Work in progress 4: Here Comes the Night

This page shows the building up, in stages, of my drawing “Here Comes the Night” which I completed on the 1st March 2013.

Work in progress 1: Here Comes the Night

Work in progress 1: Here Comes the Night

Work in progress 2: Here Comes the Night

Work in progress 2: Here Comes the Night

Work in progress 3:  Here Comes the Night

Work in progress 3: Here Comes the Night

Work in progress 4: Here Comes the Night

Work in progress 4: Here Comes the Night

Work in progress 5: Here Comes the Night

Work in progress 5: Here Comes the Night

"Here Comes the Night"  360 x 520mm. March 2013.

“Here Comes the Night” 360 x 520mm. March 2013.

Even though this was a reasonably large work (360 x 520 mm) it had simple shapes throughout, ie big areas with minimal detail.  Therefore it took only two weeks to complete – as opposed to ‘Quiet’ (the previous work) which was far more complicated and time consuming.

A point I would like to make about this work is that the white pencil has only been used once in the whole piece; to write my signature.  You see a fair bit of white in the composition.  This is the pure white of the paper.  For very light areas (ie not quite white but very pale), I minimized the pressure which I put on the pencil – that is all.

In contrast, there is a great deal of black pencil used throughout.

The main colour conversation in this picture is that between the deep blue sky and the deep orange lantern.   These, of course, are complementary colours on the colour wheel.

To really make these two patches of colour sing to one another and increase the intensity, I put orange into the blue sky and blue into the orange lantern.  You, the viewer, doesn’t consciously notice orange in the sky or blue in the lantern.   You are not supposed to.

For me, the artist, I had to do this as without the complements of orange in the sky and blue in the lantern, the effect was quite ‘ho hum’.  Placing imperceptible amounts of one colour’s complement into the other, I was able to make the whole thing ZING.

I usually save the main subject until last.  It is akin to presenting the whole set before the main actor comes on stage.  Everything is in place to support the most important character/actor/subject…in this case it is the lantern.

To see six variations of this subject (ie the same lamp/lantern/scene) drawn several years apart, visit the page Subject 5: Lantern Set.

A post I wrote relating to this drawing is Here Comes the Night.

5 Responses to Work in progress 4: Here Comes the Night

  1. Fascinating to see the progression. It appears that some areas that are dark at one stage become light in the next – I assume that is because the colour around these items has changed, not that you have removed colour. Wonderful to see the gentle build-up, it has to be a better way to go than finish one area completely then move on to the next. I know some people can do that though … amazing how many different approaches there can be!

  2. Your assumption is correct, Anna. Never more so than in the very first image where the sky looks darker than what is around it – for all that is around it is white paper. Once the white paper is filled in, suddenly the sky looks lighter again.
    Constantly I am adjusting throughout the drawing as I go. I can’t see how it would be possible to finish one area and then move on – because what one has moved onto will change the tonal values of that previous area.
    I said that I finished this drawing with the orange lantern – and basically that is right. However once that lantern was in place, I had to travel through the whole rest of the work, readjusting everything.

    • Robyn says:

      This is truly a beautiful piece, and I appreciate your Work in Progress information/tips, thank you 🙂
      Julie, what colours have you used for the sky? I love the perception of depth you have achieved over the whole piece.

      • Robyn – colours in the sky? A lot of indigo, violet, bright blue, plus magenta and orange. It was at the end that I put orange into the sky and that is what intensified its depth. There is black mixed into it as well. I seem to remember there is some yellow and also pinks where the sky looks lighter near the lamp.

  3. Robyn says:

    Thanks Julie, I would never have worked that out? It seems that a light hand is best with gentle mixing/overlaying of colours. (I’m having trouble with the light hand bit) Beautiful!!

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