Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Swiss Chard WIP continues...

Swiss Chard WIP
Coloured Pencil on Colorfix Paper

After my planning and sketching, I have moved to working on the paper! Yippee!! As you can see, I did end up choosing the reddish brown Colorfix paper. I have transferred the line drawing and I am now starting to work on getting some pigment down.

To get started, I pick out large shapes and I define them with an initial layer of colour. This serves as a road map as I work. These shapes help orient me as to where about I am on the drawing. Of course I went for some immediate gratification. Now that I have the pencils in my hand I must get to some juicy stuff - so in went the backlit shapes. Ah, very satisfying. The oodles and oodles of green in this piece can wait.

As far as technique goes, my first layer is applied with a rather dull pencil. Once this layer is in place, I go over the shapes with the same colour, this time with a sharper pencil. With this step I am filling in more of the textured surface. Colorfix paper is a sanded paper intended primarily for pastel artists. I know that some artists wish to fill in the tooth of the paper, even when working on gritty paper (often they apply an underpainting). I like the paper showing through a bit so I will not be attempting to completely cover and fill in the textured surface. Having said that, I don't want so much paper to show through that the work looks blotchy or unfinished. Even when using a coloured surface, I create my colour by applying layers of pigment. I personally find that just using one or two layers tends to make a work look incomplete and hastily done. While many people use coloured paper to speed things up a bit and it does help you get darker values faster, I don't think this should be a reason to skimp on putting down pigment.

As you can see from the photo, I work all over the place. This piece is no longer a stalk of chard but rather a beautiful, richly coloured puzzle of connecting shapes and lines that I get to explore with my eyes and my pencils.

As mentioned before, this piece may be entered into competitions so please, no helpful suggestions in the comments. Thanks. And yippee, this is my 100th post!! Woo hoo!! I can't think of a better way to celebrate than to head back to the studio...


Jeanette said...

The detail in this piece will be incredible. Your patience will be tested with all those nooks and crannies!

But it is heading towards being a spectacular piece. Fabulous work so far.

hbedrosian said...

What a ton of detail! I applaud you for choosing such a unique subject to draw, and I am looking forward to seeing it progress.

Valerie Jones said...

Oooh...I can't wait to see this finished! The detail will be fabulous!

Jan said...

The start looks great and your enthusiasm is so contagious that I can't wait to see it finished either!

Post lots of updates!

Teresa Mallen said...

Hi Jeanette, thanks for your encouraging words...I am actually looking forward to the detail and all the nooks and crannies! The things that excite some folks! :-)

Thanks for stopping by Holly. I know that I will never look at a stalk of chard the same way again. Who knew that with a bit of backlighting chard could be so stunning?

Hi Valerie, I'm hoping the detail will be fabulous!!!

Yes the start looks great Jan. Now I get to progress on to the 'ugly' stage. :-) I shall post lots of updates. Thanks for your interest!