View Full Version : French Horn WIP

07-16-2010, 09:23 PM
This is just a small portion of the whole bigger picture. I'm working on a French Horn and beside it will be a Treble clef and around those two things will be Calla Lillies. This is for my Aunt whose son plays French Horn. If you know what this instrument is it has ALOT of pipes. This work is going to be a challenge for me. The drawing measures 20x24. Here is what I have of the beginning of the horn.

07-16-2010, 11:39 PM
Very nice start! Convincing highlights.

07-17-2010, 01:55 AM
I agree with Phyllis--the highlights are great. My son played the French horn for awhile--they do have a heck of a lot of pipe--more than any other orchestral instrument. What are you doing for the background?

aphid dew
07-17-2010, 09:47 AM
Looks great so far.

07-17-2010, 03:30 PM
Well, the background is going to start indigo blue in the lower left corner, going to purple towards the middle and then ending in maroon. This is for my aunt and she has a lot of marroon in her house. Its going to be a very dark background so the horn will hopefully POP. There is ALOT more to the picture that you can't see. Hopefully I can get a little better of an update going soon. :)

07-18-2010, 03:11 AM
Sounds terrific! You might consider working some of those colours into the darker areas of the horn. The brass will reflect everything around it!

07-18-2010, 09:02 AM
This is going to be quite lovely. Nicely done so far.

07-18-2010, 10:32 AM
The copper is shining already!

07-18-2010, 11:26 AM
Agreed, looking quite like metal already! :thumbsup:

l Heather l
07-18-2010, 10:58 PM
Great start on this, you did a fantastic job creating the look of the metal! :wave:

07-20-2010, 11:43 PM
Here is an update so far to what I have been doing. I am almost done with the horn. Done with the golden treble clef and next I need to start working on the calla lilies as well as the background. But here is what I have been doing.

07-21-2010, 02:15 PM
That's quite an interesting piece :) I like it very much so far.

07-22-2010, 05:42 PM
:eek: Amazing! wish I could get that metal effect to work for me!! :lol:

07-22-2010, 05:54 PM
Stacey, this is wonderful! Will really enjoy watching this develop. My son has been playing french horn since starting middle school (will be a high school junior this year) and plans to continue into college as well. The french horn is a beautiful instrument and you're doing a superb job on it.

Looking forward to updates!


07-24-2010, 10:08 PM
Here is another update. I finished the horn and added the flowers. I still have a TON of work to do on the background. I really need to darken it up and then add henna and tuscan red going towards the midddle and up to the top left. Then I need to go back and do the music notes, (that will be a surprise how I'm going to do those). I can't beleive how long this is taking me and how exhausting this background is. I guess thats what I get for going big. Anyways, here is an update. Doesn't look like much now because I need to darken the background alot.

07-24-2010, 10:09 PM
Oops, nice view in that top picture of me standing on the chair in my socks, lol. hehe

07-24-2010, 11:51 PM
Hi, Stacey,

I looked at your site and just love your portraits, especially the mom and infant. Beautiful work!

l Heather l
07-25-2010, 12:22 AM
This is really coming along beautifully! I can almost hear the music! :music::music::clap::music::music::music: I love the colors in the flowers and background. Your rendering of the horn is fantastik!

07-25-2010, 01:36 AM
WOW! What a beautiful composition......they'll love it :)

07-25-2010, 06:12 PM
Oh Wow!! This is so creative, I love the illustrative look you have given this. Just beautiful! Looking forward to seeing this finished.


07-26-2010, 02:58 AM
This is stunning! I think you've been very wise to lay in the background all over, like this, too. It will help you keep your values where you want them to be, bringing them all up at the same time to the level you want.

If I were doing it, I would lay in the background colours (not for the music notes or the lilies, just the bg colour) heavily--two more layers, probably--dissolve them with mineral spirits, then put down another layer on top of the dissolved one. It would save time. More careful layering without solvents will look great, too. I just get impatient!

07-26-2010, 06:15 AM
Stacey, this is an amazing piece. You have done so well with all of it. I can't wait to see the finished article.

07-26-2010, 07:50 PM
Here is the next work in progress picture. Tomorrow I am going to use mineral spirits on the background to blend it and then work on the music notes. I am hoping to blending the notes into the background as I really don't want them to stand out. Then I need to get the horn to "come out" a little more. Any ideas on how to do that or does it come out enough? Comments are welcome right now. Still not quit done but I am getting there.

07-26-2010, 11:00 PM
i must ask you used photo in reference for french horn ? i ask amazing work is used or not used i dont care but if one can draw like this without refrench is amazing.

07-26-2010, 11:34 PM
Wow, you're really coming along, and this is such a BIG piece, too! It's looking terrific, Stacey.

When I dissolve backgrounds and deep colours like you have here, after the colour is dissolved, I put one more layer of CP on top of the dissolved layer and then buff it with a tissue, chamois or a stump. Buffing evens out the pencil strokes very nicely, I find, and it gives a subtle, but not shiny sheen to the background.

I don't know what you've planned for the music notes, but to keep them from standing out, they'll need to be a darker value than the French horn.

After the background is dissolved and even, and after the notes have been taken care of, the horn will either pop out from the paper, or you'll see where you may need to re-state the darkest shadows on the brass and the brightest highlights. Those lights and shadows will ensure that the horn stays three-dimensional and that it moves forward the way you want it to.

This is a stunning piece, all around. The horn, all by itself, is magnificent! I hope your aunt recognizes what a fine, fine gift this is!

07-27-2010, 07:58 AM
This is great work! You're brave to tackle all those subjects in one piece.
I worry that you might lose some of your work when it comes time to frame though, working that close to the edge of your paper!
The horn looks fabulous. I'd say to work on the bg more and you'll be able to tell what to do once you see how it looks against a more completed bg.

07-27-2010, 10:41 AM
Just got done using mineral spirits on the background so here is what it looks like now. Next step is to do the notes and then I beleive I shall be done. Might need a few little touches here and there. I think the Mineral spirits made a huge difference.

07-27-2010, 11:03 AM
I think I agree -- the mineral spirits certainly brought out more intense color on the background and evened it out a bit. Is this just with dissolving the background or did you take ann_aurora's advice and do one more layer of CP? Can't wait to see what you do with the notes.

Doug M

07-27-2010, 03:34 PM
Looks great, Stacey!

07-27-2010, 05:29 PM
Looking REAL good!! :thumbsup:

07-27-2010, 10:36 PM
ITS DONE!!!!!!!!! Took me about two and a half weeks but its done!!!! What do you all think? Did the notes turn out okay, I wanted them to blend into the background. here is the finished photo of it.

07-27-2010, 10:59 PM
:clap: :clap: :music: YES! :music: :clap: :clap:

Good job, Stacey! This is awesome! What a relief! You've really put time into this, and it's paid off! Congratulations!

You probably have your own way of doing this, but just in case... I always buff all areas that are covered in dark CP to help prevent wax bloom. I don't know if it makes a difference, though, but it's the way I learned to do it. After that, I give the piece four good coats of workable fixative spray, waiting about 20 minutes between coats to makes sure they're dry.

The last thing I want to say is that I took some time, earlier, to poke around on your website. You've got some lovely work there, and it's clear that you can do stunning pieces. You're also willing to work at a size most of us avoid because of the time it takes.

I think your prices are much too low, however. Much. Consider researching the local market--things vary widely, by region. The market for pet portraits I live in Vancouver is very competitive and prices are about half of what I charged when I lived in Ontario. :( If you raise your prices incrementally, every 6 months or so, you might be able to earn a bit more without losing potential clients. JMHO.

You're doing really good work!

07-27-2010, 11:23 PM
Agree on the pricing - for the quality of work you do, no question ye ought to have it at least double what ye got now... be bold - 'cheap' art only ends up having the art considered as cheap - and you have good quality here, in this just finished work and in those on your website...

07-28-2010, 12:57 AM
Sheesh... I look back in here and see what a hash-up I made of my last post! I was trying to say that local market prices can vary widely, based on my experience of the differences between Toronto and Vancouver. Nevertheless, I think your work is underpriced. I agree with Robert: double your rates, at least! And advertise your work as much as possible, then a little more. It's good!

07-28-2010, 01:27 AM

The treatment of the notes really makes this piece stand out. They accent the music but don't overwhelm the French Horn. Very nice balance. I know nothing about pricing so I'll leave that to the experts.

All-in-all, a very nice job and a superb piece.

Doug M

07-28-2010, 02:24 AM
Whoa! How did I miss this one? Stacey, everything about this piece is amazing! I also went to your website and thoroughly enjoyed looking at your other work. I can only echo what everyone else has said, especially about getting your prices way above what they are now!

07-28-2010, 09:06 AM
I know my prices are low but with the market where i am at I am lucky if I get a comission at the price its at. I have tried marketing it EVERYWHERE and can't get work if my stuff is priced above a hundred. It just really stinks because I know my work is worth more than I sell it for but pricing it higher equals no customers. Pricing it lower actually gives me some customers. I have been around and around this with my husband. Do I want one customer that will pay a hundred for piece but not get another client for four more months or do I want several clients payming me sixty for a basic piece. Its sad with this economy. I honestly don't know what else to do to market my work either. I have advertised online, on craigslist, in classified ads and soon I'm going to post posters at local pediatricians offices and veterinarian offices. Its very hard to get work and i have been lucky that I have gotten what I have so far. I even have several pieces for sale right now cheap and can't sell them. But, you are right, my prices are low and I really need to live in a different area. :) I'm glad you all like my art.

07-28-2010, 10:29 PM

07-29-2010, 08:21 AM
I think this is absolutely incredible !! Beautiful work.:thumbsup:

07-29-2010, 03:39 PM
Wow Stacey! fantastic. A journey I have enjoyed. I hope the market picks up for you, your work deserves to be out there!