Monday, March 31, 2008

Strawberry ATC

"One Strawberry"
2 1/2" x 3 1/2"
Prismacolor on Stonehenge
Beth S. Macre © 2008
This ATC (Artist Trading Card) will be traveling to England to its new home. The latest ATC exchange on ScribbleTalk was announced Sunday. As usual, there are some very nice little works of art on display.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Finished Pear

“Pair for a Pear”
5" x 7"
Colored pencil on Pastel board
Beth S. Macre © 2008
I'm calling this finished. I'm not so happy with it however. I was trying to make it a little like the last pear that I painted, but I realized after I was halfway through that it is much smaller than the first one. So it just doesn't look like a companion piece. I guess it will just have to hang on its own or I will need to create 2 more pieces. One to go with each of these pears. Maybe I will do a different fruit as a companion piece. I believe I'm tired of pears for now. My goal is to learn to use the neocolors with the pastel board, so I will continue to do that. I still have a lot to learn. But I look forward to playing.
Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A Pair for the Other Pear

Last month I painted a pear with Neocolor IIs. The Neocolors are pretty new and I've been trying out new ways to shorten the process of getting strong color down quickly. Many colored pencil artists are using these new materials and coming up with beautiful results. I like the results I got with the first pear and decided I wanted a companion piece to go with the first pear. So I started this one a couple of days ago. I am using Ampersand pastel board as a support. This one has a grayish color on the pastel board. Keep in mind, this is only the second painting that I've done with the neocolors, so this is definitely an experiment.

The first picture is the underpainting with the neocolors.
A light layer of neocolors are put on then water is brushed on the make it fluid. The color becomes very bright when water is added!

The second has a couple of layers of Prismacolor added.

The third has more layers of colored pencils.

It's not finished yet. I still need to add more layers, highlights, darken shadows, and a few other little tweaks. I will post the final in a day or two.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Radar with Color

2 1/2" x 3 1/2"
Colored pencil on Stonehenge
Beth S. Macre © 2008

The more I looked at this one just in pen, the more I decided that it needed some color. He has a pretty brown fur around his face and a couple of spots on his body. It just looked like it needed some warm color. He has a really small head with really big ears. This Papillon is such a sweet and cute little guy. I may put this ACEO on ebay later this week.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Happy Easter!

“Pair of Bunnies”
Acrylic on 2 Canvases
Beth S. Macre © 2007
These were painted last year for a friend for the nursery of her first child.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Happy Birthday Jessica!

“Wearing Mom’s Hat”
Colored pencil on Bristol
© Beth S. Macre

My oldest child turned 21 today! So I guess she is my adult child now. Happy Birthday Jessica!
This is a colored pencil drawing that I did many years ago. It was one of my early colored pencil drawings. I’m not even sure what year I drew this. It was probably around 1994 or 1995. When my kids were very small, we would set up the kiddie pool in the back yard. One afternoon, Jessica put on my straw hat and light was shining through the little holes on the hat, so I pulled out my camera and took some pictures. I loved this picture, so I had to draw it. It seems like just yesterday. This one hangs outside her bedroom door in our house.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

New sketch!

2 1/2” x 3 1/2”
Beth S. Macre © 2008
Well I was able to get in one sketch this afternoon. It started out just as a quick pencil sketch that I planned to put colored pencil to, but then I decided to add black pen outline...and 30 minutes later I had this much ink. So I'm calling it finished. I may do another using colored pencil. This little fella is more than happy to pose for a picture any time. He is one happy little Papillon!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Where is Spring?

One more week until Spring Break begins! I'm waiting patiently until Spring Break to re-engergize! I've been too tired mentally to even think about starting a new drawing. When I get home from work, I have to recharge my batteries. Spring Break is always a welcome break in routine from work and 100s of teenagers that have various degrees of illness ranging from spring fever to full blown Senior-itis! So needless to say, my days can be exhausting!

I need to work on an ACEO for the ScribbleTalk trade for March. I've been taking some pictures of fruit for ideas. I hope to start some sketches this weekend. I will try to post a sketch or two this weekend.

For now, I will post this experiment I did a couple of years ago. I worked from life, setting up a couple of apples, and experimented with different techniques of applying color in nine sections.

The first section and the last section are watercolor pencil, cut into pieces to look like mosaic. The second section is pointilism with markers. The rest are all colored pencil using crosshatching, circulism, blending, and contour lines.

"How 'bout Them Apples"
Colored Pencil on Stonehenge & WC Pap
Beth S. Macre © 2006

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Finishing the piece...

I've been a little distracted this week, especially Friday. We haven't gotten more than a few flurries of snow this year, until yesterday. I've been disappointed many times this year, from listening to forecasts of snow, only to get none. But this time it came! Finally it started snowing Friday at noon and didn't stop until well after midnight. We ended up getting 5 to 6 inches, which is a lot for around here. So this is what it looked like this morning. I had to take a picture before it melted too much. (I know, I know...those of you from the North do not understand why I'm so excited over a little snow, but it will be gone and warm in a day or two!)

Since I've had no time for my own art this week, I thought I would answer a couple of questions.

Many artists give advice on use of new materials and composition and drawing tips, but often the little questions are left unmentioned. They may seem like little questions to some, but they are important! For example, I was asked about how I sign my work and preserving my work, after I'm finished. So I decided to write a post about some of these little questions. I think those things deserve more than just a quick answer. I will answer those questions from Debbie, and if anyone that reads this has any other tips or suggestions, or questions, feel free to post a comment and we can discuss those further.

I was asked how I sign my work...she said 'so neatly'...but I'm not so sure about that part! Well actually it depends on several things. First, I plan where it might go and do not finish that area too much. When I'm almost finished I plan where it will blend into the composition without standing out too much. I don't want it to take away from the drawing/painting. Then it depends on the color of the background (dark or light) and it also depends on the paper or surface that I'm working on.

~If the background is going to be dark around it, I will impress my signature into the paper. This will help to save the white or light color. Then I will add more color around the signature to make it stand out more.

~If the background is going to be lighter, then I choose a darker color for the actual signature.
I will do this lightly at first. If its not neat enough, I will lift it off with scotch tape.
(See explanation below)

Now for the neatness part of the question. If I'm going to impress the letters into the paper, I will write my name on a small scrap of paper...I usually print my name to make it neater. But I may sign the scrap piece of paper several times before I decide if its neat enough. Then I will lay the scrap of paper with my signature onto my paper, then trace over my letters, using enough pressure to impress the letters into the paper. When you color over it, the color will skip over the impressed lines, leaving them the lighter color.

If you already have color on the paper, you can lift some of the color off the paper. The way to do this is to lay a piece of clear scotch type tape onto the drawing and write the signature onto the tape and this will lift off the color off where the tape is pressed onto the color. (This takes a little practice and a sharp pencil point.)

Another question that I was asked is, 'Is there anything that you apply on top of it to preserve it?' My answer is yes. I spray a few (3 or 4) light coats of Winsor & Newtons Artists Workable Fixative. Some colored pencil artists will use a glaze on top of that. So far, this is all I've used.

Another thing that I do to finish a piece, is to sign and date the back of the piece. I will also take one of my business cards and write information on the back of it: Title, size, medium, and date. I will later record who purchases the piece. This is for my records. I will also fill out another card that goes with the artwork to the new owner as a 'certificate of authenticity'. I believe that some artists will print out an actual certificate for this, possibly with a small photo of the piece.

So, if you have any other tips or suggestions, please feel free to comment. Thanks!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Baseball Season Has Started

"The Baseball Team"
Prismacolor on Mi Tienes
My son has played baseball since he was 5 years old. He is now 18 years old and about to graduate high school. He recently started his last season playing for the high school team. It's a little sad for me as a parent. It has been one of those activities that has determined our activities each summer because of the baseball schedule. We spent many spring and summer evenings at the ballpark for the last 13 years! So after this season, I don't expect that he will be involved with playing baseball anymore. But I'm looking forward to the future for him. So its not all sad.
The idea for this drawing of the baseballs came to me one summer while taking pictures of the boys team, and a pile of baseballs that were laying in the floor of my garage. Now this picture hangs in my sons bedroom. It will always be special to me.

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