Saturday, 26 June 2010

Coloured Pencil Experience Workshop

We had a very successful meeting at our second Coloured Pencil Experience workshop in Somerset today.  14 of us managed to brave the heat, avoid Glastonbury Festival (just down the road) and tear ourselves away from the football and tennis.  Many who came were new to CP and Bev, Diana and I were kept on are toes doing demonstrations, giving a helping hand and offering advice.  The heat got to most of us by 3pm so we finished a little earlier than planned but I hope everyone has gone home with renewed enthusiasm for getting their pencils going.  In the first picture we have Bev Lewis showing us how to create long whispy fur and secondly  Diana Connor passing on her botanical expertise.  My demo was the llama on the previous post and techniques for working on black paper.  If anyone who came is reading this post I hope you enjoyed your day and I look forward to meeting you again and seeing your progress at the next meeting.  I also hope we have inspired those of you who are not already members to join the UKCPS and help promote coloured pencil art.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Llama in Coloured Pencil WIP

On Saturday I am doing a Coloured Pencil Experience workshop in Somerset with fellow CP artist Bev Lewis.  We have 16 people coming and I needed to get something started for a demo.   So as my new technique worked with the portraits I thought I would try fur.  You can follow my WIP on this link.  If you run the slide show you will see a description for each stage.

Monday, 21 June 2010

Llama Face WIP1

I started this yesterday afternoon whilst sat in the sun.  I have only to complete the bottom right corner.  Graphite on Mellotex 6"x4".  The llama is mostly white so quite a challenge for me to get the shading.  I might put this aside today and start on another llama picture in coloured pencil but still debating on which technique to use, so many choices.  Why can't I get white paper to look when I take the photo?

Tawny Owl

Last year I took some lovely photos while visiting Secret World.  Paul, my partner, is a volunteer rescue driver for them, picking up injured animals to be assessed, nursed and hopefully released back into the wild.  This is a resident owl who is quite tame and seemed very happy to pose for me.  I have been working this picture on and off over the past week trying out different Zest-it techniques on Pastelmat.  I am not totally happy with it as I lost some of the lights around the face and haven't been able to recover them.  I did try using fixitive but the white still didn't want to take.  I may resort to adding some white acrylic.  The body area is much better as I put down a thick layer of white Neocolour in the light spots and I would certainly do this again.  Painting feathers do not have the wow factor for me and I think it shows.  This one probably won't get to the framer.  Size is 26x18cm.

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Nikita and a Lavender Field

After looking at Nikita sat on the mantelpiece for the past 24 hours I realised she needed a lot more work and not just a few tweaks.  She now has more contrast and shadow.  I have done more work on her eyes, nose, mouth and hair and hope this is much better.

I saw this lavender coming into flower in Falkland last Sunday.  While I had some other pictures drying out I did this 30 minute picture using Pastelmat and Zest-it.  Size 21x19cm.  I turned the stone wall into a fence and put more flowers on the lavender otherwise the rest is much as it was.  The shadows have come out a bit heavy in the image and the grass is a little brighter in reality.  Fun to try something different but landscapes are truly not my forte.
I have been racking my brains for tools to use with Zest-it.  Up until now I have used bits of washing up sponge cut up into various shapes, cottonbuds which are really too fluffy, and spirit in a water brush which is good for detail and hair but still needs something firm to move the pigment.  Today I bought some make-up sponges which are wedge shaped but not really firm enough.  The little eye-make up sticks wtih sponges on each end are quite good but  they are a bit short and the spongy bits keep falling off.  I also bought some impregnated cotton pads for removing nail varnish and they move large areas of pigment but I don't know what lasting effect they may have on the paper.  What I would really like are firm Colour Shapers that are absorbant, any suggestions?
I tried this new method of working on Fabriano paper without success so I will be sticking to Pastelmat.

Friday, 18 June 2010


Nikita is my great niece, painted from a reference photo by David, Nikita's uncle and my nephew.  She is so fair it was quite a challenge and will still need some tweaking, getting the transparency of the skin is hard and this image makes her looks as though she has a dirty face but the original is more subtle.  I have used the same method as with Charlie, disolving the pencil with Zest-it and blending with a cotton bud, sponge and fingers.  I started the picture with dry pencils several months ago and it wasn't going right so it was relegated to the bottom of the pile for future consideration.  Yesterday I was doing a short demonstration for a friends art group and decided to dig this one out and apply the solvent and I am pleased I did as it has come together well.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Charlie and the Exhibition

Sadly the exhibition wasn't a great success as far as sales go but on the positive side we had a lot of interest in coloured pencils and some wonderful comments in our visitors book.  We also acquired a few more applications for our Coloured Pencil Experience workshop in Mark, Somerset on 26 June.
I was demonstrating with coloured pencils on the days I was stewarding  and Charlie is the result.  I used Derwent watercolour pencils on Pastelmat and blended with spirit on a cotton bud.  It gave a very painterly effect, this image is a bit redder than the original.  I was so pleased with the results I have entered it into the UKCPS 9th Open International Exhibition to be held in Stamford Lincolnshire in September.