I’ve been been working on 3 or 4 pieces at a time over the past month or so.  One of them is a study I was doing as a demo for a few shows I’ve been at.  It’s of a purple Iris and when I think of the colour purple I think of Royalty so I named it that.  This is an 8.5 x 11 on Bristol Vellum using mostly Faber Castell Polychromos and a few Prismas.  This one is a very labour intensive piece because there are so many subtle colour changes and it also goes from warm to cool colours so I’ve been using a full range of purples, pinks and blues working in many layers to achieve the subtlety I’m looking for.  The colour is off as the background is actually white but you get the idea.  I’ve left my drawing strong as most of the colour is quite dark so the pencil lines will not show.  I started by mapping out very lightly and one petal at a time, areas of strong pink or blue so as I worked around them or towards them I would not lose my placement and also to create that underpainting that will glow through the other layers.  Remember that CP is translucent and anything you put in first will come through to some degree so if for example you have a petal that is largely purple but with more of a pink hue to it, laying in an appropriate colour of pink first will although that essence to show through.  Conversely if the purple petal is more blue putting an appropriate colour of blue down first will achieve the same result.  Someone asked me the other day, “How do you know which colour to lay down first?”  The answer is that if the local colour of the area you are working is in this case for example – purple with pink undertones, then you want to have your predominant colour on top allowing the pink of the underpainting to shine through and enhance the purple.  If you were working with a bright red for example but it had a real warm orange feel to it you might use an appropriate yellow underneath to enhance and warm up the red just in the area you need.  This iris is going to take awhile as I’m working on it in between more important projects but I thought I’d post my progress so far.  Any questions, please feel free to comment.


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