Friday, May 29, 2009

Black Lab on Pastelmat

5.25" x 5.25" Coloured Pencil on Pastelmat
Available- Please contact me

Well, here is the final piece! I quite pleased with the way it turned out, and with that gaze, I couldn't think of any other title for this sweet and loyal lab than 'Soulful'

Thursday, May 28, 2009

WIP-Black Lab

5"x5" Coloured Pencil on Pastelmat

I am working on another coloured pencil piece using the Pastelmat paper...really , really liking this surface, what can I say!?

Here is my black lab so far, and I apologize for the lack of eyes... (some people hate this part of a painting ) This lab is sitting in the afternoon sun on a wooden floor, so we're going to get some lovely reflected light happening in the shadows, which is a good thing, as black shadows can get dense and flat without some sparkle to them :-)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Paper Fun- Fisher 400 and Pastelmat

When I woke up this morning I took advantage of a still quiet house and drafted up my post for today, planning to scan the images in the evening. Between then and now, I had a chance to take a quick peek at some of the blogs I follow and, to my surprise and delight, saw that both Gayle Mason (Fur in the Paint) and Katherine Tyrell (Making a Mark Reviews) had also chosen today to post paper reviews! Ah, the mysterious workings of the blog world....
So, here are my thoughts on both papers and don't forget to check out Gayle and Katherine's posts as well (And a very gracious thank you to Katherine for mentioning my work in her post!)

Referencing an old painting, I did small (6"x8") arab head studies on both surfaces. Overall, I think that both papers are great supports, and I will give a little of my feedback BUT, (here's the but), please take into account that I only used Faber-Castell and Berol Prismacolor coloured pencils on these surfaces. Other mediums may work differently with the surface, so I would still urge anyone interested to get some samples and try them out with your own mediums and techniques. :-)

A fairly firm, hard surface. The mat is a card stock weight, textured on one side. It took loads of layers and the texture stood up well to pencil pressure. Circular strokes, directional strokes or flat colouring worked equally well on this paper. The colour went on true, but not as vibrant as on the Fisher paper. I liked the fact that I could blend with a stiff brush or stump, but finger blending didn't work well here.
I could also burnish surfaces with lighter colours, giving areas a glazed look, which helped in graying down or brightening up colours. For another use, this surface easily handled a light application of solvent to melt and blend colours (not shown on Arab Head study left)

Fisher 400:
Lighter, more paper-like, This paper works well taped down onto a board for support. The texture is similar to extremely fine sandpaper. My pencils went on super creamy, and the surface ate them up quickly. Quite a lot of dust created as well, which is something I am not used to and had to take extra care in keeping my work surface clean.

The colours blended wonderfully, and went on vibrant and bright. The surface took a number of layers before becoming saturated, and it was good to see that any saturated area did not take on a "waxy" look that I have experienced before.
Textured held up well to pencil pressure. Colours were easily blended with brushes (use softer ones than on Pastelmat), stumps or fingers. This surfaced worked better for me when I used strokes to fill in areas as opposed to circular strokes or flat colouring.

It was nice to change up what I have been doing and play with these surfaces, which I might remind everyone, are NOT available in Canada

I ordered both from the TSC company in Britain. First time dealing with them and I was very happy with the service and product, but be prepared to pay for the shipping :~)
If you can place an order with another artist or group of artists, it would be more economical and TSC currently has a sale on the Fisher 400 .

Other Artists:
Please check out these other artists who have used both papers and have their own reviews on them:

Nicole Caulfield -who creates amazing (and large scale) portraits and still life coloured pencil paintings with Fisher paper and Derwent coloursofts pencils.

Gayle Mason - who just put up her own review with some beautifully done cat paintings. Her pieces show (much better than mine) the detail one can achieve.

Mary Hubert- who works exclusively on Fisher 400 now, and has a paper review page. And don't forget to check out her amazing demo videos

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

New paper-Pastelmat

"Teddy Bear Blue"

Coloured Pencil on Pastelmat 5.75" x 5.75"

Here is my next pencil painting using my new papers, the Pastelmat.

This little still life was taken from some of my old reference material. Way back when.... I had the opportunity to illustrate some wonderful hand-made stuffed animals and got a few of them on loan. I took reams of pictures but unfortunately the job never panned out. They all were beautifully made though, even their clothes were especially sewn/knitted for them!

I am going to try another painting, but use both papers this time to show the difference, although right from the get go, I can tell you I love this pastelmat :-)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

New Papers and Blogging Award

I've been experimenting with some new papers I ordered recently; Fisher 400 and [Clairefontaine] Pastelmat. Neither are available in Canada (from what I could find out), but I was able to order them through the Creative Support Company.
The CSC were great to work with, I was billed through Paypal, making it easier for me, and the package came quickly and in great shape; no bends!!

Above is a small Ragdoll study done on the Fisher400 with coloured pencils. I am limited on time today, but will expand more on the paper and my progress tomorrow :~)

I would also like to thank the multi-talented Linda Shantz for awarding me a Passion for Painting Award! Thanks very much Linda! It was a pleasure to be included in your 30 horses/30 days project! One of my favourite paintings was this one on day 7... can't help but stop, smile and mellow out when I see this peice!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Painting:0 , Nature:1

Painting is not going seems very laboured and difficult. I'm trying to finish a new piece for the upcoming AAEA deadline, but maybe it is not going to happen. Sometimes starting over with another composition works, or failing that, I can always blame 'spring fever.'

Speaking of which....

We went out this weekend for a run with the dogs (our friend Bronwyn was staying with us) and wandered through the farm section of our provincial park (dogs were leashed here!)

I was lucky enough to capture this picture and I had to share...

Remember, Bronwyn is a Great Dane, a breed that was bred for guarding and boar hunting. Maybe she wouldn't have been that great at it!