Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Using Art Stix for a Dog Portrait

Here's the next installment, and you can see I've added local color on the pooch and the grass. I need to do background and subject at the same time, otherwise my colors would be way off. Since colors that lie next to each other affect each other in our eyes, it's important to not get so far along on the subject and realize the color seems off when adding in the background.

For some reason, beginners seem to want to leave the background for last, and that's just asking for trouble!

There are artists who complete one tiny section at a time and seem able to anticipate the background but I'm not one of them.

More detail at this stage, the features are defined, but not as detailed as they'll get. What' I'm going for here is molding the basic shapes by color and value and suggesting where the detail will be. So at the most, I'm using a flattened "point" of a pencil, but mostly the art stix or the sides of the prismacolor lead. The grass is done quickly with the sides of a pencil, kind of stabbing it as though I had paint on the side of a butter knife.

This is also about the time I put away the reference for a while. I will get it back out at the end when I do the final facial details, but for now, I like to let loose and not be constrained by the photo.

This is where I think style comes into play. The colors I choose, how I use the art stix or the sides of pencils, the pressure, the strokes, all make it uniquely mine, for better or worse.

You can see I've chosen a fairly bright green for the grass background. I liked the shade, I liked the bright against the perky, goofy expression of the dog. Whether it's photorealistic doesn't matter to me. He has a photo. He wanted a portrait by me. So away goes that photo!!

Lots more of my (American Animal Artist, Robin Zebley) pet portrait work on my site: robinzebley.com and if you've googled and found this post and want to see the rest of my blog, including the complete step by step demonstration, just click the banner at the top of the page that says "Art And Animals".

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