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September 2013



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Kate in Shadow

Kate in Shadow

I was going to draw Merlin, the kitten, but he wouldn't hold still.

I would.

I'd been saving this sheet of black paper in my handbound journal for something...this moody dark piece seemed perfect.

I've seen so much lovely colored pencil work lately, I needed to play a bit myself...and I love both drawing and working on toned paper.

It's kind of interesting to work like this, because I was really just paying attention to the shape of this shadow or that highlight, and somehow till I got to the point of refining the details that was ALL I was doing.  Not going for a likeness, per se, just getting shapes right...

You can tell I'm smiling, here, can't you? I pushed the color quite a bit, using black, white, crimson red, henna, orange, deco orange, beige, cream, and just a touch of slate blue, and emphasized the smile lines, which I earned, fair and square.  The paper was a smooth black drawing paper--I don't remember the brand.




I do like this very much, but it is a jolt to see you done in dark tones. I associate you with lighter, more luminous colors, of course, with your fair skin, your bluest eyes and your shiny silver and pewter hair. Of course, good art often jolts, doesn't it, and local colors are just points of departure!
Hi Miss Xoxaline!

And yes, getting the values is more important to me than the colors we actually see...I can get far too hung up in that, and often do!

And whereas I like light, luminous colors, I don't wear them often--I don't like pastels. For years I wore navy, denim, maroon and gray. Still do, a lot, but I've graduated to black and white, too, plus the occasional moss-green wedding dress.*G*
A beautiful self-portrait, Kate. I love the crop and the way you did the hair. I do see a certain yearning in your eyes. Anticipation, maybe? But it perfect for the mood of the drawing. I would perhaps like to see more highlights on the nose, but who am I to give you advice, LOL.
Thank you, Muriel! And who you are is a fresh eye!

Yes, I do intend to work on the nose a bit more...I've actually got smile lines there too, I must crinkle my nose when I laugh! I need to tweak the length a bit, too, if I can...got it a little long.
i love this. looking at the values and color mix is a tutorial in itself.

i love this.
Thank you, girlfriend! Funny, working at it the way I did, I was almost completely disconnected from it being a "self" portrait, just a play of light and shadow on a human face. And yeah, COLOR. That was fun!
Very nice. Quite a powerfully expressive portrait, in my humble opinion. Pastel (you say pencils, but I'm assuming pastel pencils?) on black paper always does give very nice, vibrant effects.

But do make a point of drawing Merlin as well. I am simply nuts about cats, but I currently live in a place where I cannot keep pets, so I have to keep them vicariously through other people. ;-)

Good morning, Brian! No, they're Prismacolor colored pencils, though I've been thinking of working with pastel pencils again...

Of course I'll draw Merlin! I once had to live in a cat-free apartment in the city, and I HATED it. I need cats around me...I so sympathize! And Merlin seems to love being adored by anyone and everyone. He'll appreciate it!
Wow! This is simply beautiful. I wish I could do hair like that! You made those color pencils look like pastel. Fantastic!
Thank you! I'm sure you could--colored pencils on dark paper really make it easy.