This time at the Lesbian and Trans* stage at the Berlin Lesbian and Gay Festival. The festival is one part of the Berlin Pride Month activities, which culminate the following weekend in Christopher Street Day.
There were a lot of stages, so I wasn’t sure how to find the Lesbian and Trans stage – until suddenly I walked into a crowd where I felt completely at home. Everyone had tattoos and brightly colored hair and they welcomed me with warm smiles.
I dressed up fancy! Photo by Dan Schick from when we went to see Spider-Man Homecoming earlier that afternoon – a charming must-see!
This is by far the most complicated color drawing I’ve done since college and my days as a courtroom artist.
I wanted to capture the details and vividness of the scene as much as possible. (DJ Chroma wasn’t actually performing at the same time as Donut Heart of course, I just added her cause she is so great looking!)
Detail before adding pastels on top of marker, pencil, colored pencil and ink.
I keep pushing the limits with the mixed media experiments on Canson kraft paper and it keeps going mostly ok.
Portrait of Tess and Colin Jan 2017 by Suzanne Forbes photo by Colin Fahrion
I’m very confident with color when I’m using opaque paints, as in this portrait commission of loved ones from January.
But with additive transparent media like watercolor and markers I feel wobbly. There’s a pass at watercolor painting Ian so bad only my Patreon Patrons got to see the whole thing.
You can see the first drawing I did at the Lesben-Schwule Fest here; it has some colors added.
I grabbed a few Sharpies from my deskside drawer and spotted in a bit of pink and green.
I used color in my courtroom drawings of course, and those were on beige and buff illustration board.
Courtroom drawing by Suzanne Forbes working as Rachel Ketchum for WCCO-TV, 1992
I think the midtone beige of the kraft paper helps to mediate my limited color skills.
Suzanne Forbes drawing Donut Heart July 15 2017 by Dara
Alfred Ladylike was wearing her silver dress from Loving the Alien, and the additive/subtractive nature of pastels worked pretty well for it. Not as much success capturing Rah Hell‘s gold sequin fedora!
I’m using two shades of grey and two shades of umber in regular pastels, white conte crayon, a black oil pastel and alcohol based DeSerres markers in shades of warm and cold grey, and a red-brown Caran d’Ache colored pencil.
All this goes over the PITT brush pens and .05 HB mechanical pencils I normally use, on Canson kraft paper. It has some tooth and a texture, like a cotton paper.
Most significantly maybe I am using the clear-ish “blender” shade of the DeSerres markers OVER the pastels. I run it over the black oil pastel and the solvent in it dissolves some of the pastel base, creating a wash.
I also use a blender marker or 10% grey over the chalk pastels, to help blend and incorporate. For this Donut Heart drawing I bought a pack of colored markers at the Euro-Store for one euro, and added those in.
It was scary experimenting like this, and it took me ten days to finish the drawing once I started adding color. I was nervous about making an ugly, muddy mess or a primary-colored cartoon. I’m pleased with the result though, and now I have colored markers….’cause-
I needed all the colors for the full rainbow of the Pride flag!