Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A Brag!

Last weekend I entered several works in the Festival in the Forest Art Show in Tionesta, PA. When I went back to pick up my pieces at the end of the show, I found out that my piglet had won 3rd place in the show. Piglet is done on grey suede mat board using Prismacolor Premier colored pencils. He is approximately 5x7 and is actually in a black oval mat for presentation.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

What a little time and practice will do

A year ago shortly after I started working with colored pencils, I developed a painting from a photograph of a goldfish. I was very pleased at the time with the results of the exercise. This year, my students wanted to do that goldfish project. So, I wrote up the instructions, included a line drawing and the original reference photo and we went to work. When the project was finished, my students had done a very good job and learned a great deal about how to work with reference photos. More important for me was seeing the difference that a year of working with the medium made in my work. In the last year, I have spent a lot of time learning to manipulate the medium, but also working from photos and making a serious effort to really see what I was looking at. The difference between the original work and the new rendering of exactly the same subject is startling. Both pieces are done on the same paper, white Bristol Plate, and are rendered using the same Prismacolor Premier pencils. The moral of the story? Practice, Practice, Practice!!!!!

Here is the original goldfish rendering done in 2008:

Here is the 2009 version of the same goldfish:

Saturday, June 6, 2009


reference photo

I have been wanting to try out the Dick Blick colored pencils. They are less expensive than the Prismacolor that I normally use and could help me keep my supply costs down when I am teaching at retreats or conventions. I bought a 12 pencil set to try, so my color choices were limited. The Blick pencils seem to be highly pigmented. They perhaps have a bit more opacity than the Prismacolor. This may be more a function of the specific colors that are included in the 12 pencil set than a characteristic of the entire line. They also seem to be a tad bit harder and less creamy. While I was working today, I was sitting in the sun holding a yard sale, so being a little harder was a definite advantage. They do seem to blend well and layering colors was not a problem. I used both the colorless blender marker from the Prismacolor line and the Prismacolor colorless blender pencil and both worked equally well. Overall, I like the pencils and will continue to experiment with them. I will probably purchase a larger set so that I will have a wider range of colors to work with as well.

Her is my experimental work. It is developed from a photograph taken by my husband several years ago. Because the poppies are intensely colored, I was able to make use of the limited palette of colors I had available to me. The only addition I needed to make was a white pencil from my Prismacolor set. The work is done on gold Mi-Tientes paper and is approximately 6x8.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

What's on my drawing board?

I have been working on a number of new pieces recently. All of them are in colored pencil and all have been developed from photographs. Here is one based on a photo sent to me by a student. The original photo included a lot of leaves, branches and other "clutter". In order to make the apples the focal point of the painting, I eliminated most of the background from the photo. The painting is done on gold Mi-Tientes paper. Even working on the smooth side of the paper, there is still some texture to contend with. Mi-Tientes is primarily used for pastel work. I think that colored pencil done on Mi-Tientes has a bit of the soft look of pastel. I selected the color of the paper because it compliments the undertones of the apples and gives the piece a sort of glow. The piece is approximately 6x8.