Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Different Kind of Portrait

I had forgotten to share this photo of a portrait I had been commissioned to draw so I'm going to post it now. This portrait was done as a surprise for it's likeness, Angie, pictured here with the drawing. I had been asked by one of Angie's friends to draw a portrait of her from this self portrait photo that she took of herself and present it to her at my Providence Art Club exhibit. Pictured here, she is seeing the drawing for the first time. And since this was a surprise for Angie, I didn't post the image as I was working on it and then just got busy, absentmindedly forgot, so I'm doing it now.

The photo was black and white but had a sense of color to the gray tones. I was intrigued by her pose, the colors/values and the body art on Angie's forearm which reads Harmony, a tribute her young daughter. I used only a few colored pencils to achieve this the values: Slate Gray, Cool Grey 50%, Tuscan Red, Indigo Blue, Black Cherry, Black Grape and Black. While I wanted it to read as a black and white photo, I chose to give it warm tones of colorful darks. I worked on Strathmore rag illustration board which has a texture so I used bristle brush to burnish the colors into the board as I was working. The most difficult part was the top left which is a solid dark. I achieved this by layering color over color starting with Tuscan Red, adding a second layer of Indigo Blue and a third layer of Black Grape using a light even pressure then burnishing between each layer of pencil. This combination was too colorful and not dark enough so I added a layer of black on top letting the bottom layers of color show through. It took several layers and a lot of burnishing to achieve the rich dark I was looking for.

Our Art Boot Camp ended yesterday and I have to say it was a rewarding session for both students and instructors myself and Felicia Touhey. I have to share one comment that was made at the end of class when the students were laying out their work for everyone to view. One of the students said to Felicia and I with a big smile on her face: "You must be so proud of us and all that we achieved in this session!" Yes, we are absolutely proud of the students. To me that is the biggest reward an instructor could want, helping students to learn, to grow and feel a sense of accomplishment.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Three Boats, Three Apples

Here are three small pieces I've done for a local small picture show at Spring Bull Gallery, Newport which opens Saturday. They are all 5x5" and will be framed in 12x12" frames with a wide mat. I chose a boat theme for tbe Newport scene.

 Illusion 5x5" colored pencil on gray Fabriano Tiziano paper. This reference photo is from Nantucket, MA

 Primary Colors 5x5" on UArt 800 sanded paper. I took this reference photo in Malta.

 Reflecting the Sky 5x5" on UArt 800 sanded paper. I believe I photographed this boat is in Wickford, RI.

My newest candy apple pieces (I don't think I put these on my blog yet) On the Chopping Block 12x12", Three Apples 6x8" and Melting 8x8". All on 2" cradled Ampersand Gessobord. These three pieces are hanging in Angelina's Coffee, Bristol, RI.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Teaching Pastel and Selling Work

Felicia and I are continuing on with our 8-week session of our Art Boot Camp and so today was my turn to teach pastel to our students. I was a bit nervous because I love working in pastel (it is my first choice when working en plein air) but I have never taught it before. I wanted to be sure I could give good instructions to my students and help them choose shapes, hues and values which can sometimes become confusing when picking up so many pieces of pastel to create a vibrant drawing. We're working from a large fall still life set up, which can be seen somewhat in the background of my photos. I encouraged each person to take a small part of the still life this week in order to become familiar with the medium, not try to tackle too much and get really confused. I started the class with a short demo and then ran around the table for 3 hours helping each person! Time went by quickly and they all really enjoyed it, I saw a lot of smiles at the end of class. Including me! I'm thinking about teaching a pastel course. If anyone local is reading this and is interested, please let me know. You can email me through my website or send me a message on FaceBook.

My exhibit at the Providence Art Club has ended and I picked up my work today, minus these four pieces. I am saying goodbye to Fragments of Time, Well Worn, Uplifted and Keepers of Mystery. They have all found a new home. Uplifted is going to live in Brazil and I have to admit I was sad when I heard it had sold, it was my favorite and much of my soul is in that drawing.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Working with Dynasty Brush Company

In the above photo I'm using a Dynasty Brush Mongolian Sable flat brush to add odorless mineral spirits to my colored pencil so I can move it around like paint. This is a commission piece I am working on for a customer, it is 6x24" on 2" cradled Ampersand Gessobord coated with Terra Cotta tinted Colourfix Primer which gives it a nice texture to work on.

For another totally different method of working with colored pencil, I'm using Dynasty Brush Deerfoot IPC (ink, pastel, charcoal). This rounded brush has a flat angled end (like a deer foot) which is perfect for burnishing my colored pencil work and pushing the pencil into the grooves of the paper. I'm using UArt 800 grit sanded paper with Faber Castell Polychromos pencils. The Polychromos are less waxy than other brands and lend themselves to being applied to the sanded paper in a similar method to working with pastel.

I may have mentioned previously that Dynasty Brush Company has offered me an opportunity to experiment with several of their different types of brushes and has featured me, my artwork and recent accomplishments in this blog entry on their website, the link to my article is here. I'm really honored to be chosen to be able to try the various Dynasty brushes in my colored pencil work, and also a little bit with oils and watercolors. I am always trying new methods and materials when working with colored pencil in which to work quicker, as we all know that colored pencil can be timely and require much patience. I also look for ways in which to smooth my colored pencil work when using a very textured surface which I often do.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Colored Pencil Home Study Course

I am excited to announce that I was just selected at one of TEN TOP Colored Pencil Masters to be featured in a brand new Home Study Course called"Sessions with Colored Pencil Masters". My work will be also be featured on Nov. 13, 1 p.m. EST, in an International webinar which gives a sneak peek of the course with tips, tricks and shortcuts from top Masters. To sign up for the FREE webinar click here: if you are unable to watch it live, sign up so you will get a link to the replay.

If you want to purchase a copy of this new course at a special low price, go to and use the discount code: KendraF. You will get $10.00 OFF (even a SALE price).