Saturday, May 26, 2007

House Paint help with my New Cat

I still haven't really tried out my new Derwent tinted charcoal pencils because I've started a new Norwegian Forest Cat portrait.
I'm going to be at a Championship cat show in July (more later) and want to show potential clients what a commission could look like.
The breeds at the show will be Norwegian Forest, Maine Coon and Birman.
As most of my own photographs are of NFC's that is what I'm starting with.

I've decided to offer two main sizes for commissions as I'm going to use pastelbord, 11 x 14 inches and 12 x 16 inches.
This is 12 x 16 and will be in coloured pencil, I will use solvent in the later stages.
The cat belongs to John and Caroline Tipper of the Tiganlea Norwegian Forest Cats.

I have only done the eye up to now so to make this post more interesting I thought I'd share my method of looking for the local colours in my reference.
This is where the house paint help comes in. I don't use the paint just the paint sample cards.

I have realised just how much the eye can deceive when trying to decide which pencil or paint to use for the local colour. To try to be more accurate I have used various methods to establish the colour. I will only share one of these, as the others are even sillier than this one.

While drawing a Rough Collie in pastel I have been known to take the painting and hold my own Collies fur against the board. Now nice tempered though my dogs are, this does not come on their list of 'what shall we do today'. They usually struggle which results in the said fur being left all over the painting. All I will say in conclusion is be very careful how you try to remove dog fur from pastel.

However on a recent visit to the local DIY store I spotted the answer to all my problems. There, sitting quietly in a display cabinet was a rainbow of colours, the paint sample cards.

I released several of these into my custody, then went back and obtained several more. The samples are free and looking at the amount thrown onto the floor the ones I took had moved onto a better life.

They are perfect, I punched a hole in the side of each colour and now I can place the little strip over whatever reference I'm using. This can be a photograph, or my dogs or the grass outside, the possibilities are endless.

Here are a few of the ones I've been using to look at the colours in this cat.

So, that's how house paint can help in the creation of your next painting.


Karen said...

What a great tip this is! I always have such trouble deciding which colour to use and usually get it wrong! Thank you Gayle.

Susan Borgas said...

Gayle that is a very clever idea with the paint sample cards. I often think that artist are very resourcefu with great ideas to make their work easier. Thanks so much for sharing. :)

I am looking forward to your next update of this work..... golly that eye is so good!

Gayle Mason said...

I'm glad you both found it useful, I have gained so much from other artists it is nice to be able to give a little back.


nzflutterby said...

What a terrific idea!

Now I have some of those 'liberated' samples around here somewhere.

And I wonder if you can get sample charts of coloured pencils? I have one for pastels.

Thank you so much for charing this.


Jilly said...

That's a great tip Gayle! Thank you. Love this shot of the the eye, it's my favourite bit when I start a portrait ;0) (bit wierd I know)