This drawing is a portrait of a little Quarter Horse Mare that belonged to my daughter . I've started the drawing by transferring the preliminary sketch to Fabriano Watercolor paper.
One of my favorite parts of a portrait is the eyes. It's what brings the drawing to life, so usually I'll start with the eyes. The pencils used to create the eye are: Prismacolor Verithin Black to define the shape of the eye and eyelids, Prismacolor Black around the peripheral of the eyeball, Prisma Sienna Brown for the iris,White for the glisten in the eye and eye lids. The lashes are Prisma Cool Grey 20%. Burnish the iris with White then soften it into the rest of the eye with a Colorless Blender.
I've also defined the outline of the head, ears, nostrils,
bridle, etc with Verithin Black. The shadows and dark areas on the face are softly layered by using a circucular
motion with Prismacolor Black. Prisma Sienna Brown is
also used where the black hair is faded around the eyes,
ears and nostril.
|In this step I've filled in with Prisma
Black all the dark shading, shadows
and confirmation of her head and
Be sure to leave any highlights white because black does not erase well. There is actually no blue in the drawing at this point, scanners 'read' white paper as blue so the maze of white inside the drawing shows as blue. Prisma Black, Slate
Grey and Sienna Brown are layered over each other to achieve a soft hair coat. The more you layer, the darker the color will become. I'm still using a soft circular motion. The shadows from the bridle are done in Black and Slate Grey and with heavier pressure. A hint of Slate Grey and Sienna
Brown will separate her mane from the darker color of her hair coat. Leave a white shine through the middle of the mane and burnish with White.
|This looks like a big jump in steps but it's
actually just the same colors layered over and
over with a little Prismacolor Copenhagen Blue at the edges of the white
highlights. The highlights are burnished with White, working
into the dark coat making a soft transition then I finish burnishing with
a Colorless Blender. I don't usually start the burnishing process
until I have the paper covered well enough that very few white specs of
the paper are showing. At that point you know you have enough pigment to
blend well. I've let the
white of the paper become the star on her forehead, no need to apply White. The snip down her face however was a little shadowed so I applied a faint coloring of Slate Grey, burnished with White. The muscles and bone structure start to surface when you pay careful attention to the shape of the mare's face
|The bridle is filled in with Derwent Burnt Yellow
Ochre, with a hint of Prisma Dark Umber
on the edges of the leather and in the shadows. The tricky part is leaving
all the studs and the conchos of the headstall white. Black smudges
easily so always use a slip sheet under your hand to prevent it. I've used
Verithin Black to sharpen the details, especially in the headstall.
Also notice that sometimes a white reflection will show on the edge of the
reins and bridle. That will be burnished with white. If you need to
soften, use the Colorless Blender.
insert shows the detail of the bridle and snaffle bit. The colors used on
the bit and conchos are: Prismacolor Cool Grey 50%, Copenhagen Blue,
Verithin Black, burnished with White. The horse's coat as well as the
metal reflect the blue of the sky.
You can develop nice contrast and very dark colors with layering. If your paper reaches the point where it does not want to take more color use a workable fixative, then apply color. Once the piece is finished, clean up the white background with an eraser and spray with a fixative.
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