Team EBSQ May Showcase: Masks

“Why do you wear a mask? Were you burned by acid or something?”
“Oh no. It’s just they’re terribly comfortable. I think everyone will be wearing them in the future”
~ The Princess Bride

ed Moon Masquerade Ball by Sherry Key  Monster Mashhk by Dee Flouton

Batman Mask by Dee Flouton  Renaissance Masquerade by Sherry Key

Tinkles Silence of the Lambs by Sherry Key  Masquerade 2 by Dee Flouton

Featured above are: Sherry Key, and Dee Flouton.

Next month’s theme: Facial Features

Are you an EBSQ Artist selling on Etsy, eBay, Zazzle, Artfire or RedBubble? Why not join Team EBSQ?

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EBSQ Live Studio – Hand-tinted Photographs

This demonstration was originally presented by Sherry Key on 17 May 2010.

Photos-Hand Coloring with pencils-Basics

Welcome to my presentation on hand coloring black and white photos with colored pencils.  I use several different mediums to hand color, but today I’ll be talking about using colored pencils and the basic steps to get started. Hand coloring photos is more complicated than most people think. It is not just as simple as coloring in a coloring book. I hope you will come away with a new respect for the process and realize that it really does take an artist’s eye and an artist’s hand.

Supplies-First you’ll want to have on hand a good supply of quality colored pencils. Good quality pencils may seem expensive to start, but are surprisingly long-lasting, which makes them cheaper, the longer you have them. I started out with a set of Prismacolor brand pencils and have just kept adding to my collection of those. I probably have about 200 pencils now in a large variety of colors. There are certain colors I find myself using all the time, and there are others that I haven’t even gotten around to sharpening yet. Black and white prints and colored pencils are not too forgiving when it comes to corrections, but if I have an area where I think I can get by with a correction, I use an electric eraser which you can usually find for around $10.00.

Papers-I have printed black and white on just about every type of paper a printer will take, (without eating it.) Matte photo, watercolor, cardstock, etc., and they all have different qualities that you can play with. They also have their own headaches when you are combining printer ink into the mix. Glossy papers don’t work with most hand coloring processes and

the one I am using for this demonstration is a 67 lb. matte paper, that is a medium weight and nap, and falls somewhere in between a card stock, and matte photo paper.

Printing and ink-You will probably go through a lot of black ink to get the range of tones you want to color. Ideally you want to darken and lighten before you print to get a good contrast of darks AND lights in your photo. So if you just make your photo black and white before you print it that might not be good enough. You will have to work on adjusting your contrast, brightness, etc. to get what you need. Another thing is, not every photo is a good candidate for hand coloring. If you are doing a portrait it really works best when you have things to focus your color on like sunglasses, jewelry, hair decorations, fingernail decorations, etc. Medium to light objects are also better. I personally prefer to usually leave the skin uncolored, and I think you actually focus more on the facial features when color is surrounding them…than on them. That is just my personal preference. I use a printer that only has a black toner cartridge so it easily prints only black and white for me… (-: Now enough of the pre-technical mumbo jumbo…let’s get started!

This is the colors I use the most. 70% cool grey, 50% warm and cool greys, 20% cool grey, black and white. To me most of the blacks and whites and tones in between that the printer prints out, are cool shades. I use these colors the most for shading, re-shading and highlighting certain areas.

I use a hard surface such as a portable art easel (lap kind) a dining table or desktop. I use this big easel to clip my photos to when I want to take a step back to look at my progress or finished work. I like to step back from my work periodically to make color comparisons, look at overall composition, and where do I want to focus color, etc.

The image on the right in pink is the one I will be demonstrating today. I also did one in lavenders to show how different the mood can be depending on what colors you use.

Here is the black and white printed photo I will be using.

Doesn’t look like much now, but what is exciting to me is where, and how far can I take it with color, to really make the photo “pop.” First I decide which color scheme I feel like going with. Also, I want to make a note here that if you have black areas that get color rubbed off, markers do not usually work well to cover up those spots. Printer inks on paper have sheen. Markers are a FLAT black that will show up when you try to take final photos. It is better to color these tiny areas with black pencil. Here is an example of the contrast with printer ink and black marker. It doesn’t look so bad here, but believe me, if you have light shining on it in a certain way, it will be glaring.

Next I have outlined the t-shirt with black to make it stand out more.

In the next image I started coloring the headband and hair. On the headband I used varying shades of pinks, reds and purples. Start out with a light touch and go from using your dark colors to your lights. Go easy on the dark until you see if you are getting a color you want then you can start getting heavier handed with your pencils. I could have done Nicole’s hair any color I wanted, that’s what is nice about having a black and white palette to begin with. But her real hair color is a funky mix of dyed shades of red, black and white so I decided to go along those lines. I started with light strokes of reds, oranges and yellows.

This is a little closer shot of the hair and headband. You can also see in the picture (above the headband, to the left) how the ink from the printer is deposited and kind of has a sheen to it like I mentioned previously, when I talked about using a flat black marker in those areas.

Now I am filling in and deepening the colors on the headband. That’s Process Red (which looks like a hot pink to me) that I have in my hand. I am blending as I go, with a little more pressure each time, leaving some white at the crest of the headband to keep part of it looking like it has light shining on it.

The eyes are next starting with adding shades of blue and purple for my shadow, and under eye liner. On a portrait if you aren’t coloring the face, then the eyelids and irises are places you get to add some color if you want.

Because it’s easier to color over the lashes instead of in between each one, and it looks more uniform, the next thing I did was take a Micron .005 pen to go back and draw each lash individually. That brings the lashes back into focus and I can even add some extra ones if I want too.

At this point I think my headband and hair are really starting to come together so I am going to work on her t-shirt. I start with re-shading the dark areas with 70% cool grey to get more contrast. I also blackened the blacks on the bear logo with black pencil.

Then I started shading with light and dark pinks and purples, similar to what was done on the headband. I colored her irises green. I do a lot of blue and green eyes because it stands out more to me. Nicole’s eyes are brown but she loved the green iris when she saw this picture.

Here I am using a pale pink to blend some of the color on the t-shirt. Look how that headband and the eye “pop.” The outlining on the shirt and more black in the bear is really making those stand out as well.

I use a cheap .99 cent soft paint brush to brush off my painting. You will need to brush your painting periodically because you will have debris building up on your photo from using your pencils. Always use a brush because if you use your hand to brush away particles it may smear into your paper, instead of brush off.

In this photo I have outlined the face, nose and lips with grey. I colored the lip pink and finished adding pink to the lower part of the shirt.

I went back and added lots more yellow, oranges and red to the hair. Then I used dark gray and black to separate some hair strands.  I put it up on my standing easel so I could step back from my work and see what final touches it needed. I finished with going back to each area using more pressure with white, light colors, and black to finish blending and adding my final touches. Here is the final piece called “Nicole on Edge.” The colors are even richer and more defined in person, than I could get to come out in my photo of the picture.

Here is the original print before hand coloring as a comparison.

EBSQ Spotlight on Portraits & Figurative Art: Sandy Farley

This month’s featured gallery is Portraits & Figurative Art. Portraits are the artistic representation of an individual or individuals with the face as the focus. The term “figurative art” most frequently refers to the representational depiction of a human or animal figure. Often they are deeply personal – either to the artist, because of the emotions being expressed by the subject or because of the emotions these works elicit from us. They delight, disturb and connect us. During the month of May, we are going to take a few moments to catch up with some of the EBSQ artists that create some of these evocative pieces of art.

Sandy Farley

Hee-Haw - Sandy Farley

Animals have very rich social and emotional lives.  Their capacity for empathy, their delight in play: these are the very things that we first seek out in them when we wish to bond with or understand them.  I often take my artwork to middle ground between animal and human — a place where characteristics of both are blended, and perhaps a bit of humor is added to sweeten the mix.  My human and animal portraits share these traits. – Sandy Farley

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This month’s EBSQ Live: Hand Coloured Photographs

hosted by EBSQ Self-Representing Artists and Sherry Key
Monday, May 17th at 9pm Eastern (6pm Pacific)
EBSQ Chat Room

Seein Blue - Sherry Key

Hand coloring photographs – These ain’t your Grandma’s photo oils.

I have been hand coloring black and white photos for some years. Working on hand coloring with pencil, ink, marker, oils, pastels… in other words, anything but the old standby’s like Marshall’s photo oils. “Art Photos” help combine the natural expressions of an artist like me that enjoys working in various media such as sculpture, jewelry making, painting, drawing and photography. I can promise that this presentation will take you beyond your Grandma’s use of photo oils to hand tint and color photographs.

About the Presenter:

I started out early in life with a passion for reading and art. My family will tell you I have experimented in just about every media there is. During the 70’s – like so very many in the 70’s, I worked in macramé, decoupage and tole painting. In the early 90’s I received scholarships for sculpture and ceramics. I concentrated on 3-dimensional work like sculpture, pottery and jewelry but in the last year and a half since my son moved out, I have been focusing on honing my drawing and painting skills – working mostly with colored pencils, oil pastels and hand coloring photos.

By day I run a computer maintenance database. I live in Texas, in the North Dallas area and when not at work, I am creating. – Sherry Key

EBSQ Spotlight on Seasonal Art: Be My Valentine – Kim Niles

This month’s featured gallery is Seasonal Art: Be My Valentine.  St. Valentine’s Day is February 14th. It’s popularity means that February has become the season of everything love – hearts, flowers, candy and things done up in pink and red. Throughout the month of February, we are going to take a few moments to catch up with some of the EBSQ artists that celebrate this holiday by creating art.

Kim Niles – KiniArt

"Cupid Westie" Kim Niles - KiniArt

Valentines Day for me, has always been a day of celebrating the love in my life; but not just romantic love! As a child, my Mom would always have a special little gift for each of my sisters and myself as a token of how much she loved and thought about us.  This gesture gave a deeper meaning to the holiday for me and I continued the tradition with my own kids as they were growing up. I’m certain I’ll do the same with my grandkids someday.

I hope my art continues to bring smiles and joy to collectors. I’m always happy when I know it has been given as a memento of love and affection on Valentines Day! – Kim Niles

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EBSQ Spotlight on Still Life: Shelly Bedsaul

This month’s featured gallery is Still Life. A still life is a collection of inanimate objects depicted in an artistic composition and is a genre that has always been a staple for artists. Setting up a still life is an exercise in composition. Painting or photographing the composition is an exercise in technique. The result of these efforts is a work of art. Throughout the month of January, we are going to take a few moments to catch up with some of EBSQ’s still life artists.

Shelly Bedsaul

Jam Session - Shelly Bedsaul

I collect teapots. I LOVE coffee, fresh flowers and I hate housework. My still life drawings combine my three loves and provide a place to look, in my home, where everything is neat and tidy. I’ve even called them “fantasy art”. Organization is still a fantasy for me. Seriously, I also enjoy the challenge of pattern, texture and mood. I’d like them to be reminders for us to slow down our day to day and take a moment to savor. – Shelly Bedsaul

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EBSQ Spotlight on Artistic Nudes: Barbara Jensen

This month’s featured gallery is Artistic Nudes. The nude is a classic subject for artists and is of endless fascination and challenge. There are many types of nudes, in all degrees of undress and all manner of poses. Some are intended to make a statement, some are part of a story and some are just a celebration of the human form.

Barbara Jensen

Funk - Barbara Jensen

The human form has always fascinated me in a curious way since I was very young and I’ve been drawing and painting nudes since I can remember.  The sensual curves, the flexibility and all of the nooks and crannies of the human body.  And what I find real fun is that each one is totally different in so many ways.  Female nudes have been my focus since I got my first Barbie doll.  In my work I try to portray the softness of the skin and try to stay away from hard lines but in the future I would like to get into some more dramatic work using the contrast of shadow.  I just love experimenting with different media and styles but I have become a slave to detail so I find it hard to loosen up.  I challenge myself!

I also love an expressive face.  In my opinion the face is the hardest thing to capture and can make or break the piece.  I can’t count how many works I’ve scrapped because I mess that up, so now I always do the face first.  Live and learn! – Barbara Jensen

Like what you see here?  We hope you’ll consider leaving a comment or subscribing to one of our feeds. Never miss another cool post from EBSQ. Subscribe to EBSQ: Art Meets Blog v2.0 by Email today!