Tuesday, September 9, 2014

"Fox Friend" August 2014 CPM Art Challenge

The August 2014 CPM (Colored Pencil Magazine) "Fox Friend", with reference photo from Patricia Sue Overton, was an intriguing challenge so I decided to take it on.  This time I forced myself to use a soft touch and tiny pencil strokes, which is so difficult for me!  Tackling animal fur was another challenge all unto its own.  This one is actually about 99% totally colored pencil, I tend to lean heavily on my art pens but in this one I purposely strove to use extremely sharp pencils for the fine details ... except for the whiskers and around the eyes.

I found some drafting vellum that Jim had brought home about 20 or so years ago and decided to use that for this piece.  I like working on vellum ... it is tough and stands up to my abuse (erasing and scraping off excess pencil)!  I thought I was finished with the piece yesterday and brought it down to show Jim, he looked at it and said "this is really nice, but the rear looks like a fluffy ball, not like an animal's rear haunches.".  Well, I wasn't too happy about that comment and kinda huffed around a bit. Then I looked at it again and "yep" it looked more like more like a scrubbing pad ... so I put it away.

I had gotten so caught up in the pattern of twists, twirls and curves of the haunch fur that I had neglected to take highlights and color variations into consideration.  As I was studying it this morning, I decided that area already had too many applications of colored pencil and determined I should try to remove excess pencil rather than add more.  I took an X-acto knife in hand and slowly began gently scraping away excess pencil to reveal highlights in the fur.

I finally got to the point where I figured if I worked on it any further it would quickly go from bad to worse.  I will say one thing, I am getting a bit better at animal fur yet I sure have a long way to go!

"Fox Friend" entry:

original photo by Patricia Sue Overton

Hope you like my efforts.   If you'd like to point out what I could have done better ... I promise I won't "huff" but take your kind critiques into serious consideration.  Thanks a bunch!

Big hugs,
Karen Anne