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A New Art Series for a Great Cause

This is the first piece in a new series called “Pebbles from Heaven”. I’ve been yearning to find a meaningful way to give back using my art, and this series is my attempt to do that.

On February 4th, 2017, my good friend Bruno Serato had his restaurant destroyed by an electrical fire. For the last 12 years Bruno has used this very restaurant to provide free, warm, nutritional meals to underprivileged children in Orange County. His charity, Caterina’s Club, feeds nearly 1,200 children, 5 nights a week.

Bruno is the most generous and loving person I know and his philanthropy has received worldwide attention. In this time of need, I want to help support him in his mission to continue feeding these children.

Here is my commitment: for each “Pebbles from Heaven” original or giclee sold, I will donate 25% of the sale price directly to Caterina’s Club, indefinitely. 

I feel blessed with this renewed sense of purpose, and am grateful I have an opportunity to help make this world a better place, one pebble at a time.

“Pebbles from Heaven, No. 1” will be available soon on my website store: esterroi.com

 

Upcoming Demonstration

Next Saturday, Feb 11, I will give an Icarus board demonstration during the San Diego CPSA District Chapter meeting. Everybody is welcome!

If you're not a member of the Colored Pencil Society of America, this will be a great opportunity to meet a dedicated group of artists who share a passion for colored pencil. I hope to see you there!

Serra Mesa/Kearny Mesa Library, Community Room, 10:00 AM - 12:30 PM, 9005 Aero Drive, San Diego

 

Acrylic and Colored Pencil

My latest artwork, titled "McDonald Creek, No. 3", was inspired by the ripples reflected on the colorful pebbles of the McDonald Creek, Glacier National Park, Montana. This piece has a very abstract slant due to its close-up take and the refraction caused by the running water.  

Size: 12" x 16"
Medium: Luminance and Prismacolor colored pencils, and Golden Matte Acrylics
Surface: Art Spectrum Colourfix Supertooth board
Technique: Icarus Painting Board 

 

Even with abstract work, value and composition are still of the outmost importance. A value range from 0 to 10 brings form and depth to life. Colors, of course, always evoke a strong emotional response but if the values are incorrect, the colors will not work. 

I normally block in the main colors with artist crayons and wax pastels (Neocolors). This time I wanted to experiment with acrylics. Since colored pencils adhere only mechanically to acrylics, it's crucial to use a surface with a strong tooth, especially when framing without glass. After acrylics dry, the tooth is then still available for colored pencils. 

Regular acrylics are usually glossy and that finish interferes with colored pencil adhesion. However, Golden Matte Acrylics, Fluid or Heavy Body, are less sleek than gloss acrylics and provide a better surface for colored pencils.

So, what are the advantages of using acrylics with colored pencils? I discovered two helpful applications.

 

USING ACRYLICS TO BLOCK IN COLORS   

Acrylics are perfect for covering large areas of flat color; they can be brushed on quickly and they dry in a jiffy. I chose to paint this pebble with a middle value. With a few brush strokes, using paint thinned with water, I completely obliterated the white of the paper.

 

I then created the ripples with white paint and a lighter value of the local color. I don't worry about being precise at this point; that's where colored pencils will come in handy. 

 

After turning on the heat of my Icarus Painting Board (medium setting), I began developing colors, values and details with colored pencils in my usual fashion, blending with a paper stump when necessary. The acrylic under-layer is left uncovered in some areas to allow for optical blending.

 

USING ACRYLICS TO GLAZE

I use only lightfast colored pencils and some of the colors in the pink, purple and violet family are a little dull and not as bright as their fugitive counterparts.

 

If you're a fan of bright colors like I am, you'll be happy to know that there's a way to remedy that dullness. Acrylics are lightfast and can be glazed over colored pencils. On this pebble I painted a very light mixture of Golden Quinacridone Magenta and Golden Acrylic Glazing Liquid. The glaze worked wonderfully but it took me two tries to get it right.

On the first try, the glaze darkened the overall values. So I reworked the pebble on my Icarus Painting Board; the heat allowed me to easily remove the acrylic glaze using colored pencils alone. After lightening the values, I then re-glazed the pebble (no heat). Acrylics can also be used for touch-ups, especially when highlights have lost their luster; a little Titanium white can do wonders.

 

Podcast Interview on Sharpened Artist

Listen to my podcast interview on Sharpened Artist. What a great opportunity to talk about my background in art, my experience as a professional artist and what led me to create the Icarus Board. 

Here is what artist Kendra Lamont Nafziger said after listening to the podcast:
"This was one of the most enlightening and enjoyable podcast ever! Ester is an eloquent, gracious human being. I actually teared up toward the end hearing her encouragement for artists! "Don't concern yourself with finding your voice. It was never lost; it just takes time for it". I am so grateful for this podcast. Ester, you are a gem."

Many thanks to John Middick of Sharpened Artist and Lisa Clough of Lachri Fine Art for this enjoyable interview.


 

CPSA Silent Auction 2016

The CPSA silent auction, "Small Works of Great Magnitude," will be held during the upcoming convention in Tacoma, Washington. Bids are accepted starting Tuesday, July 26, and culminate with final bids at the Art Gala on the evening of Thursday, July 28. 

Below you can see my donation, "Cambria", created for the new Caran d'Ache Luminance brochure. Click here to preview all the entries: http://cpsa.org/silent-auction-2016

 

Published in COLORED PENCIL Magazine

I'm thrilled to have a six page article published in the June issue of COLORED PENCIL Magazine. It's so nice to be back!

Look for an in-depth presentation of my technique with several step-by-steps. Read about my exciting journey with the Icarus board, from conception to the future

If you are a subscriber of COLORED PENCIL Magazine, don't forget to take advantage of a special saving offer for our three Icarus board models. If you're not a subscriber, you really should be: http://coloredpencilmag.com/subscribe/, it's an amazing publication!

In 2012 I was featured in COLORED PENCIL Magazine's first issue and my artwork "Social Network" was on the cover (see photo below).

 

Wax Bloom: How to Remove it

If you use wax-based colored pencils or wax pastels and artist crayons, you're familiar with wax bloom, that cloudy, white film that forms on the artwork. Don't wipe it off with a cloth or you'll risk smearing the pigment.

I have a simple solution; just blow warm air over the surface with a hair dryer or a heat gun. If you're not in a hurry, let the heat of the Icarus board do the job for you. When you're done with your drawing, final fixative or varnish will take care of wax bloom for ever.