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“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.

 

“Unveiled” Sold

I'm so thrilled my largest artwork to date, Unveiled, sold this morning and is going to a good home in Florida.

2014 has been good to me so far. I'm very grateful!

 

From Big to Small, From Rocks to Flowers

After finishing my largest artwork to date, Unveiled, a rock piece measuring 24" x 48", I've now resumed working smaller and have chosen to do flowers again. 

Below you can see a sneak peek of the artwork I'm about to finish, a daisy underwater, measuring 15" x 20".

Soon I will be working even smaller. I've decided to create more 6" x 6" pieces mounted on 2" Claybords (see picture below). This series was very succesfull and will provide me with a sense of accomplishment as I'm starting another large canvas, a 24" x 48", this time a commission.

 

Art Innovation of the Year Award

I'm very honored and thrilled to be the joint recipient of the MAKING A MARK Art Innovation of the Year Award again! 

"MAKING A MARK" is artist Katherine Tyrrell's world renown blog where she "... writes about art for artists and art lovers". The Art Innovation of the Year Award was established by Katherine to "highlight those artist bloggers who experiment and/or create and/or share innovations which help the practice of other artists". 

Here is an excerpt of Katherine's blog post: "Ester for me is one of a few coloured pencil artists (and inventors) who have a proper appreciation of how to bring coloured pencil art (and inventions!) to the market in a way which gets it taken seriously. It's one thing to produce it, it's quite another to get it sold! ...Ester Roi has started to: produce oversized giclee prints from works in coloured pencil ...uses canvas in order to produce larger originals using coloured pencils (24" x 48")."

Please visit MAKING A MARK to read about all the other 2013 award winners.

Have a joyful, healthy and peaceful New Year!

 

My New Facebook Page

Two weeks ago I started a Facebook Page because my personal profile was getting close to its maximum friend limit. 

Although this blog gives me the opportunity to dwell more deeply into my art journey, the facebook page offers a daily window into my art, technique, and life as an artist.

I invite everyone to like my page if you haven't done so already. Here's the direct link: Ester Roi - Artist and Inventor

Thank you for your continued support!

 

Open Studio Announcement

On Saturday, January 25th, from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon, I will host my first free "Open Studio" for a maximum of four artists. 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] com.

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

Bring:

  • your artwork, finished or in progress
  • your colored pencils in use
  • your questions​
  • your curiosity

I'm looking forward to seeing you on January 25th!

 

“Unveiled”

Title: "Unveiled"
Size: 24" x 48"
Medium: Prismacolor Premier, Caran d'Ache Luminance, Derwent Coloursoft, Faber-Castell Polychromos, Caran d'Ache Neocolor I and II, Holbein Oil Pastel
Tools: Tortillions, Paper Stumps and Colour Shapers
Surface: Extra Fine Texture Canvas primed with several coats of clear Art Spectrum Colourfix Supertooth Primer
Technique: Icarus Drawing Board
Presentation: Mounted on a 3/4" Ampersand Claybord, varnished and framed

I'm very proud to have completed this piece, if nothing else for its size alone. It has accompanied me through the trials and triumphs of this past year. It's been a faithful companion even though I neglected it for long spells, at times in favor of other artworks, and later during the long months of my youngest son's illness, surgery and recovery.

It was born out of necessity. I sold its twin brother "In Between", before I had a chance to have it professionally scanned. I had many requests for giclees so I decided to redo it four times its size. Since I was familiar with the subject and technique, I thought I could concentrate on the challenge of working on a much larger scale.
 

Above is the enlarged drawing I used to trace the outline on the canvas with Verithin colored pencils. I like to use local colors to avoid erasing graphite. On this blog post you can see how I traced it.
 

Of course I made some changes along the way. This progress photo shows a large stone on the bottom left corner that I eventually replaced with smaller pebbles. I used an electric eraser to lift most of the pigment and then drew new pebbles on top. 
 

Here I mapped the area with Neocolors and oil pastels. Neocolors are very useful, especially around the edges, because they can be sharpened. Oil pastels come in such a wide selection of colors, I would be limiting my palette if I weren't using them. At this stage I set the temperature of the Icarus board to low. 

 

The photo above shows the results of melting the Neocolors and oil pastels. I normally melt at the highest temperature using a colour shaper. Then I blend further and pick up any extra pigment left on the surface with a paper stump. At this point the Colourfix primer's texture has resurfaced again, making the canvas receptive to colored pencils.
 

Here you can see how I further developed the colors, values and details using colored pencils, with the board set at medium-low temperature. The perfect tools for blending colored pencils are tortillions and paper stumps.
 

When blocking-in, it's not important to include all color nuances and details. These can be developed later with colored pencils. 
 

Melting the pigment is probably the most exciting application of this technique. Again, it's not necessary to create perfectly smooth blending at this stage; that's what colored pencils are for.
 

Above is another example of how I developed the colors, values and details using colored pencils.
 

In this third series of close-ups I’d like to talk about how to speed up the process. Mapping with Neocolors and oil pastels is much quicker than mapping with colored pencil. Some of these rocks can measure up to 12 square inches or more!
 

Melting the waxy pigments is a very effective technique for fast coverage of the canvas surface. It compares to dissolving water-soluble Neocolors with a brush, except there’s no color or value change with heat.
 

Another valuable time-saving technique is adding all the details at the end. Highlights are time consuming if you need to account for them from the beginning. I created all the thin highlights by subtracting the pigment with a Verithin white pencil and by going over with a softer pencil or with a sharp, white Neocolor.
 

In the photo above I’m showing how I devised an easier way to work with a large canvas. I placed a 20” x 20” claybord, 2” thick, along the side of the Icarus board, thus creating a larger surface for the canvas to rest on. 
 

What’s appealing to me about working on canvas versus paper is that I don’t have to worry about creasing or bending it. Canvas is very flexible and can take a lot of abuse.

 

I like to roll up my canvas so that it doesn’t hang over my knees. I use two binder clips to keep the canvas from unrolling.
 

Here is a close-up of the canvas fastened with binder clips.
 

The finished canvas is now taped to a cardboard and ready for spraying.
 

After mounting the canvas on a cradled board, I will then varnish it and frame it.

 

Amazing Chalk Replica of “Impasse”

In my artist life I've been blessed with many special moments but this one I will treasure forever.

Sandra Rivas-Cole is an art teacher from Lake Howell High School in Winter Park, Florida. She found my artwork on Colossal and introduced it to her students. A few of them insisted on using one of my images for an upcoming chalk art festival and together decided to use my piece "Impasse". 

The chalk art festival was at downtown Disney in Orlando, in conjunction with the Festival of the Masters Art Show. Four of Ms. Rivas-Cole's students worked very hard and skillfully to make an accurate replica of "Impasse". They received numerous compliments from visitors and seasoned festival artists as well.

I think these four amazing young students, Haver C., Riana S., Jamilette D., and Meghan S., did a magnificent job. I'm very moved, honored and delighted by their stunning rendition.

Knowing that my art inspires young, talented people, makes it all worthwhile. 

A special thank you to Ms. Rivas-Cole for introducing my art to her students and supporting them in their effort.

 

 

Report on my San Diego Demonstration

I love those San Diegan CPSA chapter members! They always make me feel welcomed and appreciated.

Everyone was very interested in learning how I work with canvas on the Icarus board. When I rolled out my 24" x 48" canvas in progress I could definitely see their curiosity peaking.

Here are the points I discussed during my presentation:

  • why canvas
  • what type of canvas
  • how to prime it
  • how to mount it and varnish it

Afterwards I demonstrated the three main techniques I use when working with canvas on the Icarus board :

  • mapping the main colors with wax pastels (low temperature)
  • melting and thinning wax pastels (high temperature)
  • developing colors, values and details with colored pencils (medium temperature)

I set up three stations, each with a board at a different temperature, so that a line of attendees could swiftly move through the steps and try the different applications. Unfortunately, after I answered all their questions, there wasn't enough time for everybody to try to replicate the techniques. However, I think they all walked away with a sense of new possibilities.