Sunday, November 16, 2014

Student Work and Inspiration

I am teaching a colored pencil drawing class at the Newport Art Museum, Newport, RI and I thought I would share our lesson on Friday.  My students are beginners to working in colored pencil although most have taken other art classes and open to trying new techniques with colored pencil. For this class, I had them work on 5x7" Ampersand Gray Pastelbords using colored pencil and odorless Gamsol solvent. They each have a set of 48 Prismacolor pencils and we work within the colors contained in the box. I chose cherries as a subject for them and let each person choose the background. They each began by deciding on their composition and then sketching it out. Next adding a layer of colored pencil and working in the solvent with a brush, afterward adding more layers of colored pencil to the wet solvent and later more when the area had dried.

On Saturday I went up to Boston with a friend to visit the Richard Schmid, Nancy Guzik and Kathey Anderson oil exhibit at the St Botolph Club and the Boston Fine Arts Expo. Besides being back in my old Copley Square neighborhood from my college days, I really enjoyed and was inspired by all the wonderful art at both events and the American Art Collector magazine I picked up on the way out. Although, there are mostly oils at the Fine Arts Expo, there were some pastels and watercolors but a very few drawings and no colored pencil. Much of the work was from the 19th and early 20th centuries, although some contemporary artists mixed in. Still inspiring but got me thinking how can professional colored pencil works become included?

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Two Pet Portraits and an Award

These are two 8x10" commissioned pet portraits that I just finished, Bella is on the top and Ruby is below. Both are worked on Ampersand Pastelbord, Bella is on Sand Pastelbord and Ruby is on white Pastelbord tinted with brown tones of watercolor. Both pieces are worked in colored pencil. I have added odorless mineral spirits to the colored pencil to smooth out the texture in the background to compliment the fur textures of the dogs.

I am very excited because my colored pencil piece Seafoam has won the Frank C. Wright Medal of Honor Plus award in the American Artist Professional League's 86th Grand National Exhibition. I was honored to have been accepted to this wonderful exhibition shown at the Salmagundi Club in NYC, now I am doubly honored to have won this award. Seafoam is 16x18" colored pencil on rag illustration board.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Colored Pencil Classes

I'm teaching one Colored Pencil Drawing class right now at Newport Art Museum in Newport, RI. Below are two of the class drawing assignments. We are using the Prismacolor 48 pencil set which limits the color range and is forcing us to mix colors to achieve a local color or value we may not have a pencil for. Below are my examples as I draw along with the class.

Drew autumn leaves on a colored background, using Canson Mi Tientes paper. Here I am allowing some of the yellow tones to show through my leaves and using limited colors. I haven't done much layering, just juxtaposing colors by laying them side by side.

This class assignment was to draw white objects on a blue gray background, also Canson Mi Tientes paper. It was a bit more challenging because the easiest thing to do would be to reach for a set of gray valued pencils to render a white object. We were  forced to create colorful grays with the pencils we had in our Prismacolor 48 color set. This is my small drawing of a milk carton and the colors I used along the bottom. For the lightest values I used White, Cream, Gingeroot and Light Cerulean Blue. Medium values I used  are Yellow Ochre and True Blue. For the darker values I used Burnt Ochre and Peacock Blue and for the darkest areas of value I used Indigo Blue.

All of these colors except Light Cerulean Blue are warm colors which worked well together, I chose Light Cerulean Blue because I needed a light blue value, but used it very lightly so it wouldn't stand out against the warm colors. The blue shades and yellow/orange/brown shades are complementaries and I layered to create colorful grays for the different values.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Invitational Pastel Exhibit

 Key Largo Palms

 Scarlet Vista

 Torreone Village, Tuscany

Cortona Hillside, Tuscany

Here are my four pastels that I have put into the invitational pastel exhibit at Spring Bull Gallery in Newport, Rhode Island. The top two abstracts were started in a workshop with Casey Klahn through the Pastel Painters Society of Cape Cod last October 2013. I had tucked them away and enjoyed completing them just recently. Casey challenged the class to work abstractly and in shapes and to sometimes change from using local colors.

The second two pastels were painted plein aire while in Tuscany, and also finished in the studio. I've learned to make good color notes because when I come back to the studio and try to finish from a photo, the colors and values have changed from working on location.

The exhibit is on through the month of November and includes nine other pastel artists: Rick Cardoza, Shelly Eager,  Sarah Fielding-Gunn, Janet Gendreau, Diane L’Heureux, Priscilla Malone, Kelly Milukas, Evelyn Rhodes, and Jeanne Tangney.