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Karen Cardinal
01-18-2004, 02:20 PM
Hello again all!

Well I know you asked me to post my latest commission piece once it was finished.
I don't have it done, but I thought you might like to see the way I draw my skin tones on black paper.

First I want to show you the reference picture and how my layout will look.

I'm having a terrible time creating something I like from this. (I just can't get excited with posed photos)
Since this couple are newlyweds I decided to simply move them into a heart shaped layout and leave it at that.
I am planning on drawing their faces realistically and work looser on thier clothing untill it fades out at the edges.
I know... really predictable, but I'm stuck for any other ideas. :rolleyes:
If someone else can come up with something, please let me know.

Here is the reference photo and start of my picture.

Karen Cardinal
01-18-2004, 02:22 PM
Here is a close up of the husband's face.
This is how I start out the skin.

I put down a wash of cream and light peach. Then I add deco yellow, pink, mediterranean blue, and white (only in the bright highlights) to start molding the features.
I also have some dark purple in the shadows areas, but I've layed all my colors down so lightly that there will only be a hint of it left after a couple more layers. I cover this with a light wash of peach and now I'm ready to start making skin.

Karen Cardinal
01-18-2004, 02:23 PM
This is a close up of the hand.
This is about half way through the process.

All I've really done is simply repeat what I had done on the husband's face... gradually adding more detail and working my way up to colors like goldenrod, burnt ochre, process red and true blue.
I still have quite a bit of black paper showing through, but with very light layers, I still have a lot of tooth left to my paper.

Karen Cardinal
01-18-2004, 02:25 PM
Here is the woman's face.
This is the finished skin tones.

You can tell there is hardly any paper showing through now. I have continued to build up layers working my way up to dark brown, dark green, tuscan red and a touch of that dark purple I had used in the first layer.
Once the paper becomes slick with pencil, I take advantage of that and use my crayon eraser to help blend it. I also go back with my lightest pencils in select spots to add a touch of highlight and help give it a more "painterly" look.

Ok... now I just have to finish this picture off so I can get on with my still life. I'll rescan this one when I get it done so you can see how it turns out.

frida
01-18-2004, 04:07 PM
This is amazing Karen!!! It is the most accurate and natural skin colour done on black that I have ever seen...! :clap:

Are you using Stonehenge or another black ground?

I rated the thread "excellent" already. Thanks for sharing... :D

Karen Cardinal
01-18-2004, 04:14 PM
Thanks so much frida!

I think I enjoy drawing on black because I don't have to work so hard for the shadows. ;)

This work is done on Canson paper. I love my Stonehenge when I want white paper, but I didn't think they made colored paper. Do they?

The Canson paper works well for me because it does have a lot of tooth so I can really build up the layers pretty thick.

Thanks again for the compliment. I really apreciate it!

crazeejumper
01-18-2004, 04:17 PM
Wow, this is looking amazing!

marilyn h
01-18-2004, 04:18 PM
Very impressive Karen.

Karen Cardinal
01-18-2004, 04:29 PM
Oh for anyone interested...

I do let my "limited pallet" of colors go out the window when I'm working on black.

The colors I've used in this so far have been:
White
Cream
Light Peach
Deco Pink
Greyed Lavender
Cloud Blue
Deco Yellow
Deco Blue
Rosy Beige
Clay Rose
Lilac
Pink
Peach
Mediterranean Blue
Goldenrod
Spanish Orange
True Blue
Process Red
Burnt Ochre
Dark Brown
Dark Purple
Tuscan Red
Dark Green

(all Prismacolor pencils)

Someday I'll learn how to limit my pallet on black. ;)

Karen Cardinal
01-18-2004, 04:31 PM
Thanks so much Connie and Marilyn!

Hopefully I won't mess it up finishing it. :rolleyes:

RobinZ
01-18-2004, 04:42 PM
I didn't know such beautiful skin tones were possible on black. I frankly dreaded opening this up, thinking I'd see that ghoulish look to the skin. You've done a beautiful job.

Hey, it pays the bills, Karen. And your customers will be very pleased and you've done a good thing showing this to us. :)

Yes, Stonehenge does make black.

Karen Cardinal
01-18-2004, 07:48 PM
Thanks so much for the compliment Robin!
Actually, my skin tones have that goolish look through a lot of layers. It really isn't until I've built up so many layers that the paper is getting slick that it stops looking scary. ;)

I've added another layer on the husband's face and I thought you might like to see the progress. (besides, posting it keeps me motivated to keep working on it)

This time I've used deco blue, greyed lavender, lilac, goldenrod, lots of pink and a touch of process red. Then I washed a light layer of peach over the top.

Now don't get scared... lots more layers to go... ;)

Karen Cardinal
01-18-2004, 10:23 PM
Ok one more post on the husband's face. (I don't want to bore you all completely)

This time I tried to work on getting more toward a real skin tone (although it's still several layers away) I also had to lift some of my color with my Fun Tak (sticky stuff) to get the shading right so this could look (sort of) like the guy in the picture.

My colors this time (after lifting some of the previous color) was cream, pink, deco blue, deco yellow, pink, orange (very lightly), burnt ochre and a wash of peach (again).

btw: I will look up the links for everyone for the crayon eraser and sticky stuff and post them if you want.

So if you're interested... here's the next scan

Karen Cardinal
01-18-2004, 10:56 PM
Ok... here's some info about the fun tak and crayon eraser.

Fun Tak (aka sticky stuff) is a reusable adhesive. It is great for lifting layers of colored pencil (providing they weren't put on too heavy). It won't lift all the color, but there are very few things that can do that.

You can find it at most any office supply store. Here is one place on the web you can find it... 1-craft.com (http://www.1-craft.com/Jo-Ann-Dap-Fun-Tak-Reusable-Adhesive.asp)

The crayon eraser is a tool I use all the time to blend with. It won't change the color of your pencil (like alcohol based blenders) and it's easier than a blender pencil. I have some info about it at the CP Challenge. Info on Crayon Eraser (http://cpchallenge.com/links/crayoneraser.html)

I don't know if Ann Kullberg has any of these left anymore though, so if you want to buy them you may have to get a bulk supply (and sell off your excess) btw: I've been using the same one for over a year now and it looks like I've barely used it.

arlene
01-18-2004, 11:18 PM
oriental trading has them so maybe if enough of us want one, i could order them and send them out? it's very inexpensive.

Meisie
01-19-2004, 02:40 AM
Fascinating Karen! I love to see all the colors you use and how you create skin from it all :D
Do you want to double check the proportion of her arm? Forearm too long... then again, you may not want to know ;)
Meisie

Karen Cardinal
01-19-2004, 10:34 AM
Thanks so much Meisie!
You know me... I just love color. ;)
You're right the arm is waaaaaaay off. I had just loosely (and lightly) drawn the clothing lines in with cream to get an idea how long the piece will be. I'll be lifting a lot of them back up and fixing them when I get to the clothes.
Thanks for spotting it... you've got a good eye!

Thanks also for the tip on the black Stonehenge everyone.
The only art store we have in town doesn't carry it, so I'll go find it online.
Of course, with black paper I build up even more layers that I do with white. I'll have to experiment to see if the Stonehenge has enough tooth for them all.

I apreciate the comments very much everyone!
I'm stuck in a town that seems to view art as a hobby / pasttime as long as you don't mention it's colored pencil (that makes thier brains explode). :rolleyes:
It's been vital to my sanity to be able to have other cp artist to talk to and get feedback from! Thank you all! :D

Well like a fool I twisted an ankle and threw out my back carrying some boxes up and down my overly-steep basement stairs yesterday, so I'm not going to be able to get anything done on this for a few days.

Keep inspired everyone!

pencils4me
01-19-2004, 10:44 AM
Wow Karen

Looks like your doing awsome considering the limitations of the refrence. It always amazes me why someone would want a painting done of a pic they already have? Sheesh some people are just no fun :evil: .

I do think the heart shaped layout works good for this though, and while it looks funky now, i'm sure will be wonderful when its complete.

Tj

wet
01-19-2004, 12:40 PM
Karen THANK YOU so much for showing the progress on this. Can relate on artistic frustrations. In my town as soon as you say cps they think kindergarden!! There are no cp artists so I love this place!! I really like seeing the stages you are going through. I know you don't care for the "posed" look but this is going to look great!!wanda

Meisie
01-19-2004, 01:55 PM
So will you have time to lie in a warm bath (good for that sore back and ankle!) and read a nice book with background music going......so that you come back to this in a few days? :D
We'll be waiting........;)
Take care of that back ok?
Meisie

jade fox
01-19-2004, 01:59 PM
I like seeing someone work with black paper. It's something I'm trying to learn myself. Excellent work!!!! :cool:

Elankat
01-19-2004, 04:27 PM
Wow Karen. This is looking great. I'm so surprised at the skin tones that you are getting on black paper.

Lahree
01-19-2004, 08:03 PM
IOJFS OJKVF LJQF OJQ MVAOJVQMA:! Oh, I'm sorry...I was trying to talk with my jaw still dropped. This deserves the coveted "Holy Crap!" exclamation! So.........HOLY CRAP! This is really, really, REALLY cool! Your guy looks like a total freakazoid--how you can turn that into realistic skin tones is amazing. Wow.

Jazz
01-19-2004, 08:43 PM
Hiya! Karen :) ,

Thank you sooooooo.... much for doing this for us -I am in awe of your considerable talent!! :eek: :) I cannot get over your free and bold use of colour in the early layers!!! It has stunned me -that is EXACTLY how I would like to work!! I don't know if I can ever hope to be as amazing at it as you are but I sure would like to try!

I can't wait for the next progress post but make sure you take special care of your back, having a back injury myself I know how painful and frustrating they can be, so make sure you are a 100% before tackling anything remotely physical again -OK?

Big Hugs,


ALI

larsnip
01-19-2004, 11:19 PM
Very interesting Karen, Your doing an awesome job on this one :clap: :clap: Do we get to see the finish?

Dave Larson

Karen Cardinal
01-20-2004, 02:08 AM
Thank you so much for the compliments everyone!
I'm thrilled that so many of you artist that I admire so much think highly of my work. :D

Tj, I am still having a hell of a time getting inspired by this photo... If I never see another Sears Portrait photo it'll be too soon. :rolleyes:
Happily this is the very last time I have to do a drawing from a photo I don't want to draw. I've finally learned to put my foot down.

Wanda, Thank You for the kind words! I am more than happy to show you my progress on any of my drawings... as long as I can remember to scan them in.

jade fox (sorry I don't know your name), I saw some of your photos and I've got to say... wow... can I draw some of them?

LeAnne, well you already know so I don't have to tell you again... I adore all your work!

Lori, geez the coveted "Holy Crap!" exclamation... I don't know what to say. I want to thank my mother for not killing me when I was a kid, my husband for not killing me as an adult, all my friends at WC for not killing me in thier critiques... <sob>... I'm sorry I can't go on. ;)
btw: there's a lot more freakazoid left before this guy will actually look like he has skin.

Ali, sweety you are always the best (don't tell the others I said that ok?). Your "Lilypad" work proved that you can be just as amazing with color as anyone else. I don't think you have to hope... and it won't be in the future... your art is fabulous now!

Dave, Thank you for looking at my work and for the wonderful compliment!


Well, I don't have an update on this yet. I felt bad enough today I actually broke down and went to a doctor. Nothing was broken (even though I insisted it had to be). She did give me these great little pills for the pain though. They don't really make the pain go away... but you just don't care anymore. :D
I am able to sit in one spot now with very little moaning and my hopes are high for being able to sleep tonight.

One bad side effect though... the tiny bit of concentration I had is completely gone now. I still can't work on any finished art, because (contrary to the belief of many rock and rollers) drugs don't help you create art.
I tried drawing a quick sketch of the picture I'm planning to do for the CPSA exhibit, and even that looks wrong somehow.

It's a picture from the WC reference library.
There's a shiny new nickle for anyone who can recognize it.

Hope everyone is still having a ball!
I'm off to bed now and ready to have a much more productive day tommorrow........

Thanks again for looking!

Jazz
01-20-2004, 03:21 AM
I know which ref it is .....I know....I know :: jumping up and down on the spot with my hand in the air:: :D

I have that one saved as well to attempt at a later date, I think it will be a fabulous choice for your CPSA piece, great choice!


:: blushing madly :: :o :o awwww... thank you for your lovely response to my comment (I promise I wont say anything to the others.....shhhh... I think there listening :evil: ).

Look after that back of yours and don't do too much until you are totally better.

Big Hugs,

ALI

Karen Cardinal
01-20-2004, 10:51 AM
I know which ref it is .....I know....I know :: jumping up and down on the spot with my hand in the air:: :D

Well, it looks like someone's getting a bright shiny new nickle. :D

I'm still not feeling my perky best so I plan to lay on the floor a lot today. I was hoping to get some good drawing in, but it looks like sketches are all I'll be getting done today. Well... I'd better be feeling up to it tomorrow.

Thank you so much for the great email Ali! That really perked me up a lot!
I'll be writing you an email soon (after I've laid on the floor awhile).

Have a great day everyone!

Lahree
01-20-2004, 06:38 PM
There's a reference photo of graphite scribbled glasses? Whoa. Maybe you see them that way becuase of your current drug problem. Rehab, Karen, rehab. I see a WC intervention coming up.

MsLilypond
01-20-2004, 07:43 PM
Arlene, if you order some of the crayon erasers let me know, I would definately buy a few.


and for the artwork wow, it's beautiful, better than the Sears potrait by far.

Karen Cardinal
01-20-2004, 08:14 PM
There's a reference photo of graphite scribbled glasses? Whoa. Maybe you see them that way becuase of your current drug problem. Rehab, Karen, rehab. I see a WC intervention coming up.

Hey, don't make fun... you know how hard it was to find a scribbled drawing of glasses for a reference picture. Sure if you want to find something colorful and exciting... those are all over the place... but just try to find a reference picture that's sketchy, all out of proportions, badly shadowed and smudged... it ain't easy. ;) :D

Thank you for the compliment Michelle! I appreciate it!

hmm... maybe I should buy a stock of the crayon erasers... sell them at a nickle profit and use the money for my drug rehab.... nah... I'll just sit here and draw some more purty pictures of lopsided glasses instead. :D

happymommykasie
01-20-2004, 10:21 PM
Hi Karen! I'm back. I've already told you how talented I think you are. This is awesome! I'm totally amazed at how realistic your skin tones are. Thanks so much for doing this WIP.
Hope your ankle is feeling better. I know that isn't a fun thing. My sister just twisted her ankle skiing this weekend and she was in a lot of pain. Hope it heals up soon. ;)
Kasie

pencilrtist
01-20-2004, 10:27 PM
Hi Karen,

I've been following this thread. I'm sorry to hear about your back and ankle. Take it easy ok. Just keep taking the "happy" pills and rest. hehehe Seriously though, I personally am finding this thread so helpful. You are absolutely amazing. This is so beautiful. So realistic. This is what I want to one day achieve. This is also a great "tutorial" on layering. Now I understand what it is. Thanks so much for sharing.

Ricky 8-)

arlene
01-21-2004, 12:59 AM
Well, it looks like someone's getting a bright shiny new nickle. :D

I'm still not feeling my perky best so I plan to lay on the floor a lot today. I was hoping to get some good drawing in, but it looks like sketches are all I'll be getting done today. Well... I'd better be feeling up to it tomorrow.

Thank you so much for the great email Ali! That really perked me up a lot!
I'll be writing you an email soon (after I've laid on the floor awhile).

Have a great day everyone!

have you told teanne you're using her pic yet? least i think it was hers...I had this one saved at one time too

LAartist
01-21-2004, 05:32 AM
Karen,
What a wonderful Piece! Can't wait to see this in all the following stages. It's such a great thread for those who want to learn how to create realistic skin tones in cp.

Great work!

Hope your back and ankle are feeling better!

Karen Cardinal
01-21-2004, 08:02 AM
have you told teanne you're using her pic yet? least i think it was hers...I had this one saved at one time to

Guess my sketch isn't as good as I hoped. ;)
Actually, I did find a lot of Teanne's photos that I concidered as well as quite a few of Olika's (of course), but when I saw "Reflections and Shadows" by Jan (http://www.wetcanvas.com/RefLib/showphoto.php?photo=10592&password=&sort=1&cat=63&page=1) I knew I had to try it. Hopefully my painting will come out half as good as the photo.
Oh and I did do the "Can I draw your photo to enter in a contest? Do you have a larger copy? Did you do any other photos in this set?" thing. Jan was very sweet and the only stipulations is I have to show her the painting when i'm done. :)

Thank you so much for the compliment Kasie! I definately want to see the latest update to your work! It is so beautiful now!
btw: Best wishes to your sister. Hope she's feeling better!


Thank you also Ricky! I hoped someone would find this info useful. I know I work very differently than a lot of the artist here, but most of the basics, layering, blending, burnishing... is done the same.

...Yea, I put my layers on with one pencil at a time, just like everyone else.
:D

Once I get to the part where I'm blending with my eraser, I'll try to remember to scan the steps in so you can see what it does. Remind me.

Thank you also Carolyn! Well, if I don't get any lessons into the Challenge (and if I don't end up mucking up this portrait) I may have to try to turn this into a lesson. :eek: I'm so glad you're enjoying it so far!

Well, I'm feeling better today (gotta love those happy pills :D )
I have quite a few errands to run this morning, but hopefully I'll have an update on this portrait for you tonight.

Thank you again everyone for your wonderful comments!

Lahree
01-21-2004, 08:11 AM
I don't remember seeing that reference photo before! Rats! I look at the image library every day. How did I miss that one? I am sure you will do a spectacular job, Karen. You are probably seeing bright shiney colors everywhere now, aren't you? Are the curtains "breathing?" Is the floor swirling? Pretty colorssssssssssss......pretty colors everywhereeeeeeeeee :evil: :D

Karen Cardinal
01-21-2004, 04:02 PM
I don't remember seeing that reference photo before! Rats!
Haaa haaa... I have dibs on it now... naa naa naa naa naa naa. :evil: :D
... and I usually see all the pretty colors anyway... now I see them dancing to the music. :D

Ok, I have a little more done on this portrait... finally.
I ended up using a lot more orange on this guys face than I thought I would. I basically used all the same colors I had used on the previous layer plus I added mediterannean blue and burnt ochre to the mix.

The paper is getting slick now so the next step will be to blend the skin and touch up my lights and darks.

I've also started putting the colors down for the hair and clothes. I simply put some lines in with mediterranean blue for the clothes, but the more I look at it the more I like the look of the rough lines. I may end up just using that idea for the finished work. What do you think?

Well, here's the close up of the face and how the whole thing looks so far...

gealflings
01-21-2004, 05:16 PM
Loooookin good!! :D

I like the idea of sketchy clothing - kind of looks like they're forming out of the void or something. He's looking much less freaky now. LOL Great job - feel better!!!

TeAnne
01-21-2004, 08:27 PM
Wow Karen. This is looking great. I'm so surprised at the skin tones that you are getting on black paper.
I was thinking the same thing as was going through this thread.
Bloody WOW! I gave up a long time ago trying to get realistic, so I just do my own thing.

Karen, your portrait is outstanding, and everything else has been said that I wanted to say. :clap: :clap: :clap:

pencilrtist
01-21-2004, 11:21 PM
Haaa haaa... I have dibs on it now... naa naa naa naa naa naa. :evil: :D
... and I usually see all the pretty colors anyway... now I see them dancing to the music. :D

Ok, I have a little more done on this portrait... finally.
I ended up using a lot more orange on this guys face than I thought I would. I basically used all the same colors I had used on the previous layer plus I added mediterannean blue and burnt ochre to the mix.

The paper is getting slick now so the next step will be to blend the skin and touch up my lights and darks.

I've also started putting the colors down for the hair and clothes. I simply put some lines in with mediterranean blue for the clothes, but the more I look at it the more I like the look of the rough lines. I may end up just using that idea for the finished work. What do you think?

Well, here's the close up of the face and how the whole thing looks so far...

Karen,

This is absolutely amazing.... Glad you're feeling a little better, but continue to take it easy.....

Ricky 8-)

Karen Cardinal
01-22-2004, 01:09 AM
Wow! Thank you so much Sarah, TeAnne and Ricky!
I am thrilled and humbled by your kind remarks.

TeAnne, I have ALWAYS loved your portraits on black! Don't ever change the way you do them! Don't you know your portraits are what made me try one of my own in the first place.
In fact there is still a thread here where I posted my first portrait on black paper (some 3 years ago). This is the thread (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8399)

Ok... I think I am ready to call this portrait done. I am totally sick of it now.

I wasn't feeling my best tonight, so I didn't keep as good track of what I did as I should have. (I'm sorry, but I forgot to scan in the blending for the eraser also)

What I did was cover the entire face with a light wash of pink, because I thought he looked much too sallow. Then I did another wash of cream and used my crayon eraser to blend the colors together. The eraser will pick up a small amount of color... just enough to add a little more pencil if you press heavy. To finish the face off I used cream, peach, deco pink, or white in the highlight areas (I could only force one more layer on so I had to be careful where I put my colors). I also pumped up the darks with terra cotta, tuscan red, black grape, or dark purple.

I also decided that I liked the sketchy look for the clothes and simply finished them off by putting cream, peach, process red and mediterannean blue in the collars with the white and adding touches of white to the lines for the jackets.
The hair on both of them is a mix of goldenrod, white, tuscan red and dark purple.

Looking at the portrait again I see that his left eye (viewers right) seems flat and his entire face should have been rounded a little more, but I am so ready to move on, I'm going to call it done, unless someone sees something horrible I did. (gee... now that would be a first. :rolleyes: )

bearded bob
01-22-2004, 05:28 AM
this is wonderful Karen, a real great example of a professional at work. I love the way you have focussed on the faces and left the rest suggestive. I agree with you that the pose is a bit posed, but hey, if thats what the client wants, that is what they get! What has particularly surprised me is the colours you get into flesh tones - blues even!! Ann K would have a fit! Thanks for sharing. :clap: :clap:

marilyn h
01-22-2004, 07:31 AM
Just wonderful. I feel this is like an oil painting. There is so much color in the faces. Great work!

arlene
01-22-2004, 08:26 AM
excellent job but is his face that much darker in the painting in rl? it looks like she has good H's and he has none.

Karen Cardinal
01-22-2004, 08:48 AM
Thank you so much for the compliment Bob! I don't know if Ann would be shocked at my color choices (although she might be). I bet she would think the early stages on my faces were pretty wild though. :D

Marilyn I really appreciate your compliment. Thank you!
Hey... I'm just trying to find a way to use the same great colors you have in your fish in one of my faces. :D

Arlene, thank you also!
Yea you're right... I know he could do with some more highlights. The problem is I originally did his face too yellow (because he looked much "yellower" in the photo) When I realized he looked to sick that way and added the extra pink, I filled up my tooth quicker than I wanted to.

I should probably go back and try to lift some more color (or add some tooth with fixative) to pump up his highlights, but I'm just so sick of this one now I can't stand to look at it.

I've also realized that I don't like the way I did her arm now. I want to redo it using shorter strokes (like the rest of the clothes and change the line placement a little.

I'm going to get it matted a framed this weekend and take it to her on monday, so I'll let it sit today and do my fixes tomorrow.

cpart
01-22-2004, 08:56 AM
Amazing skin tones, amazing picture and its one you didn't even enjoy doing! Can't wait to see one that you have a passion for!

Stu

Karen Cardinal
01-22-2004, 09:06 AM
Thank you so much Stu!

Hopefully the next portrait I do will be one I can really get into.
Posting the progress on this one has definately motivated me to keep working on it and get it finished.

My next work will be one I think I'm really going to love doing. Just as long as I don't get too nervous about messing it up I think I'll be ok. ;)

Thanks again everyone for the fabulous encouragement!

happymommykasie
01-22-2004, 10:18 AM
Great Job!!! :clap: :clap: :clap:

Kasie

Jazz
01-22-2004, 10:53 AM
Hey Karen :) ,

You have done a phenomenal job with this portrait especially as you have not enjoyed the process, WOW!! you ARE talented!!!! :eek: How do you find the motivation and will to continue something you are not enjoying?

I can't wait to see the next WIP you do, I have soooo... enjoyed watching this one take shape, I am in utter awe of your ability with colour, maybe one day I will be able to do something like it but until then I will enjoy your work :)


How is your back, did my tip help any? I hope you are feeling much better :)


Big Hugs,


ALI

gnu
01-23-2004, 04:35 AM
Karen, ,this just blows me away!! thanks so much for the wip...the blending is lovely and smooth...such subtle layers.. :clap: :clap: gald you are feeling better..nasty stuff to happen...