Monday, November 29, 2010

Colored Pencil: Times Square

I took a bunch of photos in New York last month and some will become reference material.
I did this one from Times Square over Thanksgiving weekend.
Below is the original photo. I cropped it quite a bit to focus on the people in the center section.

I wanted to make the picture fairly large so I printed my reference out on 11x17 paper and gridded it off in 1" squares. I know, that's probably considered "cheating" but I don't have the time to invest in a drawing that's going to turn out dis-proportional! (I saw a "cartoon" by a Renaissance artist that had holes punched in it so his assistants could pat chalk through the holes to create the guidelines on the wall to help him begin his mural. If the Old Masters can do it, so can I!)
I put crosshairs on my paper at the intersections of the inch marks. I didn't sketch any outlines;
instead, I just laid down the all light and dark shapes and then fit all the rest in between, referring to my guidelines until I had the basic shapes of the entire scene in place.

Below is the original colored pencil drawing.
I wasn't crazy about the paper but it was the only kind I had on hand that was big enough.
There was too much texture and I couldn't get the color as intense or as solid as I wanted it. 

Problem solved with a bit of help from Photoshop! I played with the levels and brightness/contrast.

And then just for fun, I hit it with the Poster Edges filter. One way to deal with something you don't like is to make the "problem" more pronounced. I didn't like the original texture but after darkening and emphasizing it, it's kind of cool.

Beads: Holiday Clay

Did everyone have a nice Thanksgiving? I had time today to make a few new things...
they'll be posted in my etsy shop over the next few days.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Thank You!: To all my bead customers on Etsy

Nothing is more rewarding than knowing people shell out their hard-earned money for things I make. Nothing, not even these adorable boots I bought today with my bead proceeds. (This photo makes them look like they're over-the-knee boots, but they're not. I am still on the lookout for those!)

DSW was filled with boots, boots, and more boots. And better yet, unlike in the past two years, there were many in size 11. I told the manager I was thrilled to see so many 11s and she said they're starting to carry more size 9 and up now. YAY!!! (I even saw a few 12s which I have never seen there before!)

Bead proceeds also pay for my groceries, new art supplies, my own etsy purchases, and the Manhattan vacation I went on last month. So, moral of the story is, I shouldn't be typing, I should be making more beads!

I went to clay day today and came home with some new ideas!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Virtual Paintout: Rio de Janeiro

My Virtual Paintout project for November. This scene can be found on Google Streetview here:

 There seems to be graffiti on every building there.
It's hard to drop the Google Streetview Man anywhere and not find it!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Snacks: Spicy Goodness

If you like hot food, you must try Sabra Supremely Spicy Hummus. It has a chipotle topping that will wake your mouth up!
I dip into it with a Pecan or Almond Nut-Thins cracker. Nut-Thins are so tasty! Don't let the "gluten-free" label scare you...They are addictive!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Beads: Turquoise, Gold, Red

I made the sets below in the last few days. Will work on two special orders tonight with some online etnertainment (hulu, Stewart/Colbert, Conan, streaming netflix,, etc.), two movies (500 Days of Summer and Shutter Island) and several sets of The Learning Company CDs. There aren't enough hours in the day!
I used to think that when my old TV dies I would get a big screen TV...but now I think I won't even replace it. I'll just get a larger computer monitor. And I'll eventually end up living in one room with the clay, the colored pencils, the pastels, the computer, and some piece of exercise equipment.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Artist: Tony Allain

I saw Tony Allain's pastels in a magazine a while ago and loved his work. I just now ran into his blog. Seriously, his work makes me swoon! Gorgeous Gorgeous Gorgeous! Minimalist and perfect. Some have a vaguely retro look about them...they'd look right at home in Don Draper's office!
Look at these...
Federation Square, Melbourne  (detail at left...I love the periwinkle blue that he uses a lot)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Artist: Jeannie McGuire

After the pastel workshop (see post below), a few of us went to an open house at artist Jeannie McGuire's house. She works in watercolor and has a gorgeous, distinctive style. She does figures and uses strong cropping to add drama and put the focus on the subject. She was the featured artist in the Aug 2010 Watercolor Magazine.

And I am totally jealous of her attic studio. If I had such a room I would never leave it!

 Go look at her website!

At the open house I had this deeeeeeelicious white bean, rosemary,and lemon zest dip. Addictive and delicious!

Pastels: Pat Young Workshop for PPAL

Pat Young, a member of Pittsburgh Pastel Artists League, gave a workshop today at 3rd Street Gallery. She talked about composition and showed us how to add more interest to our pastels with a colored and "textured' ground on our paper that's created with water and pastel. It never occurred to me to mix pastel and water!
My reference was one of the many photos I took in New York last month. I snapped the Chelsea Gourmet Deli on W22nd in Chelsea, right down the street from where we stayed.


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