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Blog Category: Icarus Technique

“Pebbles from Heaven, No. 2”

Title: "Pebbles from Heaven, No. 2"
Size: 22" x 22"
Medium: colored pencils and wax pastels
Surface: Art Spectrum Colourfix Supertooth board
TechniqueIcarus Painting Board

Original sold. Giclees available here

25% of the proceeds was donated to Caterina's Club, a charity that provides free, warm, nutritional meals to underprivileged children in Orange County. 

More information on my "Pebbles from Heaven" series on this blog post.

 

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.

 

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.

Arlene Steinberg’s Article

Arlene Steinberg wrote a magnificent article in the current issue of The Artist’s Magazine. “The Heat is On” illustrates how she uses the Icarus board with step-by-steps and detailed explanations.

To view Arlene's art please visit her website and her Facebook page.

For more information on The Artist's Magazine click on this link: http://www.artistsnetwork.com/the-artists-magazine

 

“McDonald Creek, No. 2”

Second in a series of artworks inspired by my 2014 trip to Glacier National Park, Montana. 

Title: "McDonald Creek, No. 2"
Size: 12" x 16"
Medium: Prismacolor and Luminance colored pencils, Neocolor artist crayons
Tools: tortillions, paper stumps, color shapers
Surface: Art Spectrum Colourfix Supertooth board
Technique: Icarus Painting Board

For pricing information check here.

 

“Opus Magnum” WIP

This is a progress photo of my "Opus Magnum", a 40”x 60” canvas. The section I completed is a little less than 1/4th of the whole canvas. I'm working on it between other smaller projects because I don't have a deadline.

This piece is definitely a challenge for me due to its size and complexity but I'm enjoying the process very much.

Size: 40" x 60"
Medium: Prismacolor and Luminance colored pencils, Neocolor artist crayons
Tools: tortillions, paper stumps, color shapers
Surface: extra fine texture canvas primed with Art Spectrum Colourfix primer
Technique: Icarus Painting Board