Wednesday, October 22, 2014

You can always teach a new trick to an old dog

I've always been a big fan of pastels, in all of its glorious forms - soft, hard, pencils, Pan pastels, all of them. It's probably my favorite medium second only (or probably right alongside) watercolor.

Being a mixed media artist, of course I love playing with every medium there is, not all of which I necessarily love to bits. Some I use only for small accents, others in equal combination. But when it comes to using only ONE medium in a piece, it'll always either be watercolor or pastel. Those are the mediums I understand the most. I know my way around them, their tricks and troubles, and I can totally work with the good and the bad of both. Maybe because they were the first materials I worked with, way back before the explosion of mixed media, at least the way is today. Back then I did combine both, and sometimes added colored pencils, and ink as well, so I suppose that is also mixed media, but not in the "Somerset esque" way we understand mixed media to be today.

Anyways, I digress. The point of this post is that even though I have been working with pastels for quite a number of years, I was pleasantly surprised to learn a couple of new ways to use this versatile medium, in the Facecinating girls (volume 2) class. Andrea once again delighted me with her super thorough lesson, beautifully taught as always. I absolutely LOVED watching her created a couple of her cute Facecinating girls with this most beloved medium. I've always worked with it on my wildlife and pet portraits, so it was heaven to learn new ways to use it when applying it to skin tones. 

Because pastel is a fairly quick medium, especially since there's no drying time, and in this case in particular, not many layers, I was able to get three girls done in one morning. Loved experimenting with different papers as well, kraft paper for the blue haired girl, Mi Teintes paper for the red haired, and tinted Bockingford watercolor paper for the pink girl. And because the latter was on watercolor paper, I was able to dissolve the pastel and create that watercolor look on  her hair. I couldn't love pastels any more if I tried!

I can't wait to play some more! The weekend cannot come soon enough! 

Have nice hump day!


Monday, October 20, 2014

31 Days 31 Faces...or something like that

I challenged myself to draw a face a day everyday for the whole month of October, mainly to hone my drawing skills but also to keep my creative juices flowing and myself busy at the studio.
I can't say that I'm keeping with the program as originally planned, but I do have quite a bit to show actually. I may not have drawn one face everyday, but I did draw almost everyday. Some days more than others in fact, so even though I didn't draw one face a day, today is the 20th of the month and I do have twenty faces done! So I guess that works :-) And thanks to the super talented and amazing teacher Andrea Gomoll and her beyond cute (and incredibly detailed and chock full of goodness) Facecinating Girls classes, I am having twice as much fun and feeling more inspired than ever to draw whimsical girls. I just can't help it. Watching her playing with all her yummy art supplies makes me want to do the same with mine! Plus, the classes have lots of mixed media techniques to try aside from drawing faces. 
However, the truth is, some days I just feel more like creating backgrounds on my journal, so I have a bunch of pages ready to draw my girls on. Or I'm in a super mood to doodle or zentagle. So I'm not being too hard on myself for not sticking to the plan. After all, the "real" plan was to make art every day. Any art really :-)
Here's a small sampler of what I've been doing on my sketchbooks and journals. Tons of fun with some of my favorite mediums - charcoal, pastels, and colored pencils. LOVE me some mixed media, oh yeah!
Have a wonderful Monday, lovelies.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Quick "Uber Busy Life" sketches

Today was a bit of a crazy busy day and I didn't have time to be in my studio doing some art journaling, at least not the way I love to. But that doesn't mean no art was made. I always carry a sketchbook or drawing pad everywhere, and my favorite pencils - a couple of charcoal and graphite pencils, a few Prismas and a one or two Col-Erase (my favorite for sketching due to how easily they erase (thus the name) and how "smudgeable" they are).

It's amazing the amount of drawing that can get done in a single day if we take every opportunity we can to just sketch. I spend a lot of time commuting, waiting in line, waiting rooms, etc. I waste no time, and as soon as I have a few minutes I pull my sketchbook out. And today, courtesy of the New York City subway system and their tremendously slow way of dealing with a fire on the tracks, my ride was greatly delayed. Without my drawing pad I would most likely be extremely aggravated and cursing wildly under my breath, you know, just your typical New Yorker :-) Instead, I accepted the fact that I was going to be late and just relaxed.

After 45 minutes waiting for the train to finally move, I had finished sketching this lovely girl with a magenta Col-Erase on my favorite Strathmore tan sketch pad. I think she turned out great actually, and I just love her sweet expression. I'm thinking that maybe she needs to be transferred to one of my art journals so I can give her the full mixed media "party" she deserves! Can hardly wait for the weekend so I can play in the studio.

Have a wonderful Friday. Just thinking of all the arty fun I'm going to have, I know I will :-)


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Art Journal Love

I must admit that I have a major art supply addiction. I can't help it, I just love love love to play and experiment with every single new thing that comes out in the market. But the thing is, I almost always end up hardly ever using any of it. Mostly because it's hard to decide what I want to play with first! It can get quite overwhelming when there's so many beautiful yummy colors and textures right in front of you. One can't simply use everything in a single piece!

I think that's the best part of art journaling - it can be a place to experiment with all the lovely supplies I have laying around the studio, one page at the time. It gives me a chance to get to know the materials, and decide whether I like it or not. And then move on to the next. I'm trying to stay commited to creating as much as possible, and little by little going over all the different pens, markers, crayons, pastels, pencils, paints, inks, and everything else I have. And what better way to do it than in my art journal? No pressure to make something awesome all the time, no disappointment if a lot of time has been invested only to turn out icky. It's all about FUN! And since I also have a workshop addiction (I'm currently signed up for more than I care to admit to), I'm playing along with Andrea Gomoll over at Creative Creations.  Her Facecinating Girls class is a feast for the eyes and sheer heaven for art supplies junkies. She shares my addiction and it's pure delirium to watch her having fun with her materials, all of which I also have LOL. 

After watching one of Andrea's videos, I finally had a chance to play with my Gelli plate, I've had it for so long but never even unwrapped it! It was a fun, nice way to create a quick background. The other materials I selected to experiment with today were paint markers (loved it!), acrylic paints, colored pencils (an old favorite), and stamps and collage for texture. I call her "Just being" ... because that's pretty much how I felt as I created this page - not thinking much, not analyzing, not trying to really accomplish anything. Just the moment. And what fun it was!

And from yesterday, a sketch I did on the subway and ended up selling to a fellow Queen fan, right of my drawing pad! That was a first!

Last but not least, another journal page, from the weekend. Acrylics and colored pencils on the girl, and spray inks on the background. Fun fun fun!

Oh well, fun is over now, gotta go to work. Honestly speaking, I could just pretty much art journal every day, all day long! 

Have a super day!