In my first review for Procolour I was a bit unsure about them and so a little ‘on the fence’. I decided the small trial I gave them was unfair and so when I took the photo of a squirrel hogging the bird food I knew this was going to be a fairer test. I also wanted to see how they worked when used with Polychromos and Luminance and again this piece would give me chance to find out.
I made the decision before I began to use the Procolour for the background as I wanted the soft, less vivid effect here, and to use the Polychromos for the squirrel. Luminance as usual would be used when I needed either the colour or the effect of them.
This was early on and the Procolour were used for the wood at the back and also the seeds and floor. The blue at the front was where the Luminance came in.
I found the Procolour perfect for the wood and floor. They went on easily, blended well and kept the softness of colour I was looking for. The only problem I had was that the pencils seemed to soak into the paper support overnight and I was needing to add additional layers the next day. I was working on Stonehenge and know I am not the only person to experience this with Stonehenge so am pretty sure it was the paper and not the pencils. This is not a support I usually use and would be slow to use it again to be honest.
I continued throughout Procolour on the background, Polychromos on the squirrel and mainly Procolour with some Polychromos and Luminance on the floor.
I am delighted with the finished piece and in how the Procolour performed. I think like all pencils it is fitness for purpose and here they suited my purpose perfectly giving me exactly the result I was hoping for when I purchased them.
I am now looking forward to using them alongside my other pencils in the future.
For me the most important aspect of any portrait, be it animal or human is the eyes. The eyes need to capture the essence of the animal or person and if these are wrong the whole portrait is wrong.
Once the eyes were right I began to develop this portrait by laying out in the lightest colours, the shape of the face.
Doing this lets me see the shape the face needs to take as well as allowing me to begin to build up the layers of colour. The slower I work the better the result. Pale layers first then gradually getting darker whilst paying attention to the colours I can see in the fur. Darkest darks and lightest lights are important to lay in.
I also build up the fur slowly and again by starting light and moving towards dark.
Being careful to pick out the colours that make up the White fur is very important as this again helps to give depth. By laying in the short fur first then moving towards the longer fur I can adjust the shape as I go until the portrait is complete.
What at is so important here is that it not only looks like no carries the energy and character of the pet.
This is a portrait of my last pet who sadly is no longer with us.
I used mainly Faber Castell Polychromos along with a few Derwent Coloursoft and worked on Fabiano Ingres paper.
Needless to say this is not and never will be for sale.
I have been working away on my latest piece of art work for some weeks and now that it’s heading towards completion I thought it was time to begin sharing it.
The first images show how I built up the skin tones and depth of colour working on Bristol Board and using a mix of Coloursoft and Polychromo pencils.
I apologise for the angle of the images and the quality but the rear facing camera on my iPad which I use for work in progress snaps isn’t working and so a combination of contortions are needed to get these with the forward facing camera.
The photo reference is my own and was taken in Havana, Cuba. The woman was sat in a square in the town reading fortunes.
I decided not to do anything with the background as I felt the colour of the paper and the fur were enough in the end.
I would say this is around 30 hrs of work in total. As it is my first animal portrait in coloured pencil I’m actually quite pleased with it.
Clicking on the image will bring up an enlarged image for you to see
I’ve been looking at this now and wondering if I should attempt a background or not. In some ways it would be nice to help the fur stand out by using a contrasting colour behind but in other ways I don’t want to lose what is there.
There is still more work to do here as there is fur to complete so I can decide later.
I am am not sure this picture looks clear now it’s up on here so apologies. I have cracked on with the fur and now feel I am making some progress at last.
I am finding the fur and the markings a little overwhelming at the moment. I think I have been too close to it and so need to step back. It’s difficult to get the structure in without going too dark too soon.
Apologies for the light reflecting on this. There was obviously more sunshine than I realised 🙂
I can see not that this is beginning to take shape a little more. There are so many colours in the cheetahs fur that I have over half my pencils out of their boxes and in containers so I can grab them quickly.
This is is the third stage of my cheetah. It’s not the same way I’ve worked before as I felt I needed to block in some of the white, the features and then start in on the fur to see where I was going. I’m not happy with this yet as there isn’t enough depth so need to step back, look at what is happening and decide where to go next.
Working in coloured/colored pencils is really teaching me to be patient 🙂