All art copyright (c) Mike Kloepfer
"The level of achievement that we have at anything is a reflection of how well we were able to focus on it."
-Steve Vai

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


A commissioned piece for a client; a birthday present for her friend.
Both the horses are named Hershey.
The story of the two 'Hershey's is a fascinating tale of love, loss, and reunion.

Two Hersheys

Charcoal, 14x17"

Here is how the piece progressed.
First, I covered the entire surface with charcoal 'dust' from ground charcoal. Then, I lifted the general highlights out with a kneaded eraser, and laid in the general dark areas with vine charcoal.

Then I began laying in the general details in charcoal and lifting out more highlights with the eraser.

I developed the left side first, then the right, in order to prevent smudging. (I'm right-handed.)

Then I began to develop the right side.

After that, it was a process of push-pull; darken with charcoal, lift out the lights with the eraser. I used a paper stomp, but not to blend; rather, I used it to lift out light areas that were more subtle, where the eraser would be too drastic.

At this point, I began to develop the values in the background.

And finally, laying in the darkest darks and final adjustments of the background values.

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