Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Sunday, April 13, 2008
(Somehow the text disappeared from the images I posted.) This is the progression of a recent colored pencil piece I have been working on for the past month (or more). In 2006, I was vacationing with friends in Sanibel Island. While taking many long walks on the beach, I started picking up unique and interesting pieces of shells. Before long I had quite a large collection that I carted home with me. Just recently, I laid them all out, arranging and rearranging, and decided to create a piece of artwork encompassing many of the shells.
In my first image, you can see that I began with a line drawing. My surface is heavy weight, rag illustration board. Next I worked a grisaille underpainting with Indigo and Pale Blue Prismacolor pencils to establish values and contours.
My second image, and next step, was to give each shell a delicate watercolor wash using Caran d'Arche Supracolor Soft Pencils and a little water. To this, I added lots of color with my wax based colored pencils but keeping colors and tones consistent to create harmony. My goal was also to make the shells very colorful.
I have added background to the third image with several blue and violet colored pencils and solvent. I like using the solvent to dissolve the pencil to create a uniform background.
At this point, I am not sure the piece is finished. I have put it aside to look at every day and ponder over while I work on something else. I like the color and the composition but I'm not sure the shells stand out enough from the background and I'd also like to establish a distinct focal point.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
On Sunday I gave a colored pencil demo & talk for the Artists' Guild at the Newport Art Museum. The photo on the left is the drawing that I used to demonstrate my technique. The board I am working on is Ampersand Gessoboard with a layer of terra cotta Colourfix Primer on the surface. You can see the drawing that I did in white pencil and how I began with laying in the highlights on the cherries and the shadows around the fruit and the plate.
In my demo, I worked on the cherries using colored pencils and solvent intermittently. The solvent will dissolve the colored pencil so it is applied more like paint. When I have time, I take oil painting classes and often find myself struggling to mix the paints on the palate first. I'm so used to applying the colored pencil directly to my surface and allowing the colors to mix on the surface as I layer them. From the oil painting classes, I have learned to paint with colored pencil!
The Artists' Guild was a great group of artists and asked many questions about my work and my techniques. Some of these questions I had to think about before answering. It is always interesting to talk to an audience because I always end up learning things from them as well as they learn things from me.