Category Archives: Colored Pencil

Strange Holiday

So it’s the 4th of July, and I’m sitting around in my red, white, and blue (flip-flops and Eeyore pajama pants are patriotic, right?), and I’m musing about the strangest Independence Day ever. The usual local fireworks display at the high school football field down the street has been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the neighbors seem to be taking up the slack… and then some — at least the neighbors who are less concerned about keeping all ten fingers.

The extended family didn’t plan anything today except that we attended a memorial service this morning for a dear friend. Our daughter is moving to another state in a month. My husband is waiting to hear if he will get the job he interviewed for on Thursday. He’s been at home since March; his previous job was eliminated due to the pandemic’s economic fallout. There was one art fair where I planned to sell my work at the end of the summer, and I just now learned that it has been Corona-canceled. Everything seems to be in a state of change or uncertainty. In the midst of all this, my motivation to make art has had its ups and downs.

I’ve been working on a bunch of smaller works on paper and trying out some art supplies that I had collected but never used. Three pieces (pictured above) that I was very happy with came of it, and then I ran out of ideas for a few days. The next round produced one even smaller floral watercolor (with bee) and then one dud (not pictured). They can’t all be winners. If it’s not a success, then it’s lesson, right? I think the main lesson in that one was that cheap watercolor paper is no bargain.

I am looking into selling my art as prints and merchandise. There are several print-on-demand sites where I could set up an online store. For those who don’t have a place to hang a large oil painting but still want to enjoy a little art, perhaps a print to put on a desk will be just the thing. I’ll keep you posted.

Jeff’s Best Friend

Jeffs Best Friend SMALL

I finished this pet portrait back in October, but I couldn’t show it to the world yet, because it was a commission for a Christmas gift.  It started out as a pencil drawing, but I just wasn’t satisfied with the blackness of Max’s eyes, and I didn’t want to leave out the warm tones in his fur, so it evolved into a colored pencil painting.  Or technically mixed media because I had to use ink to get the obsidian-like sparkle in his peepers.

This was my first experience with laid paper.  If you’re not familiar with the term, laid paper has ridges in it that are the result of the manufacturing process.  It was the usual type of once until it was gradually replaced by wove paper wove paper which has a uniform surface without lines.  I learned that recently when I’d been reading a lot of those little signs next to the art at museums that describe what you’re looking at.  A lot of them said “ink on white laid paper” or “printed on cream laid paper,” etc.  I took out my phone and educated myself a bit.  Thanks, Wikipedia!

My advice for laid art paper:  Yes, when you see it on clearance for just 15 cents, by all means buy it.  Just don’t try to use colored pencil on it.  It was a bit like drawing on fine-whale corduroy and those ridges showed through unless I really pressed down hard.  This work in progress detail photo shows pretty well what I was dealing with:

Jeffs Best Friend WIP detail SMALL

I was very happy with the finished work.  My friend who commissioned it got a little choked up when I showed her.  Her husband who received it for Christmas gave me a hug and thanked me the next time he saw me.  I’ll call that a success!  Here’s how they framed it:

Jeff's Best Friend Framed SMALL

If anyone else is interested in a pet portrait, I am open to doing more commissions.  Valentine’s day would be a great time to surprise your sweetheart with a portrait of his or her special furry friend.  Contact me for details. 

A bonus chuckle — This is what my cat thinks of dog art:

Jeffs Best Friend Henrys Opinion SMALL