Photo reference for colored pencil painting, Buckles & Belts in CP
Original Colored Pencil Painting
11 x 14 Rising Stonehenge Paper, 90lb, Pearl Grey

A short but productive week for this painting. With the number of other studio projects on the roster, this painting received attention only two days. Even so, the painting took several steps forward.

The bulk of work was geared toward deepening color saturation and building a range of rich browns.

Wednesday
Original Colored Pencil by Carrie L. Lewis, Buckles & Belts in Colored Pencil
Color Used: Prismacolor Black

I’ve been looking at the painting each day since last working on it and haven’t been happy with the forehead. It just didn’t look right, especially toward the top edge. I decided a day or two ago to alter the shape of the forelock to see if that corrected the illusion, so that’s the first thing I did today.

From there, I moved to the areas in and around the eye, darkening the shadow and the eye in particular. In the eye, I used a sharp pencil, as I did in the forelock. But for the rest of the area, I let the pencil go blunt, then flat and held the pencil vertical, to apply an even layer of color. I also circular strokes or back-and-forth strokes to create the most even color layer possible. Multiple layers were applied over some areas such as the lower neck and around the eye.

Today’s work was primarily light pressure, probably 3 to 4 on the pressure scale. For work in the forelock, pressure was between 5 and 6.

Friday
Original Colored Pencil by Carrie L. Lewis, Buckles & Belts in Colored Pencil
Colors Used: Prismacolor Dark Brown
Special Tools Used: Stylus

I layered Dark Brown over most of the horse, including the mane and forelock. Only the brightest highlights and the red-gold areas were worked around.

Work began with a sharp pencil and in the areas that show the most detail (around the eye). As the pencil became steadily more dull, I layered color into the areas further and further from the focal area. In all areas, pressure was light – 3 or 4 on a scale of 1 to 10 – and with the pencil held in a vertical position. A variety of strokes were used, with directional strokes only the detail areas.

When I finished with color application, I also used a stylus to impress a few more fly-away hairs in the forelock and mane and a few more eye lashes.

Original Colored Pencil by Carrie L. Lewis, Buckles & Belts in Colored Pencil
Color Used: Prismacolor Dark Green

In the next pass, I layered Dark Green over the darkest shadows and into the middle tones with medium pressure (5 or 6) and into some of the lighter areas with light pressure (2 or 3). Fewer areas received Dark Green than received Dark Brown because the goal was to darken the dark areas and produce a deeper, richer brown and there are some places that are not dark brown.

To give my eye and mind a rest from earth tones, I stroked green into the mane and forelock and glazed over some of the shadows on the blue halter.

Original Colored Pencil by Carrie L. Lewis, Buckles & Belts in Colored Pencil
Color Used: Prismacolor Black

I finished for the day with Black, which I stroked into the forelock and eye with heavy pressure (7-8) and glazed into the area around the eye (3 or 4).

The painting is beginning to take on a ‘finished’ look. There’s still a lot of work to do, especially with the halter and bridle. But it’s also approaching the final stages, during which I’ll begin using heavier pressure to burnish colors and take color saturation to the limit.

Below is a detail of the focal area as it looked at the end of the week.

Original Colored Pencil by Carrie L. Lewis, Buckles & Belts in Colored Pencil

I like this cropped composition, though it’s a bit heavy on detail to the right.

Is it good enough to cut the actually painting down to this composition or something like it? Hmmm….

I’m going to have to give that some thought!

Until next week,

Carrie