Saturday, September 17, 2016

Coloured Pencil Testing Atop Underpainting Mediums

As you may recall,  health issues continue to plague me.  One of the latest health issues has impacted my strength which means I'm even more stream-lined in my arting mediums as, right now, my oil pastel box is too heavy and big for me to manage.  This has transitioned me into coloured pencil work more as I can handle my cases quite well.  I could continue the Pastel Pencils, but given that I'm working in my lap [read 'on my tummy!'], its difficult to not smear them in one way or another. (Ask me how I know this?  LOL)

Anyway, I was trying to emulate my friend, Dede Willingham's work with pencils over top of acrylics bases and backgrounds.  As you may also recall, I detest acrylics (for gobs of reasons which I will not go into at the moment! lol) and was trying to find an alternative underpainting to that medium.  So, I did an experiment using plain old copy paper.

My test medium pencils include:
  • FC Polychromos 120 set, 
  • Lyra Rembrandt 36 set, 
  • Prismacolour Premiere 36 set and 
  • Caran D'Ache Luminance assorted pencils (this latest is the brand I use for Caucasian facial tones as they are my preferred choice of colours). 

For underpainting mediums, I used:
  • Sai Watercolour Brushes
  • Koi Watercolour Brushes
  • Caran d'Ache Neocolour II's
  • Derwent Inktense
  • Stabilo Markers
  • Pro-Art Markers

The Pencil test results were actually shocking to me.
  1. Luminance were the most happy and did what one might expect - their ability to add details and shading, highlighting were spot on.
  2. Prismacolour was second in that they offered some struggles but overall, they were quite accommodating.
  3. Rembrandts struggled and really made me work for the results.
  4. Polychromos were not in the slightest bit happy -- and I fought tooth and nail as they are my all time favourite pencils!  :(
 The assorted underpainting results were really interesting!
  1. The cheapie Pro-Art Marker set - 100 colours for under $20 at Amazon (now sold under a different name but the exact same product!) were the happiest to play nicely with any of the pencils! No matter what I wanted to do, they were like "SURE - let's do it!"  lol
  2. The Stabilo were also happy but occasionally gave me the odd stink eye during play.  O.o
  3. The Sai and Koi watercolour brushes were kind of like -- omgosh, really?!?  O.O  -- testy little goobers.
  4. Inktense was a full grudge under the Sai and Koi's attitudes.
  5. Neocolour II's were like -- getouttahere !!! -- Hokey smokes I was shocked at their outright defiant attitude!
So, there you have it.

Dede obviously has the smart approach with the acrylics!  But, since I'm still not remotely fond of that medium, I'll haul out my Pro-Arts and play then!  :p

My next series of tests will be to change up the paper and see how that impacts these very same mediums.

Get Out There & Be Creative For ME Please!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Sheer Bliss

After almost a year away from my arting adventures, I went back to my comfort zone of subject matters but chose to notch up the challenge a wee bit with a different medium on my favourite surface, the Ampersand Pastelbord. 

I'd read the Pastelbord's were great for coloured pencils but that the oil based pencils, which I prefer, were not very happy with this surface.  Frankly, that surprised and shocked me and I wanted to see for myself. 

You be the judge.  :)

Sheer Bliss
6 x 8 Ampersand Pastelbord
Faber Castel Polychromos Pencil
Lyra Rembrandt Pencil
Tri-Tone Pencils
It was "sheer bliss" to not only be arting again, but to find another happy combination for my artwork -- I'll be back to this surface and medium again!  :)

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Fall Reflections

As most of you know, my Summer into Fall was challenged with a severe case of hives (from top to bottom and side to side) so not much got done in the way of arting, but I wanted to catalogue the last piece I did before the hives took full control ... as they are back after a respite with Prednisone (and thank heavens for that respite!).

John's Rose
Painted from a photo taken by my friend Jaen.  This particular rose holds great heart-meaning to her and her hubby, "Mr. Bears", which I was pleased to hear about when given permission to paint it. 

Its done with Oil Pastels on Ampersand Pastelbord 5"x7" and sealed with SpectraFix.  Then carfully and lovingly packed and sent to them in Canada.  :-D

Thank you Jaen and Mr. Bears for your kind permission to paint this beautiful rose!  <3

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Summer's Here!

Its finally Summer - hot and rainy so far as June comes to its end.  Some odd health issues have set me back a bit so while I'm feeling out of sorts with general social chatter, its a good time to catch up the blog, I think.

Painted with oil pastels from a photo reference at Paint My Photo, I chose this image solely for the challenge of getting the ice crackle to show on the pond.  Wonderful photo and a painting I greatly enjoyed attempting to render.  A bit tricky with the ice crackles! :D
Reflections
 "The Dancer" below, was painted from a photo taken by my daughter, Cassandra, of one of her trees in the yard, the first Spring after we all had moved into this new home.   The motion she had captured of this flower's petals just captivated me as it seemed so whimsical ... the title seemed appropriate.  Interestingly enough, I had begun this painting in Genesis Oils way back then, but if you have followed my blog, you know I was and am no longer able to sit at my desk and easel, so there it sat, dust covered, unfinished.  I wondered if I might be able to finish it in the Oil Pastels.  Yes, yes indeed that could be done.  :D

The Dancer

My artfriend, Dede Willingham offered free demo/classes (these can be found on her YouTube channel as well!) on how she uses her combination of acrylic and Prismacolor Pencils for portrait painting. Our mutual friend, Mandy allowed the use of her adorable daughter Amelia's photo for this first endeavour and so we began to learn Dede's process.  I used Faber Castell's Polychromsos Pencils for my version, although I did have to convert to Prisma's white as the Poly's was too translucent for what was needed.  The Polychromos are oil-based and subsequently the artist doesn't have to deal with the waxy bloom found with the Prisma's and other lines, which eventually stops one from building layers and values.


I'm continuing to study this process of Dede's but quickly realized that the FC Polychromos line do not have appropriate skin tone colours in its venue ... their flesh tones are entirely too pink and/or red for natural looking portraits so I begin to look at other lines for colours.  I studied six different manufacturers' flesh tone colours and eventually found that Caran d'Ache Luminance Colored Pencils Burnt Ochre values were exactly what I needed and wanted for natural Caucasian flesh tones.  I have another portrait almost done and hope to show it to you soon.

Painted with Akashiya Sai Watercolor Brush Pen
When not playing with the oil pastels or pencils, I have been playing with drawing and colouring mandalas.  My artfriend, Barb Owens of How To Get Creative inspired and educated us on several of her Ustream shows.  Check out Barb's Mandala eBook available for purchase at her site - its an awesome adult colouring book but she also teaches you how to be creative with several of them to make them uniquely your own.  I love that!  I've really enjoyed designing and colouring my own as well.  :D
Painted with Bic Mark-It Ultra Fine Markers
Coloured with Polychromos Pencils


Papa thought the Mandals were so fun he stopped into the craft stores and got me a variety of sets of RoseArt Rainbow and Multi-Colored Lead Pencils and Derwent Tri-Color Pencils!  These make for wonderful colourings of Mandalas.
So there you have it ... or most of it anyway ... of what I've been up to.
Enjoy your Summer!!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Artistic Evolutions

I was thinking today of just how my art has evolved ... especially in the last year ... and why.

Last October 21st, I saw two orthopedic specialists, one for my back and one for my knees.  They took lots of x-rays and the results were that, because of one health issue domino-ing effect onto another plus additional issues of which I was unaware til then, they could do nothing for me.  I should expect to continue to decline until I can no longer hobble around my few feet and would be in the wheelchair continually.  I had expected this to be the case, but had wee hopes for better news.

Then last month, February 17th, I saw a neurologist in hopes that he could do his magic and get me hobbling a little further and also be able to sit at my art desk again.  His office is FULL of his own incredible paintings and I immediately felt a kinship to him at that level at least. :-)   He thoroughly reviewed all the reports plus me from top to bottom, and quietly said (again!) that because of one issue pinging the other, there was nothing he could do either ... except I CAN try a neurotin medication in hopes of controlling the neuropathy in my legs!!  That's something at least!!  So, I'm several weeks into that, taking 2 100 mg tablets 3 times a day and getting a slight bit of relief so far.  I see him again later this month.  I'm not sure if he expected better results, but if so, I trust he'll know what to do next.

So, there we have it.  And ... as a result, my bedchair and my arting have come to terms with the icky stuff and rounding me up to the fun stuff!  I've got my oil pastels, oil pastel pencils, neocolor II's, Inktense in their own separate carousels or holders; plus I've got watercolour marker brushes and assorted surfaces upon which and within to play. As a result, the art tote has evolved along with me!


 As I mentioned last month, I'm participating in Joanne Sharp's "Artful Life 2015" course with the Strathmore 500 Series Journal and having a delightful time!


I'm slowing working my way into a pen and ink artist!   I even bought a few more journals just to continue my journey aside from the class!  So flippin fun!  

I've been using my Neocolor II's and Inktense for my class journal but just got some Sakura Koi Coloring Brush Pens and am excited to see them at play in my personal journal!

As well, I discovered Ampersand's Pastelbords.  These boards are absolutely delightful to pastel upon and, I'm sure, at my first introduction play with them, my squeals of excitement were heard all the way to Texas, where they are made!  LOL

Sunrise at the Falls
Oil Pastel
5x7 Ampersand Pastelbord

Funshine!
Pastel Pencil
5x7 Ampersand Pastelbord

Glorious Grapefruits
Oil Pastel
5x7 Ampersand Pastelbord
All paintings were painted from photo reference at Paint My Photo ning group where you will find hundreds of thousands of photos taken by some of the world's best photographers - free for your artistic use!

So there you have it!   March is well underway and I'm tucked into my bedchair, with an overflowing tote, art mediums and supplies ... and I am happy to find you reading this and sharing my thanks to our Lord for helping me find my happy place with my fine art creativity and my art journaling play too!

God bless and keep you happy and arting too!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

2015 Adventures!

I've not posted on my blog for some time as you know.  I took a hiatus from all social media venues for about two dozen different reasons (!!!) and took a break from my art too, for the most part. 

I did do water solubles now and again and find more to love as time goes by.  As with most things, experience comes with doing and mine is developing.  :-)

Summer Moment
Painted from photo of Lillian Bell at Paint My Photo, ning Group
During that hiatus, I just rested my mind but it flitted here and there and occasionally landed on a solid piece of thought.  ,-)  One of the things I realized was that I missed my oils rather desperately. 

I greatly enjoy the mixed media and the paper crafts, to be sure, and hope that the upcoming neuro specialist visit will help me find a way to get back to my art center desk for more creative play there!  (And especially because I've two scrapbooks of our parents I've been wanting to put together for my sister and myself!)

Meanwhile, I began to concentrate my mental journeys around ways to get my oils back.  I took a chance and bought some oil pastels - Sakura's Cray-Pas Specialists - non-toxic, no mess, blendable (with its own extender blender tool/stick) and a gorgeous array of colours! They blend and play and perform, ever so nicely - just like my Genesis Oils did!  I'm beyond excited to continue with this medium and can't think why I never gave much thought to them before now.  SMH !! 

Pink Rose
painted from photo of Susan Wallick at Paint My Photo, ning Group
As well I felt a class of some sort might boost me creatively so late in January, I signed up for Joanne Sharp's Artful Life 2015 class.  A delightful course that takes lettering to an art form and something I've wanted to learn since I began journaling!  52 weeks of classes for $59 - perfectly priced too!  Seriously - gobs of videos, photos and an FB Group for added fun along with weekly/monthly word prompts to help you on your way!

So there I sat, inking in the last of the January homework ... praying my micron pens didn't dry out before the new ones arrived (yesterday thank goodness!!) ... and realized just how much I'm enjoying this class already!  :-) :-)

I'm using the recommended Strathmore 500 mixed media journal but chose the smaller 8.5x5.5 size as the health issues which keep me arting in my bedchair (with a tray to hold my tote of supplies) preclude the unwieldy bulk of a hard bound 9x12 (18x24 when opened!).  The smaller journal version is very manageable and working out so nicely.  I am condensing things of course which takes more time because I mock up the whole page first in my sketchbook of the same 8.5x5.5 size.



I hadn't realized just how nice a hard bound journal book like this would be by comparison to the wire bound versions I've been using. It's mentally taken me from a mixed media journal concept to more of an fine art journal concept which I find rather brilliant!!  So - Thank you, Joanne!  :-)

And so ... I'm back.  Not fully as before,  but enough to keep us connected.  I look forward to seeing your creativity and sharing mine in the year to come.  I'll see you at February end where I show you my journaling atristry with whimsical calligraphy on our monthly agenda and word prompt of "passion"!  <3

God bless and keep us all this 2015!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Enjoying My Journey

I can't begin to tell you how much I'm enjoying the process of learning the water solubles.  It brings me right back to my first days with the Genesis Heat Set Oils and the excitement I felt with every piece I painted.  The water solubles aren't coming as easily in terms of skills attained, but they are coming at a fast enough pace to keep me keenly interested and excited for every new project.

Each of these paintings is based on a photo offered through Paint My Photo.  The photographers there are truly some of the finest in the world and their generosity of heart to freely allowing their work for our use, is unparalleled out there.

My paintings were done in a combination of Caran d'Ache Neocolours II, Derwent Inktense Pencils and assorted watecolour pencils.


Water Lilies
9x12 Watercolour Paper
140#




Australian Rosella
5.5x8.5 Watercolour Paper
140#


My adventure continues!