Finally I am ready to start adding details with my dry pencils. I constantly check my photo image looking at the values on the image. Do I have enough darks? Enough lights?
I wait several days looking at the art. At this point I no longer use the photo reference. I make some adjustments and finally decide the piece is complete. I now sign the piece. Then a photo is taken with a penny so that people can get a true sense of the sixe of the art.
At this point most of the basics are on the paper, but I am still using my watercolor and brush.
The tree on the far left gets completed. Then I work with the darks and lights, add detail to the cherry blossoms and the shadows on the path. The piece feels complete but I keep it nearby studying it for a few days. I decide it is done and sign it and photo it with the penny.
As usual I first used pale lavender to place the basic lines of the piece where they needed to be. Then fI decided to paint an under layer of light red since the majority of the photo reference has a lot of green in it. Red is the complementary color of green. For the under painting I use Inktense Colored Pencils by Derwent. I use them because they are a permanent ink based color and do not change when I paint over them.
Bit by bit I add the figures in the distance and work on the plants lining he path.
Next I continue to add color to another banner.
Now that the basics are on the paper I start adding detail with my dry colored pencils.
I keep checking my photo reference, adding details, shadows and highlights. I look at the composition and decide to crop out some of the extraneous from the left and the right side of the street.
Bit by bit I add more details working with my watercolor pencil and a brush.
Using my Inktense water color pencils I take color from the tip with a brush and I paint an under painting of color approximating the colors I want.
Still using watercolor I add more detail.
There are many surfaces that can be used when working with colored pencil. The one thing that I have found is that your surface needs some tooth or ability to hold the color. If the surface is too smooth/glossy it is difficult to layer color.
I use several surfaces but currently select Pastelmat more often than other surfaces. Pastelmat comes in a variety of colors. When I use their white I have the ability to under paint the whole page to get the effect I am looking for. This surface has a grit that is finer than my second choice U-art 800 grit. The grit allows me to layer color even adding lighter colors over dark colors.
U-art only comes in a beige sandpaper color. I can under paint but have to rely on the pencil for my whites.
Stonehenge 100% cotton vellum finish comes in white and assorted colors.
I work with watercolor pencils and dry pencils. Pencils have either wax or oil as a binder for the pigment. I use whichever I need to create the finished look I am after, even mixing both types. When I use watercolor pencils I take the color from the tip with a brush and place my color with a brush where I want it on the page.
See below for several step by step photos of my work.
I start the buildings with watercolor, roughing in the dark areas of the buildings on the street.
Using a light lavender gray dry colored pencil I transfer my drawing to my surface. Then I start some basic color for the piece.
Kathy Pollak Artist
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