New Hair and Nails!

Time for haircut! Every three months or so, I try to get my long tresses trimmed and highlighted. My hairdresser of choice since having moved to the Netherlands 10+ years ago is based in my old neighborhood in Amsterdam. On the same day of my appointment, I also happened to get my nails done but locally. It is King’s Day this Thursday in the Netherlands, actually King Willem Alexander’s birthday. A festive moment when folks customarily wear orange, the color of the Royal Family. And what color of nails did I opt for? Orange of course! Neon orange to be more precise. And now what a great chance to practice self-portraits again, this time on toned grey paper and charcoal!

The Sketch

On a blank page from my Strathmore Toned Grey paper, I set about briskly scribbling my image with a charcoal pencil. Pretty basic here, only that I needed to erase a few times to get my eyes and hands reasonably even. Making the hair wavy was another thing as it is quite a change from my usual “Little One” hair style. Still, so far looking good!

Coloring In

The resulting highlights on my hair was a warm tone, consisting of some light shades which I wanted to enhance. For this, Creacolor’s Art Chunky, a set of 12 colored charcoals seemed a perfect choice as the shades come in variety of browns as well as green and of course black. Had so much fun just randomly applying the ochre dark, ochre light, paynes grey, sanguine light and sepia dark with the skin tone smudged lightly with the ochre light. For the eyes, I went for olive green and sepia dark and blended them with a cotton bud. And the nails? Koh-i-Noor has this wonderful set of five Neon shaded soft pastels called Toison d’Or, and here I introduced some neon orange! The actual color of the my nails are a bit darker, but for the purpose of this painting, I think this one looks quite effective too. Et voilà, the new me!

Self-portraits (in kawaii animated form of course) is something I hardly do, but it’s such a good change! In fact, I recently made a similar drawing like this a few weeks ago but on Toned Tan paper when I had my brows tinted and nails done neon pink in Let’s Get Grooming!. This drawing, though, is on Toned Grey paper. Both are just as amazing, although the tan has a warmer tone and the grey a bit cooler. As we observed, working on colored paper like this certainly adds even more dimension to charcoals and chalk especially with monotones and brown or grey scales. I shall definitely come back to this once in a while!

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