Gabriele sent us her pastel pencil picture of a Rodeo Rider requesting feedback. As a member Gabriele can send in artwork for tips and advice. Gabriele writes:
Hi Steve and Colin
I have just completed another commission for a 21st Birthday. I used A3 size pastel mat and pan pastels for the background.
The detail in the shirt was quite a challenge and I wonder how Colin would have approached it? Would he attach the white first all over the shirt or the purple first and then fill in the checked pattern? I couldn’t work that part out. Also what does Colin think about the background?
Thank you kindly for looking at it.
Listen or Read Colin’s advice below:
I must say it’s very brave of you even to try it. But there are a few things I could suggest.
One of the things is the checked shirt. I wouldn’t have attempted to make it quite as prominent as you’ve done. What I would have done is as you suggested I would put it all white or grey, white then grey, the light grey on top of it so you’ve got a more greyish look to the shirt. And then I would have just indicated it. You don’t have to put it in actually as you’ve done it you know proper checks. You wouldn’t really be able to do that and I wouldn’t be able to do it either. You just have to indicate those checks as suggestion rather than actually putting the colour in detail.
And the other thing is you talked about the background – I would have put the fence in. Now I know that seems a bit odd and I wouldn’t have put it in as that I would have gone straight across the picture with it. I wouldn’t have put the ends on I would have just put the bars in. And then I would have completed perhaps a bit of greenery underneath that. Then at the background I would perhaps put some sky and perhaps a bit of trees. But if you look at the trees that are actually in the picture now they’re out of focus and that’s what you can do. You don’t have to do too much detail other than that. The fence though would indicate that he’s in a rodeo arena and that could be useful because if you think of what you’ve done there on your picture he could be riding anywhere across the plain. So it doesn’t indicate that he’s actually a rodeo rider.
The other problem that you do have here and if you look at the picture the photograph you can’t see that forward left leg left (the horse, his left leg) it’s on our right. It’s the forward leg. And the thing is if you draw a straight line across the picture you’ll find that that forward leg is more forward than you’ve got it. You kind of like put it into dust and that’s okay, but you could still indicate that comes down a bit farther. But you know these are small things and observations that I would make and if you asked me if I would have done it I wouldn’t have done because there’s too much complications in this picture.
Being a commission obviously your governed by what the customer wants. So that’s something that is a problem. But you could discuss this with the customer before you start saying this is what I intend to do – are you happy with it. And they would go yes or no. And if it’s no, then you have a decision to make whether you carry on with it or not. I hope all this helps.
It is a problem and I certainly faced this when I first started out, but you do learn over time that you’ve got to be your own judge and judge whether you feel that this is a worthwhile project or not. I mean it it’s nice to try it because you do learn and have gained a lot of experience. I hope this helps.
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