After letting the drawing languish off in a back room for several weeks the concept is sufficiently ripe for me to go back to my discount lyre easel for a colour study. I have a policy of making my colour study, my preparatory sketch, and my finished painting the same size, which makes everything a whole lot simpler and I waste less breath swearing. The purpose of this colour study is to determine my palette, which, although it is usually only about five to seven colours, changes with every project. I like to know before I start the painting proper that my red will hit the right notes, that my cools are adequately represented by my black (I try to use neutrals mixed from black to stand in for my cools whenever possible), and so on. If I can't quite hit the right note in my colour study, I will have to change my palette a bit. Lately Dave has been talking smack about Cad Red Medium in favour of Vermilion, so I'm taking that colour for a spin in this study. The other colours on my palette are Titanium White, Ivory Black, and Yellow Ochre Pale. Raw Umber makes an appearance for the drybrush.
I played around with composition and lay-out in Photoshop before creating tracings from my drawing study and transfering them to my canvas. My preparatory drawing had tiny carny hands, so I slapped my sketch down on a photocopier and enlarged them. Why make things more complicated than they have to be? In the same spirit, the reason I use Photoshop is because thumbnails can be really inaccurate. You can make an arm a millimeter too wide and in the thumbnail it looks fine and dandy but when you try to translate that thumbnail to a full size piece your subject suddenly has big ol' thighs for arms. It makes it really hard to get an accurate picture in your mind of what the finished painting will look like. I prefer to do thumbnails in the earlier stages only. Now, I could have done a full-sized drawing and worked it out, but the powers that be seem to have decided that no drawings shall exceed the size of 20x30" or whatever the standard size of paper is. The little rectangle of white paper is a piece of 4x6" photo paper, which, in absence of a ruler, I used to measure out my canvas so that I could accurately place the head and hands according to my mock up in Photoshop. For some reason artist studios never have rulers (only tape measures) or regular pencils for writing with (only pencils sharpened to a maniacal point that snaps painfully when you try to write down a phone number).