Saturday, November 18, 2006

EDM Apple

This is probably showing up larger than life! It is actually about 2 1/2" x 2 1/2". I was playing around with colored pencils on Colorfix paper (a sanded pastel paper) after seeing Maggie Stiefvater's amazing work in this medium. The whole drawing took 5 minutes or less -- the paper just pulled the color right out of the pencil! It was really like learning colored pencil all over again -- the paper made it a brand new medium! I think I'll grid off this whole sheet and work on all those EDM challenges that I'm behind on...

Note -- I got the paper in a pack from Jerry's Artarama. A full sheet runs about $7 or $8 -- BUT they had warm or cool color sampler packs in quarter sheets for $13!! It was a fun way to try something new. It wouldn't work at all for a sketchbook or journal -- the paper is thick and sanded, but it is a fun surface for colored pencil. I may have to grid off several sheets and do a sheet of veggies ... a sheet of fruits ... a sheet of flowers ... a sheet of leaves ... the list could go on and on! ;-)

And an extra big Happy Blog Birthday to Lin who has drawn every single day for a year. I bow at your feet, oh dedicated one! You are a joy and an inspiration! :-D

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Peggy's Cove

Started as a "sketch" in watercolor class while I waited for paper to soak, but I've become rather fond of this. Mostly I'm fond of the idea of going to this gorgeous place -- Peggy's Cove in Nova Scotia. Anybody been there?

(There's still work to do on the water ... and it photographed terribly!)

Saturday, November 04, 2006


Still working on planning a painting of people on a beach, when I realized I'd NEVER successfully painted skin with watercolor. So, I found this photo of a boy in the sun and gave it a try. Sadly, this is the best I've ever done with skin tones (the improvement is good -- but where I'm still at is NOT!) Portraits themselves are not the problem -- it is rendering the smooth transitions and varieties of colors in skin that has me stumped.

I tend to dislike being a formula paint-mixer, but if anyone has suggestions for good skin tone mixes, please share! Meanwhile I'll keep working at it.

What I used -- base was a thiiiin mix of raw sienna, cad red, and a little cobalt. Then thin glazes of burnt sienna, some cad red, some cobalt, a quick streak or two of viridian and cerulean (not mixed), a little new gamboge or winsor yellow (can't remember which) to lighten it up in the sunny spots, I think a little indian red, and maybe even some winsor violet in some of the really dark darks. I did it all on 300# hot pressed Arches paper -- expensive paper to be practicing on, but it is what I THINK I'm going to be using. I started out soaking the paper for a LONG time per my WC teacher's instructions, since the very saturated paper helps the colors mingle better.

I'm not looking for critiques of the portrait itself (yep, there are flaws in the upper lip -- big time!) or the background (just a quickie to get it finished) -- I'm looking for ways to make that skin look really sun struck, with a nice deep summer glow in the shadows, and bright highlights, yet still smooth. Maybe I'm looking for too much! :-D PLEASE -- you wonderful portrait painters out there -- share your secrets! Posted by Picasa