Sunday, October 2, 2011

More progress on Reiner

This is going to be a few installments in one post:)

At this point, I'm still not happy. He's had more gray layers, white layers and beige layers on the cheeks. Then I did some work with a Nutmeg and Coffee Bean acrylics mix to tone that pink down on the cheeks and get some orange back. I'm getting the gray 'skin' areas a bit more to my liking but still not thrilled. I've done gray acrylics on that, along with some Coffee Bean (warm dark brown) to pull my chestnut hairs back in. It's just back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. I have more fleabites to add in on the cheeks and forehead as well. I was really hoping to have that face almost done by the end of today but I don't think that's going to happen. Two days on nothing but the face

Onto the legs.  The base coat was done in all pigments and pastels. I needed to go in and begin my acrylic detailing. I was using a mix of gray and beige for the back areas of these legs. Thinned as normal and with a Kolinsky liner. The problem was, it was going on too bright. If I tried to darken the mix with a darker gray, the color shifted to the wrong tone. This is where Glazing medium comes in handy. A huge thank you to my artist friend, Ramie Nunnally (gosh I hope I got that last name right!) for sending me some and introducing me to it! The brand I’m using is by Golden and is just called Glazing medium. Glazes are used to increase work time, allow more blendability of acrylics and create thin washes of color (allow you to turn opaque paint to transparent color). So I decided to add some glaze to my mix to create more transparency. This worked out well. And when used in multiple layers, I find you can create good depth with varying colors. Notice the front part of the leg.

Those subtle hairs were done with straight Ceramcoat Quaker Gray and the Glazing medium. I needed ‘silver’ hairs in there, based on the reference photos but I needed them fairly subdued. By using the glazing medium I created semi transparent gray hairs. If I want to subdue white hairs, I add the glaze to my white as well. I’m still working on the horse’s ankles. I need almost a flaxen color in there. I’m not at the right color yet, but every time I use a new mix, I do so with the glazing medium so the prior layer shows through. To me, this is giving a really nice ‘hair’ looks to those ankles.

Here is a progression to the next layer

And then I realized my legs were too red. Not enough 'chestnut' shade to them. At that point I decided to do a whole layer of a mix of Nutmeg and Quaker Gray and glazing medium and do more small hairs across the front of that leg. It's just enough of a 'wash' to shift the color. Still working on the ankles too. But this is where the leg is as of right this minute.

So, if you want to have some really nice blending capabilities or want to turn your opaque colors transparent I highly recommend a glazing medium. I generally mix my acrylics first then dip just the tip of my brush into the glaze and pull it into the mix. The more glaze you add, the more transparent the paint. Keep in mind though, if you use a glazing medium if lengthens the work time of your acrylics. Therefore you need to allow more drying time before you seal them in as I have noticed the sealer will 'pit' the glaze if you don't allow it enough dry time.

As for the face, Liz Shaw brought up that my hair direction was quite right.  In my head, it was.  I had looked at close ups, closed the photos out and then went off my 'memory'.  I should have known better!  If you're going to do detail work like this you HAVE to get the hair direction right or it's just not going to look right and you'll wind up looking like an artist that doesn't pay attention.  Thank goodness Liz brought it up and made me see the light!  I wasn't way off but off enough that it made a difference.  I've almost got the face where I want it now.  Just a little bit more work.  You can click the photos to enlarge:)