Sleeping Beauty - Step by Step
Custom Pet Portraits
Christmas is just around the corner and what better gift can you give to someone special than a custom illustration of their beloved pet or family member? Now is the time to order! It can take me several weeks to complete a beautiful masterpiece for you, so look through your photographs and find that special picture that would look great as a work of art and send it to me today!
New Aspen Drawing
Aspen Prints for Sale!
Just added these aspen prints for sale here on my store page. Be sure to check out the beautiful illustrations!
They're available in two different sizes 15.5" x 24" and 23.25" x 36". The giclee prints are printed on high quality, acid free, watercolor paper.
Framed Aspen Drawing
The frame I used for the aspen drawing is made from aspen trees. I posted this picture to demonstrate the size of the completed illustration and to show how beautiful paintings are when they are matted and framed.
Three Horses illustrates a different technique than I normally use for my drawings. This drawing was made with colored pencils on black paper, rather than white.
When using white paper, dark colors are built up using many layers, light areas need less buildup, and white color is provided by simply leaving the paper blank. Drawings made on black paper are just the opposite. That is, light areas need several layers of color, dark areas need fewer, and black areas are left blank.
There were several reasons I selected black paper for this particular drawing.
I knew I wanted the background to be solid black in order to make the details of the horses features radiate out. Filling in the background with black color on white paper would take many layers of pencil and would not produce as uniform a color as I wanted it to be. (And, building up that great an area sufficiently to achieve a jet black color would take forever and be really boring!)
Also, it is far easier to draw white lines for hair with pencils rather than attempting to create white hair by skipping thin lines of blank paper and coloring in around them. There is a method to burnish, or indent the paper, so that when coloring in later, the white paper stays white where the indented marks were applied; however, this picture had a great many white lines needed and I didn't want to have scratch marks all over the drawing.
I selected a black paper with more of a texture than the white paper I normally use, so when the pencils were applied, they glided on more like pastels, creating a dynamic soft quality. (Pastels tend to have a wider coverage area and have a brighter color.) One great advantage to using colored pencils over pastels, besides the sharpness of details achievable, is that pastels tend to smear and colored pencils stay where you apply them.
The sharp contrast in this illustration, including the white hair next to the solid black background and the white horse standing between two darker ones, helps give the drawing a three dimensional feeling.
Three horses of different colors standing so close to one another was one of the interesting things about this picture that caused me to want to draw it. Each horse has its own unique personality. And the blue eye of the center horse was an outstanding feature which I found mesmerizing.
Photograph - Painting
Beginning to Completed
In this closeup you can see where I've blended using the Colorless pencil. Looking at the trunks after the initial blending, I felt that the French Grey 90% area was too dark and too well defined; so this step demonstrates one way to correct a drawing when that occurs. I simply used the colorless pencil to continue blending the grey areas on the two large trunks, which spread and diluted the darker color even more.
Lines for all of the grey pencils were drawn vertically, following the length of the trunks. To blend all of the layers together, I used a horizontal stroke following the curve of the trunk.
I blended the Aspen trunk's characteristic black bumps in with their shadows, which had been constructed using the various shades of grey. When blending black with another color, you have to be very careful because the end of the Colorless pencil can pick up traces of the black and then smear it across the lighter colored areas. After blending with a black area, I rub my colorless pencil on a blank paper to remove all of the black color, before proceeding with the blending of the lighter colors.
This is a view of the Aspens with the blending of the shade on the side of the trunks completed.
Black is the final color used for this drawing. I added some black lines to a few of the branches. There were a few pine branches in the lower left corner of the reference photo, so I filled those in with black as well.
The picture is FINALLY complete. If you've followed along and have completed your drawing, too, CONGRATULATIONS!
If you haven't, then Get Crackin'!
French Grey 70% was the next color applied to the tree trunks. As in the previous step, I colored in a smaller area on top of the previously applied French Grey 50%. This makes a nice graduated shading on the trunks. I like these shades of grey because they are actually the same color, just slowly getting darker.
French Grey 90% was only added to the long strip of grey on the two largest trees. I felt that the rest of the tree trunks were dark enough.
Starving artist trying to get noticed...(and not starve)