Theorize Color* Blog

Blog Archive

Monday, February 25, 2013

It's a Work In Progress

I decided to take WIP pics of the current piece I'm working on. This has been an experiment in combining my ink work with my acrylic painting. So far I've really enjoyed the process. When complete, I'll post the final product.

Below:  I started with a cradled Ampersand Encausticbord panel and transferred the sketched flower pattern. You can see that hanging on the wall behind it. Once penciled in, I used Copic Multiliners to ink the flowers and add details.

Below:  Next came the color. Using Copic markers in various tones of red and green, I added some pop to the poppies. The background was eventually colored with a light blue.

Below Left:  The Copic markers are very vibrant and too much so for the look I was going for. After sealing the marker with a workable fixative, I carefully added a thin coat of glazing medium. Once that dried, I then used asphaltum color glaze to 'dirty' up the colors.
Below Right:  I sketched out the rough, overall shape of the hands and skull. I then applied gesso to the inside of that shape. After drawing out the details, another coat of workable fixative was applied to keep the pencil from smudging. As you can see, the red marker began to ghost through the gesso. I ended up applying several thin coats of GAC 100 to prevent the marker from ghosting through the paint as well. The shadow behind the hands/skull was also added using a mixture of paynes gray and the same asphaltum glaze.

Below Left:  This is the beginning of the underpainting. It's basically a rough, blocking in of colors and simple shading/highlights. Not looking for the perfect blend at this stage.
Below Right:  Here's after the underpainting for the hands/skull has been completed. Now begins the process of refining the shading and blending. The skull has been layered with more dramatic changes in light and dark values and a lot of blending done with a small, blender brush. I've also added in a bit more detail. Next, I'll do the same with the hands.

Copic marker colors for background:  Red- R22, R24; Green- YG11, YG13, YG17; Blue- B91
Acrylic paint used for skull:  Mixed black (phthalo blue, alizarin crimson, burnt sienna), Paynes Gray, Titan Buff, Titanium White, Australian Sienna, Burnt Sienna
Acrylic paint used for hands:  Titan Buff, Titanium White, Cadmium Red Light, Cadmium Yellow Medium, Burnt Sienna, Ultramarine Blue  

Stay tuned for the finished piece in the coming days!


  1. I LOVED reading your comments & seeing your process, Heather!

  2. You're so very generous to share your technique. It must have taken a lot of time to do this WIP tutorial. Now, if I could only paint !