Friday, November 17, 2017

Q is for Quibble

Conversation in Color Pencil class yesterday turned to the question of What is Art. Must it be done completely by hand. Where do photos and digital tools fit into the equation?

This image is part of a photo I took, I edited, I cropped and I worked with the create the feeling of the Color Pencil drawings I am currently working on. It is easier to do (for me) than drawing every stroke by hand, but the results are exactly what I envision - and it is a fine model of the work I will do today - with pencils in hand. so ...

Thursday, November 16, 2017

P is for Pretty

And the power of Photoshop.

Its been a busy week making art, teaching art, planning art and prepping for a sale. So, today, I need time to play. This image is a pink rose which I decided needed a better background. Several filters later I arrived at this.

This image reminds me of a portrait - no longer pink, but so pretty.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

O is for One More

The last butterfly was drawn on dark green paper. This one is on bright pink. It was interesting to see the different effects created by the background color as well as the different color choices I needed o make in order to get this image to pop. In both, I really like the rich texture I achieved, and a certain luminous quality.

We tried this in my senior class with wonderful result - easy to work with materials, simple design = fun and success for all. Also, a little lesson in symmetry.

Irene M

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

N is for New (and Unexpected)

Caran D'ache Neocolor Watersoluble Crayons (or French crayons as they are known by my kid students) are some of my favorite and most used teaching materials.

They are as easy to use as crayons, vibrant enough to be seen by even some of my vision challenged seniors, and when water is added, create beautiful deep colors that enhance any image..

I have written about them often because they are so versatile and so lovely.

The other day, developing an idea for a project, the only thing at hand
to draw on was a piece of construction paper, and my French crayons. I planned to rough out a butterfly sketch - but when I put the crayon to the rough texture of the school grade paper, magic happened. Depth of color, texture, almost painterly in its richness. No water, just layers of color. Easy, unexpected and a whole new way to use an old favorite.

Monday, November 13, 2017

M is for (What a) Mess

I started out with the intention of using color pencil to copy/draw a landscape - or in my case, a seascape. What I got was a trip through a mess to find ... something.

Utilizing a technique I learned in class, I printed the image to size and laid it atop my Strathmore Colored Pencil paper (which I think is a pleasure to draw on.)

Using a sharp pencil I "embossed" my main lines into the paper below. Then I began to layer color- I faced a large blank expanse and a tiny pencil tip. Sigh.

I collect art supplies at garage sales. Recently I acquired colored pencil sticks - with no box and no words on them. I also have some colored Conte crayon. They, and/or something else I can't recognize, all seemed to have ended up in the same little flat cigar tin during a mass studio clean up.  I selected a perfectly matched palette from the box, and started to color. 

Now - my problem is, that I cannot seem to make myself duplicate an image. I've done that - many times in the past, but now I want to be able to use this medium to make the images I want - and build my skills.

Yet, I start with the best intentions and quickly hate the image on my page. Then I discover that some of my sticks are pastels - they went on so nice, and some were hard crayon and a few were soft waxy crayons. But I used them as they came to hand to lay down the under colors. However, the color pencil effect was lost and another - something - was appearing.

This is the second time in two days that a carefully planned, copy from a photo project has turned into doing what I often seem to do when I make art of any kind, create a mysterious place. By now, I was so far away from where I started that I said, what the hell, and started messing around, adding little houses, changing the landscape - finding a place, but staying to the gorgeous color palette and feel of the original photo.

I feel like I've taken a step forward today ... 

Sunday, November 12, 2017

L is for Lines

Lines, lovely lines. I love them. There is something so pleasurable, and so educational, about using lines to create color, pattern and shape.

Drawing these flowers with lines allows me to understand their geometry, the direction each petal grows in, and know how to approach them in paint strokes.

This is 8x10 in ultrafine sharpie on Bristol.


Saturday, November 11, 2017

K is for Keeping at It

I should not be surprised, but working in colored pencil is slow and painstaking. This week the focus is on landscapes. I started out by trying to copy a picture of a scene. I immediately failed because the image I chose, though beautiful, did not lend itself to color pencil or the paper I chose. However, there were shapes and colors that inspired me - so I took what I liked and left the rest.

I suppose this means that the drawing I created is an abstract image. Of course abstract landscapes are often what appears when I take a line for a walk - or otherwise draw freely - so this was like coming
in the backdoor to a familiar place with suddenly new rules and challenges.

This is still very much in progress - especially because I am trying to build color by blending layers and without adding lines for texture.  Its an interesting process and I will continue to work on this.

Keep on keeping on.