Sunday, April 13, 2008

Explanation of ... Memories of Sanibel

(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.


Teresa Mallen said...

Hi Kendra,

Such a stunning piece! You gathered a wonderful collection of shells for subject matter. For my two cents worth, I wouldn't change a thing...I think the shells stand out quite nicely from the background, and I do love the background! I personally like the fact that there isn't a distinct focal point but then again I like it when artists sometimes go beyond the rules. :-) The shapes of the shells along with the composition and arrangement you chose caused my eyes to move around within the piece and the rich colours kept me captivated.
A wonderful job and a wonderful explanation of your process.
I look forward to seeing your next piece!

Kendra said...


I really appreciate your comments and feedback. Its always a help to hear what others have to say. Sometimes I'm too critical of my own work! Today I have decided to take a last look, finish the piece and frame it for a gallery. I may just tweak it a little.