Friday, April 30, 2010

It's a Blooming Spring!

Our flowers are starting to bloom all over now and they're making me think that perhaps it's time to paint a floral or two ..... maybe even in pastels instead of colored pencils. I've been itching to use my collection of pastels lately, maybe now is the time.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Basic Drawing I Class

I am into the fourth week of the Basic Drawing I class I am teaching at the AoA Gallery (Arts of The Albemarle), and having a great time! I thought I'd take a pic of my students drawing their first "test". The purpose for this "test" was for them to put into play all the things they were taught in the first two classes, namely values, shape, and form.

You can't see the subject they are drawing in the above photo very well, but it is a drapery test. I hung a piece of white material on a 30" x 40" foam board that I placed on my easel so they had a good view of it. It is a simple drapery subject. You should have seen what they had to draw at the end of the class - an inert mass!! I threw a large white piece of material over a chair that I had placed on top of a table, making sure it draped nicely down the chair and onto the table in a variety of folds. Then I said, "Okay, draw it!" A couple of the students hated me ..... until the end of the class when they looked at what they did and realized they really could do it! Plus they said they DID learn a lot from it, so in the end they were glad I made them draw it. I'm glad. I would be very sad if my students hated me. :p

Next week they are going to learn about the different types of lighting. I hope I don't forget to take some pics to post for you here. It ought to be a lot of fun! I'll see if I can get some pics of their drapery drawings too. They did a great job!!! I'm very proud of their work!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Pastel Experiment

Recently, I found a pastel tutorial by Diana Ponting using a ref pic of Allsorts that she had taken. Since I very badly needed more practice with my pastels I decided to give it a try, however, I ended up not following the tutorial at all but doing it my own way instead. I began the painting and learned a whole lot in the process.

First, I decided to use a piece of paper that was new to me. I had heard that Fabriano Tiziano was a very good pastel paper and so bought several sheets to give a try. I chose one for this painting. That was my first mistake. I did NOT like the paper! It is too rough and extremely difficult to get a nice smooth look to a painting.

Second, I had always thought that pastels were an opaque medium - not so. I used a combination of my very nice Rembrandts, Nu-Pastels, and Richeson semi-hard pastels along with some Mungyos (a cheaper brand of pastels). None of them could cover up my graphite lines from where I had drawn my sketch for the painting. You could see my pencil lines right through the pastels!

Third, the first painting of this pic being thrown out, I begin again with UART 600 grit. I don't like UART with my colored pencils, but I have never tried pastels on it, so this was a good time to experiment. This time I used white transfer paper to transfer my sketch to the UART. Alas, it too had problems being covered up with the pastels. I'll have to come up with a new game plan for the next piece.

Fourth, UART worked beautifully with the pastels!!! I am very pleased with the results! I will definitely be using UART with future pastel paintings.

So, I have learned several things from this experiment. I need to come up with a better transfer method that I can cover up with the pastels, I will NOT use Fabriano Tiziano again (at least not with pastels), and I love UART paper for pastels. I enjoyed this pastel experiment, but chose not to complete it. Since this is not my ref pic I cannot exhibit it and I can not enter it in competitions, so I do not want to spend too much time on it. Therefore, I am going to move onto one of my own ref pics and continue the learning process.

The first pic is the first painting on Tiziano that is now in the trash. The second pic is the one done on UART. Big difference I think. What do you think?

Friday, April 9, 2010

A Storm's a'coming!

Yep, windy day today with lots of clouds. Could not get a decent photo of Is Your Name In The Book today. Sorry. I tried. I don't like how it came out though, so I'll have to wait until this weekend to see if I can get a good pic.

In the meantime, I rearranged my pastels and cleaned out the drawers I keep them in. Took longer than I thought it would, but they are nice, clean, and organized. Didn't get any artwork done today though. Tomorrow we're going to a concert with Guy Penrod of the Gaithers and will be gone most of the day. It's my birthday present from my hubby! Can't wait, but am concerned about getting home. It's a very long drive home and we won't get home until about 3:00 AM. If there's going to be a storm, I hope it's over with by then.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

New Christian Drawings

I have spent a lot of time recently working on my work-ups for my latest Christian paintings. All of my work-ups are in graphite, and are the same size as the paintings will be, which means they are very large!

I am very excited because I have spent the past almost two years trying to figure out how to draw one picture in particular, and feeling very inadequately skilled to do it. I have struggled with a sense of inadequacy ever since becoming an artist, but I do have my moments when I am suddenly so inspired I have no doubts that I can do the job! Yesterday was one such day.

Soon after getting out of bed, I felt the urge to start working on a drawing that had been sitting dormant for months. Eight hours later, I had an almost completed the work-up for the drawing and am excited that very soon I will be able to start on the painting of it!!! Some of you know about the drawing because I've mentioned it a few times, so you know how very long I have been struggling with it. The title of it is: Is Your Name In The Book. I know I'm going to be really struggling with inadequacy once I get the painting started, but I believe that, with God's help, I will be able to complete it ........ and a lot faster than the drawing tool! The painting will be 18" x 24" on Pastlebord.

Today, I spent four hours working on yet another work-up that I had not been able to figure out how to do, but now have almost half of it done. The work-up is for another Christian painting called The Great Compromiser and Deceiver. This one is a bit strange shaped. I think it's going to end up being 14" x 18" on Pastelbord.

Now I just need to sit down and finish my work-up of Cowboys For Christ and I can get that painting started too. It, too, will be 18" x 24" also on Pastelbord. I have several big corrections to make on that one though, so it's going to take awhile before I finish that one. There are many more details to work out on that drawing.

I realize that I did not include any photos with this post, but that is because I have not yet taken any. I will take some pics tomorrow and try to post Is Your Name In The Book.

Lastly, I have to get going on my shelter series!! I have seven more paintings I have to finish before December for my show. Lots of work to do!

One more note. One of my followers requested that I would write the second article on conducting photo shoots and I told him I would do it as soon as possible. Obviously, I have not posted it yet and for that I apologize. I will seriously start working on it tomorrow and get it posted as soon as I can.

And here is a drawing that has absolutely nothing to do with Christian artwork. Just some eye candy to enjoy!