I started a small (9"x12") piece this week on Pastelbord using Neocolor II watersoluble pastel crayons underneath colored pencil, and I thought I'd post the step-by-step progress. I don't always apply the Neocolors in block colors like this, and this was kind of an experiment to see how dark I could get the background. One word of caution - if the Neocolors are applied too thickly, the Pastelbord will resist any additional colored pencil on top. I learned this the hard way! This piece isn't quite done yet, but I wanted to get it mostly done so that I could finish it up on Monday and work more on a larger piece I have started (more on that later).
Hawaii was really nice, but I'm so glad to be back in New England. Late summer and early fall are my favorite seasons here, and it would be a shame to miss them! The piece shown here is meant to depict the very last of summer warmth just before the crisp air of fall sets in. I plan on visiting Franconia Notch in NH soon, where I hope to get some good references for a fall-themed piece.
I attended the Blanche Ames Opening Reception this past Saturday, and was really impressed with the variety of artwork and the way the reception was organized. Here are a couple of quick snapshots of my piece on display. At the reception, I found out that 171 artists submitted 508 pieces of art, which was a record for the competition. The juror, Richard Whitten, selected 57 pieces of art which span various art styles and mediums.
One of my favorite pieces on display, which received first place during the awards ceremony, is "Hostel Alley" by Ed Stitt. I highly recommend stopping by the exhibit to see this and all of the other works sometime before it closes on October 4th. The Ames Mansion is located at Borderland State Park, 257 Massapoag Ave, North Easton, MA, and the exhibition is open Tuesdays through Sundays, from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm. More information can be found here: http://www.friendsofborderland.org/
As a reminder, the Opening Reception for the 2008 Blanche Ames National Juried Art Exhibition is this Saturday, September 20th from 7:00-10:00 pm at the Ames Mansion in Borderland (Sharon/North Easton, MA). My piece It Comes Down to This is on display.
The exhibition runs from September 16th through October 4th. For more information on this exhibition, please see the website: www.friendsofborderland.org/
I feel a little guiltly admitting this since September marks the beginning of school and work for many people, but I have to come clean - I have been on vacation in Hawaii for about a week and a half! I had a last minute opportunity to go with my husband that I couldn't pass up. It's partly a work trip, but I am definitely doing my fair share of relaxing. I am feeling a little antsy to get back to my artwork now, but I am looking at this trip as a good oppotunity to recharge my batteries and maybe use some of the sights I see as inspiration for future work.
I have never been to Hawaii before, and I am truly blown away by the beautiful views, in addition to the gorgeous weather. The first photo above is me amidst other tourists on a boat tour around the island of Kauai. The second photo shows a view from the boat of the island cliffs with peaks so high that they pierced the clouds above.
My latest piece, "Adorned with Pride" exemplifies why I will not settle on one surface for all my colored pencil portraits. As much as I enjoyed the fast color laydown and smooth blending capability of the sanded paper I used for my last two pieces, I felt that the subject of my latest piece was more suited to Pastelbord. Here you can see how I used the rough texture to create the coursely-colored background, and also to render the texture of her skin and clothing.
Recently I completed the two portraits shown here using colored pencil on a smooth sanded paper designed for pastels. I hadn’t spent a lot of time working with sanded paper before, but these two portraits have convinced me that there are some definite benefits to working on this surface.
I find it very easy to work quickly, and the color goes on smoothly and can be smudged like pastels. This can be very desirable for achieving smooth skin textures; very appropriate for women and children. Also, I also find that this surface is very conducive to achieving realism, and I find that I tend to use fewer layers of color than when working on paper or Pastelbord. Though many layers aren’t necessary on this surface, I sometimes like the effect of layering color to create complex colors and textures, so I will continue to also use Pastelbord and paper when deemed appropriate for the subject.