zondag 17 juni 2012

The 1st Fish

At last I can get started with the fun part, the coloured pencils! I begin applying colour from the top lefthand corner, mostly to avoid inadvertently smudging the colours with my hand or sleeve as I work. Later when I need to go back to parts of the drawing to add more colour I will place a piece of paper under my hand and lean on this while drawing for the same reason. Coloured pencils are easily smudged and the details of a drawing can very easily be blurred without the proper care.

The first thing I need to draw is a small corner of water. I take 5 colours which I think I will need to produce the right effect, plus Chinese white to help blend everything together and achieve some depth. I use spruce green to start with using even strokes and filing up the whole corner area. I then go over this with a layer of oriental blue and use a blending stump to blend the two colours evenly together. I use the stumper at an angle to the direction of the coloured pencil so the colours blend well. This is followed by layers of juniper green, prussian blue and blue grey, each time using the blending stump to mix the colours.

At this point the corner is an even shade approaching the basic colour of the water that I'm aiming for, but there are of course shadows in the water, so I need to apply some of the darker colours to the shadowy areas (in this case in the top lefthand corner). I add more prussian blue and blue grey and once again use some Chinese white to blend the colours and get the desired effect.

I have no doubt that this will need more attention later, but next I want to start drawing the first fish.

I lightly sketch in the black patches on the koi fish using mars black, and with primrose yellow and flesh pink colour the areas where light falls on the fish's back, carefully following the shapes in the photograph.

I then fill in the rest of the fish, again lightly, with orange chrome and use deep chrome for the darker orange areas. There's an area of shadow where the underside of the fish fades into the water which I colour in using storm grey, again making sure to blend the orange and grey well with a blending stump.

The black patches on the fish need more depth, so I use Delft blue, again colouring according to the shapes in the photograph, followed by ivory black.

For the moment I feel I've paid enough attention to the fish. The fin and lower side will need more colour and more blending when I've done the surrounding water. Using the same colours as for the water in the corner I colour around the fish, mixing the pencils in the same way.

It's important to apply the lighter colours first as they can easily be darkened using darker colours or by applying more pressure to the pencil. A dark colour cannot be easily lightened, without the use of an eraser, sometimes causing damage to the surface of the paper.

This photo shows how I use the blending stump, making strokes at an angle to the coloured pencil strokes.

After 4 hours and 55 minutes this is the result so far. There's lots more work to do!

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