Sunday, February 3, 2008

All My Marbles

Here's a new pastel WIP for you. I'm calling it All My Marbles. I have some 1950s vintage cat's eye marbles that I photographed outside. I put them in a cut glass votive candle holder and with the cloudy day it made for some interesting reflections that I hope to develop.

In this first WIP I've transfered a rough outline sketch of each marble on to the 6"x 6" gray velour paper. I've made sure to put in the cat's eyes and a few of the major reflections for reference points. I've used a white Conte stick to do the outline sketch.

Once again, I don't put a whole lot of detail into my initial sketches. This encourages me to use my drawing skills, to draw what I see, and also allows me to be a bit creative too - not copying every detail of the photograph but instead using it as a guide.

Next using my photo reference I've blocked in the solid colors of the cat's eyes on each marble using Rembrandt soft pastels.

Now I've started drawing in the glass colors, reflections and bubbles in the marbles. My favorite one so far is the upper right marble. I like the green bottle glass look of it and the reflections too.

I can see that I need to work on the roundness of the middle marble but I can fix that later. With pastels you can layer your color over the top of another color without worrying about "mixing" colors like you would with wet paint. The amount of pressure you put on the pastel determines if the color you are laying down will be a light glaze or a solid color. At some point the velour may not take any more color because the "tooth" will be full. I would rather not get to that point though - it's always nice to have a little room to play around with the color.

I wonder - do kids still play with marbles?

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