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Blog Category: Icarus Boards

“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.

 

“Cambria”

Title: "Cambria"
Size: 6.5" x 11.5"
Medium: Caran d'Ache Luminance Colored Pencils
Tools: Tortillions, Paper Stumps, Full Blender Bright
Surface: Extra Fine Texture Canvas primed with two coats of clear Art Spectrum Colourfix Primer
Technique: Icarus Drawing Board

Above is the outline of this project. It's a combo piece of two small artworks I did in the past. After I developed the drawing in graphite, I transferred it onto the canvas using local colors.

Here I've blocked-in the main colors using a low temperature setting, just enough heat to make the layering a little faster and more even. Now I have a clear map of the basic colors.

After turning up the temperature dial to a medium setting I began burnishing. This is the process of saturating the canvas with pigment. I'm developing the values while blending colors and adding details. The only tools I use, besides the Icarus board, are tortillions, paper stumps, and a colorless blender.

More burnishing and blending in progress.

More burnishing and blending in progress

And finally the finished artwork. The title is after the location on the California Central Coast where I collected these pebbles.   

 

“River Dance”

Title: "River Dance"
Size: 12" x 24"
Medium: Prismacolor Premier, Caran d'Ache Luminance, Derwent Coloursoft, Faber-Castell Polychromos, Caran d'Ache Neocolor I and II
Tools: Tortillions, Paper Stumps, and Colour Shapers
Surface: Extra Fine Texture Canvas primed with two coats of clear Art Spectrum Colourfix Primer
Technique: Icarus Drawing Board
Presentation: Mounted on a 3/4" Ampersand Claybord, varnished and framed without glass

This riverbed is more abstract than my previous ones. I felt I was looking at a dance of shapes and colors.

http://esterroi.com/artwork/view/rocks-water/river-dance

 

Open Studio Announcement

 

My next open studio will be Saturday, June 21st, from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM.

This is an opportunity to meet and share your artwork in progress, ask questions, watch me demonstrate the Icarus technique and try the Icarus board.

I will have boards set-up for all attendees, plus supplies and refreshments.

To sign up please email me at: [email protected]

This event is on a first-come, first-served basis; if you don't make this one there will be more announced regularly on this blog and on Facebook.

Please bring:

your questions​
your curiosity
your artwork in progress (optional)

I'm looking forward to seeing you on June 21st!

 

“Colored Pencils with Denise Howard” Video

In this video Denise Howard, a signature member of the Colored Pencil Society of America, demonstrates a variety of techniques and materials used to create beautiful realistic colored pencil drawings.

At minute 18:30 Denise kindly talks about the Icarus Drawing Board and how it affects wax-based colored pencil. This video is very informative to all colored pencil artists, from beginners to advanced. 

If you want to see Denise Howard's amazing artwork, please visit her website: http://www.denisejhowardart.com/

Thank you, Denise!

Open Studio Report

Yesterday I hosted my third open studio which was attended by four wonderful artists. We had a great time playing with the Icarus board, experimenting with various surfaces and mediums, and talking about different subjects, from priming canvas to editing photos. 

​Time always flies during these casual gatherings. A workshop would definitely be an opportunity to dwell deeply into the Icarus technique. Unfortunately my spring workshop had to be postponed due to other commitments. But a fall one is in the works and it will be here before we know it.

Stay tuned for my next open studio announcement.

Happy spring!

 

New Beginnings

Recently I sold the last available original in my rock and water series, "Crescendo". Its new home is in Washington State.

Clearly this series has a wider appeal than my flowers so I will continue with colorful riverbeds. 

The first one of the two artworks I just started is a large commission, a 24" x 48" canvas.

Below you can see a faint outline. I will show only cropped progress images and allow my collector to see the finished work first.

The second artwork I recently started is a medium size canvas, 12" x 24". This riverbed is very intriguing to me; it's moodier and more abstract than my previous ones, showing plenty of water movement and unusual reflections. 

Below you can see a photo of the initial outline and another one with some progress.

Both canvases are primed with Art Spectrum Pastel and Multimedia Primer (Colourfix) and I will be using a combination of Neocolors, oil pastels and colored pencils on the Icarus board.

Stay tuned for progress photos.

 

“River Pebbles, No. 12”

Title: River Pebbles, No. 12

  • Size: 6" x 6"
  • Medium: Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils (Verithin and Softcore), Caran d'Ache Luminance Colored Pencils
  • Tools: Tortillions, Paper Stumps
  • Surface: Extra Fine Texture Canvas primed with several coats of clear Art Spectrum Colourfix Primer
  • Technique: Icarus Drawing Board
  • Mounted on a 6" x 6" x 2" Ampersand Claybord and varnished
  • To see how I mount and varnish my artwork, please refer to my post on Glassless Framing.

The outline was accomplished with Prismacolor Verithin on the cool zone of the Icarus board.

In this step I blocked-in the main colors on the warm zone with very low heat, just enough to soften the waxy pigments.

After setting the temperature control at medium, I began adding pigment until the canvas was completely covered. I then blended the colors with a tortillon or a paper stump.

I really enjoyed this piece. However, now that it's finished, I wish I made it larger. The swirls of colors would have looked even better on a 12" x 12". It probably would have taken me the same amount of time had I incorporated wax pastels (Neocolors).

I just mounted the canvas on a 6" x 6" x 2" Claybord. Soon I can varnish it, photograph it, and put it for sale on my website.

 

Open Studio Announcement

My next open studio will be Saturday, March 22nd, from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM, four spaces available.

This is an opportunity to meet and share your artwork in progress, ask questions, watch me demonstrate the Icarus technique and try the Icarus board.

I will have boards set-up for all attendees, plus some basic supplies and refreshments. To sign up please email me at: [email protected]

This event is on a first-come, first-served basis, and if you don't make this one there will be more announced regularly on this blog and on Facebook.

Please bring:

your artwork, finished or in progress
your questions​
your curiosity

I'm looking forward to seeing you on March 22nd!

 

“Beneath the Blue”

Title: Beneath the Blue
Size: 15" x 20" - after framing 26" x 31"
Medium: Prismacolor Premier, Caran d'Ache Luminance, Derwent Coloursoft, Faber-Castell Polychromos colored pencils
Tools: tortillions and paper stumps
Surface: Art Spectrum Colourfix Supertooth board
Technique: Icarus Drawing Board
Presentation: mounted on a 3/4" Ampersand Claybord, varnished and framed

Getting back to flowers after a long hiatus was exhilarating. As you can see, Beneath the Blue, as all my flower paintingsis depicting a daisy below the water surface.

Here's an excerpt from my artist statement that gives you some insight on my vision: "Water transforms everything it touches: hard lines become soft, warm colors cool, solid shapes break down into parts. Realism evolves into abstraction and the ordinary becomes extraordinary. The interplay between these realms is an endless source of inspiration for me."

For original and giclee information please click here.