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Old 04-25-2007, 01:44 AM
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winecountry winecountry is offline
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Sunday Morning WIP

This weekend I went to my sister's to faux finish her bath. On Sunday I was able to get this photo ref to do a pic of her cat Fabio

I already know I'm reaching over my skills a bit, so I'm being brave and posting it as I go, tho I have no idea if I can pull it off. I know there will be many who can help me so here goes

What I want to capture...the special morning light, and the very special realationship she and her cat have.

Stage One: Initial lay in with drawing
did a more detailed drawing than usual as it is so complicate. Based the composition on triangles, that are everywhere, and emphasized that by altering a lot of the shapes, in subtle ways. so the painting will not exactly follow the photo. Plan on simplifying the drapery and fur, going for less is more, and not doing every hair and wrinkle, a slightly more painterly style without letting the style become the subject either.
16x20 pastelbord, mixed soft, hard and pastel pencil
for the lay in I put on pastel and then used water, but kept it very light and fluid, so it looks just like watercolor, I need to be able to see the drawing thru it.

thanks for C and C especially anyone who's done white drapery!
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Old 04-25-2007, 01:55 AM
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Re: Sunday Morning WIP

Here are some details of the layin wash. this could be done in watercolor, but I find doing pastels is just as easy and gives me a chance to try out colors I may use, as well as letting me make more subtle changes as I go. Once its wet down it stays in place and doesnt mix that much with more layers as long as you are light with it.

About now I'm wishing I was Merethe, and could just draw it on and do it corner to corner, I am completly unable to work that way I've tried, it looks so much more organized and sure than my building up and poking around. However, it's just how I am and so I have to go the way I do and hope for the best.
Detail 1, I've tried to show the "watercolor"
Detail 2, looks like I might be able to "paint" some of the fur without having to draw it all on...well see at least this is a trial

My Best,Colleen
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Old 04-25-2007, 02:05 AM
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Re: Sunday Morning WIP

Stage 2
I just spent 3 hours on the top few inches and the confounded white sheet. I started there because I cant face the stripes I will have to do for the pillow. I would have left them off, but the texture will be needed I think and if I can pull it off will set off the fur, skin and white sheet, (if I ever get that done)
I'm working to keep my sisters face and the upper parts in shade, as the cat will be the main actor in this scene. so everything will have to subordinate to that....I have 3 ref photos, with a nice wide awake cat, but chose a sleepy eyed look to match my sister sleeping and there is a beautiful glint of light in one of Fabio's eyes if I can ever do that. The cat will be easy compared to this dang sheet.
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Old 04-25-2007, 07:18 AM
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Re: Sunday Morning WIP

Colleen, this is awesome! I really like the subject and especially your composition. Great drawing too, that's always half the battle. Your initial wash with the pastels looks good enough to hang as a watercolor ( I really like that style). This is coming along very nicely and I'm sure you won't struggle too much with that white sheet. How do you like the pastelboard? I've never tried it but it sure would be nice to do an underpainting on something somewhat affordable that doesn't warp.

Donna T
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Old 04-25-2007, 09:52 AM
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Re: Sunday Morning WIP

Colleen, what a compositon, this will be outstanding, and a very natural pose. I like what you have done so far.
I think you are best not to paint "corner to corner' on this piece, you will stay looser if you do an overall painting, at least that is what I find with my paintings,
looking forward to seeing the progress on this one, glad you posted it as a WIP
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Old 04-25-2007, 10:22 AM
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Re: Sunday Morning WIP

This is looking great, the undercoat could easily have stood on its own. Can't wait to see the finish!!

Melodie
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Old 04-25-2007, 10:35 AM
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Re: Sunday Morning WIP

Colleen,
Quote:
I already know I'm reaching over my skills a bit
That is one of the silliest things I've ever heard! This is truly a wonderful piece of work you are creating. Your composition is lovely, your underpainting is dead on in value, I love how you are playing with the washes (something that I am not brave enough to try yet) to achieve texture, and your soft sense of light is really striking and really going to add so much to this. I love how you have captured the fabric. I'm going to be following this one, and no more self doubt! If we didn't get a little brave from time to time then we would never get anything accomplished. You are most definitely getting this accomplished!
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Old 04-25-2007, 10:48 AM
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Re: Sunday Morning WIP

Hi Colleen,

Fabulous - I looked at the first posting and was just smiling away. I have a similiar photo of my sis and her can in the evening light but never tackled it - now you are inspiring me!!!

Darks... I'm thinking you are going to want to darken her face a whole lot. As I squint down I don't see shadow - I see mid-tones. It's going to serve to frustrate you - remember you can always add the lighter colors as you build (or at least i think you can - never tried pastelboard before).

See where her cheek is at least as dark as the cheek of the cat - that's where you are aiming.

I'd be proud to have this as my own and I agree with QueenBart - you are never reaching over your skills - just laying down new ground!!!

Wow~~~ Keep us posted. Oh and the fabric - SUPERB!!!

BARB
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Old 04-25-2007, 01:41 PM
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Re: Sunday Morning WIP

How wonderful to wake up and find such great encouragment as I face this work this morning....how did I ever do this before joining WC!
Barb re the Darks....Since I don't know how to "do" pastels, I've noticed its hard to get the lights clean if I get too dark to quick, and I will watch the cheek I didn't see that...to my eye the greatest contrast areas are the hair and the top of the cats head and the back of the cat, since that area is near the edge I will soften that an play up the other as that's where I want the attention. Have to disagree on the fabric... it's too stiff, and I can't seem to get the light to "travel" thru it...ie where the highlight is and then the shadow, the shadow should fill with some light shining inside that space...sorry words are hard to use, you get what I mean..it's puffed up there and in the space light would gather and create a glow of sorts. this is where it would be great to work from life, also having trouble finding pastels of the right tones to use
QueenBart I like your attitude, I wish I had it! maybe I can borrow yours
Piper I really spent a long time on the composition. adjusting folds and overlaps in very specific ways to create movement...a lot was suggested in the photo, but needed tweaking, I spent nearly a day before I got it, now the challenge will be to keep it going with the color and values
Donna I love pastelbord, maybe because that's mostly what I've used, I do sketch a bit on colorfix but it is so much slicker and fills up so fast, it will however take water, but the pastelbord also solves my framing, which I do directly on museum glass, and it's economical because if I really don't like the end product it can be scrubbed off and used again.
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Old 04-25-2007, 03:28 PM
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Re: Sunday Morning WIP

Colleen,

I'll be happy to let you borrow it, as long as I can have it back by Friday! I'm going to take a dive on my challenge, a portrait of 2 children, and I don't do people *gulp* I swallowed my fear last week when I did my boss's wife on her horse but the face was so small it wasn't critical to be detailed, plus it was in heavy shadow. This one will be just the opposite. I got your back if you get mine when I post WIP. Thankfully, everything that I have had to walk up to the edge and dive into has worked out, I just have to kind of catch myself off guard with it, if that makes any sense, and it may not as it's a difficult thing to do*lol* Keep up the good work, I'll be following your progress :-)
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Old 04-25-2007, 08:32 PM
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Re: Sunday Morning WIP

I think it's a really nice work. I love the blues and how the colors are working so well together. The cat's face is superb. I'd slightly soften the dark line on the upper lip of the women -- possibly a redder tone (your sister?), but otherwise, I think it's wonderful...

Melissa
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Old 04-25-2007, 08:54 PM
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Re: Sunday Morning WIP

right now the only part I've worked up is the sheet, everything else is just underpainted, when I get to my sister, I'll keep what you said in mind, tricky part is to make sure she stays in shadow in the background, won't really know how to make that tone until part of the cat is done...thanks for your comment
colleen
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Old 04-25-2007, 08:55 PM
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Re: Sunday Morning WIP

its a deal! QueeenB
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Old 04-25-2007, 11:19 PM
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Re: Sunday Morning WIP

I am joining the audience here....looking fab so far!
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Old 04-26-2007, 12:22 AM
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Re: Sunday Morning WIP

I love this intimate little scene, it's going to be gorgeous! Coming along really well, looking forward to more....
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