Saturday, December 26, 2009

Playing with Oil Pastels

In July of this year, I participated in Pam Carriker's Pursue Portrait class.
Well, participate is a broad term. What I did was make several pencil drawings.
At that time, I just could not bring myself to add color to any portrait work at all.
So, for most of the class I monitored and observed what my class mates were doing and I guess I stored it away for future use.

As I was attempting to put some order in my garage/studio yesterday, I came across the sketch book with the portraits I had drawn.

And, having just gotten some Sennelier Oil Pastels over the past few weeks from Dick Blick on-line art supplies, I stopped cleaning and just sat down with this.

I soon had a sore index finger. These things are crayons. Very soft. Buttery, in fact. Nice to apply, easy to smoosh around, but doing an entire 9 in. by 12 in. area is too hard to do with one's finger!

I took up a couple of stencil brushes and used them instead of my finger and blending the oil pastel colors was a lot easier. I used the very edge for detail work around the eyelids and for coloring the iris.

The whole process was a lot easier than I anticipated. However, next time I'm going to use them on studier paper. The sketch pad paper was only 65 lbs and it didn't take long to fill up the surface and it felt as if the colors were sliding around on top of each other.

Not that it really mattered. This was an experiment and it went well.

This is what it looked like as a pencil sketch. Pam Carriker gives you a basic face to try out at the beginning of her course, so it's good for all us beginners.

I see improvements in my sketches now and thanks to Mystele's Gut Art class, I finally, finally got the courage to work with color.

So, now I have a small amount of experience with graphite pencil, colored pencils, acrylic paint, water soluble oil pastel, PanPastel and now, oil pastel.

It's no wonder my garage looks like an art supply store.

Monday, December 21, 2009

PanPastel play

This is a small, about 5" X 4" size, and I'm not used to working small, angel done on a piece of office depot paper I took from my printer.
My computer had been working even slower than usual, so while cleaning up and moving files on Saturday, I made five small sketches for fun.
With a 4B pencil and the PanPastels from the 10 piece Painting Set, I smudged my way to this little angel.
These pastels are amazing! Not dusty, very intense colors and so smooth.
I'm used to working on larger spaces which gives me room to play with coloring the eyes, so this small format was - different. Just the lightest touch of the side of the Sofft tool was all that was needed to put a blend of color on the iris. The wings were fun, though.

This was a small, torn piece of watercolor paper that had a text stamp on it. I was just practicing making a face, not using anything as a reference, and before I was done, the halo appeared. sigh.
I guess all the Christmases of my childhood are seeping in because this doesn't look like just a girl to me, it looks like all the pictures of Jesus that were hung on the walls of the Presbyterian church I attended as a kid.
Of course, if Jesus was born in the middle east, he would not have looked like this, but this does look like the white Anglo-Saxon version printed in all my Bible study books.
Childhood experience really is imprinted strongly in brain and body memory.
After completing nursing school, I began studying Judaism and found its' teachings of personal responsibility for personal actions more consistent, so I converted. Now I was a stranger in a strange land. I didn't have the same background as the Jews I was meeting, but the warmness they extended to me more than made up for it. It took years for me to not want to put up a Christmas tree, though. And, memories of singing Silent Night in the church choir still peal loudly in my head this time of year.

This is the practice paper. All the stuff I've been reading about using the right kind of paper for the particular art media was suspended. Like a kid with crayons, I remembered that if you have a white piece of paper, you can color it!
Why are there so many rules? Why does everything have to be perfect? Why do I listen to everybody else?
And what's so important about being perfect, anyway?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Chanukah and PanPastels

Friday night was the last night of Chanukah and so the last candle was added and what a nice space of light it makes.

This is a photo taken with no flash.

My favorite.

And, this one was taken with the auto flash. I am always amazed at the pictures this Canon Digital Elph SD800IS takes.

I've had the camera for about 2 years now and I like it because it has a function that stabilizes the image in spite of any shake your hand might do.

Sometimes however, you want a blur and boy do I have to swing my arm to get it!

This week when I came home for lunch I found some PanPastels waiting for me. Oh, do I love the mail lady!

This is a quick play with a Love stamp on watercolor paper. Wow! do these colors blend!!!

I bought some bright colors and pastels to try on some portraits.

We'll see what happens.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Glass Art Pendant

A great way to use your own art is to make a pendant!
I got the inspiration from Willowing on youtube -

She uses a wonderful little kit put out by Annie Howes -

It comes with some pretty papers, pendant glass, glues, bails to hang it with and some black cord to tie around your neck to wear it right away.

It also comes with complete instructions and lots of good tips.

I used some 7 mm silk ribbon and a plain hook and eye to fasten it.

Since the back was plain white paper, I added color with some ink pads and a small word stamp.

I am lazy and didn't want to go out to the copy store for prints of my art, so I used my ink jet printer and sprayed the images with fixative.

When that was dry I gently brushed on Golden's UV gel to seal the image and protect the colors from fading.

Surprisingly, when glued to the glass with diamond glue, non of the image ink ran. Whew!

I resized the photos of my artwork down to
7/8 inches and copied and pasted them in my Microsoft digital imaging software.

To print this out, I used Great White Imaging Photo Paper which is heavy and smooth, and not as thick as regular photo paper.

This was fun and easy to do. What else can I do with my art work?