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Showing posts from February, 2012

More tiny abstracts: inktense, Derwent studio pencils and Fisher 400 paper

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Another in series of tiny abstracts, playing with the interaction of colour, shape and space
This one was done using Derwent's studio pencils over an inktense underpainting, on Fisher 400 paper.   I like the way that Derwent's Coloursoft pencils work with this paper better, though these worked well, the Coloursofts were richer when used like this (not so on normal paper).

Working with the underpainting allows me to create the same sort of effects that I can achieve in oils - changing subtly or overlaying very different colour opaquely,  and is a really useful way of playing with colour and ideas.

and another variation with the same materials
 and there's more .....
I may arrange them in a grid, keeping each element small with the grid black or a deep linking colour - decisions decisions ....


what do you think?

Derwent Artbars: a luscious new product from Derwent, water soluble waxy crayons

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detail from step by step
Well ..... secret project is secret no more  : > )
Derwent Artbars Last summer I was asked to take part in testing Derwent's newest baby - Artbars, then in the lab under development.   They will be available in the next couple of weeks and are now on the Derwent website.
Rocks near Porthgwarra, Derwent Artbars, on A2 cartridge paper, Vivien Blackburn
It was really interesting being involved in trying them out from the short-stumps-of-colour-and-varied-composition/shape etc at the beginning and following their progression.   I still have a little container of these stumps.

In this one, that they commissioned after the initial testing, the only other medium used is a little white gouache for those areas where I didn't retain the white of the paper for the incoming waves.   In other places it is simply the white paper.

In the one above,  I was wanting to build an intensity of colour, unlike the sketchier, airier version below.   Artbars worked equally …

Derwent Coloursoft testing: Tiny abstracts, trees, seascapes, studies and ideas for potential large canvasses

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A series of tiny (2 inches and less) studies for possible large canvasses.  Derwent Coloursoft on Fisher 400 paper, underpainting in watercolours.   Vivien Blackburn

 Tiny Abstracts with Derwent Coloursoft pencils  and watercolour on Fisher 400 paper:

I had some tiny left over scraps of the Fisher 400 and decided to experiment with water colour washes, overlaid with Derwent Coloursoft pencils (which work beautifully over this paper, so intense and rich).

As I'm not getting out to work plein air at the moment, due to the cold not being great for arthritis, I thought I might work on some canvasses where I'm simply using luscious colours to create space, mood and lovely interactions of colour.

The Coloursoft on the Fisher paper allow me to throw in those unexpected intense bits of colour, over deeper washes beneath, like those touches of vivid red that float over the underlying colours.   Mixing media like this allows me to do this - to let the painting, tiny as it is, to start ta…

Tonal values: Light and shade, a key element in making your paintings and drawings better, 2 of 10

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The cliffs at Hunstanton in greyscale to show tonal values

Tonal Values

Getting to grips with tonal values is essential to capture your subject in an interesting way.

 The original version of the striped cliffs at Hunstanton in colour

You need to use the full range of tones observable - this may be a limited range as in a subtle Gwen John interior (below) or a misty day - but more often has a wide range of contrasts.   I find students are often wary of pushing the darks enough and the finished work lacks impact - deepen those darks (with colour not black) and the painting comes to life.

Gwen John
This Gwen John interior is a beautiful study using a limited tonal range, the shadows under the chair the darkest area, though not intensely dark, the rest bathed in a diffused light.

Half close your eyes to simplify tonal values and capture them with more ooomph.  Colours are a totally separate issue from tone - yellow in the shade can be darker than black in sunlight - it's essentia…

Making a bead necklace .... and now for something completely different .... for me

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My first bead necklace 
Today I met up with a fellow teacher for an exchange of skills.  Sue teaches jewellery making and makes some really beautiful things (check out the link).   She taught me how to make this necklace with all the extra, sticky out beads at the centre :>)   I chose all the lovely blue greens of the sea with a few sand colours for contrast.  Her studio was  a treasurehouse of luscious beads.  She was very patient with someone clumsy, who constantly tangled her thread :>)

I took the Inktense pencils and bars and my paintbrushes for her to have a play with them.   They can be used on silk and as she involves textiles in some of her work I thought they might be of interest.  Sue experimented with those, while I industriously threaded beads.

A lovely creatively different day :>)  which we plan to repeat, with me teaching drawing/painting and Sue, Gill and Sheryl teaching different aspects of jewellery making.

Key Elements in Painting and Drawing series:

I'l…