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Work In Progress: Peaches

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Re: Work In Progress: Peaches

Postby RichardDevine » Fri Jan 15, 2016 4:12 pm

Thanks so much for all your comments. Yes, Carl, I do see Peaches in Heidi, in the way she trots out to the street, how she sits and looks at me when I'm talking to her. And, in the excitement she shows when we come home. I look forward to a great many years with her. And, you're also right, Peaches will always have a place in our hearts, a place of her own. And Heidi will take her own special place as we all develop a bond.

Peaches was very curly, to be sure. Getting all those curls in is a challenge. I almost feel an obligation to Peaches to getting it as right as I can. As I work more and more with the pastel pencils I feel more comfortable with them.

It's not easy getting photos of her because she's so active, but here's one that I took today.
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Re: Work In Progress: Peaches

Postby CarlOwen » Mon Jan 18, 2016 5:45 pm

First reaction. Oh, Ho, Ho. Are you ever going on a learning experience. Heidi shall demand her space and teach you how to attend to her needs. You and your wife are in for a bout of fun and frustration. My Charlie was a rescue dog. Had his problems, was not totally informed of all of his issues and once I understood, he is now my companion less than 3 feet from me, day or night, except of course when his has to go potty. And that is even a more fun experience interacting with him as he runs amuck yelping and sliding over the floor as he tries sudden running turns to show me he has done a good think. Now question of what did you mean by the comment of pastel pencils? I have not seen that. What are they, what brand do you use and where do you buy them?
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Re: Work In Progress: Peaches

Postby RichardDevine » Tue Jan 19, 2016 12:58 pm

I have been doing this portrait with almost all pastel pencils - Faber Castell Pitt Pastels and Carb Othello. Some base coloring and much of the background done with soft pastels - Sennelier and Holbein. Keeping the pastel pencils sharp with a razor blade. Bought all the pastels at **** Blick.

Heidi is demanding! We are both in training right now. I spend much of my time confined to a small area of the kitchen with my easel and art materials while I house train her. She's now 12 weeks old and we've had her for about 2 and one half weeks - and she occupies much of my time. I dwell on Peaches less but still miss her terribly when I do think of her, which is still often, but not continuously. Heidi keeps my mind on her as we interact during this period. She is active and we play in the yard in between sessions of artwork and yard work. It's a combination of sadness in losing Peaches and happiness interacting with Heidi. As time goes on, I guess there will be more happy times with Heidi and less sad times missing Peaches, especially as Heidi and our relationship matures.
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Re: Work In Progress: Peaches

Postby ehoeveler » Tue Jan 19, 2016 1:41 pm

I want that Puppy. E
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Re: Work In Progress: Peaches

Postby CarlOwen » Tue Jan 19, 2016 1:50 pm

Thanks for the pastel pencil information. You are so right in everything you said about Peaches and Heidi. I live it every day. Charlie is at my feet right now as I am typing.
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Re: Work In Progress: Peaches

Postby RichardDevine » Fri Jan 22, 2016 5:15 pm

Work in Progress: Peaches, Update 9
Nearly finished with Peaches, herself. I will need to do more blending of the colors, more work on further defining the fur, further work on highlights and details., but it seems to be coming together. I’ve been working over the fur with CO dark ochre, ivory and golden ochre light, and PP brown ochre and burnt umber. The darkest shadows were taken care of with PP burnt umber, but it was used sparingly. Much of the fur work was accomplished with PP brown ochre and CO ivory, first working in lighter shadows and indications of hair with the brown ochre, then softening it with ivory and stroking in some hairs with the ivory also. CO dark ochre was used to darken the brown ochre, again blending it in and also stroking in suggestions of hair. I continually sharpened the points with a razor blade, and that enabled me to draw in lines.
More of the background was added in also, giving more of a feeling that Peaches was someplace, not just a vignette. I blocked in more of the entertainment center using Holbein burnt umber 1 and raw sienna 1, along with PP burnt umber and dark sepia, to get the real dark darks. Some PP 184, dark naples ochre was used to start some highlights on the entertainment center.
A little bit of the rug has been indicated as well. For that I used PP 174 chrome green opaque and 193 burnt carmine.

I find the Carb Othello pencils to be a little bit softer than the Pitt Pastels and, I think, because of that, maybe a little easier to draw in lines indicating hair.
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Re: Work In Progress: Peaches

Postby CarlOwen » Fri Jan 22, 2016 5:47 pm

Simply love it Richard, simply love it. You are the MOTCP! And, is it not simply fulfilling to be a teacher?
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Re: Work In Progress: Peaches

Postby RichardDevine » Sat Jan 23, 2016 9:53 am

Thanks, Carl, very much for the comment. Yes, I do love teaching. There's something very satisfying in helping someone learn. I do some teaching locally in adult education programs, and am always open to private lessons, and give some here and there. You'll have to tell me what MOTCP stands for. I asked my wife and daughter but they don't know either.
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Re: Work In Progress: Peaches

Postby CarlOwen » Sat Jan 23, 2016 12:03 pm

Ha, Ha. I thought that would bring you out of your shell for a response. I also liked teaching. Kind of feel the responsibility to show the young ones the way to do stuff and guide them on to the right path. You know, that path of growth, caring, giving and love. Sure you know what I mean. Was an adjunct professor for five years at the San Bernardino Valley College. Was a senior trainer at UCSD for almost a year. Working at the moment, so I will shorten this. MOTCP is for the "Master of the Colored Pencil."
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Re: Work In Progress: Peaches

Postby RichardDevine » Sat Jan 30, 2016 11:45 am

Work in Progress: Peaches, Update 10
More of the background is in now, but progress is slow because of the area being covered. This is where soft pastels are a distinct advantage. The background, especially the entertainment center, will not be very detailed, so pencils play a minor role. They can be used to finish up and firm up after the soft pastels have established the base colors. The trouble is I didn’t have the necessary colors for the entertainment center in soft pastels. I have ordered them and they should arrive in a week or so.
I did have soft pastels that could provide base color for the rug and, between the pencils and the soft pastels, I could complete the rug. The floor, being relatively small in area, could be completed with the pencils.
The base color of the rug was achieved by combining the Holbein yellow ochre, burnt umber and van dyke brown, Sennelier 131 (golden ochre), 124 (brown ochre) and 115 (yellow ochre). I applied the colors with the sticks and then blended them by finger. The colors were added and blended a little at a time, adjusting as I went until I was satisfied with the color and tone. On top of the base color I used pencils to indicate the pattern. The red design was achieved with PP 193 (burnt carmine), darkened with PP 280 (burnt umber) and PP 169 (caput mortuum). The green in the rug came from PP 173 (olive green yellowish) and PP 174 (chrome green opaque). PP 280 (burnt umber) was also used to darken the color along the edge.
The wood flooring has rich browns and reds, and also has some sheen, which allows for reflections. PP 169 (caput mortuum), PP 280 (burnt umber), PP 187(burnt ochre) and CO 625 (burnt umber). I created the reflection under Peaches’s right back foot by combining CO ivory, PP caput mortuum, and then darkening a bit with PP burnt umber.
On the original photo, in the background, behind the couch, curtains and the entertainment center is a French door with lites. The photo was taken during the daytime, so a lot of light from outside can be seen through the glass. I felt the light color was distracting, competing with the center of interest - Peaches. At first I wasn’t quite sure how I would treat that area, but decided to keep the background dark. I used PP 280 (burnt umber and CO 625 (burnt umber) to achieve that dark color.
You no doubt noticed that the entire background is predominantly the same brown colors. It was both fortuitous, as most appeared that way naturally, and by design, to have Peaches, with her lighter colors, the center of attention. She easily stands out.
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Re: Work In Progress: Peaches

Postby CarlOwen » Sat Jan 30, 2016 12:07 pm

Incredible. I have no doubt you shall never forget what Peaches looked like.
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Re: Work In Progress: Peaches

Postby RichardDevine » Sat Jan 30, 2016 12:16 pm

No argument there, Carl. No matter what, she holds a special place in our hearts.
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Re: Work In Progress: Peaches

Postby www-ksart-se » Sun Jan 31, 2016 4:29 am

I whish I had you skills!
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Re: Work In Progress: Peaches

Postby RichardDevine » Sun Feb 07, 2016 11:37 am

Work in Progress: Peaches, Update 11
In this Update I’ve done more work on the entertainment center, the French doors in the background and the couch, bringing closer to completion.
At the end of the last update I mentioned that the background colors are predominantly browns and how that allowed for the lighter colors of Peaches to stand out. In fact, the whole composition is done using harmonious color. I didn’t especially plan it that way but, early on, I did notice that the all the objects in the photo showed predominantly browns and ochres. I liked the combination and felt it gave a warm, quiet and comforting feeling to the painting.
In her book “Painting Children’s Portraits in Pastel”, Wendy Caporale speaks of using harmonious color to “bring out the gentle warmth” of the subject. This is especially true when the colors are warm in temperature – the reds, yellows and oranges. All the browns and ochres used in this painting are warm in temperature, leading to a feeling of calm. If care is not taken, the painting can become boring if there is not enough variety in tone. I’ve tried in this painting to establish variety in tone, and feel I’ve accomplished that. The values range from nearly black in the darks of the entertainment center and couch, and the shadows associate with them, to the very lightest of values in Peaches. The contrast in the tones used in Peaches and those of her surroundings also focuses attention on her.
The colors used for the surroundings were all the same. Only the proportions were changed. For the couch I used CO 175, 670, 165 and 692, PP 175, 187, 280 and 169. I used some darker soft pastel colors in the entertainment center to further bring out the subject – Peaches. Those colors were Sennelier black brown 02 and lamp black 526.
I will continue to refine the entertainment center, curtains and french doors and the reflection on the floor. I’m getting closer to completing this portrait. Another week or so.
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Re: Work In Progress: Peaches

Postby CarlOwen » Sun Feb 07, 2016 12:09 pm

Have you ever been to court as a witness? If so, I am sure the prosecution would have loved you. Seeing such detail and having the ability to recreate it. I think this is about as alive an image can be. Truly a work of love.
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Re: Work In Progress: Peaches

Postby RichardDevine » Mon Feb 08, 2016 9:08 am

Carl, I am pleased so far with the way this is turning out - and I almost feel obligated to get it as right as I can - more so than any other portrait I've done. Strange, isn't it?
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Re: Work In Progress: Peaches

Postby CarlOwen » Mon Feb 08, 2016 9:22 am

Strange? I don't think so. Our pets are our empty nest babies. When they pass on, we feel like it is our fault, that we did not care for them enough. As artists we have the ability to bring them, back so to speak, by creating their portraits. As we do that all the memories of them roll through our minds. Nice that we can keep their memory alive by doing such a thing. I am enjoying watching Peaches come back.
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Re: Work In Progress: Peaches

Postby michaldunaj » Mon Feb 08, 2016 10:22 am

I am very pleased to see how you worked on this one. Reminds me of my high school years and how my teacher pushed me further and further, step by step. Lines, volumes, shapes, then shades and light and sometimes (for me, heh) colour. You have done beautiful work. I enjoyed viewing the process. Thank you very much & all the best with your art! ;)
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Re: Work In Progress: Peaches

Postby RichardDevine » Mon Feb 08, 2016 10:29 am

Thank you for your kind comments. This, as Carl knows, was very much a labor of love.
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Re: Work In Progress: Peaches

Postby jenn_iam » Mon Feb 08, 2016 1:21 pm

CarlOwen wrote:Have you ever been to court as a witness? If so, I am sure the prosecution would have loved you. Seeing such detail and having the ability to recreate it. I think this is about as alive an image can be. Truly a work of love.


I can't agree more.... this is turning out wonderful.
May your world be painted in the Brightest of colors!

Jennifer Erin
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(All mediums; Conceptual Design, Costume Creation, to Application)
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