Cover by Mayumi Ogihara

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September 2012

September 2012 -- Greek Mythology



  • Behind the Art:
    Getting Started in Watercolor
  • Artist Spotlight:
    Interview with Sue Miller


  • Ancient Greece: Mythology and Clothing Styles
  • Medusa Walkthrough: Pencils on Colored Paper


  • Fiction: Dreamless Nights…

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  • Medusa Walkthrough: Pencils on Colored Paper
    by katerina koukiotis

    Medusa is based on my "Dangerous Mermaid" sketch from Sketch Fest #3 (June 2010); Sketch fest is a 24 hour creative jam session with artists across the world, brought to you by Ellen Million Graphics. (You can view my sketch fest gallery here.)

    For materials, I used gray-colored cardstock (65lb) by Recollections; sharpeners; black and white Charcoal; red pastel pencil; graphite pencil; pencil stump; q-tip; cotton and tissue; and a kneaded eraser.

    I often draw directly on colored paper especially for smaller artworks (5"x7", 4"x6", ACEOs); however since I already had a finished sketch of this artwork I blew it up to 5"x7" and transferred it to my working paper using Sally's Graphite Paper. I had a color scheme for Medusa in my mind and felt a gray colored paper for this
    artwork would go well.

    1) After transferring my sketch to a 5"x7" colored gray paper, I went over my entire sketch fixing anatomy problems or whatever seemed off with a regular graphite pencil without pressing too hard.

    2) With white charcoal I added the highlights inside the eyes (sclera), skin, body, and helmet. I used the q-tip to blend a little for larger areas and the pencil stump for smaller areas. With the black charcoal pencil I started shading the hair, which was the most time-consuming part of the artwork. Areas that I wanted to look like little snakes I left unshaded. With red pastel I colored the eyes, lips and Greek helmet hair.

    3) I decided to eliminate the Greek columns in the background and add more hair -- after all, Medusa is all about her snaky hair. ;) Highlights in her hair were done using my kneaded eraser a gummy soft eraser. I worked on her eyes, making them more dramatic carefully adding black charcoal. I make sure my charcoal is pointy- sharpened when I do details like these. I blended with my pencil stump for eye makeup and the smokey effect, and added a touch of white charcoal for a highlight on top.

    4) After the hair was finished I moved to the Greek helmet hair and used my red
    pastel. I also a touch of red pastel on the snake's tongues sticking out on her arms.

    5) Using my charcoal I added more contrast to the shadows and lines and picked up residue with the q-tip to add more shading. I also used cotton for larger areas.

    6) At last with my white charcoal I overlayed highlights and blended a little and then I was done. :)

    You can use many different pencils on colored paper and sometimes even a hint of paint (watercolor, acrylic). I hope you found this step-by-step helpful and enjoyed reading it.

    katerina koukiotis

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