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Old 12-11-2012, 07:02 AM
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Reinhard1 Reinhard1 is offline
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Portrait underdrawing?

Dear fiends,
I am attempting at the moment to do some colour portraits next to my graphite work. - And, as might have been expected, I am a little stuck. I did a light underdrawing with FC Polychromos, light flesh, and ended up with a rather pinkish result. Using complementarty colours (from the blue-greenish range) gives me some darker shades, but it is not what I was looking for. I still have a rather 'flue-like' undertone all over.

Does anyone of you have experience with underdrawings for portraits and would be willing to share their personal findings? I'd highly appreciate that. Thanks in advance.
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:03 PM
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Fuchur Fuchur is offline
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Re: Portrait underdrawing?

Hi there,

I found this thread in the portrait's forum and thought it might help you: http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/show....php?t=1294895

I myself don't have any advice except for: Go with your feelings. I look at a picture and spontaneously decide what colours to choose (from pink to orange, blue, purple, basically everything is possible). There are only two colours I use all the time: Olive green yellowish and dark indigo. I find they make beautiful shadow areas.
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:34 PM
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Reinhard1 Reinhard1 is offline
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Re: Portrait underdrawing?

Many thanks for the link. This will answer my questions. I will now see how I can manage the transfer from graphite to colour. Will be fun to learn. I love challenges.
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Old 12-13-2012, 04:36 PM
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Reinhard1 Reinhard1 is offline
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Re: Portrait underdrawing?

Sorry to bring this up front again. I just wonder, 230 clicks and one answer. This leads me to the question is my question too far out? Is it too uninteresting or is there just no experience?
I just wondered.
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Old 12-13-2012, 05:20 PM
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RWSewell RWSewell is offline
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Re: Portrait underdrawing?

I suppose everyone has their own methodology when it comes to achieving skin tones in colored pencil. I've had years of experience and yet I still treat each new portrait as though I've never done it before. My first thought toward your question was to direct you to George's approach but seeing that someone's beaten me to it I'll contribute some thoughts of my own.

Presuming you'll be working on white paper my suggestion would be once your initial sketch is layed out, lay down a light foundation layer of peach (if your subject is caucasian) and then slowly build up the structure of the face using browns and lavender and then repeating another layer of peach. Every layer you apply should be light, building up your values very slowly. I should add that I personally use the peaches very sparingly in the early stages except for the very light layering: peach in my experience will dominate (much like pink) if you go on too heavy with it. Focus on the browns and lavender to create volume. I know your work and I know you have a meticulous and patient hand. You have a knack for dry media so you'll agree with me that patience is key.

I hope the Colored Pencil Library has more advice to offer you than my meager assistance. Looking forward to seeing your work here.

Rob
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Old 12-13-2012, 06:22 PM
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Re: Portrait underdrawing?

I am sorry, I can't help with people portraits as I do animals. But I just wanted to comment on the transition from graphite to colored pencil. I started out with graphite and after a few years and much coaxing from my dear hubby, decided to make the jump to cps. I was scared at first but I have to admit that it did come to me easier than I thought. Like Rob said, if you have a knack for dry media then it shouldn't be too hard for you. I think though that with animal fur, the color is much more forgiving than when doing human skin. I wish you all the best and don't get discouraged, you'll get it!!
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Old 12-15-2012, 11:23 AM
Midge143 Midge143 is offline
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Re: Portrait underdrawing?

Which colors are you using for your underpainting? I feel like an ant trying to make a suggestion to an artist of your caliber, but I know that when i use lilac underpainting, my portraits seem to take on a personality sooner than not using it. Does that make sense to you? It doesn't work with negro skin tones, but caucaisian or hispanic it does.

Not to embarrass you or anything, but sir, I feel it an honor to even respond to your question.

Midge
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Old 12-15-2012, 01:02 PM
clydeine clydeine is offline
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Re: Portrait underdrawing?

I have never considered it underpainting but I guess it is. I start out with cream and get a full light coverage for the base. Then I add light peach a full coverage also. Then I add a full coverage of light flesh. Then I start adding highlights with the medium flesh. Then I start with the eyes and get the basics of the eye down including the colors around the eyes with that medium flesh. Then I take terra cotta and start to deepen the highlights and shadows. Then I use lavender to for the shaded areas. I also add pink to areas where the skin has a pink hue. You have to be careful with the lavender and terra cotta because you can immediately get everything way to dark. It is not unusual for me to have 4 or 5 layers of highlighting all very light on top of the three base hues. Others do it a little differently. I am not an expert. I have listened to what George and others have said and am still listening. Just my opinion but I would not put lavender or purple on until last or almost last. I used light flesh and white to blend and fix an streaks and I burnish with toilet tissue in between layers.. I mean really press and rub. I like the effect it gives. This is what works for me.
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Old 12-15-2012, 03:49 PM
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Re: Portrait underdrawing?

Hello

There was an interesting discussion about your second question (over in oil pastels, I believe), and I just wanted to chime in because it was interesting...

Due to changing technology, the number of clicks on posts is high, while the actual responses are getting fewer...people are more often using phones (and tablets) to browse the web, and using those devices to type is a bother for most people. Once back at a full keyboard computer, its hard to remember which threads you wanted to respond to.

This site is huge, and time is short.
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Old 12-31-2012, 09:12 AM
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Re: Portrait underdrawing?

Friends, sorry for taking so long to answer and thank you. Somehow Christmas and the family 'got into the way'. Many thanks for your help and suggestions. I am still struggling and searching. So you might see, I have taken the liberty to attach what I am working on. While I am not too displeased, the colours appear to be a tad 'too sweet'. When I try to darken them with complementary colours, either the complementary colours still shine through too much or are incorrect. When I attempt to do that with black or grey, the colours lose somewhat and I feel as if I am not getting the value/shades I want. Maybe CP has a very steep learning curve.
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Last edited by Reinhard1 : 12-31-2012 at 09:33 AM.
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Old 12-31-2012, 11:53 AM
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Re: Portrait underdrawing?

I don't know what you are unhappy about...I think these skin tones are dexcellent!
Keep going, and maybe when you have completed the face, you might see where you need to adjust tones.
Great start!
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Old 12-31-2012, 12:36 PM
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Re: Portrait underdrawing?

Many people do not consider color pencil as a being areal art medium, they think is is kids play. Until they get the color pencil in their hands they do not know what they are missing and what they don't know how hard the CP really is. Once you get a grasp of the ideas and techniques it is much easier to start laying down the color.

I never use black on my color pencil work, toning down a color the compliment works sometimes, sometimes not...to take away from the color that is stronger than I would like I use the beige colors to handle that, granted I use Prismacolor for most of my work and use Poloychromos for the enhancements of color.

Also, I work the entire face and hair in order to control color, shadow and tone. I like the use of color on your outline drawing, it blends in very well with portraits.

You may be over thinking the whole process, what works in other mediums should work in color pencil but most of the time it's a whole new ballgame, I never use black or greys in my work.

Regardless, this piece is coming along nicely...
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Old 12-31-2012, 02:07 PM
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Re: Portrait underdrawing?

I think your question is a very good one!
What dragoon said above is true, and also there are many people on WC who look at posts, but rarely if ever post a reply. I don't think the lack of replies was any reflection on your question.

Most of my portrait work to date has been in graphite or pastel, so I can't add much except to agree that George's method is worth looking into.
I think your skin tones here look very nice! Perhaps they don't match up with the look you are trying to achieve, but taken on it's own I think this is quite good!
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Old 12-31-2012, 07:53 PM
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Re: Portrait underdrawing?

The skin tones look fabulous to me! Very natural looking.
Suzanne
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Old 12-31-2012, 09:02 PM
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Re: Portrait underdrawing?

Nice skin tones and eye detail
Trudi
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