Demonstration 4th July 2017 - David Lewry, Black Faced Lemur in coloured pencil.
Report by Maggie Goodsell
David came well prepared for working flat with his own mike, camera, projector & screen. He said that he would be working in dry coloured pencil not watercolour pencil - mainly using Derwent Coloursoft & Faber-Castell Polychromos.
For speed David explained that he would be doing an image of a Black Faced Lemur which he had already prepared on black paper using white Trace Down. He said he works on several types of paper with a preference for HP watercolour paper. Today he was using the wrong side of Canson Mi-Tientes pastel paper which is smoother.
David said he likes to get the eyes completed first as it gives the animal a character. As he was working on black paper which can deaden colour he put down a white base first, using circular strokes to fill in the tooth of the paper.
He went over this with cream ....
.... followed by yellow through peach to dark orange, always working the strokes like the spokes of a wheel to create the eye. He added black to the pupil & around the eye.
Both eyes done
David used a paper stump to pull the black from the pupil and the outer edges into the iris. That & the addition of a light colour across the eye really gave it shape & depth. He said that eyes usually take him about an hour to do.
Working on the fur around the eye with a grey lavender colour ...
.... then white & light grey. David said to always work the pencil in the direction of the fur.
David then turned his attention to an ear, blocking in the outer edge with white ...
.... and then filling in with bold pencil strokes.
Man at work !
Returning to his grey lavender, David started work on the nose.
He followed this with white and then blended with a grey pencil.
Defining the nostrils ....
... and working on the muzzle. David put a series of black dots where the whiskers would emerge. David turned the paper on it's side to do the other ear, doing highlights in Chinese White. He said that his marks were sketchier the further away from the centre of the face he got. The whiskers were done in white & black.
The very impressive finished image
David sold the finished painting to one of the members and was donating the money to Macmillans.
An excellent demonstration from David who has honed his technique to suit the time available. Colour pencil is not a fast way to work, a finished picture can take several days, so we were all very impressed with what he achieved in the 2 hours. The image above is one of his workshop pictures that he says most people can complete in one day.
A couple of other pictures by David.
Work on good quality Hot Pressed watercolour paper, cartridge paper is too rough.
On good quality paper you should be able to do about 12 layers of pencil before it is saturated.
David suggests that if you are just starting out with coloured pencil then aim to buy about 40 as a minimum, either by buying a set or by tailoring colours to the subjects you mostly do.
Always work the pencil in the direction of the fur (or feathers).
Black animals are rarely just black, they usually have brown underneath so put brown pencil under black as black on it's own can be a fairly dead colour.
David achieves his flat backgrounds by first masking out the main image with Frisk film, blocking in the background with pencil and then blending this with a solvent blending fluid - he uses Johnson's Baby Oil but there are specialist products on the market.