“Refreshing Goodness” Coca-Cola Color Pencil Fan Art

by Wendi OBrien

In the Beginning

I chose this piece to learn color pencil.  Not only did I choose really difficult subjects, but I also chose to go very large 14″ wide x 8″ tall.  That may not seem very large, but to complete something that big in color pencil takes A LOT of time.

Then to add in I am learning the medium coupled with ice, liquid, glass and metal…I am not sure I could have challenged myself more.  I thought if I

could actually learn this and pull it off then everything else should be a breeze.  I had no idea what I set myself up for, but I found out very quickly.

I began by transferring my reference over to my paper.  I didn’t get too caught up in details because I figured I would just put them in later as I usually do.  Guess I should have thought that through a little more because I didn’t have any reference points to put those details in throughout the ice so I kind of made much of it up as I went.

The Ice Saga

Little did I know that the ice was going to be the straw that broke the camels back.  It wasn’t so much the shading and getting the ice to look right.  It was more of mapping out the shapes.  Man did that go on FOREVER!!!!  I thought I was never going to get it done.  I put it away several times because I just got so tired of looking at it and getting frustrated with constantly getting lost.

Through much encouragement of some of my YouTube communities, I pressed on.  Without their support I don’t know if I would have finished it, even though not having it finished was driving me crazy.  It took me 8 months to complete for the simple fact that I just couldn’t manage to get motivated to keep trying.

Once I made the decision to complete the piece it only took me about 3 1/2 weeks to finish from where I left off.  I had well over 100 hours of video footage I had sift through and cut down.

Because it took so long my work station changed several times as well as my lighting so the video is not the highest quality and I do apologize.  I have one more that I started a while back and the lighting and stuff might be different, but after that everything should be more consistent.

The Coke Bottle & Coke

This was by far one of my favorite things to do on this piece.  If you watch the video you will notice I started the bottle as a hope to get a break from the ice.  Well after my long break I decided I was going to finish the ice and use the bottle as a reward for completing the ice.  That’s not to say that I didn’t work a little here and there for a break, but I didn’t want to start on the top until I got that ice done.

What a reward it was.  I so enjoyed doing the coke and the bottle and the bottle top.  I felt I could really enjoy the process from then on out and I really think that the final result shows.

I layered very bright colors under the dark so I could get that glowing effect that you would get through the bottle.  I also blended with odorless mineral spirits (OMS) to ensure

that the colors blended well together and then layered over the top with more color.  I continued this process until I got everything to look just the way I wanted it to.

I was pleasantly surprised about the bottle cap.  I absolutely loved the way it turned out and really want to try my hand and something completely shiny metal like and metal teapot or something.  Gonna keep my eyes peeled for something to do in that aspect.

Final Touches and Highlights

The final touches really made the final outcome what it is.  By adding all of those water droplets…and there were a TON of them…and the highlights on the droplets and bottle really brought the piece to life.

I am sure I could have worked another 8 to 10 hours on it to refine everything, but this was a piece that I was using to learn from, which turned out better than I had even anticipated.  This seems to be a theme with me.  When I do something to learn or practice, I end up with a pretty awesome piece in the end.

Then again, maybe that’s key, because I am not too stressed about making mistakes and know that it doesn’t have to be perfect.  For the most part the only person that is going to know where mistakes are is the artist.

YouTube and Final Thoughts

In the end I really enjoyed completing this fan art even though the frustrations.  I have a beautiful piece of art that verges on hyper realism and a video documentation showing my process, my improvements, and my changes in techniques (approach) throughout the piece.

I hope you enjoy watching it was much as I do.

Until next time Happy Arting!

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