The Process of Afternoon Dip

The latest colored pencil work in progress post is finally here. Sorry about the delay 🙂

Working on some improvements in the art world for my career and my health path as well. In time, things will smooth out a little more. Really excited about everything too. Keep an eye out for more updates on things too!

This process is of an adore otter! Felt like a very summery bright happy piece to do for the summer time. I used Faber Castell Polychromos Pencils and Caran d’Ache Pencils on Stonehenge Paper. The reference photo is from Wildlife Reference Photos, I highly recommend this site for photos!

If you have a background, always start there first. This keeps the edges on the main focus clean and sets the mood for the entire piece.

Once the outline is in and good to go, I start in with the background. I don’t want the background to be detailed, just a hint of what it is. You want the viewer to know the otter is standing on river rocks in a wet area, you don’t need to explain every single detail in those rocks. Always start with a light hand when placing the colors in. I tend to pull the colors I feel the subject has in (test them always!) but I keep the other pencils close by to see if I want a different color to play with.

3 (2)
There are many light layers here. This changes over time, you have to enjoy the journey.

I’m not sure how many colors I used exactly, but there are several colors here. This took about 10-15 hours if I subtract the off days/times. Throughout this, I am going in lightly. The process is really about going back and forth between what was just done and what I was just starting to fill in. I am paying attention to where the lighting and the direction of my pencil marks. Also, keeping in my that the background is not my main focus so I don’t need to go crazy on the detail here.

4 (2)
“The Eyes are the windows to your soul.” –William Shakespeare This is a quote that fits any living breathing creature.

The rocks have been brought into focus more. Once I felt good with the rocks, I move onto the lovely little otter. I always start with the face with wildlife. To really get the eyes in helps me bring out the emotion and meaning of life. Essentially, it puts life into the art piece. The direction of the fur is massively important. Start light, as always and go darker over time. I am always looking at my reference photo to make sure the fur is going in the correct direction. His/her fur is also slick, therefore communicating that is important as well. I leave the whitest parts without any pencil on it until later.

5 (2)
Up to this point, I have to say I loved doing the little paws! They have such a soft and innocent feel to them. Strange? That’s okay, we all have different likes of a piece.

I start with the darkest part of the otter. Working from the feet up, to have fairly dark areas in there at this point helps me determine the temperature more. Since the background is fairly light, adding in the dark wet fur more helps push the otter forward. I work an area until near completion before moving forward. There are many browns, reds and blues in this fur, not just solid brown. Pay attention the the folds of fur, can’t really say this enough super important! He/she is standing at a unique angle so the folds around the neck area really show. Study the reference to see where the fur is laying.

6 (2)
The shine on this guy is prominent. This was a different feel to work on, which was great. Take your time when it’s something new.

More focus on the otter is being placed, of course! I am just building up the texture, clumps and sleekness around the face of the otter. I am going back and forth throughout this whole thing. Although I must admit, I walked away a lot during this process for good reason. Needed to clear my mind at this stage, I walk away a lot in general. When you get to this stage in a piece, which is almost completed, you tend to want to rush through things. Calm down, back away and come back when your mind is clear.

Summer Afternoon Dip 11x8 150
Summer Afternoon Dip; 11×8; $150.00 www.taylorannfineart.squarespace.com

Once the otter was filled in, I went into more of a detail mode. Back from the rocks to the otter, I just placed small details here and there to really bring out the subject. Again, a lot of walking away :). This was a fun piece to do because of the fur and sleek texture of it. Otters in the future? Maybe I will do another piece in the future, what do you guys think?

This piece is available for purchase on my website for $150.00.

Thanks for viewing this short tutorial guys! I’d love to hear your feedback. Stay tuned for more work in process posts and other topics to come on health and my journey 😀

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