Saturday, August 23, 2008

Two brothers

I don't update this blog as often as my other one, I tend to wait until I have a completed drawing to post, or something to say, but it has been quite a while since I posted so an update is in order! Last week I heard that 'Paul' , above, has been juried into the 7th Annual Open Exhibition 2008, of the UK Coloured Pencil Society, to be held at the Royal West of England Academy, Bristol from the 3rd - 28th October. It's the first time I've entered anything so it's quite a thrill for me and particularly as I've only been using coloured pencils since January - it feels like confirmation that I'm on the right track.

Despite the recent China drawings, I've been suffering from a lack of motivation in recent months. Unusually this time, as I have so many drawings I'd like to do but for some reason, the spark wasn't there. But getting 'Paul' accepted was a huge boost, and got me thinking again. There are some portraits that I have in mind to do this year but I haven't been able to find the right reference material and it's been quite frustrating. However, I got out a couple of photos of my other brother, Steve, that I thought would get me started, and now I'm away! This is just a section of the work in progress (left). It's a combination of two photos, one for the pose and one for the lighting and detail. I'm using Lyra Rembrandt pencils as I want to try them out and also I want to avoid using watercolour pencils unless it is for sketching. These pencils feel very good to use but my only gripe is that the Yellow Ochres are not a match for my favourite Ochre Yellow in the Cretacolor Aqua Monoliths. Their Ochre Yellow together with English Red make perfect skin tones. The reds in the Lyra range are a good enough match but I miss that yellow. For some reason I can't find the same shade in another brand to match it. I changed tack with this one and started with a layer of 'Light Flesh' and then built up layers with yellow and red on top of that. The Lyra 'Magenta' is just as good as the Polychromos (that I had fun with for the opera singers) and really works wonderfully for deepening shady areas and emphasising the reds. Anyway, I have a long way to go with this. I'm trying different colour combinations out and doing lots of erasing trying to find something I'm comfortable with but I suspect every portrait will have similar challenges until I get a lot more experience with them.