Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Shy Owl in Tangle Wood

I worked on this page for two days and most of the time I was doing the background. When working on backgrounds using the flick technique with colored pencils you have to be prepared mentally, you have to condition your mind to be in it for the long haul.

When I saw this image from a page in Jessica Palmer's Tangled Wood book I was immediately attracted to the personality of this owl. Unlike the other owl image (in Animorphia) that I previously colored, the character of this one was the complete opposite. He is shy and even a bit scardy dardy to step out of this hole in a tree. It needed much prodding to do so and I thought I was up to it.
I used Prismacolor Premiere pencils and expected some wax bloom typical of wax pencils. But I didn't experience that here.
Many colorist friends were quite intrigued by the the paper used in this book. It looks rather thin because the images on the reverse side showed through but when I tested waterbased markers on it the ink didn't bleed to the other side. It's like a tougher kind of parchment or onion skin paper. I even emailed Jessica Palmer to inquire about this rather mysterious paper but she hasn't replied yet.

When I used my Prismacolor Premiere colored pencils set I expected wax bloom, but for some reason there wasn't any. I still don't know where all the wax bloom went. Is it the paper's absorption capacity? I'm not sure. All I know is my wax pencils are not behaving normally on this paper, and I'm rather happy about it.
Burnt Ochre was the shade I used on the darkest, most recessed part of the trunk's grooves.

The violet hues I used on my twilight sky. For the pinkest part I used Process Red.
I thought I could just maintain the background light so that I wouldn't have to use the blender pencil. But that plan was shelved after I began adding more blue, then more violet, then more blue again, and so on and so forth on the background to try to achieve continuity.

I still ended up using my pencil blender to create a solid background image. The wild pencil streaks, if left on their own, simply would look unfinished and unkempt. I hope the owl would step out of his hole now, to appreciate his new surroundings I colored.

Quite happy finally with the background after two hours of balancing the blues and purples


  1. Thank you for sharing, it looks awesome. 😍

  2. Thank you for sharing, it looks awesome. 😍