Wow, 100 days! I decided to go back to colored pencil on black paper. This one is called "The Lone Clementine". It made me a little bit crazy...ok a lot crazy! As always, I'm not after ultra-realism, just that it kinda looks like what I'm drawing. I did the leaves & stem first and was super pleased with how they turned out. Then I got to work on the fruit...this did not go as well. The black paper doesn't have much texture (tooth) so it didn't take long for the paper to become saturated with the wax of the colored pencil. I wanted a really bright, vibrant fruit but I just couldn't cover enough of the black surface. I tried spraying it with workable fixative, I tried using a blending pen, blending pencil, burnishing pencil and finally scraped it off with an exacto knife...twice. I finally pulled out my heating pad to see if melting the wax would help. It did a little but again, I think the paper was just kinda done for, so I did my best to get as much color down and decided to just call it done! Happy 100 days to me!
I really have been enjoying colored pencil as a medium and I'm enjoying learning how to use it. What I'm not enjoying, however, is the pain that comes with using the pressure necessary to blend the layers of color together. I'm frustrated that it seems like I get so little work done on my colored pencil pieces before my hand wants to give out. I can only think though that the best thing to do is to pace myself, not do too much at once and work on other pieces of art that don't demand so much of my hand.
When I saw this project in the book, I guess I thought there'd be more instruction as to how to color each sections beyond the sequence of colors to use. The instructions include that info for the green leaf sections and I guess I thought the coloring would be more straight forward. There is a reference photo in the book that helps but I'm kind of just winging it. I do think, though, that I'm doing ok so far. The pieces have that mottled, stained glass appearance so I'm excited to see how this evolves, even if I have to work on it just a little at a time.
I have several pieces of those inky drawings I did last week that just didn't work and that I decided to cut into pieces. When I started painting again last year, it was really thanks to the work of Flora Bowley. She is one of my favorite artists and I just love her style...vibrant colors, organic imagery, they are so lovely (and so is she...I had the pleasure of meeting her twice since she also lives in Portland!). Having fallen in love with her work, I of course just had to learn how to make art like hers. I bought her book and made a very lovely painting (that actually looks nothing like her work, the second image below). Then I took her online course and made another lovely painting (again nothing like hers, the third image below). I just really struggled with the imagery part. Her process is amazing and there are definitely many aspects that I continue to employ but I have come to realize (and have posted about before) that her style is simply not mine and I can't force myself into that hole. But I decided to try again with imposing imagery on top of the abstract work but not worrying about laying color over color...just focus on the images and making them stand out.
I picked out one of the leftover drawing pieces and just started drawing in flower shapes on top of the dried ink/paint with pencil. Then I added in the stems and vase. With a brush, I painted white acrylic ink around the pencil marks. I used the ink because I wanted to keep it fairly transparent so you can still see something of the abstract patterns underneath it. Once the shapes took form, I used green acrylic ink for the vines and to outline and shade the stems, and pink acrylic ink to give the petals more definition. I also used some diluted acrylic inks in a couple of colors to make the vase form more cohesive. Finally, I added in the white details/highlights on the flowers and vase. I'm pretty pleased with how this turned out. Like most of my projects, I had to employ a lot of trust, perseverance and persistence. It's so easy to let that critical voice win and to just stop/give up but once again, I prevailed and the result is pretty much how I imagined after I had drawn in the objects. I think I'll have to make more of these...maybe with different colors to cover the background..
I was really hoping to have something new to add for today's contribution to my daily art project but it ended up being a busy day and I ran out of time. I gave a Zentangle class for two very lovely women, who have been amazing students and are swiftly becoming dear friends. They've also been so supportive to me in a number of ways and I am so incredibly grateful for them. I spent time this morning prepping for our class and then gave the class midday and then we were done, got husband from work, made dinner and realized that it was getting late and I had nothing done...eek! So, I grabbed my pencils and set to work on some more flowers. It's coming together and I like the addition of the color but this one is going to take some time. I'm easily distracted so I'm reluctant a little to try to do something else and do this at the same time because I do want to finish it but I also need to keep up my momentum on developing new skills. I'm going to try tomorrow morning to create something new and then work on these flowers in the evening when we're watching TV. I can do this!!
Still working on the coloring of my work in progress. This is seriously slow work. The paper is 10" x 15" so it's pretty good sized and I'm carefully coloring each flower with layers of colors, 3 pencils are used for each color. I think the time spent is worth it, even though it feels like I'll never get this finished. But I shall forge ahead each day until it's done. I may need to do some other art in addition to this each day, though. It'll take longer to get it finished by diverting time and attention to other projects but I think that's necessary to be able to keep developing my skills in other techniques and to have art that I can get ready to show and/or sell.
Which reminds me...please check out my Etsy shop. I have a few things listed and would love if you like something you see, you'll support an up and coming artist by purchasing something! Thanks :)
So, today's entry is the second exercise in my online colored pencil class. It starts with this grid, which contains 144 small squares. Then we use 6 colored pencils (2 blues, 2 reds, 2 yellows), plus white and a blending pencil in any number of combinations to fill these 144 squares. This exercise isn't about color theory but rather about experimentation and play, employing curiosity when combining colors for each square. At first, I thought, ok, no biggie, this'll be interesting and probably quick. When the teacher said that this exercise could take up to 6 hours to complete, I scoffed. How could this possibly take that long? Well, I'd say this took at least that long. Now, I didn't work on it without breaks but it's definitely more time consuming than I first thought. My title for this post...this did get a little tedious and I had to employ much patience and even perseverance to make it to the end. Since I have a tendency to quit things I'm not enjoying, I committed to finishing this. The teacher said it's totally possible to have 144 unique combinations of colors from these 8 pencils but to not worry about devising a "system" of color combinations, just to let the ideas flow, to experiment and play. I thought, ok...let's see what happens. Maybe she's right...maybe it is possible to have 144 unique colors but since I didn't bother devising a "system" I quickly forgot what combinations I'd already tried so I'm certain I have repeating colors. Oh well...I do find it interesting to look at but I'm so glad it's done!