One our members Amber sent in her pictures of the Spitfire and Rooster projects which are available inside our membership. As a member Amber can send in her work for advice and feedback.
“I have attached the Rooster and the Spitfire for feedback. Both of them I had trouble following Colin through the videos at times, but I went back in the videos or used the reference photos to guide me. Some areas I also used that “artistic license” that Colin refers to. The Rooster was completed on the Ingres paper, which went very well. I will be using more of it in the future! I will probably be ordering the landscape option for the Ingres as well. The Spitfire was particularly difficult because I am still experimenting with different papers and surfaces. The Spitfire, I used Art Spectum Colorfix Original, and it was a challenge!! I almost stopped once I finished the sky and went to a different surface. I found the Color spectrum did not like blending with fingers, colorshapers, or other pencils very well. The extra “dust” didn’t catch in the paper, like many of the other surfaces I have been using. I was bound and determined to see the project through on the paper, and I did. There are some areas that I would like to have seen finished a little better, but the surface was so difficult to use it was very challenging.”
Here’s Amber’s pictures and Colin’s advice on any improvements he would suggest:
Listen to Colin’s feedback or read the transcription below:
Hi Amber. Steve sent me your two really beautiful pictures for me to have a look at and I admire your work. Really good. Let’s see what we can do for you. I totally agree with the problem you would have had with the paper. That particular paper I couldn’t get on with myself when I first used it some while ago and it doesn’t bode very well when you’re trying to blend either with your finger. In fact if you use your finger you find it a bit rough pastelmat’s different that will accept a finger rub. And of course as you probably know if you’ve seen my work it works really really well with the pastel shapers we have. And there’s nothing I can say about that that’s a really good picture. And you’ve done brilliantly I just can’t wait to see your pastelmat picture now.
Now we come on to the rooster again you’ve done a great job. There’s one thing which I’m going to pick up on which I can help you with. If you look at the chest of the rooster coming from the gills running all the way down to the leg on that edge that’s the left hand edge. You’ll see there’s a blue line that runs in where you’ve made the line. Now that spoils it to a certain extent. I mean only I would pick that up I don’t think anybody else would. But I can tell you how to get out of it. You probably heard me say in my videos when is a line not a line well you shouldn’t have a line – it’s when it’s a shadow. So what you’ve got to do is change that line into a shadow is very very easy you just use a very dark blue pencil. I’m not sure what you use whether you use a 151 which it looks like 151 on faber or you may have used a cretacolor or another pencil. Anyway it would have been a very dark blue.
You use that same pencil but instead of well instead of making a line you’d then darken just the edge of it and graduate that in. It doesn’t have to be very far just a fraction really. Try it and see what I want you to do is if you can lose the line and I would do it a little bit at a time. Now it may be that you don’t want to touch this picture and I would fully understand that. But as I’ve told you that now you’ll be looking for it in the future. There’s lots and lots of examples of what I’m talking about on my videos. So you’ve only got to pick something like that up and if I haven’t actually said it to you on the video you’ll see how I get out of it everywhere else find the feathers themselves the really realistic. And I think you’ve done a great job. Anyway I hope that helps.
I look forward to seeing more of your pictures. Steve said you’ve ordered more paper so that that will give you a great helping hand because once you get a good paper and you’ve got great pencils and you’ve got good talent which obviously you have it’s going to look great. You’re going to have some great pictures coming up. Well done.