at about aceo size or 2.5 x 3.5" and try to give them a good finish - that way I can actually sell them too. They look great in little 5 x 7 frames with a generous matt. This one however had to be larger because otherwise the girl would have been teeny tiny!
- I actually want the face and the background directly behind it the same value (although different colors).
- I want the darks in her hair and clothes to be the darkest in the piece.
- I want the bottom of some of the tree trunks, especially the one to the right of her, to also be dark in value.
- I can use the bright white of the light between the trees to direct the eye to the girl. That will be the brightest brights.
- I want to really get rid of details (ala Jeremy Lipking) in the background and mostly have big shapes, so I figured out which trees to have some definition and which to fade in.
- I decided to lift up the bottom of some tree trunks to get a restful spot lower left.
- I decided to enlarge the tree to her right.
- The color scheme is lots of greys, army green (in her jacket and trees), a golden green color, and an ice blue. Oh and the rosy colors in her face and hair which will be used just a little bit here and there elsewhere.
I don't always do a study before a piece, and have often regretted it. Its much better to get these things worked out before starting!
from American Artist magazine Jeremy Lipking article:
He prefers to work on one painting at a time, taking about 2 weeks to complete a canvas, and he chooses his content carefully. "When I am doing a painting, I don't think of anything else," he remarks. "If I am going to work this long on a piece, I pretty much like to know where I'm going before I begin."