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.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

New Year New Works

I'll begin by posting two of the colored pencil pet portraits I worked on for clients during the holiday season. The top portrait is 8x8" worked with Prismacolor and Faber Castell Polychromos on gray Fabriano paper. The Golden Retriever is 8x10" worked on UArt 800 grit sanded paper also with Prismacolor and Polychromos pencils.

Both clients were very pleased and I was too. These were two beautiful dogs to draw and I enjoyed it Now onto my own new work for the new year!

Friday, October 27, 2017

Autumn Leaves with Watercolor Pencil

These are a few of my student drawings from our class today. Colorful autumn leaves and berries were the subject. We worked on hot press watercolor paper and started with layers of watercolor washes with watercolor colored pencils. The next layers were building up more layers and detail watercolor pencils and adding colored pencils (when dry) for details. 

We used a variety of watercolor pencils: Derwent Watercolor, Derwent Inktense, Caran d'Ache Supracolor Soft and Prismacolor watercolor pencils. 

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Package Design for Staedtler Mars Ltd.

 I was really excited to be contacted by the company artist supply Staedtler Mars to create a colored pencil drawing for their new line of brilliant colored pencils. The company had recently seen a drawing I worked on of Converse sneakers and asked me to recreate a similar drawing using their brand of colored pencils. The new line of pencils are just being introduced and come in sets of 12, 24, 36 and 72.

I have attached my initial sketch and my finished drawing below. The pencils are easy to work with, the points stay nicely sharpened and the leads don't crumble. The set of pencils in each tin is easy to transport for travel or sketching on the road! Give them a try!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

In Between Shells

Here is a new handmade book that I created. The covers are made from two large quahog shells that I found locally on the beach. I drilled holes into the shells so I could sew the pages together and to the shells. I will post more photos of the cover at a later date, the book is on exhibit right now at the Providence Art Club Big and Small Exhibition.

I created the pages by cutting them out to fit the outside shell shapes then illustrated most pages with colored pencil, gouache, markers, image transfer and printmaking. I also used different materials to collage pages; old maps, rice paper, decorative papers, marbleized paper. and book pages. I have been working on this piece throughout the summer and while taking trips on our boat, I became inspired with different fish and marine life I have seen and photographed in my travels.

It is meant to be a small journal of my thoughts and travels corresponding to the ocean.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Colorful Commission

This was a fun commission, done in oil paint for a client. She had a similar reference painting and wanted the woman's face changed to look more like herself plus she wanted her cat Massimo in the painting with her. The style of painting is relatively flat and very colorful so it was fun for me to create, I especially liked working on Massimo - probably because it's another form of a pet portrait. 

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Lucky in His Little Jacket

This is my latest 8x10" colored pencil portrait of Lucky for a customer. It is created on Ampersand Pastelbord and varnished.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Studies of Salt Water Taffy

I chose salt water taffy for my adult colored pencil students at Bristol Art Museum to draw studies of in our class. We had been working on changes in values and studying form and shape so this exercise was challenging. Several students struggled with the crinkles in the wrappers. Sometimes I take things for granted, what comes easy for me is not necessarily that way for my students. In this class most of the students are new to colored pencil and are brand new to trying their hand at art. Below are a few of their drawings, we worked on Canson Mi Teintes gray paper.