Saturday, September 29, 2012

Pet Portrait of Frasier

This post is going to have everyone thinking of the holidays and it's much to early for that however here is a pet portrait I just finished of a cute little West Highland Terrier named Frasier. The drawing is 11x14" done in colored pencil on charcoal gray Canson Mi Tientes paper. It is exactly the pose my customer wanted, she also chose the winter or holiday themed scarf and wanted pine trees in the background. Fortunately she gave me several good photos to work from, although this pose wouldn't have been my first choice. Commission work can be tricky because the artist is drawing or painting the customer's ideas and impressions and not the artist's own. It can often take me a while to mentally get into the drawing I've been asked to do and to put it down on paper as the owner sees her dog. I find that it always helps to talk in length to a customer about his/her dog and also to meet the dog in person and understand a little about the dog's personality. I feel as if I did okay with this piece but I do see a few areas that could be improved upon. Of course I'm not going to point them out to my readers!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Karen Rosasco Watermedia & Composition Workshop

This week our studio is hosting a 5-day experimental watermedia workshop with NY artist Karen Rosasco. The focus of the workshop is to work in a rather abstract manner using techniques such as layered acrylic, charcoal, collage, relief printing, layering mixed media and textured gel medium.  On the first day we began by coating large sheets of watercolor paper with gloss medium, then layers of thinned acrylic afterward adding textures into the wet surface and/or spattering rubbing alcohol for  interesting effects in the paint. On the second day we cut the paper into smaller pieces and started to think more about composition, taking away areas with rubbing alcohol for whites adding more paint for darks, deciding on compositional values, perhaps adding more textures. Today we collaged a variety of papers and objects onto our papers, added more paint and more lines. At this point we take the plunge and really think about our final composition for each piece. As you all know I work very realistically so this is a stretch for me. I came home exhausted today because my brain is working so hard! I must say Karen is a wonderful instructor, she is pushing me in new ways of thinking and creating. She teaches several new techniques from her each day which we can use now or incorporate into our own work at a later time.

 These are some of my beginning compositions that I will continue working on. I have used some of my drawings, my etchings, tissue paper and colorful paper cocktail umbrellas collaged into these pieces.

  Here are some of the gals working
 Examples of one students' work, lots of collage and textures.
 Here are Karen's abstract "drag figures" which I can't explain. If you want to learn her technique, take one of her workshops, you  have to see her demonstrate.
This is Karen showing us examples of her works.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Ampersand Clayboard Boxes

I purchased nine 5x5" clayboard box kits from Ampersand with the intention of doing a series of drawings on the tops of the boxes and inside the boxes when the covers are lifted. I've chosen ocean life as a theme and worked on the drawings for the tops of the boxes shown here, placed close together. Because the clayboard is too smooth of a surface to draw on, I'm using white stonehenge paper or white bristol paper, although the turtle is drawn on cream stonehenge. The mediums I have used are image transfer and colored pencil. Image transfer is a process in which I take a Xerox copy of a drawing or photograph and transfer it onto the paper with a Chartpak colorless marker. Of course the image will come out in reverse so I have to switch it accordingly. Next I add colored pencil to the transfer and around. Some of the backgrounds I chose to leave white and some are colored.

My next step is to decide what smaller images I want to place inside each box and work on those. I'm doing this series for my upcoming exhibit at the Providence Art Club in October. I will show these boxes on pedestals as 3D artwork and most likely in smaller groupings.

Also, Ampersand has used my colored pencil piece on Gessobord Patti's New Bowl in a recent blog entry for the company's fall sale on the different boards.

Friday, September 7, 2012

End of Summer

While sitting on Surfside Beach in Nantucket with friends right after Labor Day two years ago, I took several photos of this scene. It's taken me that amount of time to finally dig out my reference photos, review them and decide on a composition. It's fitting for the time of year and my reflections on summer so I came up with this simple horizontal scene. Just a quiet, end of summer afternoon, two guys on the right looking out at the water and possibly reflecting on the day or on the season. In the middle, the girl holding the surfboard is photographed by her boyfriend with the waves in the background. It's a quiet, tranquil scene. Reminds me of happy days spent at the beach.

This drawing is 9x24" on UArt sanded paper. Same colored pencil techniques as I explained in my Edge of a Dream post.

Thursday, September 6, 2012