OIl on 18x24 inch canvas

Friday, November 16, 2018

Pelican with Inktense and colored pencils

In my last blog post I mentioned that I had been inspired to take a slightly different approach to using Derwent Inktense after watching a YouTube video posted by Cassandra Hanley. Cassandra had begun with broad areas covered with Inktense colors from the blocks.  I selected the following photo of a pair of pelicans which I used earlier as a the subjects of a pastel piece. The image below, from http://wildlifereferencephotos.com (see bottom of blog for more info). has been adjusted on Photoshop. I wanted more color and greater constrast. Ultimately I made some changes to the image, working with shades of violet and purple as the primary hues. As you'll see, I chose to paint the pelican on the left rather than both. This is an experiment and I didn't want to the full image only to find out I didn't like what I was doing.

In the photo below contains my latest discover, Molotow masking fluid and I was very pleased with it. Removal took a bit longer than I would have liked but this is my first use. Application is easy and the blue color didn't stain the water color paper I used.

My paper is 8 x 10 140 pound cold press water color paper taped to a small masonite board with blue artist's taper. I used the Inktense block to fill in the background and darker areas on the paper. The lovely blue on the beak is the Molotow masking fluid.

I used the violet and dusky purple Faber-Castell polychromos pencils to create the undulating background. Then I blended it with odorless mineral spirits.


I returned to the pelican, using the purple Inktense block to darken the shadows.

Satisfied that the beak would be safe, I removed the masking fluid using a narrow eraser and filled it in with Faber-Castell yellow and orange pencils. 

Adding yellow to the wings on the left to create greater contrast I was disappointed. It was just too bright. But I like the work that the Derwent Chinese white drawing pencil was doing to create interest and fine detail on the other purple and violet feathers.

I added black and purple to darken the too bright feathers.

I used the white pencil to create the sense of individual feathers. But to balance out the yellow of the feathers on the left, I added a touch of yellow to the throat and head of the pelican and a few of the wings on the opposite side of the bird.

Here's a close-up of the pelican.

And here is the completed portrait.

If you're looking for reference photos you might try http://wildlifereferencephotos.com. Downloadable photos are $5 each or $2 each with a subscription of 5 images for $10. The subscription is only good for 30 days so I generally select five images at once or I'm apt to forget and lose a photo or two. Another website for photos is  https://pixabay.com/. White photos are free, you are invited to upload photos of your own to share and you can but the photographer a cup of coffee.