Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Beginning and Finishing

I have started a new piece, another drawing of tulips. I seem to be attracted to them lately. This photo I took on my deck of beautiful orange tulips in the blue glass vase. I'm going to add a background which will be a simple band of landscape and a lot of pale blue sky. And once the background is drawn, I will have to readjust color in the tulips so they will come forward. The surface is Rtistx and I am using Prismacolors, Verithins and Lyra Rembrandts.

Here is my paint tube drawing nearly completed. I have stood the drawing up in my studio so I can walk by for the next few days, look at the piece, and decide if it needs anything else. I am usually critical of my own work but I really love this piece and had so much fun portraying the crinkly old tubes of paint.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

4th of July Commissioned Artwork

This is a small colored pencil drawing (7x10") in which I was commissioned to do by the Grand Marshalls of the Bristol, RI Fourth of July Committee. The drawing was a gift to the Chairwoman of the Committee for her years of dedication and hard work. I was honored to be the artist asked to do the artwork. The Fourth of July is huge in Bristol, RI. The parade is the largest and oldest parade in the country and celebrations begin on Flag Day and continue until July 4. It's always a fun time of year that most residents look forward to. For the artwork, I was asked to draw the bandstand on the town common decorated in red white and blue and filled with people.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Candy Apples in Neocolor II Crayons

Here are the candy apples finished with Neocolor crayons. To review my process: first I put a layer of color on the surface with Neocolor II crayons. Next I added water and dissolved the crayon. When it dried, I added a layer or two of colored pencil to every area of the piece. But then decided I wanted to punch it up with color so I added more Neocolor crayon on top and left it dry, not adding any water. I sharpened the crayons with a lip pencil sharpener for the more detailed areas. The result is almost like a pastel but it can't be smudged and doesn't flake off. I like the textured "painterly" look of the finished piece.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Neocolor II Playtime!

Two weeks ago in my class, we experimented with Neocolor II water soluble crayons and I liked them so much that I ordered a set of 84 crayons to try. They just arrived and I just couldn't wait to begin. I decided to create a small candy apple piece because I'm anxious to see what kind of candy apples I could do with these crayons. I am using an 8x8" 2" cradled gessobord coated with (my usual) Terra Cotta tinted Colourfix primer. In the top photo, I've lightly covered the surface with the Neocolors and begun adding water to just the background blue which becomes incredibly vibrant when water is added.
Now I've added water to all of the color and tried (somewhat unsuccessfully) to make the color flow and even it out. First of all, I have to remember that the crayon color becomes incredibly vibrant when water is added. Secondly, It can be difficult to brush out evenly, see the blue on the right? No matter how hard I tried, it would just keep lifting off the surface. The bright purple, pink and red apples look a little funny but my intention for them is to be a colorful underpainting.
Now I am refining the drawing. The textured surface and the thick layer of the crayon are keeping this drawing somewhat abstract and do not allow me to achieve a very smooth surface. But its okay because I'm enjoying this process and the experiments. After adding the pencil, which is flaking off like crazy, I'm adding another layer of crayon. I'm leaving this layer dry but I like what I'm achieving, its beginning to look like pastel.

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Intricate Insides of Peppers

Earlier this week I was reading through some artist blogs and found an oil painting of an inside of a pepper by Cindy Haase that I found so fascinating and decided to have my colored pencil classes try drawing this same subject. I purchased yellow, orange and green peppers in intricate shapes, cut them in half and let each person choose one (with the exception of one student who wanted to draw a whole pepper and another who chose to draw stones). The morning class drawings are in the top photo. We used UArt 800 grit sanded pastel paper which is a finely sanded surface and a light beige background.

The evening class worked on the Aubergine Colourfix paper because the additional UArt paper I ordered for this class arrived in a coarser grit which we couldn't use for colored pencil. Both surfaces worked well with the peppers in terms of background and contrast. I'm thinking about working on a whole composition of pepper halves.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Portrait Workshop with Michael Peery

This weekend I took an oil painting portrait workshop with Michael Peery. I took this workshop for two reasons, I am hoping what I learned will help me with my colored pencil portraits, in terms of color and value and rendering the human figure. I also wanted to do something different and out of the box for me. I always believe that one medium will influence another.

Michael Peery is a fantastic painter from New London, Connecticut and teaches at both Rhode Island School of Design and Rhode Island College. His portrait and still life work is just fascinating and American Artist magazine published an article about his inspirations, style of painting and his works in the March 2010 issue. I have included the links.

To paint the portrait, we learned Michael's technique of mixing the basic or beginning flesh tones from flake white, transparent red oxide and payne's gray. A series of colorful grays or flesh tones are created (see Michael's value chart above using these three colors only). He prefers flake white to titanium for more subtle flesh tones, often the painter may achieve a pasty or chalky look mixing with titanium white. I have to add that one must be careful working with flake white because it has a lead base. From that basic palette we mixed other colors as we began laying in the values and hues of the figure.

The bottom photo is Michael's demonstration of how he begins the portrait painting and shows his palette with transparent red oxide, payne's gray and flake white value mixtures in the center and other colors in his palette surrounding them.

I'm going out on a limb and posting my painting in its beginning stages. Because after this, I started to really mess her up! I'm still learning oils and the portrait process is soooo slow for me. Our model was lit by two lights; the brightest light source on the left and a more subtle greenish light on the right which highlighted our model in green and allowed us to experiment with green in skin tones. I love color so I found that part fascinating. With two light sources, we learned about transition shadows on the flesh as it turns from one light source to the next. I had fun with the colorful shadows and highlights on the model's skin and hope to eventually finish this piece in my studio.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Three Shiny Apples

I have been asked to create a small colored pencil artwork for the CPSA silent auction fundraiser called "Small Works of Great Magnitude". The silent auction is held during the national convention week and exhibition which is in Dallas, TX July 12-16. The silent auction takes place during the Members' Night on Thursday, July 14 and is to benefit CPSA's exhibition costs. All of the works will be featured on the CPSA website by the end of June. This year there will be 36 wonderful works to bid on and I'm happy to say that I will be attending and can view them all.

For my submission, I chose to draw these candy apples. The size is 7x10" which will be matted to 11x14" which is the maximum size for the small works. I've worked on red Canson Mi Teintes paper and used Prismacolor pencils and Lyra Rembrandt pencils. Because the paper is so textured, the red shows through giving the whole piece an overall warmth. The colors I used for the background are Prismas Imperial Violet and Blue Violet Lake, which make the background look so interesting with the red behind it. I burnished the apples with a bristle brush so they would look shiny and and not textured like the rest of the piece. It was fun to draw and took me about 3 or 4 hours to complete.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Balancing Stones

I draw this small piece along with my morning class on Tuesday. I gave each person a piece of Aubergine colored Art Spectrum Colourfix paper and everyone chose a few stones to put together in a composition and draw. I chose to stack four small stones and I like the way this little drawing turned out. Each stone was different, the bottom one being the most intricate. The Colourfix paper is nice because it's sanded surface takes layers the pencil quickly. The color makes a really nice background for the different stones we all chose. This little piece is going to look really nice in a frame!