View Full Version : Paint It Black

Anna Marie
02-06-2002, 06:35 PM
Rescue me!

I am doing a Black Labrador in Soft Pastel.
Its a Surprise for the Owner. I have 4 very bad photo's with the light hitting the Camera taken by the daughter.
I cant get my hands on it.
How black is it I ask? ... Very Black
How old is it are there any Grey hairs on its face?.... No its very black and its 3.

Well when light shines on its coat does it look slightly Blue?.... No its very black.

Has it got a very short close coat ... well yes and no its about that long and very black

Please please tell me How can I give it some shape form and shadow?

Who out there has written a book something along the title of

When Black Isnt and how to make it live!

This is a serious request for some rescuing.

The answer to does it ever have a slightly red or brown tinge anywhere was also no its Black!

02-06-2002, 08:16 PM
Anna Marie...

Here's a black lab, the classic square head structure line, that I did for our state duck stamp competition some years ago.

The black lab's coat, when healthy is quite reflective of light, and if somewhat oily has a slight blue sheen to it, in that it reflects the color of the sky. Hope this gives you some ideas....



02-07-2002, 09:02 PM
just use black. don't try finessing it with other color. if there is ANYTHING i gather from your post, it is that the dog is BLACK.

use a fixative to get it blacker.

as for the drawing ,,,,you are going to have to get a better photo with A GOOD SILHOETTE SHAPE,,,,,,,,NOT A BLOB.....{M}

02-07-2002, 10:12 PM
When I want to depict a black subject and I want the lit areas to look, well, like a black object and not a blue- or brown-black object just adding white to black doesn't work right. The problem is that white cools in addition to lightening value, making the highlight mixes wrong, so you need to add something to shift the highlights as close to neutral as possible. I use Raw Umber generally, although Burnt Umber and other warmer earths work for okay, depending on you eye.

Don't know how this will translate into pastels but I hope it helps.


P.S. You might like to try drawing it on grey paper, I used to have some success doing coloured pencil drawings on grey grounds.

Anna Marie
02-08-2002, 02:37 PM
Thank you very much for your help. I will go through my pastels and work out which is burnt umber and raw umber. I have tried highlights in lighter colours and as you so rightly say they cool it down.
In reply to bruin70 I was worried that I was using too much black but late last night I wacked some Purple and deep blue on and managed to get some very deep black by putting black pastel on top. I got quite excited as I have done the basics of some deep amber eyes and suddenly they were staring at me out of the paper.
I am finding this a hell of a Challenge mostly as I keep feeling that I have some tunnel vision in my choice of colour but it is teaching me a lot.