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Mparker
09-28-2004, 10:27 PM
This will be my first WIP. Lets hope it works out ok. This is a 15x20 on Hot Press illustration board. Attached here is the original sketch and the transferred drawing on the board. Oh, and a small shot of me working out the knotwork sketch.

Michelle

Mparker
09-28-2004, 10:36 PM
More pictures ( I had a couple of days' work done on this before I was able to upload these, so bear with me.) Here are the inked drawing,in waterproof india ink, a detail and the grey underpainting in watercolors.

Mparker
09-28-2004, 10:43 PM
OK, the rest of the ones I have done up to this point. Here I've started the watercolor work. It was going very slowly. I'm not sure why, because I was enjoying it, but I was being very hesitant with my watercolors on this painting.

Next, I have a detail of the woman. I wasn't very happy with the way her face was turning out, and I was getting a little frustrated.

So I erased down the watercolors in the highlight areas on the woman, and started playing with the colored pencils. This really helped, and I'm starting to feel much happier with the painting at this point.

And a detail of the dragon at this point. I'm making this a white dragon, but am putting a lot of colors into it, trying to balance the warm and cool colors to make it more vibrant than just a "plain" white dragon.

And now I'm off to actually work on the painting some more!


Michelle

TigerEye
09-29-2004, 03:43 AM
This is gorgeous! :clap:

I esspeciall like the use of colors and how your using so many diferent colors on the white dragon.. it will really make him pop out. I can't wait to see more! ;)

Maryem
09-29-2004, 06:50 AM
This is looking wonderful already. I too am looking forward to the final version. I have to say that the underpainting stage looked very interesting, like a painting of a sculpture!

Mary

tereP
09-29-2004, 07:35 AM
:clap: Cool! great WIP, now I'm gonna have to stick around to see how it developes! *pulling a chair*

LazyKat
09-29-2004, 09:37 AM
Beautiful ...you should do a tutorial on fabric folds! Makes me want to go buy some india ink as well.. One question - how come with all the knotwork going on you didn't put it in the project?

kiwicockatoo
09-29-2004, 10:26 AM
Wow - this is great - her dress is really nice, you've got a lot of movement in here. I love all the little knotwork touches. The dragon is awesome! Hmmm.... I'm trying to find something to crit here - can't find anything. Looks perfect - I can hardly wait to see this done.

Do you paint the ink on with a brush? It doesn't make the surface buckle? Sorry, I'm not the familiar with the properties of illustration board. Thanks for posting this in stages!

Mparker
09-29-2004, 10:52 AM
This is looking wonderful already. I too am looking forward to the final version. I have to say that the underpainting stage looked very interesting, like a painting of a sculpture!

Mary


Thanks. You know, when I was working at that stage I was thinking that I should plan a piece to be finished in that method. It's got a really interesting look to it. And the paper just slightly resists absorbing the color, so it sits on the paper with an interesting texture. It's definitely something worth playing with more.

Michelle

Mparker
09-29-2004, 10:58 AM
Beautiful ...you should do a tutorial on fabric folds! Makes me want to go buy some india ink as well.. One question - how come with all the knotwork going on you didn't put it in the project?


That's a fair question. :D

I had planned on doing this as a WIP since I started the sketch. Actually, the last three pieces I finished were supposed to be WIPs, but because I'm using a camera that isn't mine, things were difficult to schedule. So, I decided that I would go ahead and do this one as a WIP. (Plus, I was wanting to upload all the pics quickly so I could get back to work on the painting last night, and didn't want to take the time to look up how to submit it to the project. But don't tell anyone. ;)

But I have a couple of ideas that I want to do with knotwork that are a little different from what I usually do, and want to use one of those for the project. I thought it would make me work harder to come up with something good if I didn't use something I already had in the works.

Thanks for asking.

Mparker
09-29-2004, 11:12 AM
Do you paint the ink on with a brush? It doesn't make the surface buckle? Sorry, I'm not the familiar with the properties of illustration board. Thanks for posting this in stages!


The illustration board is very thick, it had a stiff backing attached to the paper, and is designed to not buckle. Though it DOES tend to warp into a curve, I just stick some books on top of it when it's done and it flattens right out. It's probably about 1/16" to 1/8" thick.

I draw the really delicate lines with a pen. I use technical pens in different sizes (the kind you buy filled with ink, not the refillable ones. I used to have a set of those, but they are so hard to clean and refill that they aren't worth the trouble). I only use the pens with "pigment ink" because it's waterproof and does not fade or bleed. Once I have the tiny details inked in, I'll go in with a brush and fill in the larger areas. The ink I use is pretty thick and not watery, so it would be useable even on a piece of sturdy bristol or watercolor paper without a problem.

Michelle

LazyKat
09-29-2004, 05:30 PM
That's a fair question. :D

I had planned on doing this as a WIP since I started the sketch. Actually, the last three pieces I finished were supposed to be WIPs, but because I'm using a camera that isn't mine, things were difficult to schedule.


Heh.. I'm in the same boat with the whole using someone else's camera situation. I know how fun that can be.

I'm really looking forward to whatever future work you post..you are quite the source of inspiration for me. I'm going to try some hot press paper for my next piece.. something larger as well. Do you ever work with cold press? I ask because I'm thinking detail work would be much easier on hot press..do you find this to be true?

Mparker
09-29-2004, 05:51 PM
Lazycat,

The camera thing really is annoying. And I'm using someone else's scanner, too. Luckily they live in the same apartment complex that I live in.

As for the Hot-press/Cold press issue, I can only tell you what works for me. Everything I've ever heard or read says don't use hot-press for watercolor or for colored pencil. And I've been using it for both in combination. I did the Shining Light cat piece on Cold-Press and found that too much of the paper texture was showing through the colored pencil work for my tastes. I think it breaks up the flow of the lines too much. It was okay on that one, because the cat was fuzzy, but it still bothered me a little while working.

The Hot-Press takes a little getting used to with the watercolors because it puddles slightly rather than soaking into the paper, which I think gives the colors a lovely mottled look. And they say you can't get as many layers of colored pencil onto it either, but when the CPs stops adhering, I figure I'm pretty close to finishing anyway, finish up what I can, hit it with a layer of fixative, and touch in those last highlights and shadows that I couldn't get to stick before.

I was also told to never make a graphite drawing with a mechanical pencil, and that's the only thing I can stand to work with. Anything else I'm sharpening more than I'm drawing. So I seem to work backwards from everyone else.

On a related note, I found a small block of hot-press watercolor paper on my last Hobby Lobby trip in the discontinued section. It was like 1/3 the usual price and I snapped it up. I'm eager to see how it handles, but haven't come up with any small designs that I want to do on it yet.

Gosh, I can ramble on a bit, can't I?

Michelle

kitaye
09-29-2004, 06:06 PM
Lovely piece. I can't add anything to what others have said.

imperess
09-29-2004, 10:48 PM
very nice work.. great movement and deatail.. i like it alot.. looks like you have very refined drawing skills !! and a creative imagination to go with them..
this is one of those pieces i see and i am like how come i can't come up with creative stuff like this???

very cool :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

can't wait to see it finished..

~carol

artdude
09-30-2004, 09:16 AM
AWESOME piece of art work!! :clap: :clap: :clap:
Love the movement of her dress! :)
Look forward to seeing the finished work! :D




Murray
----------------

gealflings
09-30-2004, 09:21 PM
It's absolutely amazing. I just love the patterns and colors on the dragon's head - you're incredibly talented... ;)

SILKNSATIN
09-30-2004, 11:19 PM
WOW this is awesome and thank for the step by step :clap:

LazyKat
10-01-2004, 10:46 AM
Thanks for addressing my questions. Isn't it funny how you hear "rules" for art...such as never use hot press for watercolor or cp.. and then you break 'em and everything turns out beautifully.

lemonbird
10-01-2004, 12:45 PM
Michelle-
Your art is lovely!!! I've never tried an underpainting in watercolor before. What color are you using for the grey? Lamp black, paynes grey...??? I'd love to try it! Then when the grey is dry, you just do a wash in what ever color you want and it turns the greys into shades of color?


I love hot press illustration board for watercolors. I was afraid the smoothness would be a problem, but not for me!!! :) I don't really like the tooth of some of the cold press papers I've used. I bought some hot press 300lb arches paper that I'm pretty excited to try...although it does have a tooth.

I say don't be afraid to try something once. I heard that HP illustration board for watercolors probably wouldn't work well, but it turns out I love it! :)

Mparker
10-01-2004, 04:29 PM
dragonflyfantasyart,

Thanks. I use Charcoal grey (I think it's Grumbacher brand). And yes, once it's dry you can glaze over it with a layer of color and it adds shadow and depth to the color. Just do it lightly and don't scrub while anything is wet, and you can put down several layers of color without going muddy. Depending on the colors you use, of course. It's a technique I learned from Suellen Ross's book.

"I bought some hot press 300lb arches paper that I'm pretty excited to try...although it does have a tooth."

I was wondeing about that. It looks like the Hot Press watercolor paper is a lot rougher than the Hot Press illustration board. Which is probably a good thing. More different surfaces to play with!

"I say don't be afraid to try something once. I heard that HP illustration board for watercolors probably wouldn't work well, but it turns out I love it!"

Heh, we're all just a bunch of rebels on this board, aren't we?

lemonbird
10-01-2004, 11:33 PM
Michelle,
Thank you. :) I appreciate you getting back with me about the underpainting technique. :D

Yes, the HP paper has more tooth than the HP illo board. It doesn't have that super smooth feel like the board does. :)

Mparker
10-02-2004, 08:45 PM
Whew!

Ok, three more images. Two in this post and one to follow.

1) More colored pencil work. At this point, I realized that I'd forgotten one of the dragon's wings. Big Whoops there! SO I've started to put in it in white colored pencil on the left.

2) Here I've got a lot more colored pencil work done, and I'm starting to put in the background over the black in. Notice how rough it is here? I'll fix that later. I'm also starting to go back in over the colored pencil in some areas with more watercolors to make the colors darker or richer.

Michelle

Mparker
10-02-2004, 08:53 PM
Okay, last WIP pic. It's finished. I'll upload the final once I get it scanned.

Between the last one and this one, I finished the colored pencil and watercolor work, then burnished over the CP colors with with the colorless blender pencil. Then I washed over the background blue pencil with blue watercolors. Somehow this managed to blend the CP nice and smooth. Yay!. Then I grabbed some white gesso (I wanted to use some white gouache, but I was out.) pick out some more highlights and add the sparkles.

You gotta have sparkles! :)


I've had a great time talking to everyone while I've worked on this. It's been fun. I'm going to try to scan this tonight and post it once I've pieced the scan together.


Thanks,
Michelle

captan
10-03-2004, 07:45 AM
That is absolutely wiked. Awesome work.

tereP
10-03-2004, 08:44 AM
Absolutely gorgeous! :clap: :clap: :clap:
I love all the detail you've put there but my fav part is the way you've pulled that intense blue sky out of the deep black ink AMAZING! :clap:

Mparker
10-03-2004, 12:56 PM
OK, Here's the final, finished piece, scanned in and all.

I'm pretty happy with this one. I had some problems with it. I don't think I payed enough attention to light-sources, though that wasn't the point or focus of this, I felt I cheated a bit. Always make sure your characters have ALL of their body parts before you paint!! And put all of your elements together befor you start to transfer the drawing. (If you'll look closely, the knotwork strip on the right-hand side of the picture wasn't quite straight. I fixed it in Photoshop when I scanned in the final.)

Also, if you paint just after you find out you've got jury duty, the painting may fight you for a while. ;)

Thanks, TereP. I thought it might work, and was SO happy when I tried it and it did. One thing about that part, though: Since I was playing with warm and cool blues - which sounds strange, but that's what I was doing, and I had the stark white of the ribbons and the stark black of the hair, with all that going on I SWEAR the lines were MOVING as I tried to put in the background color. It's really funny the way colors can affect the eyes, and it was something that actually taught me a lot about color.

Michelle

Just Crystal
10-03-2004, 08:18 PM
This is absolutely beautiful. The folds in the dress are fabulous! What is there to say, this is just an amazing piece of art. Now I want to cry looking at my poor pitiful dragon. How do you do that? So not fair. I'm tellin' my momma on you. :D

LazyKat
10-03-2004, 10:45 PM
This is one of the coolest pieces I've seen in a while. That narrative quality you mentioned you were working for is very apparent here. I want to see more. :clap:

Maryem
10-04-2004, 04:31 AM
This really is fabulous, very well done. The detail is incredible.. Please, please may we see a few detail shots?

:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

Mary

gealflings
10-04-2004, 12:55 PM
Absolutely amazing finish!! Very Very Well Done.. I'm just flabbergasted. The blue in the sky makes the total difference, I think, and your knots are amazing. :) Thanks for sharing so much with this WIP!!

Jessica089
10-05-2004, 06:41 AM
absoulutely positively wonderfull magically fantastic!!!! :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: How do you get yourself so good??? Oh my!! Love it

lisilk
10-13-2004, 02:31 AM
Knock down GORGEOUS piece of work Michelle ! :clap: :clap: :clap: Thanks for the great WIP photo's and explanations. Beautiful !

Li

Jessica089
10-13-2004, 05:50 AM
yay.....she is great aint she?! I can't wait till she's BACK ON ...so she can help me with my fantasy :D :clap:

Mparker
10-13-2004, 01:32 PM
Sorry I've been out of touch here for a while. I've been busy with work, and I've been working on some more art. One of which is a sort of companion to this one (but SOOOOOO different!!) with an Indian (from India not American) princess and a Naga (snake-dragon). It's going well and I'll probably post it here when it's done. I'm also doing a bunch of animal portraits for my mom.

Thanks everyone for the great compliments on this piece.

I'll see if I can upload some detail shots soon.

And Jess, I just sent you a reply to your email.

And Kiwicockatoo, I'll probably never actually get around to doing the cockatoo dragon. Mine keep coming out way too friendly-looking for my tastes. They look like they've been getting into the dragon version of catnip!

Michelle

anatmoon
05-16-2005, 06:55 AM
That is amazing I am truly envious(sp?) lol

sultry
06-22-2005, 11:53 AM
Wow Michelle I know I am very late in commenting but I just want to tell you your a wonderful artist and not only do I love this one, I also love your Naga Pool Dragon & the other Pure White Dragon they are Beautiful. So is all your other work on your site.
IF you are still around would you mind posting a Dragon in our on going thread?

Anita Murphy
06-23-2005, 07:59 PM
There is nothing I can say - dumbstruck! This is just beautiful!

Cherlin
11-15-2006, 04:19 PM
i am new to watercoloring and I have now been painting about a year. I pratice daily painting and drawing and you are a inspiration. i only hope i can one day hope to paint 1% as good as you i will be satisfied .

wonderful wonderful and inspiring work.

i would love to see you have a book on how to. =) A book on your works would rock too!

fantastic work!!

greendragon
06-12-2007, 12:52 PM
Simply gorgeous! I am another who loves drawing with mechanical pencils only - and that's the main part of my 'art' other than digital anymore. Love the pencil drawings, but can't stand sharpening them!

sublimely beautiful work!

kitaye
11-29-2007, 09:15 AM
This turned out great. I loved watching the progression from concept to finished work. I'm very impressed, and envious, of your use of colour and the detail is just...wow.

wolffang
03-16-2008, 11:42 PM
great work;

makes me want to try harder