Saturday, November 21, 2015

Blue Bear, Blue Bear, What Do You See?

Seeing this image from Kerby Rosanes' Animorphia for the first time I was reminded of children's book author Bill Martin's "Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See?" book which I read to my children. This animal though seemed to have more meanness in him what with that scowl and sharp teeth. I thought I'd soften him up with blue, more arctic than frantic so to speak.

I used Colleen colored pencils on this spread. I started with white as base for the highlights on the snout and the cheeks and some parts of the lower jaw. I proceeded with the lightest blue on top of the highlights moving out. As I would shade away from the highlights I would gradually lighten the pressure of my pencil on the paper so that blending with the next shade would be more melded. If I do not consciously do that I would be left with distinct shades and borders that will not help me achieve the seamless look of the fur.

Now this is what I discovered while applying the darkest shade of blue. I realized that it can create a 'lift' (the part of the fur which is somewhat standing upright or 'lifted', as opposed to the flat fur) by using it as the shade for the shadow beneath some parts of the fur. I didn't realize it then but I was using the flick technique to achieve this. I would be lifting the pencil tip towards the end of each stroke which helped emphasized the strands, as opposed to keeping it looking flat and without dimension.
The light was coming from the front of the bear hence the highlights on the protruding facial features as well as the fur at the bottom of its neck.

Some day I believe I will have an epiphany on how to finish the background. At the time I made this I wasn't very good with backgrounds and so I would often leave my pages background-less. But now that I'm more adept with making them all I need is the right inspiration to complete this work. Who knows, maybe sooner than later.

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