On the Easel
Please click on the first image and after it enlarges click on the image again to read the captions for each step and view as a slide show.
"Buddy" Step 1
On a 16" x 20" canvas I loosely indicate the position of Buddy with a light ochre nupastel
Using a soft paper towel, I "ghost" the image and indicate the top and bottom of the friendly hound mix. These are fixed points. I've also indicated a right side or "eastern" border that might move slightly and a vertical line from top to bottom that aligns with the eastern side of Buddy's nose and the point where his front paws visually touch. this is done with a darker nupastel.
I find the half point and indicate on the vertical line. Using straight lines I construct a border or "envelope". The degree of angle or "tilt" to these lines need to be as accurate as I can make them.
I will continue to use straight line construction drawing to indicate interior angles (bottom of one ear to the other), divide areas to create shapes and refine the envelope.
I continue the process and the drawing develops. I switched to a darker brown carb othello pastel pencil a step or two ago.
Constructing shapes continues. I avoid the temptation to use "expressive" line or render detail. Proper placement to ensure his likeness is key now.
Now I can start to put a little curve in my lines. I also use a kneaded eraser to clean up and lift some lights.
I've cleaned up and lightened the drawing with the kneaded eraser and refined a few shapes in Buddy's face. The drawing has also been sprayed with a few light coats of fixative and is now ready to accept paint.
The painting has begun with thin color and will develop from the face outward.
I'm often asked by students about choosing colors for the palette. I usually suggest they select a white, two yellows, two reds, two browns, two blues one green, black and maybe one dark violet or purple. A light "value" and dark "value" of each "hue" (color) and of different "chroma" (color intensity). An example for brown would be burnt sienna as the lighter value brown and burnt umber as the darker. The chroma or intensity of the burnt sienna is higher and the burnt umber lower. Variation in color temperature between two colors is also nice. Permanent alizarin crimson is a dark "cool" red whereas cadmium red light is lighter in value and warmer in temperature.