Since I have a few days that I can't be working on my Espiritu I figured I would show a few of the steps I have taken to get where I left off. This is a fast painting for me so taking more detailed steps was a bit of a challenge as my progress was moving right along.
Stage 1: This is the basic drawing. I do a sketch, enlarge it, and then transfer it onto my suede board. Suede board unlike paper can not be erased upon. Once a mark is on there that is it. Some people are braver than I am and will sketch on the board, but patience is everything and I like to ensure I can be as accurate and careful as I can be. There is nothing worse than having the scrap and start over. I have to also take great care in the transfer process as you have to use just enough pressure to make the graphite dust stick, but not so much that you scar the board. If you scar the board the pastel will not adhere as well over the lines and you will have a 'ghost' of your initial line drawing left behind! So if you try suede board or velour take care and take your time.
Stage 2: The best way to work is from darkest to lightest. I generally do a rough in with the deepest value I have in the color scheme I'm working with. For instance I chose black since the horse is grey. I briefly sketch in the darkest points, the shapes, musculature and direction of the the body among other areas of reference.
Stage 3: I started working on the face to give me an anchor to work from. This is not always my typical process. It used to be I would start anywhere and not necessarily in any order. I have seen that it helps to get something started, develop it, and use it as a foundation to work on the rest of the subject. Here the Stu is a magical fairy stallion with blue and purples! Its always fun to do this, something they are all sorts of colors to start with! The blue and purple represent the light and darks on his face. As you'll see in step 3 this horse of many colors pays off as the overall tone comes together. I will repeatedly use the blues and purples throughout this piece as they give a translucent quality to the coat and add more dimension.
Stage 4: Here is where we see our basic block in of color come together. I do regret not getting steps of the background but here is where all the blues and greens I laid in have been softened by blending them down.
Stage 5: Here is where I left it before it go dark on Sunday evening. As you can see I am going back over and pulling out my areas of darks and lights. The background is also being prepared as well. The grass in the sunlight has a big punch in color to accentuate where the light is. Here I am able to add more shape to the horse. This is nothing more than a gradual process of adding depth. In the above step although he is still flat he has more dimension to him. In this stage we are going the next step further. I have worked on defining the right haunch where his dappling meets an interesting transition between light and dark, and is also influence by the back lighting as well as it rolls over his hip. So I am working on developing this. I am also attaching a photo of the head as a comparison from the one two stages ago. Big difference from the purple!
And of course for stage 6 and 7 see two blog posts before! Hope this helps show the process. Hope you enjoy until I get more done in the meantime!