Monday, February 13, 2017

Brookgreen Landscape

 
 
 
Brookgreen Gardens is in South Carolina. It is a wonderful place to stroll among beautiful plants and art. It started as a sculpture garden and still displays sculpture among the many exotic planting. It also has a zoo of farm and native animal.

The price of admission is good for 2 days, and you are welcome to come and sit, sketch and photograph anywhere and for any length of time.

Well worth a visit if you visit the islands along the coast of South Carolina.
 

Monday, February 6, 2017

Many shades of Gray.


Working on this heron, I am using many, many grays.
 

Working on my Lesser Blue Heron, I am constantly reaching for gray pencils. I have a lot of them!

 

 

Working Definition of gray:
adjective, grayer, grayest. 
 
1. of a color between white and black; having a neutral hue.
2. dark, dismal, or gloomy: gray skies.
3. dull, dreary, or monotonous. 
4. having gray hair; gray-headed. 
5. pertaining to old age; mature.
9. any achromatic color; any color with zero chroma, intermediate between white and black. 
10. something of this color.
Cool Grays
 

 

In art, gray is anything but dull. It is essential to any painting. You cannot work without gray. It is what gives life and depth to any 2-d artwork, what makes it pop or look real.

 

Far from being neutral or dull, gray comes in a wide variety of hues and chroma.

 

The definition of Chroma:

1. the purity of a color, or its freedom from white or gray.
2. intensity of distinctive hue; saturation of a color

 

But gray has its own intensity and saturation of color. And it does come in colors! Any pure color can and does have its version of gray. Warm, cool, French etc. I have a beautiful green-gray and a very useful rose-gray. Purples lend themselves to fantastic grays. Ask any floral or landscape artist how they could work without creating the essential grays. Same with portraits.

 

One of the things that makes both graphite and silverpoint beautiful to me is the vibrancy of the gray tones.

 

I love gray.

 
I could not draw or paint without it. Each time I create a painting I am mixing a new, exciting shade of gray.


And right now nothing is more popular than gray. Look at the color charts in any paint department. Gray comes in more than 50 shades and each is beautiful.

 

Lots of grays, from French to warm to cool.
 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Landscapes in Colored Pencil

I see a lot of colored pencil drawings/painting both from artists friends here and others that I have made through the internet. Most are beautiful and most are of single subjects, still lifes or portraits. Few are landscapes in the tradition of the masters.



Color pencil simply seems to lend itself to find detail of a single subject. A flower a beloved pet or the arrangement of objects.



Doing a landscape in colored pencil is less common.


Most I do single subjects in colored pencil. I seldom construct a complete picture, something with a background, mid-ground and foreground. I have to wonder why.



I am working on a landscape in colored pencil right now. It is of a scene in Brook-green gardens, a public garden in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. It is giving me fits. I am simply not used to working on a complete painting in colored pencil.



But I am finding that I must approach it as I would an oil painting. Even the way I hold the pencils is more like a paint brush, less like a standard pencil. So I am making brushstrokes with my pencils. Blending the colors as I would paint on a canvas.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Are you afraid of the darks?


 

Sometimes it can be intimidating to lay down that really dark layer. Afraid to go too dark. Even when you know, when all your artistic senses tell you that the dark is correct. It still can be difficult to commit to that rich full dark pigment.

 

While I don’t have as much trouble with this when I paint with oils, with colored pencil or any medium that you work light to dark I have trouble laying down the darkest colors. Without these rich tones however, you lighter hues just are not as rich and full as they need to be. With the truly well developed darks the entire piece will be flattened, monotoned and uninteresting. Unfullfilling. Without the darks the lights lack sparkle.