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Doeark
09-14-2004, 08:24 PM
I have been away from wetcanvas for a while because I had a lot other things to do but now I have started a new picture. It is a rather small one and I do it just for practise by using a photo reference from the web - having in mind to do some more original work in my next pieces. I used Sennelier LaCarte sandpaper for the first time. The size is 30 cm * 40 cm (12" *15,75 ") and as you can see from the first pictures the head of the snake is only the half size of the paper because I wanted it to be life sized to look more realistic.
I donīt know if I will add some clouds or leaves to the background later - I am just concentrating on the snake itself at the moment.
I started with a dark blue background on the grey paper that I used and filled the whole paper with the blue because I wanted to try if I really can create more layers on sandpaper than on Canson or other papers. Now I know that it works and it is really nice not to be limited by only a few thin layers of pastel.
As you can see in the third and fourth picture I am starting with rough strokes and blend them to get a smooth look after that. I repeat that process by adding thin layers until I get the effect and the colors I want...

Doeark
09-14-2004, 08:27 PM
... I continue with the steps I described before to add more details.
Still much more to do. I hope I will find the time to continue soon.

Dirk.

khourianya
09-14-2004, 08:50 PM
Wow! What a great WIP to follow. You have so much detail int hat snake it's giving me the shivers!

Deborah Secor
09-14-2004, 09:21 PM
Looking great, Dirk! I know you intend to do more, but I have to say that as it is right now the tip of the tongue looks like it's moving. You've really caught the glistening dryness of the skin. Thanks for sharing your process!

Deborah

K Taylor-Green
09-14-2004, 10:01 PM
Very realistic snake! I think you are probably going to get a lot of eeks, I mean ahhhs with this. :D

Kathryn Wilson
09-14-2004, 11:29 PM
Fasssssscinating - :evil: You seem to be doing well with the LaCarte paper - I've always found it to be a bit rough, but this looks very detailed and well done!

Khadres
09-15-2004, 01:16 AM
This serpent is a real beauty! I like the detail which does NOT read as slimey! Snakes are really very supple and soft skinned and you've shown that beautifully! I agree with Deborah, the tongue gives it life along with the eye! Nicely done! I'll have to give LeCarte a try sometime!

Dark_Shades
09-15-2004, 03:10 AM
Very realistic snake! I think you are probably going to get a lot of eeks, I mean ahhhs with this. :D

Lots of eeeek!! from me, but also lots of clappies....... great realistic work :clap: ..... love it :clap: even though I dont like the subject lol

excellent...... well done, keep going

ElfeUra
09-15-2004, 03:18 AM
Hi Dirk :wave: ,
finally you posted it.
As great as I expected! :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:
It seems, I need some lessons from you ;)

Will watch it very carefully.

Rita

Doeark
09-15-2004, 04:03 AM
Hi Kyle.
As I first tried the paper I also thought that it is very rough. The first strokes feel very scratchy. But after you have filled the paper with the first layer of pastel it feels much creamier and it is great to work on it. The only problem with La Carte is that it is very sensitive. If it is getting wet at only a small area or if you scrub it too much than this area wonīt hold any more pastel.

Dirk.


Fasssssscinating - :evil: You seem to be doing well with the LaCarte paper - I've always found it to be a bit rough, but this looks very detailed and well done!

Grasshopper
09-15-2004, 08:17 AM
If I don't know a snake "is there" I would jump in surprise, otherwise, I would love it. This is beautifully done and I agree about the tongue looking like it's moving. How do you go about blending on this sandpaper? Is your background as "filled," or as smooth with color(s) as it appears?

Pinecone Conniff
09-15-2004, 09:18 PM
This is so much fun to click & see a snake come to life!!...The motion of the flicking tongue is awesome!! :cool:
I really like LaCarte paper too but it is fragile...you would love Wallis paper!
Annette

Doeark
09-16-2004, 04:16 AM
Thank you all for your nice comments. I am wondering why most people donīt like snakes :confused: . I think that they are beautiful animals and I like the interesting textures of their skin.

Grasshopper:
The background is really that filled with color as it looks like.
I have put a thick layer of that blue color on the paper and blended it with a tissue. For the smaller parts on the snake I used a blender brush (Duo Pastello) and a colorshaper and also my fingers here and there. Blending is easy on that paper.

Pinecone Conniff:
You are right that the LaCarte is very fragile. Thanks to ElfeUra who has sent me some Wallis paper he got from friends in america because you canīt buy it here in germany. I will try the Wallis when I do my next piece. Maybe my run for the perfect pastel paper will be over then? Lets see.

Dirk.

Grasshopper
09-16-2004, 09:56 AM
What's a colorshaper?

Doeark
09-16-2004, 10:54 AM
What's a colorshaper?

Hi Grasshopper.
Itīs a blending tool with a rubber-like tip formed like a brush. You can find info here: www.colourshaper.com/whatis.htm
Similar products are also available from other brands with other product names.

Dirk.

meowmeow
09-16-2004, 10:57 AM
Wonderful WIP. Super snake....really very nice painting indeed!


Sandy

Doeark
09-22-2004, 03:15 PM
Just a small update. Not much to say about this. The snake is almost done. I am planning the background now. Some clouds and maybe some leaves in the back- and foreground I think.

Dirk.

ElfeUra
09-27-2004, 02:55 AM
Fantastisch!

Schaut so dreidimensional aus !!!
I am very curious now about the back- and foreground!

Rita

Doeark
09-30-2004, 03:12 PM
I started sketching in some leaves as a background. Not sure if I like it at the moment. Maybe I should add some more elements or maybe itīs already too much? :confused:

Dirk.

k9artist
10-02-2004, 12:28 AM
Excellent!!! I like snakes...but not if I meet them by surprise!

zyffyr
10-14-2004, 12:45 PM
Wunderbar! :clap: :clap: The detail is awesome. :clap: :clap:
What brand of pastels do you use for the details? and are they pencils or regular fat pastels? :confused:
What a great idea for the colorshapers. :cool: I have some but would never have thought to try them with pastels. I guess I had it stuck in my head that they were just useful for impasto acrylics.
We might have to arrange a trade for supplies you can't find in Germany. :evil: I'm having a heck of a time trying to replace a Schminke watercolor that I love and am almost out of.......no one in my area supplies them, so I must have picked it up in California on vacation.
So glad you're finding time for your pastel painting, Dirk. :D You definately have a gift. I too like reptiles, especially painting them. So much beauty and detail to work with. Terralyn :music: :wave: :music:

pjo
10-14-2004, 12:58 PM
Wow! Such wonderful detail, I've really enjoyed seeing him come alive as you've progressed. I will be rechecking to see what you decide to do with the background.

lensman
10-15-2004, 07:54 AM
Saw your dog and had to check this out too. Again, another nice painting, with great detail.

Glenn

Doeark
10-20-2004, 10:01 AM
Wunderbar! :clap: :clap: The detail is awesome. :clap: :clap:
What brand of pastels do you use for the details? and are they pencils or regular fat pastels? :confused:
What a great idea for the colorshapers. :cool: I have some but would never have thought to try them with pastels. I guess I had it stuck in my head that they were just useful for impasto acrylics.
We might have to arrange a trade for supplies you can't find in Germany. :evil: I'm having a heck of a time trying to replace a Schminke watercolor that I love and am almost out of.......no one in my area supplies them, so I must have picked it up in California on vacation.
So glad you're finding time for your pastel painting, Dirk. :D You definately have a gift. I too like reptiles, especially painting them. So much beauty and detail to work with. Terralyn :music: :wave: :music:

Hi Terralyn.

Thank you very much.
I use the regular pastels. I havenīt used any pastel pencils till this stage in the picure. I have only used them for sketching in the rough outlines.
I use Faber Castell Polychromos for details. If you canīt find them in america then you may try nupastels. I think they are almost identical from what i have heard. And you should try the colorshapers with pastels, it works great.

Dirk.

bogbeast
10-20-2004, 05:19 PM
Fantastic snake! Beautifully done!!! :clap:

Doeark
10-25-2004, 04:00 AM
For all the ones who donīt like snakes that much I have added an eagle that is going to catch it :)
I will overwork the details and contrasts a bit and add some leaves to the bottom right and maybe to the bottom left corner.

Dirk.

Nitsa
10-25-2004, 06:42 AM
This is amazing!
I am so impressed with the way you just throw other elements into the picture randomly...No planning as such and it works!!! :eek:

I love your eagle.....Looking fwd to seeing the foreground come alive now.

Thanx for sharing your tips and process, to a beginner like me, all this information is priceless!

lensman
10-25-2004, 07:49 AM
I keep looking at the detail shots and still don't know how you do it. You and others here who get such amazing details from pastels. I am going CRAZY trying to get definition like this; so much so that I have given up and am now working on a piece that is much looser than my usual style (which surprisingly, I am quite liking). I am used to using acrylics and pen & ink. Pastels appealed to me in that I could put broad strokes of colour down and the blending is also a LOT easier than in acrylics.

I am now so worked up over this detail hangup that I'm now going to have to post a separate thread regarding this.


Glenn

Doeark
10-26-2004, 04:11 AM
Hi Glenn,

I donīt know much more hints I can give you but I can tell you that I really need much time to complete my pictures adding layers after layers and sometimes I am also very frustrated when I canīt achieve the effect I want first but often it just takes more time and practise and then in the end it works. And if you are working in a looser style and you also like it thereīs nothing wrong with it. I have seen so many powerful and beautiful pictures in loose style here that I admire. It just seems that I am not able to do that. I always think "oh, there is an area that needs more detail". Everyone has itīs own style and thatīs ok.

Dirk.

I keep looking at the detail shots and still don't know how you do it. You and others here who get such amazing details from pastels. I am going CRAZY trying to get definition like this; so much so that I have given up and am now working on a piece that is much looser than my usual style (which surprisingly, I am quite liking). I am used to using acrylics and pen & ink. Pastels appealed to me in that I could put broad strokes of colour down and the blending is also a LOT easier than in acrylics.

I am now so worked up over this detail hangup that I'm now going to have to post a separate thread regarding this.


Glenn

lensman
10-26-2004, 07:10 AM
.... I always think "oh, there is an area that needs more detail"


Haha, yeah I can relate to that absolutely. It is a real test NOT to go in on details when working looser.

I'm going to keep plugging away and practice MUCH more. I learn so much here on WC as well.

Thanks for the help.


Glenn

*Deirdre*
10-26-2004, 10:29 AM
Lots of eeeek!! from me, but also lots of clappies....... great realistic work :clap: ..... love it :clap: even though I dont like the subject lol

excellent...... well done, keep going
I second that! Lot's of Eeeek from me too! :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

Khadres
10-27-2004, 01:34 AM
The snake is beautiful! Your care and patience in rendering it sure shows through. It's a shame to think of the eagle catching it, so I'm going to pretend it slips away into the shadows and the eagle catches something else I don't know about! :D

ponting
11-05-2004, 01:40 PM
Hello Doeark
What a wonderful depiction of the snake. I can't help but if the starkness of the snake on it's own was more dramatic than with the background added.
Excellent work....Dianna

Masque
11-06-2004, 11:45 AM
Doeark,

I can't easily read what your additions intended to convey to the viewer. My personal response is in agreement with Ponting; I feel (and feel is operative word here) the impact and fluid movement of the piece is indeed diluted by so many extraneous additions. Maybe the principal "less is more" could have applied in this case? I liked the simplicity of the idea of cloud(s) in the sky. What about something sort of dark and obscure in the lower right corner of the canvas. Might this have offered the democratic focus you seem to be aiming for while not diminishing the drama and impact of your subject? Plus perhaps offering and element of mystery at the same time?

I must say, I find this thread the most interesting, informative, and thoroughly enjoyable I've experienced in some time. Your talent is awesome and your style absolutely admired. Want to see more. Makes me want to paint a snake too.

Doeark
01-03-2005, 05:50 PM
Hi Gloria and Dianna,

I didntīt get a message that there where new posts in this thread although I have chosen "instant email notification" as the notification type for thread subscriptions. Thatīs why I havenīt answered earlier.
You both mentioned that the snake may have looked more interesting without the background. I understand what you mean and I am also not totally happy with the background but this image was a practise piece for me where I wanted to try out some technics on the sandpaper wich I have never used before and I wanted to test how I could create different textures and structures so I just couldnīt stop adding new elements.
Here is the finished piece now and I wonīt add anything more to it.
I hope the compostition is a bit more balanced now with the additional leaves in the bottom left corner or donīt you think so?
Thank you all for your nice replies that always help me to keep motivated.

Dirk.

ponting
01-03-2005, 06:39 PM
Dirk you do such a great job of snakes that I don't even want to view this post anymore......yuk I hate those things. :p

I think that watching the snake progress as the only focal point in fascinating detail spoiled us. To see it lose it's prime importance as the predator and foliage appear to complete the storyboard seemed to take a little air out of painting’s sails. Looking at it now after so long a time and being confronted with finished piece rather than the progression certainly makes a difference. If I appreciated snakes I would appreciate this painting just as it is. :D

Cheers, Dianna

Masque
01-04-2005, 07:06 AM
As Dianna said, "...being confronted with the finished piece certainly makes a difference..."

Snakes make me extremely uncomfortable, but they are indeed beautiful creatures. I loved the drama of your snake's progress into the painting, most especially as an isolated image, but the story your finished painting tells and the feeling it conveys is appealing too. Your composition is beautifully balanced and even softens the predator aspect without losing that drama.

Practice piece? As I said before, your talent is awesome. Hoping to see more from you soon, and now, loving realism and detail as I do, I definitely have to paint a snake.

ElfeUra
01-04-2005, 10:16 AM
Dirk,
love the snake - perfect.
Like the background - makes it real.
All in all: WONDERFUL WORK :clap:

Rita :wave:

Doeark
01-05-2005, 05:45 AM
Hoping to see more from you soon, and now, loving realism and detail as I do, I definitely have to paint a snake.

Hi Gloria,
I am glad that you like the final version now and I am looking forward to see your snake soon!

Dirk.

Merethe T
01-06-2005, 09:35 PM
Stunning work! I haven't seen this thread after you added the BG, and must say I really liked it when it was just the snake - because of the awsome details - but I like it better now - it's complete, and fascinating! I felt there was something missing before, but now it's just great!! :clap: :clap: :clap:

Merethe