Part of a lesson that I've been working on for fourth grade students is the development of a unique fairy, gnome, or elf composition that is colored using colored pencil. Before getting to this point, students examine proportions through the work of Leonardo da Vinci and a more modern proportion scale showing preteen proportions. They practice figure drawing using volunteers from the classroom as models. For my example, I created this. I first tried regular colored pencils and really struggled to add even coloring to the face. More expensive colored pencils were significantly easier to manage, but the face was overworked. I wish that I had begun coloring with the more expensive colored pencils. I haven't fully developed the rest of the fairy. Students are asked to show an element or object from nature that shows the scale of the fairy, gnome, or elf. This example shows indicates the small size of the fairy with the inclusion of an acorn. -Beth
This last week, I took an intensive screen printing class and thoroughly enjoyed it. We experimeted with sticky contact paper and then worked with drawing fluid and filler. Although the contact paper is only good for shorter runs with less prints due to detachment of the sticky contact paper from the silk screen during the washing process, it has some great advantages. The use of an exacto knife results in crisp lines that can be difficult to replicate with drawing fluid. For the next process, I drew a sketch and traced it by first using a washable marker on the screen and then flipped the screen with the silk side up and painted drawing fluid with a fine brush onto or in the marker outlines. The screen had been taped around the edges with duct tape to protect the frame. Once that dried, I filled the screen with orange filler and waited for it to dry. After rinsing away the drawing fluid with cold water, only the filler was left, and I printed the resulting image. Working from that print, additional screens were created by drawing all objects of one color on each screen. On the yellow screen, I drew the beach and feet of my parrot, etc. Once all the screens had been filled and dried and the drawing fluid had been rinsed, I was ready to print. Drying was necessary between each layer but was relatively quick. A squeegee was used to pull ink down over the image at a 45 degree angle and then the ink was rinsed away in cold water. The key layer, or outline, was the last to be printed and really helped to pull the image together. To remove the filler, hot water, soda ash, a soft, plastic bristled scrub, and the jet setting on the hot water were used. My next print was created freehand onto the silk screen with drawing fluid without a drawing to trace. It was made in a similar manner but instead of creating five screens, I created two. For the color blocks, I taped off all but the desired color before each color run. I thoroughly enjoyed silk screening and will continue the process from home. -Beth Ashton
I've been working on this project sporadically due to time constraints. It's coming along although more slowly than I'd like. A double-edged sword that experience in Photoshop is the potential for zooming in very closely. I can become intensely focused on details in one section of the image and zoom out to find no progress or mismatched progress. To combat this during my last coloring session, I decided to just start filling color in all over the place. The color is more refined in areas where I have spent a little more time. I would like to finish this over the next two weeks. It seems like a reasonable goal if I invest significant time into it. -Beth
I am exploring watercolors and feel more successful today than I usually do, in part, because I used a square edged Daler and Rowney number 8 brush instead of a smaller, pointy tipped brush. This brush allowed for much more natural flow of the watercolor than I normally experience. My model was a bunch of silk sunflowers, because they are a bit easier to work with than the real ones. Once I completed my pencil sketch, I began right away with the color and stayed put until I was finished. I know myself, and that I am very unlikely to revisit a work, because I will not be happy with it later. Here it is. Let me know what you think if you want to. http://www.artpal.com/creationcreature/?i=53048-13
I was recently exposed to a method of creating imagery with sharp contrast and vivid colors using tempera and craypas, also known as oil pastels. The first step was drawing and coloring in an image using a smooth, thick coat of the craypas and then painting a coat of black tempera paint on top of the craypas. By placing the dried painting over a source of light, such as a window, the image below is revealed, and strategic removal of the tempera with a scratching instrument will expose colors that appear vivid in contrast to the darker tempera. To create solid areas of rich black in the paper, leave the paper white where shadow or outlines would be instead of covering them with oil pastels. The black tempera will soak into the paper in these areas creating contrasting black lines. My example can be seen at Artpal and is available for sale as a print. http://www.artpal.com/creationcreature/#i1
I bought a Wacom a few years back but never felt comfortable using it. Since that point, I lost the pen that works with it but just replaced it. I'm trying again. I have developed decent control over the mouse, but the pen has to be better. This time around, I have been more diligent about learning to adjust settings for the pen within the Wacom application. On default, the pen works quite nicely. I have an inexpensive model, the CTH-670 and am using it in Photoshop. My first experiment was the creation of this pumpkin. I intend to make more Halloween art, because Halloween is right around the corner. -Beth
My newest Zazzle Creation is a wedding invitation and thank you card using my newest water color, a humming bird hovering beside peonies. You can check them out here. My intention is to continue developing my ability to paint flowers, because my favorite wedding invitations and cards feature beautiful floral scenes. -Beth
I quit quitting coffee and life is much better now, but seriously, coffee bars are all the rage on Pinterest. If you like this coffee bar art you can find it at Art Pal for sale.
With the start of a new oil painting, there is a need to take many factors into consideration. What do I want to paint, what kind of research will I do, do I have the supplies that I need, and when am I going to get started. I've had a nautical theme on the mind for a little while. A few months back a friend requested a lighthouse, and at paint-night more recently, the topic of painting ships came up. I don't have a lot if experience painting ships or the sea and have to admit to being a little intimidated, and this is where the next topic begins. Before beginning this painting, there is a need to do a little research. I'm not sure how my own technical abilities will pan out, but I plan to reach high. I spent time browsing examples on the Internet to see what styles and qualities of Sea paintings are out there, and there are numerous gorgeous works in oil. I like to zoom in to study the paint strokes. It's amazing how simple and imperfect strokes can be when scrutinizing them under magnification. Here comes my confidence. I can make a simple stroke like that. Quality has a lot to do with art basics; perspective, tints and shades, color palette, and overall composition to name a few. I examined different lighthouse styles, types of ships, styles of painting ocean waves, and different lighting possibilities depending on the placement of the sun. I already have the necessary supplies:
- Oil paint
- Linseed oil
- Glass jars to keep them in
- Clothes that I don't mind tossing
- Soap that will cut through oil paint, my favorites are dawn dish soap and dove bar soap-good stuff.
- A place with ventilation
- A place to store my drying painting
- Time and motivation, I would like to become a professional painter
- Don't leave the brushes in the oil or turpentine . Be careful not to crush the tip.
- Start with a little turpentine and oil in the first layers, build up linseed oil in a higher oil to turpentine ratio in additional layers.
- Plan to spend several sessions on the painting, oils need to build up .
- Don't paint at night in poor lighting. The colors will be wrong.
- Never add black. Instead make shadows with a complementary color.
- It's easier to start light and go dark than the other way around.
- If major mistakes can't be wiped off, wait for the canvas to dry and paint over it.
- Don't mix acrylic paint with oil. Oil can be painted over acrylic once dry but not the other way around.
- It takes several days for the oil to dry and it must be dry before doing the next layer
- Rags are flammable. Be aware of proper oil painting safety.
- The paint is toxic. Keep it off your skin and clothing and away from kids.
- Don't wash or dry clothing or rags with turpentine or oil on them. They are flammable.
- Just about any mistake on the canvas can be fixed. Don't be afraid to add color, even contrasting colors to add depth in the first layer.
- Color the entire canvas in new paint each session that you have.
- Start with a good composition.
- Step back and at times step away and look at the painting with fresh eyes to help identify areas that aren't quite right.
- Don't forget perspective and value.
- Have fun.