View Full Version : Knotwork Brain WIP

10-08-2007, 12:23 PM
Here is my latest knotwork/interlace piece. I was asked by my neurologist to draw a brain for her, and this is what I came up with.

Part of the purpose for this WIP is so that I can get as much help for as many poeple who can help me. And I need so much too!

This is currently the graphite first draft, and I plan to extend the cerreblem (currently in step work) and create a spinal cord. I haven't decided how to draw the cord yet (I ran out of paper).

I'm not sure what the colors will be. I'm not sure what type of pencils I'll use, probably color pencil, as opposed to the water color or inktense and such.

Thanks in advance!


10-09-2007, 01:40 PM
I've spent my art time the last two days trying to figure out the colors I'm going to use. I had thought to use the Derwent Inktense pencils in blues and greens, on watercolor paper. I think I'ved changed my mind after using all the media I'm comfortable with (so that leaves out oil and acrylic or digital) and I've decided that I'll use Prismacolor pencils with a wash of the Creteacolor metalics to add just a hint of irridecent glow.

Now that I have figured out the colors, I have the paper to consider. I now have to think wether this will have more power on white Stonehenge or this lovely black paper I have... Decisions decisions.

C&C eagerly welcomed! Thanks again.

Doh! I just re-read what I first posted... "get as much help for as many poeple who can help me. And I need so much too!" I meant "... help FROM" not "for" Doh!

10-10-2007, 07:40 AM
Good job on the draft! No suggestions from me, 'cause it looks like you're doing fine on your own! :thumbsup:

regarding paper choices... have you tried some color swatches on the black paper yet? Black has a tendency to make yellows go greenish and kinda strange, so depending on what colors you're thinking, it might not be the best choice for this one.

And what an interesting assignment from your neurologist... Have you figured out how to do the spinal cord yet?

waiting for the next update!

10-10-2007, 03:39 PM
My DH brought me some big sheets of black paper on his way home last night, so I'm really excited...

I did some color studies on the black and I'm sooo disapointed... the colors are turning out muddy... I am using a different paper forthe studies and I don't know ... I might have to cut up one of the big sheets and so some stuidies on it.

Hehe I took your recomendation to "get off the grid" pretty seriously :D

I haven't decided how Im going to do the spinal cord yet either. Need to work that out still...

10-12-2007, 01:53 PM
I spent a good 3 hours on this last night finishing the redraw to the bigger newsprint paper. I did this to finish the drawing, since the first draft was only 8x10, and this is now 17x14 inches,

I really wanted to have a big differnce betten the outside of the brain, and the seeming cutaway to the interiour with it's "special structures." The circles are still just rough outlines, becuase I didn't wnt to try to transfer those delecate lines and screw them up.

Ive decided I'll probably do two of these, one on the black paper paper, and the other on canvas with paint. I think the cretacolor oil soluable pastels be smashing on the canvas...


10-18-2007, 06:17 PM
Here is an update.... As you can tell, this is the black paper version, and it is 25"x20", and the brain itself is 17 inches across.

Some things I have learned...
1)Make sure you have enough pencils before you start, especially if you don't have the Going Places ability.
2) make sure your new pencils actually match the original pencil... just because they are both "greyed lavender" doesn't mean they are the same shade of greyed lavender!!!!! Yikes! Luckily I discovered this during the "underpainting" part, so hopefully it shouldn't be too noticable when I'm done.
3) when working with black paper, get a white transferpaper, you'll save yourself some grief!

the colors used so far are Cool Grey 20%, 50%, 70% and 90%, Greyed Lavender (yikes! two different shades!), Pink, and Jade Green. (All Prismacolor)

10-19-2007, 08:17 AM
lookin' good! :thumbsup:

Ah, yes. The "ran thru a color too fast" problem. I tend to buy them 3 or 4 at a time, re-ordering supplies *as soon* as I complete a piece. There isn't an art supply anywhere near me, so I've got to order everything over the internet. I hate hate hate waiting for one color to arrive!

How are you liking working on black?


10-19-2007, 02:22 PM
I plan to use the color Henna on top of the Pink to darken it up, and I only have about 1/2 a Henna pencil! Yikes! so I need to have my husband go buy me a couple of them before I start on the top coat... but I've got a long way to go before I need to worry about the Henna!

This is the second piece I've done on black. The first one is a fantasy painting called "Beheld" and I posted it on the SciFi/Fantasy forum http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=446555
Black is so much differetnt! the colors are not always what I expect! I'm also learning that not all black paper is the same... heh. The texture and tooth of the paper really make much more of a difference than I thought they would.

11-03-2007, 06:54 AM
Vinesqueen? Still out there and working on this?

I heard this on the radio and thought of you... Hope you enjoy!

NPR "Brainbow" interview (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=15886895)


11-07-2007, 01:57 PM
Sorry it's taken me a while to get back to this, but I spent the better part of a week in the hospital, and they put the IVs on the inside of my wrists! Not only is this a very painful place to put them, but it made it so I couldn't work on the Brain ewhen I felt up to it.

Anyway, this should give a much better idea where I'm going with the colors.


I should have more regular progression on this, now that I'm back and a bit more recovered.

Thanks for the link Tess, gonna go listen to it now.

11-14-2007, 06:37 AM
Vinesqueen? Doin' ok?

I'm sorry I didn't make it back here to comment sooner. Got a pile of ... ah ... stuff :D to sort through right now and I'm a bit distracted. :rolleyes:

Regardless, you're doing nicely with this! Right now, I'd be careful not to let that green in the center get out of control. Unless that's what you're wanting? Ovewhelming symbolic green/health/growth?

Hope you feel up to updating soonish. :wave:


11-14-2007, 01:30 PM
No worries Tess! And I sure understand about being burried! Whoo-mamma!

Here's the latest update. I hadn't thought about the green representing fresh growth and health... I was sort of going off on a completely different tangent. I need to figure out where the CP tutorial is for metalic golds. Anyway, this center part has a couple more layers before it's near what I want, and the outer interlace is getting very close to being where I want it.

Speaking of CP, I sometimes am astounded at what an intensive medium they are. I've completed a couple of other works done in water color and ink pencils, and some other things, and I'm still no where near finished with this piece!

The colors are still a bit off, I think partly because of the lighting.


01-20-2008, 06:54 PM
Well, at least I think its finished... Sorry it's taken me so long to finish this, but more time in hospital means less time on art generally... *sigh*

Anyway, here are the final WIP steps and the final finished image.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/20-Jan-2008/104934-special_structure.jpg is a good close up of the "special structure" WIP part of my brain. You can see I haven't done any of the swirls yet, and have just started to put in the metalic for the circut board.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/20-Jan-2008/104934-final_brain2.jpg I'm not sure why, but I am having a difficult time getting a good picture of this. It's too big to scan using my equipement, but I plan on taking this to be professionally scanned, since I've had several requests for a print of it.

All told, I put in about 100- 120 hours on this painting, over the span of three months.

I'll cross post this final to the color pencil forum.

01-21-2008, 08:28 AM
Commented over in CP, but wanted to wander through here, too. :wave:

As far as getting a good pic of works on black paper... It's notoriously difficult. Someone suggested I put a piece of white paper somewhere in the margins of the frame, to help the camera record what is white, what isn't, and everything in between. And then crop the white paper out later. Dunno. Hasn't worked well for me, but then I'm really really awful at taking pics of my work. ;)

So now what? taking a breather? Have another project in mind? (oy, really, no pun intended... :lol: )


01-21-2008, 10:52 AM
taking a break? me? hah! no, I've been working on trying to learn figure drawing. I won a copy of "Neondragon's" Draw Fantasy Characters from the sci-fi forum partner Impact Books, and I've been working my way through that. (and of course, working on dragons in my spare time) Right now, Fairy wings have captured my attention...