Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I Double Dog Dare You!

Yes, Maggie at 8 months old is as big as Penny. And it is a battle of wills! Penny still views Maggie as an interloper. Penny has become a grumpy "old" dog and pretends Maggie doesn't exist. Penny is the stern older sister daring the little pup to "bring it on". Maggie believes in passive aggression - she'll be upside down under Penny in her "but I'm only a puppy" submissive pose and be biting Penny's leg at the same time. Yes - a battle of wills and it is unknown at this time who will be the victor!

Now, for a few notes on development taking the idea from pencil sketch to color. I originally wanted to do this sketch on kraft paper with the color pencil/watercolor technique. The problem was that my only source of kraft paper is a 4x4 inch sketch book. Here's the sketch done on two different pages of that notebook and merged togenter in Photoshop.

Even though the paper is the same color, it scanned different.

Before I did this version, I tried using a high quality pastel paper. It just didn't work well. There was too much "tooth" to the paper and lying down the color pencil resulted in a pasty mess. Simone Taback was indeed correct when he said kraft paper worked well because it is "forgiving". The pastel paper wasn't.

To show the difference, here is Maggie on the pastel paper. I didn't bother to include the one of Penny since it was awful since I had to start with a cream base. When I layered the watercolor over the cream color pencil it made an ugly mess.

I still had to add light color pencil to Maggie to make it look less muddy. Even with adjusting the hue and brightness in Photoshop the resulting picture is still "muddy" looking.

Here is the original pencil sketch.
The sequence was this sketch first, then the unsuccessful try using the pastel paper, then the watercolor version, followed by the duo being done on two separate pages of my kraft paper notebook. I still like the kraft paper version best. I need to get the same kraft paper in a larger size!


kerrip said...

amazing the difference with different papers. I love their expressions - fun-loving pup and indignant first dog!!

Anonymous said...

I love the depiction of Penny and Maggie; your rendering shows their personalities perfectly. I am so awed by your ability to capture an animal’s emotion. (Some might think this is anthropomorphizing but I think the emotions are there!) Your explanation of the techniques you used, and the examples you show of how the paper affects the product, are very interesting, and I appreciate you sharing. BTW, I’m putting my money on Penny.

Going For Greatness said...

I love these!! Totally cracks me up. I can hear Penny's thoughts LOUD and CLEAR and see that Maggy's thinking, 'Wanna play? Let's PLAY! PLAY PLAY! Come on, you know you wanna play!"