|Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!!|
Friday, December 24, 2010
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
|"Winter's Foal" part 1|
This will be my first piece done entirely in Faber-Castell Polychromos colored pencils. I usually work with a mix of colored pencil brands with the lion’s share being my old standby, Prismacolors. I was interested to see how the non-waxy Polychromos pencils would build towards a complete piece. So far so good!
Thursday, December 16, 2010
The name of the store is “Cresciangirl’s Art Shop.” There’s a story that goes with the name. As you might notice, it is NOTHING at all like Flying Pony Studios, the name of my pet portrait business. I actually created the shop several years ago with the intention of selling not just art, but also to promote my Steampunk and webcomic materials. This was way before there was a Flying Pony Studios. Right after I set up the name, there followed several years of parental death and trauma. The Etsy store was put on the shelf.
Flash forward to this month when I sought to open my Etsy shop at long last. Only then did I remember that it had a different (and more personal) name. However, the unusual name provided me with an interesting opportunity while setting up the shop. In this shop I felt I could branch out beyond what I typically do in my art business and provide a wider range of creative things to sell. So far I know that there will be handmade original art cards & prints, and also ACEOs. But there may also be other things, like some of my craft creations, Steampunk weaponry and attire, and who knows what else! Even Manga designs. What fun! I can already see that I’m going to have a lot of fun with this store concept. It’ll be a Sara Creative Special Deluxe! :-D
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
It's interesting to consider how often in this crazy world we are subjected to win-lose scenarios and how that creates unsettled feelings when trying out new ventures, especially in areas (like Art) that we really care about. A good community can turn that around. I am looking forward to experiencing the Etsy community more fully and participating in a way that enriches both me and my buyers.
Thursday, December 9, 2010
But what to put in it? Well, at this time of year…Christmas cards! This really feels like me standing on the edge of a high diving board. I’ve never liked heights and here I am, about to bounce and plunge! It’s scary! But exciting too!
The store isn’t quite open yet (can you see all the brown paper still covering the windows?) but have no fear, the grand opening is coming within the next few days. Still in time to get a card or two to give out at Christmas.
To me, the images I've created for these cards represent three different looks into the special world that we share with our beloved animal companions.
|"Joy" Copyright Sara Light-Waller, 2010|
|"Peace on Earth" Copyright Sara Light-Waller, 2010|
|"Merry Christmas!" Copyright Sara Light-Waller, 2010|
All of these cards are hand-crafted which means that I assemble all the pieces and mount them myself. The cards are smooth white card stock (good for writing) with 4x6 glossy photos carefully mounted to give a subtle raised look. All the cards are waiting for your special holiday message inside.
Although my store hasn’t quite opened its doors yet, I am taking orders from here. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to reserve your holiday card(s).
Saturday, December 4, 2010
To go along with this great news, I also wanted to unveil the further news that I am currently developing both a greeting card line and a series of ACEO images. I intend to open an Etsy and Café Press shop really soon. Keep your eyes out here for all the latest news!
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Then on to a quote from a favorite illustrator of mine, Howard Pyle.
“...it is better to err in the lack of detail than it is to introduce details that may arouse question or criticism...” -Howard Pyle to Paul Leicester Ford, November 30, 1898Words we all can profit by, even more than 100 years later. ;-)
With thanks to Ian Schoenherr - from his wonderful blog – “Howard Pyle”
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Name and history alone make it interesting, but I really like the color too. I consider it a rather dull Red-Violet and use it in several of my watercolor palettes.
Monday, November 29, 2010
For example, take the word “Phthalo.” That initial “Ph” is so strange! It took me forever to learn to spell it correctly. Some other strange-sounding color names are “Geranium Lake,” (I get the "Geranium" but what’s the deal with the "Lake?"), and “Permanent Green.” (Why is it more permanent than other greens?) I’ve always been fascinated by the word “Fuchsia” but have no idea what is means or where it comes from. (I have had Fuchsia plants before but which came first the plant or the color?)
I’m sure there are easy-to-find answers to these questions but that’s not really the point. The point is that our painting boxes are filled with amazingly, evocative names that we rarely ever notice.
|Some interesting color names in my colored pencil collection|
My current favorite color names are “Helio-Blue Reddish” and “Chrome Oxide Green Fiery.” Wow! I'm not sure they make any sense as far as names go but they sure sound good, don't they?
What are some of your favorite color names?
Thursday, November 25, 2010
|"Baxter," Prismacolor Pencil on Canson paper 9"x12"|
Wow! It took me a long time to finish this piece. If it had been a commission it would have been done long ago. But since it was being done as a memory piece for me, I let other pieces get ahead of it for a while. I’m glad to see it finally done. And on Thanksgiving Day too!
Somehow that’s appropriate as I met this little guy and his “Dad” while on the cross-country trip to pick up my recently deceased Mom’s things from Vermont. He was visiting with his Dad the night we stayed at a motel in Vermont. Baxter had been recovering from a bite from a “bad bug” (a tick) and needed to be watched over and given his medicine. He was just so cute with his huge ears and winning attitude. I couldn’t resist photographing him for a later portrait. If only I could remember exactly where this motel was I’d let his Dad know about it.
Oh well. The Internet is large. Perhaps by good chance he’ll hear about it on my blog or Flickr. You never know… ;-)
Monday, November 22, 2010
Here are my sketches from the event. Drawn in an old surveyor’s notebook in Pitt pen mainly.
And speaking of hats…here’s mine from the convention. A Christmas hat featuring clockwork birds. Tra la!
|Detail of my Christmas hat featuring clockwork birds.|
Cheerio to all!
Friday, November 19, 2010
Before leaving for Hawaii I had seen pictures of the Kilauea Lighthouse on Kauai. It looked so beautiful. A lighthouse surrounded by Kauaiian scenery. How could I resist?
The trip to Kilauea was fabulous in and of itself; a beautiful tour around the north end of Kauai. The overlook was stationed just outside the gates of the National Park Service site. I stood at the overlook and sketched the distant lighthouse to get a feel for it.
|Kilauea Lighthouse sketch|
The park itself was lovely and interesting. Here we got our first look at the Hawaiian goose, the Nene. We also saw protected seabird nests with tiny, fluffy, baby birds resting in little, circular, nesting caves along the path to the lighthouse. The lighthouse itself was undergoing renovations and we were unable to go inside, but the views from the cliff top were incredible.
How could I resist painting a landscape or two based on that beautiful spot?
|“Kilauea Lighthouse Overlook, Kauai" Watercolor. 7" x 10"|
The piece was painted in a limited palette – a tetredic square of Yellow- Green, Red-Orange, Red-Violet, Cyan. (I also used a touch of Quinacridone Gold to glaze some of the foreground foliage left side – but so little I don’t think it unbalanced the color square.) I used several shades from each color category with Yellow-Green being the dominant color. I feel this provided a harmonious mix of colors. I’m pleased by how the colors are a bit warmer and “more tropical” than they were in the photo I used as reference. They are more accurate to my memories of the place.
As a Post Script to this posting. I’ve made a few technical corrections to my 11/13/10 post “Great Workshop at Daniel Smith's.” Apologies for the slightly incorrect Polychromos product descriptions. All should be corrected now.
Monday, November 15, 2010
Here are two of my sample pieces. A human and an equine portrait. I’m finding that these pens give an amazingly illustrative feel to the artwork. They require you to work boldly; markers generally require a certain brash élan!
|Prospero's Magic in Arizona|
So far I like them. They make bold statements. Amazingly, they are NOT bleeding through the paper despite the heavy density of color I have been using. That's truly amazing!
I’m planning to take them with me to Steamcon II next weekend in my sketch kit. It'll be interesting to see how they do on a field trip. :-)
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Don Colley is a wonderful speaker and a fabulous artist. His urban sketches created on huge, old, ledger books are truly a wonderful and very characteristic art. His manner was bright and lively as he described the products he uses in his art and illustration work.
Two of the media I use frequently in my artwork are colored pencils and pen & ink. After so many years of use, I had stopped asking a lot of product questions about either tool. I have used Prismacolor pencils for more than 20 years and have been satisfied with them for the most part. As far as ink pens go, I definitely have my favorites, with the Pitt Superfine (S) black pen being among them. I have also used the Pitt artist brush pens on a limited basis, with my primary use being calligraphy. I have been delighted with the Albrecht Durer watercolor pencils and have a large set of them. My painting “Please May I Come Up,” is done in the AD watercolor pencils.
With all that said, I was surprised and delighted to learn some amazing new things at the workshop yesterday.
Pitt Artist Pens:
- Are just pigment and water and therefore have no odor like other markers. (I had not paid attention to this before but now that you mention it…)
- Will set up and be permanent and waterproof but can be smudged immediately after they’re laid down.
- Are transparent and can be built up in layers like other wet media.
- DO NOT BLEED THROUGH PAPER!
- Are bound in oil (not wax as are Prismacolors) and so will not “bloom” when laid down in heavy concentrations of color. Waxy bloom is observed as a white sheen that can make a piece look dull and opaque. As I use heavy concentrations of color in my colored pencil pieces, not having to worry about waxy bloom building up is a huge revelation for me!
- According to the Faber-Castell website the color leads are 3.8mm, break-resistant, water-resistant, and smudge-proof. The Polychromos leads are glued down the entire (inside) length of the pencil casing thereby creating a stronger pencil overall.
- All the Faber-Castell products (pens, colored pencils, watercolor pencils, pastels) are color-indexed and each same-numbered color will be consistent across the entire product line.
Many thanks to DS blogger Deborah Burns for the timely heads’ up about this great workshop. A super afternoon event at Daniel Smith’s!
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Here are some of my recent fast sketches. These horses live at one of the farms where I do massage regularly. They were all good sports about being artistic subjects. ;-) Each one of these sketches took an average of three minutes to draw. All are soft pencil shaded with a stump.
Monday, November 8, 2010
|My old Agfa scanner - is this company even in business anymore?|
With the prospect of marketing greeting cards dawning on my horizon, I knew I’d need to upgrade to a newer piece of scan/print technology. Enter the HP Photosmart Premium All-In-One. It slices. It dices. It makes julienne fries…well, not really. But it does print, scan, copy, and probably do several other things I haven’t yet read about in the manual. The scans are amazing and it prints photos like a dedicated photo machine. Phew! I’m happy. :-)
|New HP scanner complete with photo print of my artwork|
Saturday, November 6, 2010
|"Watching Pony 1"|
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Since getting back from my recent trip, I have wanted to paint a Hawaiian scene including the state bird, the Hawaiian goose or “Nene.” For the past week or so I have been fiddling around with compositional armatures and colors palettes for this hypothetical painting. I’ve also done some color studies of the birds themselves to better understand their anatomy and how to render the feathers.
|My messy drafting table|
I love telling stories too! I feel so cheated by myself. But now I remember…and there’s no turning back now! Part of the point of today’s blog post is so that I won’t forget this very important point again (at least not soon.) Now that it’s all out in the open I have a physical marker to remember for the next time. (I can also remember to have a good laugh about it!)
Now I just need to make up a story about a sweet and gentle goose that is considered fairly stupid by the locals because it’s easy to catch. How hard can that be? (Actually it sounds like the beginning of a story for children. Hmmmmmm.) Well, here’s to it! ;-)
|Sweet and gentle geese, Nene|
Monday, November 1, 2010
For the past few days I’ve been working out some new compositions and really beating myself up about it. Tonight, as I listen to my favorite Harry Connick Jr. CD, I contemplate the mess that my study has become and I think, “what is all this for?” But then I pause, and look at the watercolor study on my table and think…is it really SO bad? What has it taught me?
I believe that if you can name at least a few things that a piece HAS taught you as you stumble through it, it has served its purpose nobly. After all, not every piece is destined to become an award winner. Some have the more important role of “learning tool.” With that thought in mind, what’s a few awkward passages, or some over-mixed colors really? Next time maybe you’ll be able to do better BECAUSE of that wonderfully lacking piece that...shhhh...wasn’t really all that lacking after all.
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Instead, here’s a sketch from my travels in Seattle today. From my cozy vantage point across the room, I was able to make this quick little watercolor sketch. I was using my newest, TINY, painting kit that holds only four colors (Aureolin, Cobalt Blue, Rose Madder Genuine, and Lunar Black.) It’s an experiment, but I like it so far. :-)
Here’s the tiny sketch kit with a penny for scale. I bought the tin as a souvenir in Hawaii and have been having a great time carrying it (and my other sketching tools) around in my HUGE shoulder bag. It seems very funny to have my drawing and painting tools packed so small and lightly while still hauling around my big bag. *chuckle* Ah well, a girl must have her bag, it's kind of like a law. ;-)
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
By the way, this is my first painting with the new palette. So far so good, I love the colors!
|Three Temporary Palettes|
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Last night I felt ready to get my tools back out and start painting again. My subject was three bright leaves I had picked up a few days earlier while out at brunch. Such lovely colors! In painting them I was able to give my Cadmiums a good workout along with some other new arrivals like the Rose Madder Genuine and Naphthamide Maroon. I have to say that both these new colors were totally worth the money! Although the photo I took doesn’t show it clearly, the shadows are a mixture of Rose Madder Genuine, Cobalt Blue, and Cadmium Yellow Light. I was completely delighted by the elegant neutrals they created together. Rose Madder Genuine is now definitely part of my palette. No doubt about it!
Thursday, October 14, 2010
|Watercolor study of Punalu'u Beach (Payne's Gray watercolor on tinted paper)|
In this piece, besides working out the relative values in Payne’s Gray, I was also trying out a bunch of watercolor techniques. I was testing their value (no pun intended) for potential use in a more finished painting. Techniques like stamping, scribbling, splatter, scraping, and dancing brush strokes are all really important in watercolor. For a long time I was against using such watercolor "tricks." I'm still not sure why. Watercolor is about light, shape, and color. Artist/authors like Cathy Johnson and Claudia Nice have helped me understand these concepts much better. Now it’s up to me to keep practicing until my brush works with me as easily as my pencil and pen. :-)
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Normally, I’m not one for hot dogs but this place was special. If you can believe it, my tropical hot dog was a polish sausage (they have meatless too) served with spicy jalapeño garlic lemon sauce, mango relish, and Lillikoi (passion fruit) mustard on a bun. As my Dad would say, it was delish! In fact, we liked the place so much that we ate there twice during our five-day stay. :-)
Here’s my on-site sketch of Puka Dog and the marker drawing I did after I got back. I had to do this sketch in markers as the actual place was so bright and tropical.
|Fast sketch of Puka Dog Hawaiian Hot Dogs|
|Marker drawing from pencil sketch|
Monday, October 11, 2010
The main change I made while away was to always have my sketchbook and camera with me and be ready to sketch at a moment’s notice. No dilly-dallying! After 10 days of this treatment I actually started reaching for my sketchbook BEFORE my camera! It was a revelation to me. One I hope I'll continue now that I’m home! :-)
|My Hawaii sketch kit. The smallest sketchbook, pencil holder, and plastic |
container for my pencil sharpening shavings all fit in my purse.
|A common site on the trip, my hat, purse, and sketchbook.|
|This was a very quick study that took me between 5 and 10 minutes.|
|This watercolor value study was also pretty quick.|
Sodalite Genuine on a cold press postcard.
PS. I had some trouble with my watercolor sticks while I was away. They tended to stick to the plastic palette I keep in my travel case. Most of the time they looked like this when I opened the box. :-(
|A sad case...|