Prepping For Next Art Work

During a lull today amidst a very busy April schedule, I prepared various  sized copies of my original sketch and located and printed a small copy of my reference picture of my labrador retreiver Emma. I haven't decided yet which size I will pursue for this particular painting nor which paper I will use.

After gathering the images, I experimented with some of my new PrismaColor pencils from the set I purchased earlier this month. From these I will select the palette for the new painting. The experiment demonstrated how well the colors laid down which may vary in opacity, relative hue to pencil casing, and visibility at different saturations from colored pencil to colored pencil.

I also experiemented with mixing greys using these pencils. I selected colors I know will be in the pallet mixed with a complimentary pencil color that will also be included on the palette. For example, my dog's eyes are a very distinct brown/gold/orange and some of the background may be a shade of blue. These two will be mixed together to see what gray I get and it'd properties.

Each swatch lists the name of the colored pencil (and should include the pencil number), has one point of full saturation at the bottom and almost no saturation at the top. The swatches are aslo briefly annotated. I mark the lightfastness of each using the online charts, I will not use a color that is not lightfast in any painting I want to last.

Experimenting in the form of making a value-scaled swatch of each allows me to feel the nuances of each pencil as well as the color. Some pencils have softer, creamier leads while others seem harder and leave lines rather than blend away edges.

Each of these experiments and pallets will be kept in my  sketchbook of mediums in a plastic presentation folder for future use and reference.

The medium will be colored pencil. I have not decided whether it will be mixed medium or not. The preparation is a very important component for me. It may seem time consuming, but it is only a few hours at the most and prevents experimentation mistakes on the final copy.

During this time I am in constant thought about the upcoming painting, a mental vision of what I see in my subject and how my image might look, and mentally sorting out challenges, goals, and decisions that will need to be made.