Archive | April, 2010

Watercolor Pencils

30 Apr

I just got a new set of Derwent Inktense water soluble pencils. I already had a smaller set of Caran d’Ache watercolor pencils, but the inktense pencils were supposed to be a lot brighter and also to become permanent after they’ve been dissolved once. So I put it out that I’d like to try them and lo and behold they showed up on my birthday. Yay!

I did two artist trading cards using Bristol board cards. Here’s the one I did with Caran d’Ache.

Overhanging Spruce

To be fair, keep in mind I don’t have nearly as many colors available in this set, and also that I did this one on site, in a rush in between appointments so I didn’t take a lot of time to work on darkening the dark areas as I might have done otherwise.

Here’s the one I did the night before using the Inktense pencils by Derwent:

High Tide

It’s just a little doodle from my imagination, but I was really pleased at how bright the pencils are. No struggle here getting truly dark darks.  The trick is not to accidentally go too dark. I tried re-wetting some trial marks with these pencils, and it is possible to fade the colors I tried a bit, so they’re not as permanent as inks. Still, they stay down pretty stubbornly, which is either a blessing or an inconvenience depending on what you want to do. And they become semi-permanent quickly, making it difficult to lift color even moments after it’s been applied.

I also have some Prismacolor water soluble pencils, but I don’t have a trading card on them yet. Maybe I’ll modify this post in a day or two to include one so you can see all three.

I’ve tried to get the photographs as close as possible to the way the paintings actually look, but that’s kind of difficult to do. Still, I think you can see the different effects with the two types of pencils. Here’s another one I did a week or so ago using both the Caran d’Ache and the Prismacolor pencils:

Black-Eyed Susan

This is on a Strathmore 140 lb cold press greeting card blank, and as you can see, the tooth of the paper did help me to apply more pigment. Most of the brighter colors came from the Prismacolor pencils, though. I wasn’t real happy with the background on this one, and I kind of wished I hadn’t identified the plant on the front, but hey, nobody’s perfect. I love these flowers, so I may try this one again another time.

Pottery Mini-Gallery

17 Apr

It’s been a while since I posted any pottery stuff here. I’ve been doing pottery–I’ve just been kinda lazy about photographing it. Here are some pieces I currently have up on Etsy, with a few notes about how I made them.
Stanley Bison started out life as a wheel-thrown bottle. His curly hump is made with extruded clay. A clay extruder is kind of like a cookie press, or the Play Dough machine you may be familiar with–you put in the dough, press down the handle, and out come star-shaped noodles (or whatever shape). So he’s wheel thrown and hand altered.

This wee dragon was a lot of fun to make. He’s entirely hand sculpted and clothed in an iron oxide wash. I like dragons.

This is Gramps the Magic Dragon. I made his body by wrapping a slab of textured clay around some wadded up newspaper. From there, I added on all the hand-built features. He was a lot of work, and I was really pleased with how he turned out.

On a more practical vein . . . this flowerpot was thrown in one piece on the wheel. I then poked in a drainage hole with a wooden tool (and my finger) and added on the pinecones from a mold I made–with a pinecone. Innovative, huh?

This bowl is wheel thrown and hand carved. The brown part is unglazed, washed with iron oxide. The iron oxide becomes permanent when the piece is fired and I love the nice warm color it gives the clay.

Well, that’s all for now. Any questions you have about how to make these things are welcome.

Blessings, Cindy

Los Tres Amigos

13 Apr

Soft chalk pastel on velvet mat board. The Three Amigos stand across the little creek from our house. I started this painting last summer and never finished it–until this morning.

Colored Pencils–Not Just for Second Grade

3 Apr

Colored pencils are a lot of fun. I remember not liking them in school because of the pale colors. I like bright. Not psychedelic so much, but bright for sure. The world is bright and rich and deep with colors and my favorite art is, too. So colored pencils . . . well, don’t buy the ones in the office supply aisle at Walmart and don’t settle for 16 colors. I’ve just been messing around with them and here’s a project I did with Prismacolors from a book called Colored and Water Color Pencils by Gary Greene.

Tea Rose Photo

This is the photograph the author used to design his project.

The author's interpretation of the photo

The author's rose above and mine below

And this is my finished rose--after I made a few more changes from the one above.

The reason mine is brighter is that I read ahead and learned about burnishing. You use a white or a colorless pencil to go over everything and fill in all the gaps in the paper. It makes your colors deeper. Only once you’ve burnished the picture, it limits how many more changes you can make to the colors. At some point the paper won’t hold any more pigment. Looking at these pictures I’m kind of happy to notice that mine looks like I traced it–and I didn’t! Yay! ‘Course it’s just a rose. A face would be a lot harder.

Anyhow, Hurray for colored pencils–good ones, anyway. 🙂

Our Little Pond

2 Apr

This is our little duck pond (okay, the ducks only come in spring, before they have their babies). I enjoyed painting it though I’m not all that excited about how it turned out. I haven’t done a lot of plein aire painting (that’s artist talk for painting outside–in case I’m not the only one who didn’t know this) and it’s harder than I thought. Photographs have edges–it’s one of their best features as far as painting from them is concerned. You know where to put stuff that way. Anyhow, it was fun to do and I might even get good at it if I live long enough. 😉