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  • Writer's pictureKevin Roeckl

Chloe portrait in progress 2

I masked off the figure of Chloe to add the base color of the river with a smooth watercolor wash. That gives me a nice green base on which to work with colored pencils. It is a darker and cooler green on the left fading down to yellower and more transparent green in the lower right.

On the monitor I’ve “sampled” the greens in the river and created a little chart (overlapping the photo on the monitor) to guide me in mixing the right shades of green for the artwork. Since I am working on grey paper, and the watercolor wash is transparent, I have to compensate when mixing colors, for the fact that the grey paper color will show through them. It’s as though I am mixing a little grey paint in with every color I mix. The more transparent the wash, the more grey is “in” it (showing through it).

The translucent masking material is still covering Chloe. It is an adhesive plastic material that comes in rolls. I cut off a piece of it, stick it onto the paper and then cut out the shape of Chloe with a very sharp X-acto knife following my pencil lines underneath. I have to use precise pressure to cut through the masking material but not the paper. The masking material is still covering Chloe with some green paint adhering to it. When the wash dries, I then pull off the masking.

Portrait of red Doberman in progress, in Kevin's studio, with reference photo on the monitor

As you saw in the previous pic, the watercolor wash buckles the Canson paper. Canson Mi-Tientes is technically a pastel paper, not meant to take watercolor. After it dries I need to flatten it in order to return it to a totally flat surface for me to work on. Below is the whole artwork scanned, after it was flattened. Scanning it on a high-end scanner shows a lot more subtle colors than a phone snapshot under studio lights. This is with the masking material pulled off of Chloe.

After I made this jpg I started pulling out the different colors of pencils I’ll use to start on the forest trees in the upper left. I’ll dive into that tomorrow!

Portrait of red Doberman leaping into a river, in progress


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