Home Stretch

I have been working on Dean’s jacket. Here are a few pictures that capture that progress, mostly filling in the right side, though I’ve been fiddling with the left side of the jacket too.

I applied  the first layer of color, brushing it into the paper with my stencil brush. I used indanthrone blue even though I remember using indigo for the first layers on the left side. Indanthrone is a slightly darker and cooler shade of blue than the indigo, but it was a conscious decision to start off a little darker on the right since this shoulder is more in shadow.

HomeStretch

Unfortunately after rubbing the color into the paper with the stencil brush and and spreading it thin, it combined with the yellow background to end up looking pretty similar to the indigo shade. So much for starting off darker.

Stepping back at this point to look at the whole jacket and shirt color scheme in general, I had to admit that it bothered me that these blues were still so similar. I had tried greying down the jacket before but as I looked at it now, I realized it needed more work.

I went back to darken the left side of the jacket and to lighten the shirt, until it looked like the picture below. Yay, blue shirt stands out much more now!

HomeStretch1

I applied black over the blue hoping that I could darken it enough to make it look like a black jacket, but it just wasn’t possible to cover up all that blue underneath. I knew that if I really wanted to, I could erase off  all the layers of color and do it over in black.  I thought about that for about 2 seconds and then decided that dark blue wasn’t that bad at all.

I now could continue on with the right side. Here is the picture after I applied much more color, indanthrone, ultramarine, black and white for the highlights. I even threw in some black  raspberry to give more depth and richness to the color. I was sure to add the black raspberry to the left side too.

HomeStretch2

At this stage I’ve applied many layers of colors and used the stencil brush to blend all the the colors together and down into the paper, but you can still see the yellow of the paper showing through. That is what gives it the rough looking texture. Also the colors look blotchy. It just means that it needs more blending and many more layers of color.

At some point I stop using the stencil brush  and just continue applying layer after layer of color with a lighter touch and  very sharp points on the pencils. I use white for the highlights and black and dark blues for the shadows. The next picture shows the cumulative effect.

HomeStretch3

My idea was to reinforce the effect of a light coming from the upper left corner of the image so I intensified the highlights on the top of the left shoulder and tops of the folds. On the right side I highlighted some of the edges of the jacket and left a lot of dark areas that would be created by the shadow of his head. Here I also completely covered up the plaid lining that peeked out before from his jacket front. I just thought it looked better.

It’s not done yet. Completing the jacket and darkening it have made me think that his face looks too pale again. I’m not sure yet if I will try to add color and shadows to his face or lighten up the jacket a bit, especially around his left ear.

Also, working the two sides of the jacket separately and and at widely different dates have made for slightly different resulting colors. I don’t remember all of the colors I used on the first side and certainly don’t remember the sequence I applied them in. So now I pay the price for not doing all the similar colored areas at the same time.  I know the reason I didn’t work both sides at the same time was that I wanted to keep the right side free of color to avoid smearing, but in hindsight, I should just learn to use a sheet of paper to protect the work and avoid having to work at matching colors later.

These two close up shots show the different navy blues on the two sides of the jacket.

HomeStretch4

The left side is bluer than the right side. I will probably have to try blueing up the right side since I can’t seem to get the left side any blacker.

HomeStretch5

Also the right side still needs more blending and smoothing of colors to match the left even more.

I almost made it, but I didn’t finish this before the end of my Christmas holiday. It’s back to work tomorrow. Still, I’m pretty happy, most of it is done now. I just need to think over a few things and then finish off those last details. This is me happy……:-D

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