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jackiesimmonds
03-26-2004, 06:22 AM
When doing some filing today, I came across a set of transparencies done as a step by step, a while ago. Thought some of you might like to see these steps to a finished pic.

Here is the original finished pic, tho it is a slightly poor repro on a postcard; the blacks you see aren't black at all, they are a mix of dark blue and dark green:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/26-Mar-2004/1805-5_Greek_Cats.jpg

and here are the steps. I think that I redid the pic for a demo so the colours may differ slightly. Also, my trannies had a blue cast, so the blues are VERY blue! It was worked on Pastel Card ... what you call La Carte, I think, in a darkish umber colour, hence the reason for drawing initially in white rather than black. Also, knowing I was dealing with white walls, I didn't fancy using black. I did a thumbnail sketch first, to sort out the composition and tone values, and then worked 90% on the spot, finishing off in the studio, and adding the 5 cats, who had been roaming around while I worked.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/26-Mar-2004/1805-step2.jpg http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/26-Mar-2004/1805-step3.jpg http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/26-Mar-2004/1805-step4.jpg http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/26-Mar-2004/1805-step5.jpg http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/26-Mar-2004/1805-step6.jpg

The final step you see here, which is before the finishing touches, is rather bluer than it was in reality, those shadows are very brilliant blue on my monitor, and they were, in fact, more subtle, with blue-grey-purple in there. Sorry to have to make you use a bit of imagination where the colours are concerned...but at least it shows something of the steps involved.

It is interesting to me to see these again, as I work slightly differently these days, tending to cover more of the board early on, or working with an underpainting in gouache or felt-tip pen. Nevertheless, I do still sometimes work like this, and it is a perfectly valid way of working - starting with the dark, and middle tones, and working slowly towards the lightest tones, modifying the tones and colours all the time.

Jackie

ArtsiePhartsie
03-26-2004, 06:55 AM
Wow...this is great! Thank you for sharing, I have learned so much from you! I hope you know how appreciated you are!

~Artsie

Dark_Shades
03-26-2004, 08:34 AM
this is nice to see .... and you can guess which bits Im homing in on :)

CarolChretien
03-26-2004, 08:58 AM
Jackie, My favorite medium is oil. That is what i know...but if I were ever totry a different medium I KNOW it would be pastels...this Painting of yours is so beautiful. :eek: :clap:

I appreciate seeing your wip...thanks for sharing.

Stoy Jones
03-26-2004, 10:29 AM
I'm finding out more and more (especially in paints) that the use of black is rather unnecessary altogether as it absorbs the vibrancy and life out of the color you are shading. Is this true in pastels or is there a time to use black? Great looking wip!!

Stoy

jackiesimmonds
03-26-2004, 10:39 AM
I'm finding out more and more (especially in paints) that the use of black is rather unnecessary altogether as it absorbs the vibrancy and life out of the color you are shading. Is this true in pastels or is there a time to use black? Great looking wip!!

Stoy
Well, black CAN be useful, but one has to be careful. I have found that on occasion, it is great to use UNDER other colours, to provide a dark base - I might put down some black, fix it, and then use, say, dark green over the top, if I want a REALLY dark green and haven't got one. On the other hand, I have done some pics where I actually WANTED black shapes - in which case, I see no problem using it as it is.

As part of a mix, I see no reason why it should "absorb the vibrancy and life out of the colour you are shading" in pastels, because it would sit UNDER your subsequent colour, remember that pastels are opaque, and you do not mix with them on a palette.

Jackie

jackiesimmonds
03-26-2004, 10:51 AM
this is nice to see .... and you can guess which bits Im homing in on :)

If you are homing in on the foliage, here is a simple breakdown:

1. I paint the main shape, as one large shape, using lots of dark tones of blues, and dark greens.

2. I then begin to add darkish medium tones, looking for clumps of foliage, still keeping my marks fairly loose and changing directions. I think, in the case of my sbs, I also added in some of the medium blue of the shadow "behind" and through the foliage.

3.. Then, I add in lighter medium tones, starting to use leafy-looking marks - in other words, short stabbing marks which follow the direction of the growth of the leaves. Important - I still try to be true to the way the light is falling on the clumps, so these lighter tones are placed carefully, over the medium dark tones, not just dotted around any old where.

4. Finally, I add in my lightest tones, where sunlight strikes the most, and - the really fun bit - I sort out some of the filigree "edges" of the foliage clumps, because the edges, with leaves depicted dark against the lighter tones behind, really tell the story. Those leaves have fairly specific shapes - they clearly aren't palm leaves, are they (bit obvious, that, but you know wht I mean), and if you get just a few of the shapes RIGHT, it will give authenticity to the rest of the foliage area, which can be more loosely handled in an impressionistic style.

A tip - at the edge of a bunch of foliage, you will not only find individual leaves, but also little bunches of leaves. look for the shape created by, say, three or four leaves bunched together - and the easiest way to find that shape is to look at the negative shapes AROUND the little bunch of leaves, and paint the light area behind and up to the leaves, rather than the leaves themselves.


All of the above relates to clumps of foliage which are fairly close to you, and therefore need rather more "description" than foliage seen from a distance.

Oh - and if that WASNT what you were homing in on..... let me know!

Jackie

Khadres
03-26-2004, 12:46 PM
This is too cool! Fabulous step-by-step! Thanks for sharing it with us! Makes me want to run right down and paint, drat house work anyway!

Geoff
03-26-2004, 01:02 PM
Like Tommy would say

" just like that !! "

oh dang,
breaks another unison,
tears up the support
kicks the ease,
still,
there's always another day,
and
another WIP from you.
I'll be better tomorrow,
I've you to thank for inspiration.



( :D )

many thanks for the WIP

sassybird
03-26-2004, 01:46 PM
Thank you for sharing this, Jackie. It is nice to see how you work. The shadows of the trees add life to the piece, but the cat is a great addition. The colors are perfect for a scene like this. I love the feel of old buildings and hidden little alleys and courtyards. There was character imbedded in those days, not so sterile as what we see in the states today.

jackiesimmonds
03-26-2004, 01:48 PM
the cat is a great addition. .

Sassybird - the piece is called FIVE GREEK CATS...........................!

jackiesimmonds
03-26-2004, 01:50 PM
Like Tommy would say

" just like that !! "

oh dang,
breaks another unison,
tears up the support
kicks the ease,
still,
there's always another day,
and
another WIP from you.
I'll be better tomorrow,
I've you to thank for inspiration.



( :D )

many thanks for the WIP


Every day a little bit better..........we all hope for that.
Jackie

Dark_Shades
03-26-2004, 02:30 PM
Oh - and if that WASNT what you were homing in on..... let me know!

Jackie

lol, no, this was exactly what I was homing in on ;) ..... thanks Jackie for that ...... again something I am going to refer to .... helps me a great deal to visually see what is happening...... its also great to see how you built up the lovely sunshine lights ...... that is something else on my 'Wish to Do' list

joemajury
03-26-2004, 03:35 PM
Jackie.
Is it any wonder that I have a well thumbed copy of your Pastels Workshop

Joe
;) ;)

E-J
03-26-2004, 04:36 PM
Jackie, I'm an admirer of your light touch with the pastels - very much in evidence here. I'll admit: I only realised there were four cats hidden in the shadows when I read your comment. I guess on-screen, since they are much smaller than in real life they're not as easy to spot!

Dark_Shades
03-26-2004, 04:44 PM
: I only realised there were four cats hidden in the shadows when I read your comment. I guess on-screen, since they are much smaller than in real life they're not as easy to spot!

4!!! :eek: ...... I only saw two!! .... went back and looked after your comment and think I spied a third! ...... ok, here kitty, kitty..... wheres the other one?

Meisie
03-26-2004, 04:48 PM
Jackie, thank you for the info! I'm making notes!!! Is it possible for me to down load those pics as a refenece to refer to when I try the foliage? I won't print etc the images, will just keep them on the 'puter?

Thank you for your terrificly (is there such a word?) useful posts!!!

I'm off to do some pastel!!

Meisie

edited to add : I love how you creaed the impression of intense sunlight, but still managed to keep the scene cool. The cats, I thought, add that perfect touch of 'life' :D

jackiesimmonds
03-27-2004, 01:53 AM
4!!! :eek: ...... I only saw two!! .... went back and looked after your comment and think I spied a third! ...... ok, here kitty, kitty..... wheres the other one?


There are four kitties up on the "step/wall" hiding by the flower tubs, and one on the path looking up at them. If you look at the biggest, first pic, you may spy them. They are deliberately understated.

Jackie

artbyjune
03-27-2004, 05:12 AM
This is a lovely composition from just a simple subject (deceptively simple)...an old stone stairway. It is so good to see other artist's paintings as it helps you to come up with painting ideas!! I just love the cats, especially the single one going up the steps.

I have a lot of photos of old stone stairways...from around the West Midlands...old Friary steps and so on. You have inspired me to think of them as possibilities for paintings!! I love your work.

June

jackiesimmonds
03-27-2004, 06:48 AM
edited to add : I love how you creaed the impression of intense sunlight, but still managed to keep the scene cool. :D

I think it is coolish because of all the blue, and the whitewashed walls (tho I used very little white on its own, there are lots of creams in there)- of course, they painted their walls white to bounce the sun off and keep cool. However...it was horribly hot there that day! And the sun came round and got me, boy did I roast as the sun bounced off the white and onto ME. Perhaps all that coolness was wishful thinking!

Khadres
03-27-2004, 01:00 PM
I rated this one as a five star because it shows the progression of a masterful pastel painting so well. Seeing "demos" like this is wonderful for us learners! I think this one is probably my very favorite yet! It's totally Jackie Simmonds through and through, too. Fantastic! Thanks for posting it!
:clap:

SweetBabyJ
03-27-2004, 01:13 PM
4!!! :eek: ...... I only saw two!! .... went back and looked after your comment and think I spied a third! ...... ok, here kitty, kitty..... wheres the other one?


I saw the cats straight off, Dawn- they were very apparent to me because they do not seem to be in proper proportion. Check the shadows.

Meisie
03-27-2004, 01:39 PM
I'm sure if you painted the 'realistic' heat we would find it hard to look at Jackie. :)
I'm posting again as I want to rate the thread. Looks like if you miss doing that on a post, you cannot do it during editing....

Meisie

Khadres
03-27-2004, 01:47 PM
I saw the cats straight off, Dawn- they were very apparent to me because they do not seem to be in proper proportion. Check the shadows.

I dunno, I must be blind. They look fine to me. I'm assuming the one in the foreground is a younger, smaller kitty. I looked at the shadows....er....what is it I'm supposed to see there?

SweetBabyJ
03-27-2004, 01:50 PM
I dunno, I must be blind. They look fine to me. I'm assuming the one in the foreground is a younger, smaller kitty. I looked at the shadows....er....what is it I'm supposed to see there?


There are three cats sitting on the ledge in shadow, and one in the foreground. I agree, the foreground one could be young, or could simply be small because it is feral- it just struck me as odd because it is small- and out of proportion to it's surroundings because of it. Rather like those swans in the reed painting.

jackiesimmonds
03-27-2004, 03:18 PM
Actually, there are FOUR cats sitting on the ledge, and one on the ground!

Greek cats are TINY by comparison with my well-fed moggies; they are skinny, very feral, and very small. I doubt they are "owned" - not that many cats are owned, we are staff, let's face it ...I suspect they have to hunt for their food, and there isn't much around. The cats throughout the Greek Islands are all skinny and if you are a cat lover, you want to round them all up and give them a loads to eat.

Thanks, you people who are rating this thread, that is really nice of you.

Jackie

Geoff
03-28-2004, 05:13 AM
Hi Jackie,
may I ask a quick question on shades.
What colours do you see in the UK sunshine, 'specially this time of year ( say this morning ). Looking out of my window I can see a darker local colour rather than the purples some authors say - that's presumably 'cause they are usually writing in warmer low latitude climates to ours LOL.

Khadres
03-28-2004, 09:18 AM
Actually, there are FOUR cats sitting on the ledge, and one on the ground!
Jackie
Yep, I spied all five and had a chuckle...I love "discovering" things in paintings that aren't necessarily lit up with neon signs. I have a print somewhere of a Dalhart Windberg painting of a deep forest glade in which he's "hidden" all manner of critters in their elusive colors...a lot of people who used to look at it didn't see them at all and focused on the beautiful light of the trees and waters, etc. Last time I checked, he had something like 18 different animals lurking (squirrel, turtle, fish, etc.)

I was actually wondering if these were the feral cats I once saw a telly program about...just couldn't recall for sure if it was about Greece, but I guess it was. I like the way the four on the ledge seem to be staring down at the little one, as if challenging him as a newcomer to the neighborhood.

jackiesimmonds
03-28-2004, 09:45 AM
Hi Jackie,
may I ask a quick question on shades.
What colours do you see in the UK sunshine, 'specially this time of year ( say this morning ). Looking out of my window I can see a darker local colour rather than the purples some authors say - that's presumably 'cause they are usually writing in warmer low latitude climates to ours LOL.

hmm, tricky question, this, because I do not consider myself a proper landscape painter, ie someone who spends all their time out of doors, in all seasons, and who becomes totally familiar with the nuances of differences in seen colours. I am not sure what you mean by "the purples" - if you can explain that a bit more, perhaps I can explain what I see.

In general, I find winter sunshine weaker, and less warm, than summer sunshine, and therefore the shadows aren't quite so strong or so purple-y on white walls. I wonder if that is what you mean.

Jackie

Geoff
03-28-2004, 09:58 AM
yes, I think you have confirmed my own thoughts. It's just that on some of the landscapes I have posted in the past, some comments have been made as to a lack of colour in shadow. Just wondered whether your experienced eye would help me understand this point a little better.
Thanks.

jackiesimmonds
03-28-2004, 11:29 AM
Geoff, it is always good to remember that a shadow is transparent, and it will show the colour of the thing/object/surface it falls on, so there is no general "purple" to a shadow. for example, a shadow falling onto a patch of green grass, will be a darker shade of green, it will not be purpley in the same way that a shadow falling onto a white wall, or a grey tarmac road, might have a purple cast. A shadow falling onto a red brick wall, will be a darker shade of red; sunlight falling onto a royal blue jacket will create a darker, cooler shade of blue in the shadow, while the sunlight will "warm" the blue where it hits.

So ... just remember that sunlight is warm, and will warm up whatever it hits. It will cause green grass and leaves to turn a yellow-y green, for instance. And when you have warm light, your shadows will USUALLY be cooler (with perhaps some warm touches here and there where there may be some reflected lights within the shadows). Just remember "warm light/cool shadow," it is a good rule of thumb. But never forget that shadow is transparent, it is simply LACK OF LIGHT and in the same way that sunlight modifies the colours it touches, by making the general colour lighter and brighter, so a shadow also modifies the local colour that it touches. It has no colour of its own.

Jackie