Of course my favorite part of a colored pencil drawing is my main subject. But after its complete I have the task of placing my subject somewhere or someplace. Backgrounds can be daunting. I usually get a feel as I’m working or see a flash in my head of my subject with a clear image of the background or at least the color scheme that feels right to me.
I finished this portrait of Marilyn Monroe and the lighting on her skin just made me feel a warm sunny beach was in order. I searched and found a few images that I could combine. Water I pulled from one reference I saw,clouds from another. Looking at the huge areas surrounding her I decided to try pan pastels. I love the painterly quality of pastels and I could just imagine working those wispy white clouds. Looking at my huge tray of pan pastels I saw the perfect colors for the water and sand.
Pleased with my finished “Frankenstein” background I began to look at her skin…done all in polychromos oil based colored pencils. Wishing it a little more smooth I decided to try to apply some of the pastel over the skin. I had already sprayed a thin layer of workable fixative over the pencil so I threw caution to the wind and tried a little on her arm. I was amazed at the way these 2 mediums combined! They complemented each other on such a perfect level…like they were meant to be used together. What a fabulous surprise!
Since the first test went so well I decided to apply another thin misting of workable fixative and see if my results would be similar if putting a new layer of colored pencil over the last layer of pastel. Again I was incredibly pleased with the lovely outcome that resulted from blending the 2 mediums together. I see so many creative and new uses for using these tools together in future work! I am so excited I don’t know where to begin!