Category Archives: Colored Pencil

Salted Crimson

The following is a painting that I created especially for one of my brothers. I was trying to think of a painting that he would really want to put on his wall, whether his sister had painted it for him or not. And now that he’s received it, I can post my artwork without ruining the surprise:

enterprise star trek outer space spaceship

This is, admittedly, a bit of a poor photograph. I quickly snapped it before I wrapped it up to send, and did not check the photo before wrapping it. The top third of the photo should appear much less grey.

Paintings and drawings like these have always been a big challenge for me. Architectural shapes, as opposed organic shapes, cause so much more brow furrowing, frowning, and erasing. However, it was a great exercise and a reminder that I should practice drawing highly geometric forms more often. The background, however, greatly contrasts the tightly drawn ship. I used several layers of paint mixed with lots of water to create the nebulous shapes. In the first layer or two I sprinkled salt, which highlights watercolor’s unpredictability wonderfully. The texture in and around the light crimson nebula on the right side was largely created by adding salt just after painting. I brushed away the loose salt after drying and let the remaining salt adorn the paper.

I loved adding all the details to the ship. After I was done painting, I outlined choice areas in black ink, then moved on to colored pencil. By adding colored pencil over the top of watercolor, I can achieve detail, contrast, and effects that I cannot with watercolor alone.

Flowing amoebic forms, sharp geometric details, deep texture, and bright colors made this work of art fun and interesting to create, even though it was not one of my normal subjects. What have you created recently that was out of the ordinary?

Cut and Paste Cardinal

I started this collage because I found an advertisement inside of a Jerry’s Artarama catalogue for a “junk mail challenge.” I thought it sounded fun, and I’d just received a catalogue from Bags and Bows, which provides lots of great patterns for perfect collage material. I was working on several sketches of cardinals in preparation for my “Proud Cardinal” painting at the time, so I decided to maintain the cardinal theme and make a collage based on one of my drawings (upper left hand corner below).

The drawing was originally a female cardinal, with lots of browns, greys, and blues, but since I had so many more bits of red in my catalogue than anything neutral, I decided to go with a male cardinal. On the right you can see the scissors I used to create the collage, and that was no easy task! Large scissors for detail work = sore hands afterward. I’ll have to buy a nice sharp Exacto knife for future work like this.

Most of the time that I was working on cutting pieces for the cardinal I placed them directly on top of my drawing to get a better idea of the shapes I wanted to create. I quite like the look of the paper pieces placed over parts of the drawing. Since I haven’t worked much in collage, this project took a lot of trial and error. I’d cut a few pieces, fit them in, cut more, cut even more pieces, and then realize what I had in the first place was a bit boring. So I’d take it out and continue. It’s very satisfying to fit abstract pieces together like a very complex puzzle to make an image.

I did not include any watercolor in this piece of work, even though you can see my palette in both of the photographs above. Even though I work in a very small space (in the top photo you can see nearly my whole working area), I like to have at least a couple of projects in progress at once. This method ensures I have a second project to work on when I need a break from my current piece. It also allows my work to closely influence and inspire my concurrent project(s), which helps me develop my style and color.

I am very pleased with my cut and paste cardinal. Starting out, I had no idea just how it would turn out. I’m especially pleased because I was one of the winners of the contest! I now have some new canvas, paints, paper (Arches!) and pens for lots of new projects. I love new supplies.

After I finished my little collage, it was awarded prime real estate on my cork board over my desk. When I turned the calendar to March a couple of weeks ago, I was pleasantly surprised at how well the fox on my calendar matches the coloring, posture and pointed shapes of my little bird.

I plan on framing the collage when I find just the right frame for it, but for now it will live on my board along with my origami ornament, my Brooklyn Art Library card (from the Sketchbook Project), and other cards from lovely people.

Sketchbook Project Complete!

Here it is, finally: the compilation of all the pages of my sketchbook for the Sketchbook Project 2011 for Art House Co-op.

sketchbook project racoon rooster scavenger illustration

I’ve uploaded larger images of my illustrations on my Jem’s Imajes Facebook page, so you can see all the fun details more clearly.

Now all the sketchbooks which have been sent in are being prepared for their tour, which begins in February at the Brooklyn Art Library.

Looking forward to the project again next year!

“And”

Has Risen

I’m a Scavenger

Leaves and Holes