Work in Progress

I normally don’t post works in progress. What if I mess it up before I’m done? But I’m posting this for a few reasons. I want to be accountable for finishing this piece—whatever the result. Plus, I’m just excited to share it!

This project has an interesting story (to me, anyway). It did not start out as a mixed media piece. But at some point, for no particular reason I can think of, I decided to throw brush pen ON TOP of my already-layered colored pencil.

My first thought was that I had ruined the piece; it looked funny and flat and the brush pen marks were visible. But then I realized that, in fact, I had made it better. I had given it more boldness and personality. I had turned it into something entirely different. And that affected how I approached the rest of the piece.

I approached it with an open mind, and the desire to let go and have fun. I also realized that I could layer and blend the colored pencils and the brush pen to achieve the realism and dimension that I strive for in my work.

It all started here:


Now, I NEVER try to draw groups of people. That was part of the challenge of this piece—I wanted to draw something hard. I was happy with how the initial part of the sketch came out:


I took a colored pencil picture with only one layer in one shade laid down, planning to capture the layering process:


Then, along came the brush pen. BAM, vividness and personality! I love how intense the colors became:


I continued using a combination of colored pencil and brush pen, and started to tackle those little people head-on. I decided to leave them more as suggestions than full-on realistic portraits, and I think that works fine in this case. I’m also really happy with the depth I achieved on the awnings and umbrellas:


I love the how the suggested cobblestones turned out here and, so far, I’m thrilled with how this piece is going. Tune in next week (hopefully) to see the completed piece!


img_4232Work in Progress, Brush pen and colored pencil on Mixed Media paper, 2019 (11×14)


    1. I’m so glad you like it! When I started the blog I did a lot of “progression photos,” but sometimes they distract from the flow you get into while drawing. This time it didn’t bother me though—and I like looking back on them myself

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know what you mean. I hesitate to show works in progress myself because I don’t want anyone to judge my work before it’s complete! It can change a lot!! What I do now is generally try to document the whole process and then show all the pics to tell the story of a painting in one big post, every time I have a new work to talk about. I love the diary for myself and I find other people like to hear the story behind a painting. I know I enjoy it from others too!

        Liked by 1 person

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