Thursday, September 22, 2011

Gray Base Tones, new header again

Running Horses, Part 2

For this image, I started with the sky. Usually I finish an image with the sky, but I knew what I wanted the sky to look like, and I hadn't decided on the horse breeds yet, so I began with the sky. If you want to see another tutorial on coloring sky, you can check out this older post on coloring clouds.

I used B32 and feathered out from the horse cluster. Then, I took a really juicy colorless blender and pushed the color back towards the horses. I specifically wanted the sky to feel more like an illustration than a realistic sky, so I pushed the colors around irregularly to give it a mottled look.

Once the colors were pushed, then I let the base dry. I took the colorless blender and added the spots in the sky. Then I went back and touched up with the B32 around the edges of the horses and added a few spots. I was not too worried about going over the edges of the other images, as I can always clean up the edges.

Gray Base Tones on Horses
While I was still deciding on the horse breeds, I added base grays. When you look at the final image, you can't tell that I used warm grays to plan my shadows.

All 3 horses were colored with W1, W3, and a hint of C1. This helps me get all my shadows correct before I start adding other colors. The middle horse I started toning brown with E31. The base tone of grays makes the E31 look like it has a lot more color variation than just one simple layer of light brown. At this point I knew it would be a brown horse, I just hadn't decided on breeds yet.

Notice that I have not done much blending with the base colors. Since I will be layering lots of other colors over the grays, it is more important to just have tones in place, rather than worrying that they all look perfectly smooth at this point.

Middle Horse
It finally came to a point where I had to decide on a breed for the middle brown horse. Once again, I ran a google search and looked up brown horses. I saw some beautiful Spanish Mustangs that I liked, so I decided to color him as a nice, rich brown that darkened into almost black accents. Since he was to be the focal horse, I put the most work into him so he would stand out more.

He is colored mainly with E31 and E35 to go with the base grays. I like the E30's sequence because it is a good, neutral brown family, without too much red or other tones in it. The more you layer browns over the base grays, the more the grays will be pushed out of the way, so be careful not to layer too much or you may lose the original shading. If this happens, just darken it more.

The areas that darken almost to black are colored with E47 and hints of W7. No black! W7 is as dark as you need to get. Even the darkest brown has a value of 7, so it is not black. In the final, you can see that it looks almost black, but still retains the feel of brown.

To soften the colors on his face, I went back over his head with the colorless blender. This added highlights back in, and allowed me to tone down the deepest areas a bit.

His foreleg that is in back, I added W3 to dull it down and make it less intense. This helps with the illusion of depth. I colored his teeth with W3 and his tongue with E04.

You can see that I went over the edges a little bit, on the knee of the front horse and under his chin, but that's what the colorless blender is for.

Tomorrow I will continue the tutorial, and finish up the other two horses and the markers around the edges. Have a great day!


Jan Castle said... always! Personally, I'm thankful for stamps (can't draw - LOL!)!
Jan Castle

Gloria said...
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Rose Curtis said...

Gorgeous... I love the gray horse! You are sooooooo talented! I am still waiting to get your book! soon! =)

Linda Carson said...

Amazing artwork! Love your new banner!

Jussie said...

Your art work and coloring is amazing; however, I have to be critical about your knowledge of horses regardless what you googled.. First of all horses do not look like that when they are running. Jumping maybe.They do not run with their knees up under their chin.Second of all the middle horse looks like he is about to savage another animal. There is no way a horse would bar his teeth with his ears back unless he was about to attack. That is just about the meanest horse I have ever seen and I have owned show and race horses for over 30 years. Sorry to be so critical about the composition. As I said the coloring and the drawing is amazing.

Flo said...

Great header. Your horses are beautiful.

marianne walker said...

Jussie, you are right, I was looking at horses which were jumping for the poses. And again, the horse with his mouth open was exaggerated from a photo I saw. I knew I was taking artistic license, and I'm sorry if it came off as mean- I was going for wild horses, not mean horses. I have always loved horses and my father was a cowboy, so I was not trying to offend anyone!

Jussie said...

I was in no way offended.I hope I didn't offend you. The actual drawing of the horses was exceptional. I guess the title Running Horses was just a little off.
I have your book and I love my Copics. Now my scrapbooking card making friends are starting to get hooked on them