Notes on “Yapha”…

Not sure how much time I’ll have to write, here, but I thought that as I had enough time to play around with photo-editing, maybe I could post a little more.

Inspired by the prompt, “Yapha.”  15″x24″.

And, well, yeah; given that there’s a casserole in the oven that is like magma if it doesn’t cool off for half an hour, maybe it’s a good enough time to do this?

I took this photo this afternoon.  It was being a little stubborn and didn’t want to uncurl from the poster tube (I didn’t force it) so I weighted down the corners with clips.

Also, even though the light was decent, I got a lot of glare on this piece.  I was able to adjust things back to what it looks more like in actual life, by altering Levels.  The hues themselves seem a bit stronger than in life, though.

This is the piece I began all that time ago, which I stalled on out of the dread of doing photorealism (it’s not photorealistic, though, not really), and ended up taking three weeks to make.

The night before the critique, I was also busy deepening the chroma on the areas of the image I wanted the viewer to focus on.  That process was done entirely without the source photo.  I do have a closer detail image, though I’m not sure 72 dpi does it justice; I do know changing the dimensions through WP causes things to go fuzzy:

“Yapha,” detail.

I’m pretty sure this was on Canson Ingres paper, Stygian Black.  Almost all of the strong hues are Neocolor I.  I started with all warm tones — reds through yellows — and then found that I had to go back for cool tones, especially of red, violet, and yellow.  This is when I made that trip to the art supply store and found the crayons for a little under $2 each.

Earlier on, I did work with laying in a base coat of the Derwent Drawing Pencils, particularly in the lower right of the image; but even though they were decently opaque, the color saturation wasn’t close to what I had envisioned.  It makes sense, because the Drawing Pencils are basically all earth tones.  I just hadn’t really imagined that they would look as faint as they did.

The way those pencils did help, though:  the white was very useful to brighten areas prior to laying in more color, and the black was useful to cause things to fade back into the background.  They have a more grainy texture than the Neocolor Is, though.

It was kind of …different to my usual working method, where I found that the more I laid in color, the brighter the drawing became.  It makes sense, because the crayons were nearly all lighter than this black (I think I did resort to black Neocolor II some time in there), but as in that post I made about my Figure Drawing assignment…I was essentially drawing or painting in the light.

I also found that as good as the Neocolor I crayons were at showing up on paper this black, they also were just a slight bit translucent.  What this means is that even in areas which had been repeatedly coated, almost saturated, with crayon; I could still see the black of the paper showing through just a tiny bit, through — not just between gaps in — the wax coating.  It’s something to keep in mind.

Really, the only thing I think would have done what I wanted, which I’ve ever used, is likely a cadmium-pigmented paint.  But of course, that wouldn’t be safe; and I was doing this on paper (a kind of thin one at that), not canvas.

The only reason I used black for the background is that it was the only large-size tinted paper I had which seemed remotely decent for this drawing, and I really wanted to get to work on this on Thanksgiving, while I had the time (but not the choice of paper, apparently).

This is one of the images that I would really wish to frame.  It’s also one that makes me wonder what would happen if I used a solvent to liquefy the crayon…but I’m not going to touch this one with it.  Not right now, anyway…and not without a lot of experimentation to get my sea legs, first.

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Haru ("Codey") is a third-year Master's student in Library and Information Science, hoping to find a way to fuse their desire to make the world a better place and to finance their art.

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