Friday, May 1, 2009

Spring Flowers WIP 2

click to enlarge

I worked on this for HOURS yesterday and see little progress! Flowers are complex - especially when you bunch them all together. :-) The hard parts are finished really so the rest should not take quite so long. When I left the studio yesterday I wasn't sure I liked it. I think partially from the chair I was sitting on while working being way too tall for my work table. I was hunched over the drawing, my back ached and my eyes couldn't focus by the end of the day. Ahh maybe it wasn't the chair - maybe I was just grumpy, lol. Anyway with fresh eyes this morning I like it!

For most colored pencil artists we are told to "push our darks" because it takes layer after layer to build up strong darks. While working on colored paper however, not only do we have to push our darks we have to push our lights as well. Our eyes can see thousands of values in the real world, but it is impossible to have that many stages of values in our drawing or paintings. One way to overcome this obstacle is to make the lights lighter on the one extreme of your value scale and the darks darker - essentially elongating the value scale. 

When working on colored supports, we already have to overcome that darker value of the paper, so adding in lighter colors (or colors with white in them) is a great way to brighten them up. For instance if I want a medium valued red I would use a medium red, add some pink over the top and then medium red again -- essentially sandwiching some white in for the light to bounce off of in between the layers of red. Of course if you want a dark color you wouldn't want to add any white in between layers. Adding  white in the lighter colors and not in the darker colors makes the lighter colors pop out and the darker colors sink in. Sometimes I will use white to do this but usually I use a color that contains white because white is the waxiest color and hard to work on top of. 


8 comments:

Sheila said...

Man, this is starting to "blossom" into such a beautiful piece!!!

Nicole Caulfield said...

hahahaha Thanks Sheila!

Deborah Ross said...

That's good advice about the values, Nicole, and I'm going to have that in mind as I work today. I think your flowers look great!

Carolina said...

Can't wait to see it finished, I love the flowers you chose

bluelilac said...

How wonderful to see this evolve in front of our eyes. I can't wait to see it finished.

Pauline said...

These flowers look so fresh, beautiful colours. Did you use Fisher 400 for this?

L.Holm said...

Looks like a LOT of progress to me. Such beautiful work takes time. I'm a new fan :-) Liz

Nicole Caulfield said...

Thanks everyone!

Pauline. Its on Ampersand Pastelbord so I can frame it without glass. I use it for all my still-lifes and use the Fisher 400 for all my portraits.

Welcome Liz!