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Colored Pencils – The Drama

I think I’ve found a method I like for my drawing class. I’m ink washing the values onto watercolor paper, gesso-ing on top of that to fuzz it up and give it tooth, then completing the image with colored pencils(and adding more india ink on top of that to push the values). I’m digging the results. The layering gives the finished piece a kind of distance from the viewer that I like.

My biggest problem is the colored pencils. Prismacolor seems to be the standard(wait, wait, Marco Mazzoni appears to use Faber Castell), yet the set I bought for school, including any loose extra colors, constantly break. Strangely the remains of my set from high school don’t break at all. I noticed that the manufacturer changed. My old set say Berol and the new ones are made by Sanford(which I guess bought Berol). I’ve heard of other students having a similar problem, but then also heard others never have the same problem so who knows what’s up with the quality. Because of these issues I don’t want to invest in another set hoping that they won’t be as useless. I went to the art supply store and bought several loose different types of pencils to try out. I got some of the Prismacolor Verithins with the harder pigment. So far they seem good, but only useful for fine details. I got some Derwents(the Inktense watercolor colored pencils). I’m not too sure about them yet. I do like the Progresso colored pencils. The entire shaft is pigment, no wood at all.

Probably the most important thing I bought to help me was an electric pencil sharpener. It plugs into the wall and doesn’t seem to eat the pencil or get snagged on the wood the way hand held ones do. I’ll bring it to school and sit up against the wall with it plugged in like a troll, charging my classmates high fives to use it. I was hesitant to buy one at first. The one I had as a kid, and which my mom probably still has, was huge and faux-wood paneled like a station wagon. This new one isn’t tiny, but it’s still smaller. It actually looks like a shuttle-craft from Star Trek.

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Stressing out over Still Lifes

Here are some thumbnails of the some photos I took trying to put together still lifes for my painting class. I want to do this, but I always fear I’m being too cheesy, when really I should just go for drama and as cheesy as I want.

It’s also not like I can’t creatively edit the scene how I want in my painting. I don’t have to paint every unnecessary detail and I can interpret thing how I see fit.

As you can probably tell, I’m trying to create vanitas-like still lifes but with objects of fortune telling and superstition to match my conceptual portraits. I want to improve my observation skills and removing the portrait from the scene is probably exactly what I need to do to concentrate on objects.

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Sticky Lip Wishes and Vampire Hisses

Concepting photo with Cora Dietz and Elizabeth Tolley MUA

It took me forever to get something edited from the shoot I did with Cora Dietz. Jason helped me with most of the editing with his photoshop skills. I was attempting to concept out some future paintings and Cora was awesome enough to help out. Our friend Elizabeth Tolley did her make up and hair.

Le Fanu's Carmilla painted by Leonor Fini

Above is a painting I found by Leonor Fini of Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu’s lady vampire Carmilla. Bram Stoker is said to be inspired by Le Fanu’s story, so yes, Carmilla is a work older than Dracula. If you are a Vampire Hunter D fan you will probably recognize the name. The villainess in the second movie shares the name.

I honestly am not much of a vampire fan, or at least not of pop culture’s latest incarnation of the vampire. I can’t stand the sight of blood, real or fake. It doesn’t scare me really, but it makes me feel slightly sick and I can’t get the taste of iron out of my mouth when seeing it.

I did enjoy the story of Carmilla though. Atleast from what I’ve read about it and heard in the below linked radio play produced by the horror series Nightfall Have a listen. It’s hosted on my site so you can listen to it on it’s own page or download it.

I won’t bother to describe it except to say that it’s less bloody and more interesting than typical gory vampire fare. I have downloaded the short story to my nook but haven’t read it yet. You can find it online to download here.

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Pencil to Paper

drawing 4 project

Today has been a Vincent Price movie watching kind of a day. School consisted only of watching a movie of Picasso drawing and painting, and I basically spent the rest of the day working on the above piece for my drawing class. It’s more of the ink wash combined with gesso and colored pencils. I am beginning to wish I had used used black india ink, but I was really thinking that the violet would be interesting.

I also wish I had purchased a block of hot press watercolor paper instead of cold. I’m thinking this paper may be too toothy for colored pencils.

It’s not complete yet, but I am liking the effect…so far.

After watching Vincent Price movies all day(Masque of the Red Death, Tomb of Ligeia, Haunting on the Hill), I have now found myself in Dunwich Horror land. I’m baffled that the guy from Quantum Leap(Dean Stockwell) is the villain, Wilbur Waitley. Oh, and I just got to watch Sandra Dee get molestered by body painted up hippies with blue feather boas.