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  • Writer's pictureKevin Roeckl

Louie portrait in progress 10

I finished the blanket today. I took this photo in the studio as I was getting down to the last part of the blanket, the lower left of the portrait.

The “tick marks” you see below the artwork are on a sheet of white paper I position under the edge of the artwork to catch my "overflow" pencil strokes that go off the edge when I'm working. That sheet of paper protects the illustration board that covers my worktable from getting all marked up.

Detail of a colored pencil portrait of a black Doberman on a plaid blanket, in progress

Then I tape it up on the wall of my studio and make adjustments if I need to. I usually do that when I’m finished with the whole piece, but in this case I wanted to evaluate it before I start working on the background behind Louie.

I step back and look at the portrait from the distance that the client might see it hanging on the wall of their home. That gives me a different view of how it looks than when I’m bent over it at my work-table, with my eyes only about a foot from the artwork. After I stand back and evaluate it, I make adjustments if I need to….adjusting the color a little bit here and there, making some details lighter or darker or whatever needs to be done, until I’m satisfied with how it looks. The tape is a special masking tape called Drafting tape, which doesn’t damage the surface of paper when it’s pulled off.

Colored pencil portrait of a black Doberman in progress, taped up on the wall of Kevin's art studio

Normally it would not be a good idea to have patterned wallpaper in an art studio. But the neutral colors and pattern of this wallpaper which was already there when I came, actually helps me see the artwork. I like it. The piece of "wall" you see on the right is a panel covered with that same wallpaper that I slide across a west-facing window to block the light when the sun comes around to that side in the afternoon. There is another window in the studio that faces north that provides light while I'm working (and I have overhead lights on the ceiling). "North light" is always considered the most ideal lighting for an art studio.

Louie's portrait is being done with Prismacolor pencils on "Bisque" Canson paper.


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