Monday, December 15, 2014

#7- It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

There is not much I love more than the Christmas season, so to have the opportunity to participate in The Colored Pencil Magazine's competition replicating Christmas bows was very exciting. Each month The Colored Pencil Magazine puts out a reference photograph and calls artists to interpret the photograph using Prismacolors. So many incredible artists across the country enter the competition. I have really only experimented with Prismacolors this semester in art class, so I was excited to have another opportunity to improve my skills, but I was also nervous going up against these artists. Most everyone was just drawing the bows themselves, and while they looked awesome, I wanted to do something unique. I really enjoyed creating a self portrait a few projects ago and decided I also wanted to improve my skills in that area. I have to say that putting down the first marks on a face in un-erasable colored pencils was absolutely terrifying, let alone my own face. I began by simply mapping out the parts of the face and attempting to get the proportions right. When I felt confident in that, I began layering in the lightest skin tones and gradually building up. I also placed darker values around deeper parts of the face like the sides of the nose.

Once the face was finished, I moved onto the bow. I used an actual Christmas bow as a reference to get the correct highlights and pattern of the bow. Getting the metallic look of the bow was a challenge but I achieved it by mapping out lights and darks and adding in rods of light. I completed the piece with the hair by layering and layering multiple colors to get the value that I wanted in the direction that I wanted. It was a definite challenge and I had never really done anything like this before, but I learned a lot from the process.

The final product is not exactly what I had in mind, but I am really happy with it. I think it really paid off to take the risk and venture into something that I was really uncomfortable with. This piece has given me new confidence to take on things that others say sound crazy and has also given me a new respect for Prismacolor artists!

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