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  • Writer's pictureKevin Roeckl

Cooper portrait in progress 7 - Color swatches help the artist

I'm working my way down Cooper's body. This photo, taken in the studio while I was working, shows his body in progress with the pencil colors I'm using for his black and tan coat.

I have my working pencils (the ones I'm using during that session) on a piece of white paper above the part I'm working on, where I can see my array of pencil colors and grab the right one quickly. They are on a piece of white paper to keep the artwork clean. A scrap of the "Anise" Canson paper with some colored-pencil swatches on it is just barely visible in the upper right.

Colored pencil portrait of Doberman in progress, with colored pencils

This is the artwork with the swatches-scrap. The green swatches on that scrap show some of the colors I’ll be using for the grass in the background. Other swatches are colors I’ve used for Cooper’s black-and-rust coat, his mouth, and collar. 

I make those swatches when I start on an artwork so I can see how those particular pencil colors look on that paper color. Colored pencil is a "transparent" medium: the paper color shows through a little bit. So the same color pencil will look different on different colored papers. Having those swatches near the artwork while I'm working helps guide me on which pencil to pick up for any given stroke of color on the art.

Colored pencil portrait of black and tan Doberman running, in progress with color swatches

Cooper's body is finished. This shows the full piece of paper I’m working on. It will be cropped down later. You can see my crop marks on it. 

A surprise gift from Maura Reilly to Diane and Michael Schurman.

"Cooper”  - Can. Ch. Gatehouse Black Friday. 

Colored pencil on "Anise" Canson paper.

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