Thursday, January 26, 2012

Day 24: Colombus

from January 24, 2012

Colombus, a soft pastel on 6x6 white Pastelbord.

1. The first step of my process is either a color block in, or, as I've done repeatedly, just a quick sketch in with anatomical reference points for this colombus monkey.

2. I blocked colors in first with Great American pastels, and then did a little "hair flipping" with a silicone-tipped blender. The main planes and contours of the face began to shape nicely into a primate. I used a Carbothello violet pencil to bring in the deep shadows on the left side of this critter's face. The vacant eyes here are actually interesting enough to think about using in the future.

3. I used the zoo *branches* to set a triangular frame around the monkey. Note that the colors in the face are more purple than my camera can capture under indoor light. I continued using a side stroke with the pastel pencils to create the smooth transitions in the contours of the face, and the tip to push and pull the hairs framing the face. Ultimately, I tackled the eyes, having them look directly back at the viewer. The zoo discourages visitors from direct eye contact with these monkeys, as they consider it a sign of aggression. While I was shooting reference photos, I figured it was okay to look with just one eye through the camera's eyepiece because my lens wouldn't look like a normal eye. To be honest, I didn't realize how closely this one was tracking me until I was processing the reference photos in Photoshop. Back to the pastel-of-the-day: I generally don't necessarily connect well with people, but truly appreciate the affinity that I have for animals (and usually they for me). This is just one small way I show my respect for these amazing creatures.

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