Saturday, October 6, 2018

One Day Colored Pencil Workshop

I am teaching a one day colored pencil and watercolor pencil workshop in Keene, New Hampshire on Saturday November 10, 2018 from 9 am to 4 pm. For more information, see the flyer below or the Monadnock Area Artists Association website.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

The Color Wheel and A Harmonious Color Drawing

 I have been looking at colors and color relationships and decided to do create a colored pencil color wheel. The colors in the outer ring are the 1) three complementary colors: red, yellow and blue, 2) three secondary colors: orange, green and violet, and 3) twelve tertiary colors: red orange, yellow orange, yellow green, blue green, blue violet and red violet.

The second ring of color is the tints of each color, this is white added to each color. The third ring of color is a layer of black pencil added to each color to create the shade. The inner ring of color is the mixture of each complementary which are directly across from each other on the color wheel. Mixing complementary colors creates colorful dark values.

I am working on a new drawing of cabbages in which I am using only analogous colors. Analogous colors are adjacent to each other on the color wheel. I am keeping my palette cool and working with colors on the color wheel between blue violet and green. I started with a blue violet to blue green underpainting and am working the green hues over the blue.

The initial drawing stage took quite a bit of time as I wanted to draw in each highlighted vein. I am striving for abstraction and movement in the veins and the overall piece.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Exhibit at Gallery 175 Pawtucket, RI

Here are photos from our opening reception Sunday afternoon May 6, 2018.  Our exhibit is titled Three Draw and the following is the press release sent out by the gallery:

Gallery 175 will be showing artwork of three artists who use drawing to make highly creative visual statements. Drawing is often a tool used by artists to sketch or explore ideas that lead to finished works of art in another medium. But the drawings of Mary Dondero, Tatiana Flis, and Kendra Ferreira are developed as finished works of art that stand on their own.  Joan Hausrath, who curated the exhibit, selected the trio of artists based on their unique ways of working both technically and thematically. 

Mary Dondero’s drawings capture energy through gestural movements that convey a fundamental human quality that transforms feeling into meaning. Filling the field of her paper, Dondero choreographs a buildup of spontaneous marks into complex webs, tangles and patterns that connect with the viewer at a powerful, instinctual level.

Tatiana Flis, on-the-other-hand, draws delicate forms and images that explore relationships between the human psyche and moments of chaos, solitude, tension, excess and absence. Employing a surrealist language, she combines diverse imagery of the built and natural landscape in unlikely ways. The meshing of the fluidity of water media with the tightness of ruled architectonic forms hovering in empty spaces infuses her drawings with intrigue.

Skillfully working with colored pencils, Kendra Ferreira depicts ordinary subjects in focused, heighted and extraordinary ways. Colored pencils permit her to fuse the expressiveness of painting with the control of drawing, and by doing so, she is capable of conveying emotion, luminescence and compositional rhythms. Her drawings are bold and delicate, transparent and sturdy.

The public is invited to enjoy the art work at Gallery 175, located at 175 Main Street in downtown Pawtucket in the Blackstone Valley Visitor Center.  The gallery is open daily free to the public; the hours are 10 am to 4 pm.  

Pictured below are Joan Hausrath (gallery director) and the artists Mary Dondero, 
Tatiana Flies and myself.

Tatiana Flis graphite pencil and gouache works (above). 

Tatiana Flis and Kendra Ferreira works. 

Works by Mary Dondero
My artwork, shells and beach stones.

More works by Mary Dondero

My latest colored pencil work focusing on wrapped candy apples.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Watercolor Workshop

I haven't worked in watercolor for a while but here in Florida a watercolor workshop at the Society of Four Arts caught my eye. It was being taught at the Society of Four Arts by master watercolorist Sue Archer. The description intrigued me as it was for advanced artists and focused on color theory, composition and design. Feeling like I could use a "tune-up" or refresher in these areas, I signed up for the workshop and was not disappointed. The workshop consisted of five intense days of lectures, demos and working on our own exercises and watercolor compositions. I found myself coming early and leaving late because I was so inspired to work and mingle with the other participants. 

We worked using a limited palette of transparent or granulating colors only. The colors I used were: Hansa Yellow, New Gamboge, Quinacridone Red, Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna, Manganese Violet, Cobalt Blue, Indanthrone Blue and Sap Green.

Here are some of my studies done in class. The top image are three simple (or not so simple) value patterns using three values only to merge shapes together. We then picked the value study we felt was most successful and added color in the fourth block.

Just below, we chose two white objects and set them up in order to see light and cast shadow. My first piece was worked in values of gray only. I went back in afterward and added some areas of reflected light in various grays. The lower piece is the same principle only using wet-on-wet technique with Raw Sienna, Cobalt Blue and Manganese Violet to create colorful shadows. Afterwards we created rich darks in a wet on wet background. 

The bottom six small paintings are wet on wet watercolor skies using transparent and granulating washes. I later took the next step and added a horizon and more detail to the washes. 

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Garden of Dreams

This is my reference photo (above) for my colored pencil drawing. I saw this photo of a friend's baby boy, Julian, on social media and just loved the cozy wrapped baby against the colorful background quilt. I loved the sweetness of the little face and wondered if I could incorporate the background pattern onto the baby's blanket sleeper. This has been a work in progress for the past six months, working on it slowly and developing my idea. The images are taken on my iPhone at different times so there is discrepancy in colors and tones. 

I drew out the baby but have to admit, I transferred the quilt pattern onto my Stonehenge drawing paper because I just didn't feel like free handing all those designs. I began with some underpainting of color on the baby's skin. I used Prismacolor and Caran d'Ache Luminance pencils choosing a blue, a green and a pink and now I don't recall exactly which pencils I used. 

I went on to develop more of the baby's face with some pinks, yellows and Prismacolor Burnt Ochre.  I also began incorporating I began some contrast on the baby's sleeper with green, blue, Black Grape then began adding warm yellows (above and below photos). 
I kind of like the beginning photo as it is (above).

I added colors to the baby's face and sleeper bringing the baby almost to completion and then began working on the designs and quilt itself. I added shadowing in blue and violet beneath the baby.

Next I began to gently incorporate the design from the quilt into the baby's sleeper one element at a time to make it work. I am also adding more shadow and color to the baby's sleeper and 

Here I continued to add the pattern softly onto the baby and softened the dark shadows and folds on the quilt, I found them somewhat distracting. I like my result of the sleeping baby wrapped in a garden of little dreams!

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Demo at Francesca Anderson Gallery

On Sunday March 18, I gave a hands-on demo and drawing class at Francesca Anderson Fine Art Gallery in Lexington, MA in conjunction with our 19 on Paper exhibit at the Gallery. Eight participants from the area signed up and came to learn more about colored pencil.

I began by talking about materials: I began with the different brands of colored pencils and their qualities when used individually or together. Next I talked about different methods of erasing, pencil sharpeners, colorless blenders and other means of blending and burnishing. We moved on to talk about various surfaces; paper sanded and boards. As students began to understand the medium and how it can be applied on different surfaces, we then talked about combining different mediums and using other materials such as solvent with colored pencil.

For the second hour I invited the students to try different pencils on some different samples of surfaces I had brought with me. I had brought small items they could draw such as my pears, shells and small ceramic bottles. One lady showed us her colored pencil sketchbook and the more abstract drawings that she likes to create.

It was a fun and rewarding day for me as an instructor, I enjoy introducing the medium to new people and encouraging them to try it. Francesca Anderson has a fantastic gallery with many talented artists and beautiful works of art. I encourage anyone in the area to visit the gallery, enjoy the art and definitely be inspired.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Visited a Museum Today

Today I went to see an exhibit at the Society of Four Arts in Palm Beach, Florida. The exhibit intrigued me because it is an intricately designed costume exhibit all created with paper by Belgium artist Isabelle de Borchgrave. Isabelle grew up with a passion for art and after college she worked in interior design and began designing dresses, scarves and jewelry. She specialized in designing fabrics. 

After a visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute in 1984, Isabelle was inspired to begin creating fashion out of paper. She collaborated with theatrical costumer Rita Brown in many of her designs. Isabelle designed and painted her own designs on paper for the costumes. She designed four different series: 300 years of fashion, the Russian Ballet, the world of 19th century Venice and the Medici royal family. 

Isabelle has had many costume exhibits around the world. She has also been commissioned to create specific projects such as recreating Jacqueline Kennedy's wedding dress for the JFK Library in Boston.

I love creating with paper so I was fascinated with this exhibit and all of the different textures and patterns in the designs, right down to the shoes. It's making me contemplate what more I could do with papers, sculptures and books.

This dress was one of my favorites, I really like it's black and white simplicity of pattern.

These two costumes were designed by Henri Matisse for the Russian Ballet.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Moving Along

I'm working on the background/foreground surface to create slight tone and shadow and tie the elements together. I am laying down Prismacolor Beige Sienna, Putty Beige and Clay Rose one at a time and burnishing them into the surface. I when I add the first layers of pencil on the surface, I prefer Polychromos pencils because I can burnish and blend them into the surface with a bristle brush or even my finger. Prismacolor pencils have a waxy consistency and are more difficult to burnish into the surface, but I just didn't. have the colors/light values I needed in Polychromos. I am also working my strokes horizontally along with the grain of the paper which also helps lay the pencil down smoother.

What I really like about the UArt sanded paper is that it will take lots of layers of pencil and burnishing and works really well for applying light colors over dark colors allowing under layers to show through.

I have also lightened the shadows even more when I added in the surface, I thought they were too dark. I continued to add Polychromos Sky Blue over the darker areas and Cinnamon and Burnt Ochre towards the edges. I am continuing to mold the ball with values and blend it into the composition trying to get the lighting correct as I am working from two different reference photos.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Sneakers in Progress

I'm continuing to work on this piece and added the ball as another element to the drawing. Next step is to tie the elements together with value and shadow. I have lightened the dark shadows around the sneakers with Polychromos Sky Blue #146 and burnished it with a bristle brush. I am working from a photo of the sneakers and shadows can look darker than in life. I used the same colors of Polychromos pencils on the ball as I used on the sneakers for continuity and composition. 

I still haven't used any white on the piece because I don't want it to smudge but I laid down a base color of Polychromos Cold Gray #1 on the top of the ball for value and will add some darker shadowing around the edges to show a rounding form. I am combining two different photos for this piece so it is a challenge to get values and shadows correct. 

In my last post I forgot to note the colors I used in the insides of the sneakers and they are the same ones I have used on the yellow stripe on the ball: Yellow Ochre 183, Dark Naples Ochre 184, Naples Yellow 185, Cream 102. I used Walnut Brown on the insides of the sneakers but not on the ball. 

Sunday, January 28, 2018

More New Work

My candy apple piece that I added in my last post is sitting on an easel in progress and I just felt like beginning a second colored pencil piece, this one is on 800 grit UArt paper. This drawing is approximately 14x19". I am going to add another element to the drawing but am working on the sneakers to begin. For this piece I have been using only Faber Castell Polychromos colored pencils. These oil based pencils are a good base layer of the sanded paper as they are easily burnished into the surface with the use of a small bristle brush and layers of workable fixative.

Here is a list of the colors that I have used thus far: I began the sneaker laces, eyelets and soles with a variety of Cold Greys I - VI. For the black parts of the sneakers I used Cold Greys V, VI, Payne's Grey and Black. The red sneakers are worked in Caput Mortuum Violet, Dark Red, Deep Scarlet Red, Deep Red and Scarlet Red. For the shadows I chose Indanthrene Blue and Walnut Brown, with Burnt Ochre and Cinnamon for the lighter areas.

I haven't added any white yet as the pencils do smudge, I am also keeping the pencil in place with layers of workable fixative.

I am working from dark to light, adding the darkest colors first and layering lighter colors on top. The sanded surface makes this an easier method to use, almost like one would work in pastels. Stay tuned for more progress on this piece and the candy apples.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

On My Drawing Table

I'm starting new work in colored pencil and a new series of nostalgia. It feels good to be drawing in colored pencil again for the new year. My inspiration comes from a photo I took of a grouping of wrapped candy apples. I chose to use an older Ferris wheel in the background, thus nostalgia!

 This first piece that I am creating on a piece of standard Crescent Watercolour Board which is a textured 100% rag paper mounted on board. I had this piece in my supplies and that's why I decided to use it. I'm looking at the pricing on line and I don't think I paid that much several years ago when I purchased the board.

I worked this piece with a variety of Prismacolor Premier, Caran d'Ache Luminance, Faber Castell Polychromos and Derwent Coloursoft pencils layering the different types of pencils over one another. This rag paper surface is soft so the Polychromos work well under and over the other pencils particularly the Prismacolor which are softer and more crumbly. The Luminance also layer nicely over the Prismacolors as do the Coloursoft. In this piece I am really experimenting with different pencils applied over one another.

My reference photo of the candy apples was dark and I had to work with lightening up the apples to give the piece some depth. The surface of the board is tough thankfully. I erased colored pencil, put pencil back on and erased again trying to make the two concepts of candy apples and Ferris wheel work together. I am still not finished, still working and reworking the background into the piece.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Nineteen on Paper Art Exhibit

Nineteen on Paper group of artists reading artwork on or with paper will be having a group exhibit 
at the Wickford Art Association, Beach Street, Wickford, Rhode Island. 
Opening reception is Sunday, January 14 from 1-3 pm. 

I am exhibiting my book sculptures and colored pencil drawings, Personalities of Birds 
(hand folded and cut from Field Guide to the Birds book), 
Looking Towards Earth and Exuberant (colored pencil works) are pictured below.