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CarrieLLewis
10-06-2003, 07:28 PM
I am attempting to do two things this week. The first thing is to complete three small colored pencil horse studies by Saturday. I have them all drawn and two of them are on paper and I've begun color work. The third one still needs to be transferred onto the good paper and away I go.

I'm taking time to post one of them here, because the second thing I'm trying to do is learn the complementary color grisaille Arlene has described so well. I'm thinking maybe I picked the wrong time to do those two things at once, but oh well (big shrug!).

Here is the primary reference picture I'm working from. I have a close up of the bit, which is why I originally took the photographs ... it's a gorgeous thing!

Anyway, I'm posting the reference photo so you can see what final colors I'm aiming for.

CarrieLLewis
10-06-2003, 07:35 PM
Here is the first stage of the painting. Actually the first two stages. In the first step, I used Limepeel, Grass Green and Ultramarine Prismacolor to begin creating the grisaille. I liked the look of that, but after working on the second piece with Verithins, I decided to use those. They produced a much smoother color layer and coverage.

So I used Apple Green, Grass Green and Ultramarine in Verithin on the second layer.

The Limepeel/Apple Green were used on the mare. The Grass Green was used on the bridle, reins and martingale. The Ultramarine was used in and around the eye and on the muzzle.

Now, since I'm new to this method, my question is: What colors should I use next? More complements or do I go straight to the finished local color? Or do I need to add a lot more detail with these colors before moving on?

By the way, all of the paintings will be 8x10 on Strathmore Artagain paper in Flannel Gray. They will more or less be a series, each one showing a Morgan horse in different riding or driving gear.

arlene
10-06-2003, 08:21 PM
ack...your colors are too bright and too light for such a dark horse...

dark green, indigo, violet blue! those light colors will do diddly...

CarrieLLewis
10-06-2003, 08:37 PM
Okay. Nothing ventured, nothing gained!

The dark green will go on the horse, right? How are you placing the other two colors, or do all three go everywhere?

This is really a new way of thinking about horse paintings for me! It's going to be a struggle to keep away from the local colors until the underpainting is finished.

arlene
10-06-2003, 08:50 PM
actually i'd use very little of the dark green...the horse feels more orange then red...but you know the actual color...if it's more of a sienna brown, go for the indigo...

btw: my marbles use no browns, or neutral colors, no grays etc...just laying on of color on top of color...

CarrieLLewis
10-06-2003, 09:28 PM
Arlene,

Okay, thanks. That's the information I was looking for. The complementary colors to horse colors look like they're going to be a "fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants" sort of thing, but I really appreciate you taking the time to help me get started.

The photo of the horse I attached is pretty close to true color. The colors in the original photograph are very close to the actual horse, too, so I'll go easy on the Dark Green.

The Violet-Blue, I take it, is a complement for the more orange browns and the Indigo is the complement for the browner (sienna) browns. Hmmm. I'll have to keep track of this information. Wasn't someone wanting color recipes some time back...?

There are a lot of silver areas in all three pictures (buckles, rings, decorations). I've left those areas untouched for now, thinking I would do the local color on those and build up the reflections accordingly. Am I on the right track with that thinking?

By the way, how did the show go? I hope you had to drag your earnings home in big bags!

CarrieLLewis
10-07-2003, 10:47 PM
Here is the next stage of this painting.

I have taken Arlene's advice and switched from the light greens and blues I started with to Blue Violet, Indigo Blue and Dark Green.

Today, I layered Blue Violet into the horse, darkening the shadows and adding a varying layer of color to the middle tones. My goal was to end up with only the brightest highlights untouched, but as I look at it from across the room now, I think I will need to add a few more areas of mid-tone.

I also darkened and refined the bridle and martingale with Dark Green, since the leather on this horse has a more orange cast than the horse, which also has a definite orange cast.

I didn't get to the Indigo Blue today, but I like the way it looks right now a lot better than I did when I finished yesterday.

I'm also enjoying being able to develop detail without having to worry so much about local color. I already see details on this painting that may not ever have shown up had I used my previous working methods.

JulieBoyles
10-08-2003, 11:00 AM
This looks soo soo much better Carrie! I think you'll be on the right track with these colors. This is going to be a great piece:)

Isn't this method exciting to use? I love it when I do this, it almost feels like magic being able to turn the wrong colors into the right ones!

Great Job!

Julie

CarrieLLewis
10-08-2003, 01:15 PM
Julie,

It sure is fun being able to turn the wrong colors into the right ones. Colored pencil can be so unforgiving in the late stages because you just can't cover up mistakes like you can with oils. This method allows a little experimentation in the early stages and you can still get back on the right track without having to start over. What a pleasant surprise!

I'll try to get another post on this today. I worked on two of the three images yesterday, so I need to start with the third one, then we begin with the next step!

kimo
10-08-2003, 04:50 PM
Carrie - this is looking great! I really have to learn this method too!

arlene
10-08-2003, 05:03 PM
Originally posted by kimo
Carrie - this is looking great! I really have to learn this method too!

you'll have to arrange for me to teach a class ;)

Carrie much better...do add the indigo to it and darken up even a bit more on your shadows...if for example the darkest shadow is a 10 on a value scale, it's best to do it a value 8 or 9 in the grisaille.

ZB3
10-08-2003, 05:23 PM
Oh, Carrie! I love it...even with the unusual colors, the horse is gorgeous! This will be a sight for sore eyes, when it's done. :clap: :clap: :clap: Whoever said this method is magic, is right!

Jan

CarrieLLewis
10-08-2003, 09:20 PM
Arlene,

Roger on the Indigo Blue. It's already on the table. I've worked on the other two paintings so far today and this one will be next. Since they are all very close in color and lighting, I'm attempting to bring them along together. Almost as though they were a single painting.

The paper I'm using is Strathmore Artagain. It doesn't have a whole lot of tooth, but it is a nice paper and takes color very well. A lot of the grain of the paper is showing through the color layers I already have in place and I'm VERY TEMPTED to blend a little bit to smooth that out and get better gradients. Is that a yes-yes or a no-no? I don't remember you mentioning blending between layers, but I'm about to look up some old wips to see what else I can pick up on this technique.

I have to confess one thing, though. As much fun as this process is and as much as I enjoy seeing the image come alive through value, I'm really having to rein myself in to keep from starting in on local color! What's a horse painter to do!??:confused: :p That's another reason I'm heading for some previoulsy posted wips. It seems like some of your pieces (Dichotomy for instance) were complete images in grisaille before you ever starting talking about local color.

As for the class...well, suffice it to say I've looked at your web site to see if you ever do workshops in Kansas. Can't say that I found any!:D

Reverie,

Thanks for the kind words. It is amazing to me how realistic blue and violet horses can look! Maybe that should be my goal. To make them look like they could breathe, then go for the local color.

BTDogMom
10-09-2003, 10:50 AM
WOWIE!! The 1st horse looks like the "horse of a different color" in The Wizard of OZ - LOL - but the 2nd 1 looks great so far!!!:clap: :clap:

kimo
10-09-2003, 06:03 PM
Originally posted by arlene


you'll have to arrange for me to teach a class ;)



Okay Arlene! Where do I sign up?? :D

CarrieLLewis
10-09-2003, 06:15 PM
Here is my Morgan painting with a layer of Indigo Blue. I started this layer last night and got about an hour of work in. After about 90 minutes of work today, I got it close to finished. When I scanned it, I saw at least one area that it looks like I missed, but the rest looks pretty good.

I tried to darken the darkest shadows up to level 8 on a 1-to-10 value scale and to darken some of the mid tones, as well. For the areas where there were sharp details (eye, ears, bridle silver, etc.) or where I needed darker color, I used the point of the pencil and kept it razor sharp.

For the areas where there were fewer details or broader tones (base of the neck, shoulder), I used the side of the pencil lead and longer strokes. That allowed me to utilize more of the exposed lead, too. I used the point of the pencil until it grew blunt, then used the side of the pencil and turned the pencil to recreate a sharp point.

kimo
10-09-2003, 06:37 PM
Wow Carrie! The detail, wow, this is looking beautiful! I really can't wait till you start adding the local color to this! You really have an awesome attention to detail. :cool:

arlene
10-09-2003, 10:47 PM
Originally posted by CarrieLLewis
A lot of the grain of the paper is showing through the color layers I already have in place and I'm VERY TEMPTED to blend a little bit to smooth that out and get better gradients. Is that a yes-yes or a no-no?

Nope! Don't do it...it all comes together in the end!...patience!

It seems like some of your pieces (Dichotomy for instance) were complete images in grisaille before you ever starting talking about local color.

All my images are complete grisailles before I start on color.

As for the class...well, suffice it to say I've looked at your web site to see if you ever do workshops in Kansas. Can't say that I found any!:D Okay Arlene! Where do I sign up??

I'm just starting to try and arrange workshops around the country...I need to get in touch with art's organizations where they could be held...

It is amazing to me how realistic blue and violet horses can look! Maybe that should be my goal. To make them look like they could breathe, then go for the local color.

yep!

arlene
10-09-2003, 10:49 PM
Originally posted by CarrieLLewis
Here is my Morgan painting with a layer of Indigo Blue. I started this layer last night and got about an hour of work in. After about 90 minutes of work today, I got it close to finished. When I scanned it, I saw at least one area that it looks like I missed, but the rest looks pretty good.

I tried to darken the darkest shadows up to level 8 on a 1-to-10 value scale and to darken some of the mid tones, as well. For the areas where there were sharp details (eye, ears, bridle silver, etc.) or where I needed darker color, I used the point of the pencil and kept it razor sharp.

For the areas where there were fewer details or broader tones (base of the neck, shoulder), I used the side of the pencil lead and longer strokes. That allowed me to utilize more of the exposed lead, too. I used the point of the pencil until it grew blunt, then used the side of the pencil and turned the pencil to recreate a sharp point.

Carrie,

i think you'll be really happy with the way this one turns out...don't be discouraged in the beginning...it needs many, many layers over the grisaille.

KayleasFan
10-10-2003, 07:07 AM
Wow, Carrie! You don't just play with something. You jump in with both feet! This already looks awesome and I can't wait for the next update. I'd be like you. Tempted to start color so I can see what it all looks like with color on it.

Did you practice swatches first just to see?? I mean, how can a person stand not seeing what the colors are going to do to each other? I'd be sooooo tempted... Tempted to just jump in and color over it too soon.

ZB3
10-10-2003, 10:06 AM
You are so skilled at drawing horses. :clap: The piece is looking nicer by the day. I am eagerly anticipating the end result of this project. :) You should do a kit for Ann Kullberg, using this process.

Jan

arlene
10-10-2003, 10:10 AM
Originally posted by reverie
You are so skilled at drawing horses. :clap: The piece is looking nicer by the day. I am eagerly anticipating the end result of this project. :) You should do a kit for Ann Kullberg, using this process.

Jan

Ann's Macaw kit done by I believe Anne DeMille Flood is with a grisaille underpainting technique.

Karen Cardinal
10-10-2003, 10:22 AM
Hey Carrie this is terrific. How are you enjoying doing it? Really makes you think about all the colors doesn't it... lot's of fun! :D

I still think someone should do this in reverse sometime. Take an object we all know the color of and put the local color in first and the compliment on top.
Of course I'm totally strange... so you may not want to listen to me. ;) :D

cpart
10-10-2003, 10:44 AM
What can I say but WOW, this is going to be awesome.

I've asked this before, but got no answer, are there any horse kits out there?

Stu

Karen Cardinal
10-10-2003, 10:57 AM
Hey Stu, check out the Horse head kit at Ann's site. http://www.annkullberg.com/animal.htm

Brenda Bruckner also has a terrific lesson at the CP Challenge. http://cpchallenge.com/lessons/BrendaBruckner/ (http://cpchallenge.com/lessons/BrendaBruckner/index.html)

cpart
10-10-2003, 11:08 AM
Thanks Karen:p

I'd already taken notes from the lesson by Brenda from your site. And I've emailed Ann's site to see if they have a UK distributor of her kits.

Many thanks

Stu

CarrieLLewis
10-10-2003, 02:40 PM
Thanks to everyone who is checking up on me regularly! :D When I'm pressed for time and working on projects, that seems to be the best motivation I've found...show the work to others and get them to expect regular updates. Then I HAVE to work on it instead of starting new stuff. Easy to start stuff, difficult to finish!

Kimo,

As already mentioned, I can't wait to start adding color, either! However, as I mentioned to the equine art group of which I am a member and where this is also being posted, it is exciting to look at these three pieces from across the room and realize that if the paintings were to be halftones, they would already be very close to finished! That's a neat thing, even if the horses are shades of blue!

Did you practice swatches first just to see?? I mean, how can a person stand not seeing what the colors are going to do to each other? I'd be sooooo tempted... Tempted to just jump in and color over it too soon.

Kayleasfan,

I haven't done any practice swatches with these. I've been a serious oil painter for decades and have dabbled in colored pencil periodically for years, so once some of the color choices for colored pencil were explained, I was able to see that they followed a lot the same pattern as my color choices when doing transparent layers of oil. The biggest difference I see so far is that with the colored pencils, the detail continues to build and build and build. With oil painting, I was never able to define this level of detail and usually ended up painting over everything in opaque sections. That's my usually MO with oils.

So this colored pencil stuff is not only eye-opening but challenging and fun beyond belief.

Reverie,

I guess I'm going to have to look up Ann's kits. I've heard so much about them but know nothing personally. I had thought they were all her artwork, though. Maybe I do need to look into that. It sounds interesting.

Karen,

I AM HAVING A GREAT TIME! As mentioned above, I started out with oil paints, but I haven't cracked open the oils since early in May. Instead I've been tinkering with colored pencils. This process, along with the projects, has got me so focused on colored pencils that I can see never needing the oil paints again (except for those commission portrait buyers who want oils). This is such a fantastic technique, I'm wondering where I've been for so long that I didn't find it sooner. I guess it's just one of those instances where I wasn't ready for it before now. Wow!

By the way, I have tried your reverse method. I have used complements to tone down color on a piece that's finished or nearly finished. I'm not sure it would work as reliably as this seems to work, though. To be honest, I love the colors of the horses almost as much as the horses. Some of them have such gorgeous and unexpected highlights that I want to get into the color first. When I do that, I end up with a narrower range of values than I already have with this method.

I am very familiar with Brenda Bruckner's work, too. She does great stuff.

Arlene,

Your instruction has been invaluable. If I might be so bold as to suggest it, there is a small gallery here in Newton, the Carriage Factory Gallery, that is always looking for people to give talks, seminars and workshops or to do regular classes. I think they would welcome someone of your caliber.

There are also three major colleges (Wichita State University, Friends University and Newman College) in Wichita, just 30 miles away; Bethel College, a very fine liberal arts college here in Newton and other universities and colleges easily within driving distance. I'm sure there would be some place to conduct a workshop.

(Do I sound like I'm begging, here?)

I will studiously refrain from blending, though I may have to hide my tissues, soft clothes, blending stumps and blenders to get past that temptation. :D

it needs many, many layers over the grisaille

Are the additional layers going to be in Indigo Blue, too, or in other colors. I've been careful to work up the darks to the 7 or 8 range you recommended, but the Indigo seems to have reached it's point of saturation. I'm wary of overworking the paper in those areas and getting it so slick it won't take more color.

If other colors are introduced, should they be darker blues or violets like Black Grape for instance, or should I start working in some browns. For some reason, the idea of adding a Dark Green or Peacock Green keeps coming to mind.

arlene
10-10-2003, 02:59 PM
after you have your grisaille the way you want it, you'll need lots of layers of the actual colors. In a way you're obliterating the grisaille.

pm me carrie.

MsLilypond
10-10-2003, 04:32 PM
I think it's going beautifully .

mermaid8098
10-10-2003, 07:20 PM
am i the only one who has no technique whatsoever? I really haven't seen too much CP art in real life other than my own stuff so I don't know how much a difference it would make if I used this approach or not. hmmm....

CarrieLLewis
10-13-2003, 03:58 PM
Mermaid8089,

Actually, this is the first colored pencil technique I've tried that I've been able to stick with. If you look up a thread called "What Horse Through Yonder Gate Cometh?" or something like that, you will see a painting with two techniques in it. I started that one with the horse, intending to try out something I'd read about in a book. That worked okay, but before I was finished, I went back to my usual hodge-podge approach.

I later read about Ann Kullberg's technique for painting foliage (a totally different technique, by the way) and decided to give that a try. What could I lose?

The painting has turned out well. It still has some problems that need to be addressed, but in spite of using two different techniques (three if you count my usual hodge-podge approach), it looks pretty good.

It's all about trying things that look like they might work for you then keeping what does work and passing over what doesn't work. Who knows? You might come up with a totally fantastic working method all of your own! :D

CarrieLLewis
10-13-2003, 04:00 PM
Here's a link to that thread.

[URL=http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=132704]

CarrieLLewis
10-13-2003, 05:36 PM
Good news on this painting! I think the grisaille is done!

Iíve built up between 6 and 12 layers of Indigo Blue over the first green layers. Some areas probably have even more layers of color than that. I didnít bother counting the layers and I often returned to certain areas repeatedly in the course of a work session. I've tried to get all the darks and lights in place, all the details in place and so on.

This mare is owned by a woman in Wichita, Kansas, where I took the picture. I met her again at the Grand National Morgan show in Oklahoma City this past weekend and had a chance to show the painting to her. She recognized her horse right away and, after looking at it and the other two, all of which Iíd taken along, she said, ďDo you know what these would be great for? T-shirts!Ē

That sounded to me like all the important details were in place. I worked on it another half hour this afternoon, then scanned it and put it on the wall for review.

In preparation for local color work, I made a couple of swatches of Indigo Blue on another piece of paper. I made the swatches very dark on one end and gradated to very light on the other end. I made two blocks like that.

Then I picked four browns: Dark Brown, Dark Umber, Burnt Ochre and Terra Cotta. I applied each of these colors over the Indigo Blue swatches, also working from very heavy pressure to very light pressure, but applied the color at right angles to the Indigo Blue layer. That was very enlightening. The two dark browns produced a deep, chocolaty color and the other two produced an orange chestnut and a redder chestnut color. That shows me what direction I need to head when I started with the local color phase.

The painting is now hanging on the wall, out of reach of frisky kittens, and will be reviewed for the rest of the day and right up until I begin local color work.

arlene
10-13-2003, 05:54 PM
Originally posted by CarrieLLewis


The painting is now hanging on the wall, out of reach of frisky kittens, and will be reviewed for the rest of the day and right up until I begin local color work.

What are you waiting for? Sheesh, i've finished three paintings in the time it took you to do this. ;)

CarrieLLewis
10-13-2003, 10:12 PM
Arlene,

Geesh yourself. I've working on two others with this one, bringing them along all at once. Spent Saturday at the Grand National Morgan Show in Oklahoma City getting more reference material, checking out harness details, looking into a potential show for next year ... let's see, what else ... oh, yeah, started preliminary work on a draft horse piece, photographed peppers as potential reference material, walked about 20 miles (had to take a break after all that stuff!), etc., etc., etc. :D

After all that, I woke up with a sore throat on Sunday and have been trying to fight that off, too. Yuck!

CarrieLLewis
10-13-2003, 10:14 PM
Here's the second of the three pieces. The grisaille on this is done, too, finished today and up for review.

CarrieLLewis
10-13-2003, 10:17 PM
And here's the third one.

This one is a little bit further behind because of the complexity of harness and other stuff. I think I like this one the best, though. Doing all those half lit shadows in this method is really informational and, surprisingly, quite a lot of fun!

CarrieLLewis
10-13-2003, 10:17 PM
Oh good grief! There's a hair around the right ear. Now where do you suppose that came from? I guess it's time to clean the scanner glass!:D :p

pencils4me
10-13-2003, 10:24 PM
Carrie they all look like they are coming along great! Are all 3 the same coat color?

I love the movement in the last two over the one you had posted before, and awsome harness work too.

TJ

CarrieLLewis
10-13-2003, 10:35 PM
TJ,

Are all 3 the same coat color?

The two saddle horses are the same coat color, both of them rather orange-leaning chestnuts.

The driving horse is about the same base color, but is a bay. I decided to do them all at once because they were so close in coloring and because I do best when I have several things going at once. I can move on to the next if one gets hung up. Fortunately, none of these have 'hung up' yet.

Yes, the last two do have more movement. The mare in western gear was posed for me. What attracted my attention was the bit and that's what I really wanted the picture of, but as long as the owner was kind enough to move her horse to a sunny spot, I took more pictures. Now I'm glad I did.

The other two were moving past me as I took pictures. I like action shots and I like up-close-and-personal head studies, too, so these were the perfect blend.

arlene
10-13-2003, 10:51 PM
Ok then, they all look good but get a move on girl.

cpart
10-14-2003, 03:41 AM
WOW, WOW and more WOW. Can't wait to see these finished.

Stu

CarrieLLewis
10-14-2003, 05:13 PM
Here's a quick update. I've begun the color work with Orange, Burnt Ochre and Terra Cotta (light to dark) for the body of the horse, Spanish Orange for the reflected ground light and Black Grape in the deepest shadow areas.

I've worked about an hour this afternoon and will work on it again after a brief break.

arlene
10-14-2003, 05:57 PM
so how do you like this method? the horse is looking fabulous.

btw: i always work dark to light ;)

inkskin
10-14-2003, 09:39 PM
Wow, these are looking so fabulous! I even like the look of a blue/green horse as a finished piece,lol. Really though,the color is looking just wonderful.I am glad that you are doing this as a wip.


Arlene, I was curious as to how you started working this way. It never would have occurred to me to try to develop color with the dark first,I would't have been able to see how it would work. I thought that you would have to do light first.
Heather

CarrieLLewis
10-14-2003, 09:47 PM
Here's the way the painting looked at the end of the day.

After finishing up with the first work session and looking at the painting, I wasn't very happy with the color. It wasn't the right shade of brick red and didn't seem to be heading that way, so I rethought my color choices and the order in which I was using them.

When I went back to work, I concentrated on Terra Cotta and applied it with a heavier pressure, probably 5 or 6 on a scale of 1 to 10, and mixed it with Orange and Burnt Ochre in the highlights and Dark Brown and Black Grape in the shadows. That worked a lot better and I'm much happier that the color is headed in the right direction.

CarrieLLewis
10-14-2003, 09:54 PM
Arlene,

I still like this method, but I have to admit that this part is scarrrr-rreeeeeee! I'm concerned that every color I apply is going to ruin all that work that went before. AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

However, having worked on two of them in color today (I actually worked on all three, but that harness horse is getting the least of my attention at the moment), I decided to try something different on the second one. It doesn't belong to anyone in particular, so I feel more comfortable experimenting with it.

I went light to dark on this painting but started with a mid-tone and went darker. I didn't care for the way it was turning out so on the second painting, I went to the extreme light end and did a complete layer of that. Then I went a bit darker with the next layer, then a bit darker. The colors I used were, in order, Goldenrod, Yellow Ochre and Orange. I was able to gradually back off the highlight areas, especially in the neck and shoulder, and I liked the end result of the day's work much better.

Now I see that you work dark to light! That's almost more than I can comprehend at the moment! :D You must start with the darkest darks and paint them in, then gradually layer the lighter colors over those. Right?

No matter how these two paintings turn out, I am liking this technique enough that I feel comfortable experimenting. That's a neat feeling!

Here's the second painting.

kimo
10-14-2003, 09:54 PM
This is really looking great! You've got really awesome definition in the muscles and a nice 3D feel going. Now, I'm not anywhere near an expert in horse coloring, but I think the color is coming out really nice! But only you an say if it is looking like you wanted it to. But it sure looks like a wonderful warm brown color to me.

KayleasFan
10-14-2003, 09:57 PM
Carrie... I have learned so much watching and reading about your process. Brave woman to invest this much time and sweat into it. I think it's working for you because these just glow. Arlene is a great teacher, isn't she but then you are a star pupil! smile...

CarrieLLewis
10-14-2003, 10:21 PM
Kimo,

Thanks. For me, part of the joy and beauty of painting horses is painting the way light travels over all those muscles and bone structures. I looked at the video we shot at the Grand National Morgan show last Saturday and there are a couple of shots taken under the light inside that absolutely make my mouth water! Can't wait to get to them with this method.

Kayleasfan,

I write everything down anyway, because that helps solidify the process in my mind. Posting it and getting comments is like turning in homework and having the whole class grade it!

arlene
10-14-2003, 11:33 PM
Originally posted by CarrieLLewis
Now I see that you work dark to light! That's almost more than I can comprehend at the moment! :D You must start with the darkest darks and paint them in, then gradually layer the lighter colors over those. Right?


yep!

and tyour second one is looking great too.

CarrieLLewis
10-15-2003, 02:27 PM
Then I will try that method, dark to light, on the Morgan in Harness. Sometimes it pays to do a simultaneous series!

RobinZ
10-15-2003, 02:54 PM
Mermaid said, am i the only one who has no technique whatsoever? I really haven't seen too much CP art in real life other than my own stuff so I don't know how much a difference it would make if I used this approach or not. hmmm....

I had the priviledge of seeing Arlene's work in person and it is rich and luscious. I knew her work from here, and let me tell ya, it's a zillion times even nicer in person. And she, of course, uses this technique!

Carrie, this is gorgeous! I am so glad you've done the wip, we can follow along with your thought process, etc. This is so scary to me...you are giving me some courage!

CarrieLLewis
10-15-2003, 06:44 PM
This is so scary to me...you are giving me some courage!

Robin,

Believe me, it's pretty scary to me, too! But well worth it! I'm already planning some more complicated compositions to try with this technique, so it's definitely something I want to use more often.

Go for it!

frida
10-15-2003, 09:01 PM
WOW!!! The colour on the first horse is simply fabulous...! And the second is getting there too...
:clap: :clap: :clap:

shantel
10-18-2003, 07:51 AM
wow carrie they are unreal......I loved the first green one too...it reminded me of you are what you eat!
you are sooooo talented thankyou for this WIP I'm sure I will revisit it endlessly
cant wait for more:clap: :clap: :clap:

CarrieLLewis
10-29-2003, 04:18 PM
Yes, I am still alive! I've just had to put everything else on hold for a special project.

That project went extremely well and I finished it up with all sorts of enthusiasm for the rest of my artwork. I sent off the finished email files on Friday afternoon, October 24, then got out my on-hold stuff and got busy.

Of the three paintings I'm documenting on this thread, I'd been working on the "Morgan in Park" most recently and it was very close to being finished, so I went back to that one. It really didn't take very long to finish, probably the residue of all the energy needed to produce four usable pieces in one week and by Sunday evening, this one was finished.

The bridle and reins are black, but to produce that color, I used Verithin Violet, Indigo Blue, Tuscan Red, Dark Brown, Non-Photo Blue and Light Cerulean Blue, along with Prismacolor Cloud Blue. I combined and layered colors in a more or less random pattern that produced a black that's full of color and variety. I did use a little bit of Black, but only in the darkest darks. I also used an X-acto knife to scratch out sharp edges and narrow highlights along the bridle straps.

I used a lot of the same colors to get the coat color in place. Violet and Indigo Blue in the shadows, Tuscan Red, Orange, Orange Ochre, Terra Cotta and Dark Brown in the other areas. For the highlights, I used Goldenrod, which I also treated as a burnishing tool in the mid tones.

This is "Morgan in Park", signed, dated and ready to go!

kbubeck
10-29-2003, 04:23 PM
I remember this thread (the horse heads in grisaille) I actually printed these off to help me learn this method - also to show my daughter who is absolutely in love with all horses. Thanks for sharing all of this work!

Mespotamia
10-29-2003, 04:39 PM
Absolutely beautiful! That Grissale (sp?) work gives really impressive results.

Mes :)

CarrieLLewis
10-29-2003, 05:11 PM
This grisaille method is fantastic.

I've been accused (and rightly so) of jumping in with both feet by working on three pieces all at once, but it has shown me some very interesting things.

For instance, artwork at the grisaille stage IS finished artwork. The response of others to my grisailles have proven that beyond a doubt and that thought has given me some interesting marketing ideas.

Secondly, doing three at once has allowed me to experiment with the order of color application.

For instance, as mentioned above, I began applying local color to "Morgan in Western" in my usual manner, which is to start with a middle value and work toward lights and darks.

I wasn't thrilled with the way that looked over a grisaille, so on "Morgan in Park", I started with the lights.

I DID LIKE that, but Arlene told me she started her local color application with the darks and worked toward the lights. So when I started color application on "Morgan in Harness", I started with the darks.

Now "Morgan in Park" is finished and "Morgan in Western" is nearly finished, and "Morgan in Harness" is barely started, but I can already see difference in the way color develops. I can very easily that there will be times when light to dark is best and times when dark to light is best. As I work with this method, I know I will also evenutally be able to tell just by looking at a subject which method will work the best and get the results I want the most quickly. That knowledge is what keeps me pushing forward.

I've also discovered that I need to go a little more easily on the grisaille. On both "Morgan in Park" and "Morgan in Western", I've had to lift color with Scotch tape because I'd gotten too dark of a value in the grisaille. Now that I'm getting ready to start some new things, I'll keep that in mind and adjust the pressure and color application accordingly.

Attached is "Morgan in Western" the way it now looks. Last night, I lifted color in the neck, especially the base of the neck. The ears also had a little color lifted. As I look at the scan now, I think the shoulder is a little too blocky and flat and that I also need to lift some color there.

I've layered Verithins over all of the horse and the leather parts of the bridle in the following order: Orange over horse and bridle; Orange Ochre over horse and bridle; Terra Cotta and Tuscan Red over all of the horse. I then lifted color in the areas noted above and began relayering color.

The leather is an orange-red brown so I am using many of the same colors for that. Today, I worked on the part of the bridle that goes up behind the ears and on the browband. I used Verithin Orange, Orange Ochre, Tuscan Red and Goldenrod with heavy pressure to get a smooth, burnished look. The edges of the straps are black, so I combined Indigo Blue, Violet and Dark Brown to create that darkness. In the shadows on the bottom of the browband, I also added a stroke of black. For the reflected light at the top of the strap behind the ears (the headstall), I used Light Cerulean Blue and White.

I have chosen Verithin pencils for the moment because the harder leads hold a point better and allow me to do greater detail. Since this is an actual horse and may be sold to the owner, I need to get the maximum detail.

The Verithins are also good for layering nice, very transparent color and I can get the best results from that light green grisaille by using Verithins over it. I just wish I'd figured this out much sooner.

There aren't as many colors available as I can get in Prismacolors, but that only means I have to be a little more creative in color choices and application. The old 'limited palette' idea!

Finally (for now :D !), Prismacolors are softer and using them at the very end for highlights seems to me to be a lot light using more opague color to add highlights at the end of an oil painting. I'll have to let you know if that proves to be true or not, but for now, I'm very happy with this method of grisaille and look forward to many years of experimentation with it!

kimo
10-29-2003, 05:12 PM
The colors in this are absolutely stunning!! There is such a glow to this painting . . . absolutely beautiful!

You should post these over in the animal and wildlife forum. Bet they'd love these over there! :D

KayleasFan
10-29-2003, 05:44 PM
Wow, Carrie! I was just wondering where you had gone and how your grisaille work was going and you pop in with these beautiful, glowing, vibrant works of art. Man, you don't do anything in a small way! Did I say these were gorgeous? Uh, congrats on picking up this new skill and finishing your projects with such a "glowing" success!

Jazz
10-29-2003, 06:39 PM
Hiya!! Carrie:) ,

I wasn't here for the beginning of this WIP but I have enjoyed immensely going through it step by step and your finished result on the first one is absolutely stunning!!:)

It is very interesting to read about the process you have been going through and the questions that came up for you. PLus reading about your experimenation has been enlightening as well -THANK YOU!

I am currently trying the complementary colour grisaille technique and I am also finding it very daunting when I am trying to work out which colours to use to build up to the local colour. I had to leave my piece for quite sometime and then again more recently it got pushed to one side but I am pleased that I am now working on it again and it was very inspiring to read about your experience wit this technique so again -THANK YOU!:)

I only hope my finished piece is even half as good as yours, I am very much looking forward to seeing the end results of the other two:) .


Big Hugs,


ALI;) [B][I][SIZE=4][COLOR=blue](JAZZ)

frida
10-29-2003, 07:58 PM
Just fabulous!!! :clap: :clap: :clap:

I followed this from the beginning, and I can see that it would take a while to learn to appraise the needed lightness/darkness of the grisaille. But if you reach a point, like you are doing and Arlene has mastered, when you KNOW before hand, it is wonderful...!

*Work, work, work, paint, paint, paint, sharpen, sharpen, sharpen* :D

BTDogMom
10-30-2003, 11:47 AM
These r GORGEOUS!!! GORGEOUS!!! GORGEOUS!!!

Shirl
10-30-2003, 12:43 PM
Nice work Carrie! I was waiting for you to complete these (as were a lot others :D). I love the results, but I don't know if I'm ready to try this method. I so far just use one color for my "draft" and then on I go.

Again, wonderful paintings! I think I like Morgan in Park the best.

Shirl

arlene
10-30-2003, 01:54 PM
they came out great...as for going too heavy sometimes, yea...i do that too...but less now adays.

CarrieLLewis
10-31-2003, 07:33 PM
And here is the finished "Morgan in Western", the real subject of this thread.

I finished this up in much the same way I finished "Morgan in Park", with a combination of color application and color lifting. The bridle, reins and martingale were heavily burnished and the horse is only mildly burnished. The contrast between the two seems to be beneficial for horse portraits.

Again, I finished up with Verithin pencils and used Tuscan Red, Terra Cotta, Orange Ochre, Orange and Goldenrod for the horse; Tuscan Red, Terra Cotta, Violet, Indigo Blue, Non-Photo Blue, Goldenrod and White for the tack.

arlene
10-31-2003, 09:31 PM
stunning!

paulb
10-31-2003, 09:37 PM
NOW I'm beginning to understand this Grisalle method... - you were right about the dichotomies (dichomotys...?!).

Paul.

Elven Prince
11-01-2003, 12:21 AM
OK! Thats it!!! Now IM gonna have to look into this method!! LOL:D The horses are gorgeous, Carrie!:cat:

arlene
11-01-2003, 01:57 AM
Originally posted by paulb
NOW I'm beginning to understand this Grisalle method... - you were right about the dichotomies (dichomotys...?!).

Paul.

Dichotomy...read some of my other threads and it will really sink in.

kimo
11-01-2003, 09:22 AM
This is absolutely gorgeous! I just love your handling of the color in this! I mean, even the harness is beautiful with those colors!! Great job!! :clap: :clap: :clap:

CarrieLLewis
11-01-2003, 09:10 PM
Okay. I feel like I've been given high praise, indeed, with Arlene's single word comment "stunning". Thanks, Arlene!

I'm working on the third and last piece of this series as fast as possible, but Neal and I spent all day on a cattle drive. I wanted to get some reference photos of the 'real thing' and a customer from this spring invited us to tag along and take pictures. The light was flat and it was cold and windy, but I shot 8 plus rolls of film and could see all sorts of subjects to try with this method.

And that's the neatest thing about this technique ... the energy it has put inside of me to do new artwork. Woo-whooo! :clap: Thanks for the information, the examples and the instruction, Arlene.

ShellyF
11-01-2003, 09:14 PM
You know I thought your work was stunning before you tried this technique, but now it is even more spectacular!

arlene
11-02-2003, 11:33 AM
Originally posted by CarrieLLewis
light was flat and it was cold and windy, but I shot 8 plus rolls of film and could see all sorts of subjects to try with this method.



Time to switch to a good quality digital! LOL...it's cheaper.

CarrieLLewis
11-02-2003, 07:20 PM
Time to switch to a good quality digital!

Yeah, I know, Arlene. Neal's been saying the same thing, but I've balked because I've yet to see a digital camera that produces the sharp, crisp image a 35mm does. I give the customer a set of prints, too, and that would be difficult with a digital, unless I set them up to print myself. Or, I suppose, I could stop with the freebies, eh? :D

You know I thought your work was stunning before you tried this technique, but now it is even more spectacular!

Thanks, Shelley! I agree. My colored pencil work has always been sort of flat because the darks weren't dark enough and the lights weren't light enough. I also had difficulty making adjustments late in the game. With this method, most of those adjustments are either worked out early on or are avoided altogether and I can say my colored pencil pieces have taken a huge step forward.

Aqua Artist
11-03-2003, 08:33 PM
Carrie, your horses really are 'stunning'!! I love the depth of color that this method produces, so rich and alive , it adds a very professional flavor. congrats on a great job!

BTDogMom
11-06-2003, 09:37 AM
Originally posted by arlene
stunning! Couldn't have said it bett myself - it truly is stunning!!:clap: :clap:

arlene
11-06-2003, 01:16 PM
look at the nikons and the canons i believe and go for 4 megapixel minimum...I get some amazing shots with my camera...nikon coolpix 4500. If you shoot in high resolution you won't see any difference...unless you're trying to blow up to huge sizes...matter of fact my digital pics are better, clearer and crisper then my regular camera ones.

I shoot in fine mode...i find that's good enough for me, and if I need to print, I print it out on my printer, which is excellent.

CarrieLLewis
11-13-2003, 10:03 PM
Arlene,

Thanks for the advice on the cameras. The largest I usually make reference photographs is 8x10, even for the really big paintings. It sounds like that shouldn't be a problem if we get a really good digital camera.

It seems like I've been ignoring you guys, here, and especially the conclusion of this post, but that's not deliberate.

This time, our primary computer crashed big time and the last week has passed while some new software attempts to reconstruct the directory. Hopefully, we won't lose a whole bunch of stuff because everything is lost if the hard drive is trash. I do NOT look forward to having to figure out tax info in a couple months if I have to do all of 2003 by hand. Oh, how I wish I'd been more careful about backing up regularly.

Oh well. No use crying over spilt milk, as they say.

I've finished (for now) the third and last piece in this series. Iím not as happy with some aspects of this painting as I was with the other two, but in other respects, itís better.

For instance, the color saturation is better on this painting. There are also some sublties of value and color around the chest that are very pleasing.

But Iím not as happy with the overall appearance of this piece compared to the other two. I still think it needs some cropping when itís framed and that may make all the difference for this piece.
For now, however, I decided to put it on the wall and consider it finished. Iíll look at it later and see what, if anything, else needs to be done with it.

Those who have followed this from the start will notice that this one didn't turn out the same color as the primary reference photograph. That's because I had the underpainting too dark (same as with the second piece in the series). There was just too much area to allow me to lift color effectively, so I decided to darken the horse. Since there was so much shadow area, I decided black or black-brown was the best choice.

That has proven to be a good decision, but I'm still not completely satisfied with it. Any suggestions?

shantel
11-13-2003, 10:11 PM
wow carrie it looks great although on my screen he looks a little green?
I love the harness its superb it really makes the pic!!!!:clap:

Aqua Artist
11-14-2003, 11:24 AM
Arlene , Amen to the digital camera advice ! I haven't bought film or paid for developing in 5 years and I will never go back to film , the creative control, ease and thift of digital is unmatched.(they are much cheaper and better than when I bought, I am about to upgrade)
Your horses are great Carrie!!

arlene
11-14-2003, 11:39 AM
the horse is great...throw a bit of tuscan red onto the yellow/green areas to warm it a bit...a very light wash. also grey over the harness blue areas a touch with some orange.

Eli Torr
11-15-2003, 11:51 AM
What an extremely informative thread. Great horse paintings! I'm loving them all and the WIP's! :clap:

cat1hat
11-15-2003, 07:28 PM
How does everyone transfer their drawing to the paper. What type of paper do you draw the sketch on and how is the best way to transfer it. I now realize that I'm chewing up my paper by transfering it with tracing paper but then find myself making too many adjustments. Maybe I'm not detailed enough from the beginning.

Please share?

Thanks,

Cat
:cat:

frida
11-16-2003, 11:16 AM
Hi cat! :)

I usually work on my drawing (past the sketch stage) with graphite, in a large sketchbook. I looked at you work and you use graphite, so the same would apply.

When I want to transfer I trace it thorugh tracing paper, then transfer on the good paper using a kind of "carbon" paper I made myself with graphite. For CP work the lines need to be almost all erased, and the commercial graphite paper doesn't work for me. It's just too permanent. It wouldn't matter that much for a final graphite work, though.

Some people use a light box or just a window or glass door, which surprisingly works with some heavy papers as well.

What do you mean by "I'm chewing up my paper by transfering it with tracing paper"?

arlene
11-16-2003, 11:31 AM
Originally posted by cat1hat
How does everyone transfer their drawing to the paper. What type of paper do you draw the sketch on and how is the best way to transfer it. I now realize that I'm chewing up my paper by transfering it with tracing paper but then find myself making too many adjustments. Maybe I'm not detailed enough from the beginning.

Please share?

Thanks,

Cat
:cat:

I think this has been discussed in the hall of fame threads. Have you read through them yet? :D

frida
11-16-2003, 02:07 PM
Sorry Carrie!!! I guess I am not settled yet in my Minion role... :o Your thread is not the right place to comment on something so unrelated!

BTW... Have you toned down the green cast? Will you post an update, please? Your thread turned out to be a great "tutorial" on the reaches of grisaille. Thanks for sharing all the changes! :)

tkauau
11-16-2003, 03:57 PM
I've been reading this thread and some others on underpainting, and I'm slightly confused. How do you know whether to do a complementary grisalle, or use tonal grays, or the disappearing purple method.?

Are there other methods too? I'm not sure I understand the when and why of which method, pros and cons so to speak.

Anyone explain?

CarrieLLewis
11-16-2003, 06:44 PM
Sorry Carrie!!! I guess I am not settled yet in my Minion role... Your thread is not the right place to comment on something so unrelated!

That's all right, Frida! It's not unrelated at all! I transfer drawings to canvas for oil paintings with the homemade carbon paper (a sheet of paper with soft graphite scribbled thoroughly on the back of the paper). That works better than every other type of transfer paper I've found.

For colored pencil paintings, the method that works best for me is to lightly tape the final drawing to the back of the paper, then use a light box or window or door. Just last night, I stood at the back door with the inside lights off and the porch light on transferring a 12x16 inch drawing to a piece of Stonehenge. Works great!

The reason I settled on this method was that I was finding I had no control over pressure when transferring drawings from the front. I'd get impressed lines in the paper surface and that's not good!

I haven't toned down the greens, yet, but I intend to. I will post a new image when it's done!

frida
11-16-2003, 07:02 PM
Since you also make your own carbon paper with graphite: I learned to gently rub the graphite coating with a cotton pad dipped in rubber cement thinner. That gets rid of the excess powder and leaves a pretty stable coat on. It's been a long while since I had that kind of thinner, so the last time I re-enforced my carbon sheet, I used turpenoid. It worked well. It's very easy to pick up the lines with a kneaded eraser...

arlene
11-17-2003, 01:39 AM
Originally posted by tkauau
I've been reading this thread and some others on underpainting, and I'm slightly confused. How do you know whether to do a complementary grisalle, or use tonal grays, or the disappearing purple method.?

Are there other methods too? I'm not sure I understand the when and why of which method, pros and cons so to speak.

Anyone explain?
it's a matter of personal choice and what works best for you.

tkauau
11-17-2003, 02:33 AM
But if I did the same picture 3 times with different grisaille, would I get three different looks? Assuming I would use the same local colours on top.

kbubeck
11-17-2003, 10:30 AM
Carrie - once again I will repeat - I love the WIP of the underpainting technique that you've been so generous to share with us - I am fascinated by comparing the beginning with the result - your final paintings are beyond words. I think my favorite is "Through yonder gate....." or something like that - the one with the storm clouds that I'm pretty sure only a Kansas native can recognize as a precursor to "RUN!!!!!!!" The horse in that one, as well as the background are REAL jaw droppers. I look at your underpainting WIP's frequently to convince myself that this really does work, and I don't have to be afraid that I'll ruin yet another drawing. Thanks for posting all of this work.

JulieBoyles
11-17-2003, 10:36 AM
Carrie these turned out fantastic!:clap: :clap: :clap: They are so rich in color! This is great work!!

Congratulations!:D

Julie

CarrieLLewis
11-18-2003, 05:16 PM
kbubeck,

IT REALLY DOES WORK!!!! :D Since I started 'studying' under Arlene and using her technique, I have not scrapped a single painting and I've now completed four, full color paintings and three half tones. The two paintings I'm now working on are also coming along very well and I'm scanning one of them day by day hoping to post it as a work-in-progress when I get more time.

tkauau,

I did these three paintings from the same underpainting. They all look different because I chose to deal in different ways with underpaintings that were too dark. The horses in all the reference photographs were about the same color, but I got the underpaintings too dark and couldn't do those light colors without lifting a lot of color!

Like you, though, I'm wondering what would happen if I took the same image or similar images with different underpaintings but the same local colors. Violet. Blue. Blue Violet. Green. The choices are almost limitless. That almost sounds like a project, doesn't it?

CarrieLLewis
11-18-2003, 09:50 PM
Okay, here's the finished version of this painting ... signed, dated and everything.

I layered Tuscan Red over the horse and, in a couple of areas, alternated Tuscan Red and Indigo Blue. I also grayed the blues in the harness and I'm now calling this one DONE! :clap:

marilyn h
11-19-2003, 06:15 AM
Done good! Lot better then the green leprechaun. Amazing work you do.

kbubeck
11-19-2003, 10:13 AM
Carrie - beautiful again, as usual - & Marilyn - what on EARTH are you doing up at 5:00 in the morning!!!

Dodger01
04-01-2005, 06:51 PM
Late this morning I ripped up a painting I'd been working on for the past two weeks because I'd made errors that I just couldn't fix no matter how many layers I added. Although it was very discouraging, I immediately taped up another piece of cream Canson Mi-Tientes and laid out the grid to do another drawing (of the same image). It's a great reference photo, and I refuse to give up on it.

Now, I've been using Prismacolors for many years, but what style and technique I've developed has been hit-and-miss and without instruction. Recently an air brush artist I exchange the odd email with pointed me to WC. Since then, I've been pouring over these forums, particularely the CP forum, trying to refine -- if not completely alter -- my technique in order to achieve the results I really want.

This, without a doubt, has to be the most incredibly informative and inspiring thread I've read so far. I poured over every single post, some more than once, examined every image and then went back to do it all again.

Although equine art is not my area of expertise or interest, your work, Carrie (and the progress you document here), is inspiring. Thank you so much for sharing this. Arlene, in my somewhat limited travels through WC so far you seem to have become the "Yoda" of colored pencils. Judging by your posts in this thread, I can see why.

I'm going to go back to my board now and start that drawing . . .

Patrick