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  • Writer's pictureKevin Roeckl

Remmy portrait in progress 13

The last post showed pics taken in the studio with my phone while I was working. But a phone camera doesn’t capture artwork very well. This is an actual scan of the artwork, a high definition scan that shows the details and colors very well.

This is the 4th depiction of Remmy (out of 6 total, counting his reflection) in the portrait. It’s quite a bit smaller than the others, so his face is challenging because the details are smaller than the sharpest point on my colored pencils! This closeup really shows the fine detail, including the texture and little fibers in the grey Canson paper. (I love that paper.)

Detail of colored pencil portrait of Doberman, in progress

I was pleased how accurately I was able to capture Remmy’s expression working so small. In the artwork his face, from the top of his head to his chin, is 1 3/4 inches tall. For comparison, the sketch lines on his neck and the white lines on the river were also made with sharpened pencils.

Colored pencil portrait of Doberman, in progress in the studio with reference photo

That was the first day's work on “Red ball Remmy”.

Here is a shot taken on the second day, in the studio

And here's another high-resolution scan at the end of the second day. In this pic you can really see why I masked off the figures to put in a green wash for the river background, leaving just the grey paper where the figure is. Colored pencil on that neutral grey makes great “Doberman colors”. If I’d done Remmy on the green-tinted paper with colored pencil, he’d have a greenish cast. Colored pencil is a “transparent medium”. The colors underneath show through to some extent.

Detail of colored pencil portrait of Doberman, in progress

“Red-ball Remmy” finished.

Still have to finish the patch of green grass under him but I’ll do that when I do the whole river with the ripples on it.

Detail of colored pencil portrait of Doberman, in progress

We’ve been calling this “red ball Remmy” because in Walt’s photo, he had his big red rubber ball. But I learned something very important about red early in my art career when I did a painting that had two small spots of red, one on either side near the edges of the painting. I discovered that any spot of bright red in a painting will draw your eye straight to that point. In that painting you ended up looking at those two small spots of red on either side, not at the subject of the painting (two dragons playing checkers) in the center. I have been ultra-careful about where I put red in a painting ever since.

The pic below shows the whole portrait so far....

In this layout Remmy’s big red ball was very near the lower left edge of the artwork. That would suck your eye straight to that point and nowhere else. That would take away from all the beautiful depictions of Remmy. I tried different colors on the ball in Photoshop to see what worked best for this portrait. Went with this burnt-orange because it doesn’t take away from the rest of the portrait, goes well with the colors in the river scene, and with all the Remmys’ rust markings.

As I mentioned before, I’m keeping the 4 outer Remmy’s muted (dark grey rather than black), so the “Mona Lisa Remmy” in the center, done with true black, really pops out.

Colored pencil portrait of Doberman, in progress

After seeing this pic, Walter wrote:

Wow the updates are incredible, the red ball Remmy is so beautiful, I can see the day that I took those pictures of him in my mind …… again I shed a few tears of heartbreak and few of joy, but it’s all good. The portrait is beautiful and the details omg!, the Center Remmy with its true black colour compared to the faded 4 makes that Mona Lisa really stand out, I know that you knew it, but for me seeing it is amazing, it’s the focus of my eyes……

Thank you, thank you, thank you, for all of your dedication to this portrait and bringing him back like this to us…… 🥰🥰🥰

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