Anyone who’s been following my slowly emerging art career over the past year will probably have noticed my work tends to stick to the realm of realism.
But after the scramble to get enough pieces of artwork of a similar style completed for my solo show, I wanted to experiment with a few new things before running back down the straight and narrow road of realism with my colored pencils (remember kids, no running with scissors!).
The first of my experiments was the Claybord piece (which I’m thinking of calling Petaluma) from a couple weeks ago.
The second project isn’t really an experiment, it’s just my own nagging to learn how to use watercolors without the results looking like a blind monkey got a hold of a paint brush (actually, that would probably look better than most of my watercolor work).
The third was to try something a tad more abstract. But even with my abstract work, I resorted to a bit of realism.
Inspiration in Glass
If you see any of Dave Chihuly’s glass art in person, you can’t help but feel inspired by all the colors and shapes – especially when you’re someone like me who loves bold colors and shapes in your own work. So when my mom and I went to Seattle’s Chihuly Gardens last fall, I ate up oodles of space on my camera card taking pictures of all the pretty things.
Last month, I finally got around to cropping a few of the images to create some reference photos that were a bit abstract, but still had some decent composition….and of course, interesting shapes and bold colors.
Getting to Work
When I began this piece out I thought I would make it exactly like the photo by trying to capture all the light reflections and shading and shapes.
It started out looking good and I have to say the waves on the big central area were fun to do even if I went a little cross-eyed at times.
If I did this piece again, I think I would change the reflection of the red “sticks” so they angle a bit toward the lower left corner, but by the time I thought of this it was too late to erase what I’d done (the bane of colored pencils is that flaws are really really really hard to correct).
When I got down to the lower corner, it was time to step away from the photo. I didn’t want to have all the dark space there was in the original and instead wanted to carry the lightly colored waves and yellow bit from the top to the bottom to kind of tie things together. The yellow bit went fine, but the waves…um, not so much.
Even though I wasn’t able to erase what I’d done, I was able to darken it to tone it down. The result kind of reminds me of something peeking out from under the central wavy part.
And, in attempt to show off my work a bit better, I even remembered to snap a photo of the piece in a mat.
New Works In Progress
I have a couple more Chihuly-inspired images I want to do, but I’ve also been snapping photos in my garden and around the neighborhood of all the flowers in bloom, there’s a stained glass piece from Delft (Netherlands) I’ve been dying to do, some rubber ducks in someone’s yard quacked their way into my heart….and of course there are those pesky watercolors to get to.
So, what’s on your creative to-do list?
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