8×10 Colored Pencil
Bristol 146 lb. Regular Surface, White
Sooner or later, every painting reaches a point at which I don’t know what to do. I’m almost there with this one.
The chestnut doesn’t look complete, but other than another glaze of Orange and maybe a red-brown, I’m not sure what else to do.
The atmospheric perspective needs to be adjusted, the colors in the meadow need to be tweaked, and the highlights in the large trees also need further attention.
Correcting Atmospheric Perspective
I layered Metallic Green into the most distant trees using a slightly blunted pencil and medium pressure with squiggly strokes to “doodle in” vague shadows.
Next, I burnished the meadow between the large trees on the left and the next most distant trees with Sky Blue Light using blunted pencils and a vertical stroke. Then I burnished a few places with White to create faint highlights.
I also added a few burnished highlights with White in the trees.
Tweaking the Meadow
Because I want this area to recede into the distance but because it’s not as far in the distance as the trees, I burnished with Cream. I used a tight vertical stroke, blurring the edges between sunlit and shadowed areas. I then added faint highlights by burnishing with White into a few areas. Again, a blunt pencil and overlapping vertical strokes.
Adjusting the Highlights in the Large Trees
I removed some of the highlights in the shadows because the pattern they created looked a little too mechanical. Some of the highlights were covered with Dark Green, Dark Brown, and Dark Green again to make them totally disappear. Others were glazed with a single layer of Dark Green or a two-layer mixture of Dark Green and Dark Brown to create variations within the shadow. I then used heavy pressure to burnish Dark Green over all of the shadow area.
Now For the Horses
I glazed Orange over the chestnut horse, preserving only a few of the highlights, then followed up with Scarlet Lake in the deepest shadows. I also stroked Copenhagen Blue over the top of the rumps of both horses to deepen the reflected light.
The large trees still weren’t right, so I used Dark Green, Indigo Blue, and Dark Brown applied with heavy pressure (almost burnishing) in multiple layers to fill in and darken the shadows. I used directional and squiggly strokes, but there was already so much color and wax on the paper, that the stroke didn’t make as much difference as the amount of pressure. In the end, I used heavy pressure and didn’t pay much attention to the strokes.
I also darkened the cast shadow under the trees with the same colors and pressure using a vertical zigzag stroke.
To unify the background, I burnished the far edge of the meadow with White. I worked across the line between meadow and the distant trees to blur that line and push it further into the distance.
The meadow in the foreground and near middle ground was burnished with Cream. I worked around the horses to keep those edges crisp and clean, but burnished over lights and darks alike in the rest of the meadow.
I also added a stroke or two of Cream to the belly of each horse, where reflected light appears.
Finally, I burnished the chestnut horse with Deco Yellow, but worked around the darkest shadows and the lightest highlights.
The Last Work
I used Light Umber, French Grey 50%, French Grey 20%, and White in the muzzle and Cream, Deco Yellow, Orange, Yellow Ochre, Burnt Ochre, and Sienna Brown in the coat to smooth out a few rough areas and unify color. Reflected sky light was added with Copenhagen Blue and Sky Blue Light applied along the top line. I used heavy pressure until the final layer, which was a burnishing layer with the colorless blender.
I also burnished the black horse with the colorless blender and Afternoon Graze was finished.
If You Would Like Adopt This Drawing
Afternoon Graze is 8×10 and is priced at $450 unframed ($565 with standard framing). Custom framing is available upon request.
Click here to buy Colored Pencils: The Direct Method Step by Step to learn more about how to do a colored pencil drawing like this.
Colored Pencil Demo – Afternoon Graze, Part 1
Colored Pencil Demo – Afternoon Graze, Part 2
Colored Pencil Demo – Afternoon Graze, Part 3
Colored Pencil Demo – Afternoon Graze, Part 4
Colored Pencil Demo – Afternoon Graze, Part 5
Colored Pencil Demo – Afternoon Graze, Part 6
Colored Pencil Demo – Afternoon Graze, Part 7
Colored Pencil Demo – Afternoon Graze, Part 8