I kept coming back to Chris Sheban's work. I just couldn't pull myself away from it! And I couldn't figure out what his technique was! It was different then anything I had ever seen! I bought all of his books and studied each image intensely. Finally I couldn't take it any longer...I looked him up online and emailed him! I didn't really expect him to answer, but to my pleasant surprise, he did!! He was very appreciative of my curiosity and told me about his technique in depth. (He starts with a dark watercolor underpainting an works over that with Prismacolor pencils and occasionally touches of pastel. He works back into darker areas with watercolor. The grainy surface texture is achieved through the use of and Arches 90 lb cold press surface.)
This led to my attempt to use colored pencil on toned pastel paper. I loved the textured look of it! But, as some of you know, I've run into difficulties with this technique, the colors would fade (a lot!!) after some time and the drawing pretty much looked dead. I tried everything to fix it, so far I haven't found anything. So recently I've started to switch to acrylic. However! I'm still in love with Chris Sheban's work, and will always be inspired by it!
Another one of my favorites of Sheban's books is "Red Fox at McCloskey's Farm". GREAT illustrations, GREAT story....it always reminds me of a song by Nickel Creek (GREAT band!) called "The Fox"...
I want to share his WEBSITE with you. It has been updated with TONS of new illustrations. I was SO excited when I discovered this because he used to only have a few illustrations available to view in his portfolio. Now there's tons!
He also has another book out A Night On The Range. A lot of the interior illustrations in his portfolio. I admit it...I just ordered a copy for myself...guilty. I can't wait for it to come!!