Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Signs of Fall

This little guy is rendered using Derwent Graphitint pencils. These are graphite pencils with a hint of color. They have a pretty smooth laydown like graphite and they are nicely blendable. The 24 colors are all earth tones and are pretty subtle. I used about 5 different pencils in this piece, all various shades of brown plus black. These pencils can be used dry like regular graphite pencils, but they are also water soluble. In this piece, the squirrel is done using traditional graphite pencil techniques. The leaves were dampened after they were colored. The water brightens the color of the pencils a bit. For the background, I made a powder of two of the pencils (in two separate containers) by grinding them in a fine mesh tea strainer. Then I applied the powder with a stiff brush.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Another ribbon in my collection!

I picked up my work from the Cranberry Festival Art Show today and found a ribbon attached to my little portrait of Gus. Gus took 3rd place in the Adult Division. I am very pleased. The portrait is approximately 2.5x3.5 inches and is rendered in colored pencil on Stonhenge paper. Gus is now on his way to the Annual Miniature Show in Chambersburg, PA.

Monday, September 21, 2009

On the road, again!

After staying home for a whole three days, I headed out again on Friday to take a seminar with Sandy Scales sponsored by Town and Country Decorative Painters. Sandy teaches projects designed by Maureen McNaughton. I took two of the three days of classes and came away with two lovely projects. I will never be an enthusiastic stroke work painter, but I am certainly glad I took the classes and I did learn a thing or two. So here are my projects. The violets are painted on a wooden tray. It needs to have the handles attached to finish it off. The Autumn bouquet is painted on a metal tray/plate with a filigree edge. I painted the lacy edge with DecoArt Traditions Gold using a very light touch so that it mostly just hit the high points of the design.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

More from the Liliedahl Seminar

In addition to the large piece from yesterday's post, we also did a small 8x10 feature study. This was also done in oils using the Bistre method.

Bistre underpainting

Finished study

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Seminar Project

I just got back from a 3-day seminar with portrait artist Johnnie Liliedahl. Our project was a portrait based on a work by an early 20th century Russian artist and was painted in oils. The portrait was developed by first doing a value scale underpainting in Raw Umber. This is a Flemish old master technique called Bistre. Once the underpainting was completed, the dark areas were painted in layers of transparent glazes. The light areas (skin tones) were painted with opaque mixes. This piece was painted on a 16x20 canvas.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


A couple of weeks ago, I posted my Williamsburg Street Market Vendor in progress. Well, I finally finished her. Here she is. The background was a challenge because the original photo had a lot of 20th century visitors in the background. I finally settled on grinding the point of one of my graphite pencils into powder using a fine-mesh strainer. Then I applied the powder to the background using a Q-tip.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Artist of the Month

I have the honor of having been selected as the Artist of the Month by the Franklin Fine Arts Council for the month of September. I have several colored pencil and graphite pieces hanging in the coffee shop downtown for the entire month. I am doing something new this month. I have asked for permission to go to the coffee shop two Thursday mornings during the month to demonstrate my work and be available to meet and talk to people. For some reason, no one has ever done this before.

Today was the first of my Meet the Artist visits. Several people did come over to see what I was doing and to talk a bit. It was a very nice morning.

I took graphite pencils with me and worked on a pelican. I am pretty pleased with the results of my work, especially since it was done in a dimly lit space. Next time I have to take a little work lamp with me.