Sunday, December 10, 2006

making black in coloured pencil

I am currently working on a Doberman in coloured pencil, which I am really enjoying. I am using my new Coloursoft coloured pencils which are adorable (if a coloured pencil can be adorable!!). I like drawing black short haired dogs, whether in graphite or colour, because of the enormous range of tones available to use. Black in coloured pencil is not just black either - it's made up of several layers of different colours to create a very vibrant shiny black. Here are the coloures i've been using today to draw the Doberman, which is a 'cool' black.

Step 1:
First I lay down a layer of 'blue' & 'bright lilac'. This is like an underpainting, so it's very light and just a wash over, not worrying about the direction of the pencil strokes.

Step 2:
Then I use 'dove grey' all over, this time with the pencil strokes going in the direction of the fur.

Step 3:
The 3rd layer is to put down another layer of 'blue' in the darkest areas. This time I press quite hard, getting softer as I blend into the paler areas.

Step 4:
I then use 'royal purple' in the same way as the second layer of 'blue'. All these layers now are added using short pencil strokes in the direction of fur growth to create the fur texture.

Step 5:
The next colour I use is 'indigo'.

Step 6:
Now eventually I use 'black'. The black is built up in layers, pressing harder and using more layers in the very dark areas and only very softly going over the other colours in the lighter areas to create a grey. To finish the lighter grey areas I use a 'persian grey' pencil, and the the 'dove grey' to fill in the highlight areas. All these different layers create a very thorough even covering of the paper, and the colours used in the different layers help to create the illusion of light and shadow far better than simply using a 'black' pencil and varying the strength of applying colour.


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