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Blog

Glad to Be Back!

After my husband's emergency surgery before Christmas, we both came down with a serious case of the flu. I'm very happy and relieved that we are finally doing well. Now I'm ready to get serious about my art again.

Below are the highlights of the last six weeks.

I wanted to challenge myself and started my largest piece so far, a 40”x 60” canvas. It’s my first tribute to Montana's Glacier National Park, specifically the McDonald Creek. I'm very excited about it!

My Facebook page was listed as one of Ten Facebook Pages about Art in 2014 on Making a Mark, Katherine Tyrrell's amazing blog.

My art was being copied and sold illegally as ‘original oil paintings’ by a company in South East Asia. I'm happy to report that, after contacting them, they immediately stopped selling the copies and profusely apologized for neglecting to verify the authenticity of some of their products.

I'm almost finished with my current piece and will post an image as soon as I get it scanned. It's called "After the Rain".

 

New Open Edition Giclee

“Ephemeral Journey” is now available as a 6” x 6” open edition canvas giclee. After the image is printed on fine canvas, I personally mount it on a 2” thick cradled board. Then I paint the sides with acrylic and apply several coats of gloss varnish. It’s sold for $99 from my website store.

 

Included in a New Book by Katherine Tyrrell

Renowned UK artist and blogger, Katherine Tyrrell, has a book coming out on January 1st, 2015. It comes in three different versions for the UK, USA and Asia, with three different publishers, three different titles and three different covers. However, everything inside is the same, including my contribution (!). Yes, I'm one of the artists included in the book.

The USA version, titled "Drawing 365", is now available for pre-order from Amazon  and North Light Books.

For more information, please read Katherine's blog post

 

Icarus Drawing Board Workshop


Exciting news! A cruise to the Caribbean with Arlene Steinberg teaching how to work on the Icarus Drawing Board. Every student will have their own board to practice with. For more information please visit Ann Kullberg's Workshop Page.

In the last several years Arlene has created fantastic artworks using the Icarus board. To view her art please visit her website: www.arlenesteinberg.com.

 

“River Pebbles, No. 13”

Title: "River Pebbles, No. 13"
Size: 8" x 8"
Medium: Prismacolor colored pencils, Luminance colored pencils, Neocolors artist crayons
Tools: tortillions, paper stumps, and color shapers
Surface: Art Spectrum Colourfix Supertooth board
Icarus Technique

I created a graphite sketch from five different photo references I took during my trip to Montana. I always make sure to have many photos of the same subject, especially when dealing with moving water, so that I can combine the best parts into a drawing.

I then transferred the original sketch using Verithin colored pencils to avoid having to erase the graphite pencil.

After drawing the outline, I proceeded to map the main colors with Neocolor artist crayons on the warm zone of the Icarus board at low temperature. During this step it's not important to include all nuances and details as these can be developed later with colored pencils.

For more on color mapping with artist crayons you can view the following video: Mussel Shell - Blocking in Colors with Artist Crayons

With temperature set at maximum, I melted and blended the artist crayons with a clay shaper (also known as color shaper). 

For more on melting artist crayons you can view the following video: Mussel Shell - Melting Artist Crayons

With the Icarus board set at medium temperature I developed the colors, values and details by layering and blending colored pencils with a variety of tools (tortillions, paper stumps, Caran d'Ache blender). During this step I made quite a few changes from the original outline; I removed a bubble and several small pebbles, aiming to simplify an already complex drawing.

Here are close-ups of the main steps: outline, mapping, melting, and developing.

I hope you enjoyed this step-by-step.

 

Commission Ready to Ship

"Everlasting", my 24" x 48" commission, is now framed and ready to ship. In the photo below, with myself by the artwork, you can better appreciate its size.  

 

How to Mount Canvas on Board

I used to mount canvas on board with Frank's PH Fabric Adhesive. I demonstrated how to do it on a previous blog post: Canvas and the Icarus Board: Final PostAlthough this method worked pretty well, the glue would always moisten the canvas which would take a long time to dry before I could varnish it. I finally found a double-stick adhesive that is suitable for rough surfaces like canvas.


Above are my finished canvas and a roll of adhesive on top of a 24" x 48" Claybord.


Gudy 831 is a very aggressive double-stick adhesive especially suitable for application on rough or textured surfaces. It's acid free (pH 7), passed the photo activity test (PAT), and will not dry out or discolor with age. It's available on rolls with a single release liner. Easily applied by hand, it will never dry out or discolor with age. Gudy 831 can be purchased online from Talas in different size rolls.


After carefully unrolling the adhesive onto the surface of the Claybord (sticky side toward the board), I burnished it with a brayer and trimmed the excess around the edges. I punctured the air bubbles with an X-Acto knife and burnished until the air was all gone. 


Here's a close-up of a seam where I had to join two separate sheets of adhesive because the roll wasn't wide enough. Again, I pressed the seam with a burnisher.


This is the canvas ready to be mounted, after I trimmed the white edges. At this point my piece measures 24.5" x 48.5", half an inch larger than the board, to account for possible misalignment during mounting. 


I created a fold on the release liner to expose a 1" wide section of the tacky area.


I positioned the canvas over the board and, when perfectly centered, I pressed down on the canvas over the exposed 1" section of adhesive.


Then I slowly pulled away the release paper while unrolling the canvas over the adhesive. With a sheet of tracing paper covering the canvas, I gently rubbed the surface with a rag until all the release paper was pulled out.


I rolled a rubber brayer all over the surface protected by tracing paper.


I turned the board upside down and trimmed the extra canvas with an X-Acto knife.


To achieve perfect cuts I used a fresh blade for each side of the artwork.


Finally I placed the board under heavy books overnight. Using Gudy 831 allowed me to begin varnishing the day after mounting the canvas.


Title: "Everlasting"
Size: 24" x 48"
Medium: Prismacolor and Caran d'Ache Luminance Colored Pencils, Neocolor Wax Pastels, Holbein Oil Pastels
Surface: Extra Fine Texture Canvas primed with two coats of clear Art Spectrum Colourfix Primer
Icarus Technique