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Blog Category: Artist Crayon

“River Pebbles, No. 10”

River Pebbles, No. 10

 

Title: River Pebbles, No. 10

For techniques used in this artwork, please see blog post River Pebbles, No.3 - Melting Artist Crayons

 

“River Pebbles, No. 9” - Where’s Waldo?

Original Photo Reference

When I look at a reference photo like the one above, the question I always ask myself is: where's Waldo?

Waldo, for an artist like me, is a good composition hidden in the randomness of nature. Even when I'm the one setting up the still life, I try not to interfere in the way pebbles fall into place. I just take many pictures while anticipating the game I will play later on my computer.

Waldo can be elusive at times. I have images taken years ago that never produced a single Waldo. But my ability to "see" is constantly evolving; I know there's a Waldo waiting to be found even in the most hopeless image.

Composition

Meet Waldo! I found him in the center of the image. Now that I have him, I want to show him off but, as you can see, he looks a little drab. Light and color will do magic.

Values

Here's what he looks like in black and white.

Values Adjusted

Much better - Waldo is coming to life. I just lightened the top left quadrant and pushed the overall value contrast.

Colors Adjusted

Now we're talking!

River Pebbles, No. 9

And here is my finished piece - in honor of Waldo of course!

Title: River Pebbles, No. 9

For techniques used in this artwork, please see blog post River Pebbles, No.3 - Melting Artist Crayons

 

“River Pebbles, No. 8”

River Pebbles, No 8

 

Title: River Pebbles, No. 8

For techniques used in this artwork, please see blog post River Pebbles, No.3 - Melting Artist Crayons

 

“River Pebbles, No. 4” - Stumps & Tortillions

River Pebbles, No. 4

Title: River Pebbles, No. 4

Color Mapping with Artist Crayons - Cool Zone

After drawing the outline with Verithin colored pencils on the cool zone of the Icarus Drawing Board, I proceeded to map the main colors of the project with Neocolor artist crayons on the cool zone.

For more on color mapping with artist crayons you can view the following videos:

Artist Crayons Melted - High Temperature

With temperature setting at maximum, I melted the artist crayons using a clay shaper (color shaper).

For more on melting artist crayons you can view the following videos:

Orange Pebble Finished in Colored Pencil - Medium Temperature

With the temperature set at medium I developed the colors, values and details of the orange pebble by layering colored pencils and blending them with a tortillion.

Blue Pebbles Finished in Colored Pencil - Medium Temperature

The blue pebbles were accomplished in the same manner as the orange pebble.

Red Pebble Finished in Colored Pencil - Medium Temperature

I finished the drawing by completing the red pebble in the same manner as the other pebbles.

Clean-up, Highlights and Signature

Finally I cleaned up the drawing and emphasized the highlights with a white artist crayon. I like my signature to blend in and I can achieve that by using a sharp, white Verithin on the warm zone. It lightens the colors underneath just enough to make the letters visible without detracting from the art.

Paper Stump and Tortillion

When I first started experimenting with heat I was always on the lookout for different tools that would work with my technique. I remember trying tortillions and disliking them. I found that I couldn't really use them by the long side of the point because they would leave indentations/ridges on the waxy pigments.

The paper stumps that I normally use for large artwork were too thick and soft for this small project. At the same time I was getting very frustrated with how inconsistent the various colorless blenders have been lately. Finally I decided to give the tortillion another try and, guess what? It works great! The point is very thin and sturdy, not as soft as the paper stump's, perfect for blending colored pencils. It's easy to clean with sandpaper and very inexpensive. If you're using it already, you're way ahead of me. If you're not, try one and you'll be pleased!

 

“River Pebbles, No. 3 - Melting Artist Crayons”

Title: River Pebbles, No. 3

Outline - Cool Zone

The outline was accomplished with Verithin Colored Pencils on the cool zone of the Icarus Drawing Board.

Color Mapping with Artist Crayons - Cool Zone

For more on color mapping with artist crayons you can view the following videos:

Detail View of Color Mapping

Here you can see the pigment density needed to achieve complete paper coverage after melting.

Melting Artist Crayons - Warm Zone

With temperature setting at maximum, I begin melting the artist crayons with a clay shaper (or color shaper).

For more on melting artist crayons you can view the following videos:

Melting Completed

Artist crayons save me a lot of time. After they are melted, the paper becomes completely saturated with vibrant colors. The waxy pigments make an ideal substrate for layering colored pencils on top.

Finished Artwork

With temperature setting at medium, I finally layer and blend colored pencils to develop colors, values and details.

You can see a slideshow of this project on the following blog post: Slideshow of "River Pebbles, No. 3".

 

“River Pebbles, No. 3”

River Pebbles, No. 3

Title: River Pebbles, No. 3

In my follow-up post of River Pebbles, No. 3, I will show you how I used Neocolor Artist Crayons with heat.

 

“Four River Pebbles” Project on YouTube

Four River Pebbles

I've just posted the five part video series "Four River Pebbles" to our Icarus Art YouTube Channel. It's a collection of 57 video clips from my 2010 CPSA workshop "Wax and Heat, a Match Made in Heaven".

This project, which was accomplished on white Stonehenge paper with Prismacolor Colored Pencils and Caran d'Ache Neocolor II Artist Crayons, is divided into the following five sequential playlists:

1. Beige Pebble
2. Green Pebble
3. Yellow Pebble
4. Red Pebble
5. Shadows and Water

For my workshop attendees this is a great opportunity to review the techniques learned in Santa Clara, California. For everybody else it's like taking a workshop for free. All voiced-over video clips are available in high definition and come with a downloadable supply list, an outline of the project, and an image of the finished project.

I hope you will enjoy practicing and/or learning the Icarus technique. You are always welcomed to post comments and ask questions either on this blog or on our YouTube Channel.

 

“Mussel Shell” Project on YouTube

I just posted a new playlist of 17 video clips on our Icarus Art YouTube Channel. It's a condensed, sixty-minute video library of  a project called "Mussel Shell" from my 2010 CPSA workshop "Wax and Heat, a Match Made in Heaven".

For my workshop attendees this is a great opportunity to review the techniques learned last summer. For everybody else it's like taking a workshop for free. All voiced-over video clips are available in high definition and come with a downloadable supply list, an outline of the project, and an image of the finished mussel shell.

I hope you all enjoy practicing and/or learning the Icarus technique. You are always welcome to post comments and ask questions either on this blog or on YouTube.

View this playlist on Youtube.