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Monday, February 4, 2008

Cougar WIP - Part 1

This is the first real entry to my blog. To start things off, I am posting the current status of a colored pencil work-in-progress (WIP). This piece is a commissioned work, 15" x 21.5" in size. The overall scene is a cougar cresting a snowy trail, with some trees out of focus behind him, and some rocks and snow in the foreground. He is intensely staring off into the distance.

This image shows the different stages for creating the "blurred photo" effect in colored pencils with a burnishing technique. The branch beside the cougars face shows both intermediate steps. For starters, multiple colors are laid down in layers of light shading/scribbling, including dark navy, peacock green, cool grey 90%, black, sepia etc. (basically any color visible at the pixel depth of the image when viewed on a computer screen - this is shown in the part of the branch that looks scratchy - not smooth). Then, using a color from the sky (pale blue, cool grey 10%, 20% or 30%) I press VERY hard in tiny scribbling circles to push the previous layers around until they smudge together (a.k.a. burnishing - which can be seen closest to the cougar's face, or on the separate tree on the left of the image). This can be done over and over in multiple layers, resulting in a very smooth and shiny finish, with NO paper or ghosting showing through at all. The result is almost photographic in it's feel.

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