Don’t sweat it!

Here’s my latest drawing, “Don’t sweat it”, on Ampersand pastelbord using colored pencil and neocolors. This piece is part of my fun floral series where I am trying to infuse humor into everyday flower scenes. My intention is to portray the flower out of it’s natural state and explore how life extends beyond the subject.  In everyday life we all need a dose of humor now and again to get us back in touch to our child within. So I hope this brings a smile to you today. A smile is a contagious thing – Give one to the world and the world will give it right back to you!

Don’t Sweat It! – 18×24 Colored pencils and Neocolors on Ampersand Pastelbord

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New Floral work

It’s spring and I really miss visiting the Tulip festival back in Washington. I used to go there every year and always enjoyed looking at the beautiful bed of tulips. Hopefully I will get to go there next year.

I actually started this piece on the Canson Mi-tientes Touch paper and I had a very difficult time working on that support. It did not do well with wet media plus I could not add a lot  of layers of  colored pencils. So I went back to my favorite support, the  Ampersand pastelbord.

I decided to give a humorous twist to this piece , here’s “Relationship Anxiety” – 12 x 16 neocolors and colored pencils on grey pastelbord.

.Relationship Anxiety

 

Dream-catcher

” All things are bound together. All things connect”

This is my recent work, titled “Dream-catcher” , 16×20 on tan pastelbord using neocolors and colored pencils.

Many can recognize the abstract symbol seen in the background as the ones found in a Dreamcatcher, but very few will know that it also represents the “Hridaya Kamalam” – meaning the lotus of the heart in Sanskrit. It is a mandala known as Kolam in the southern part of India. To read more about Kolams – click here . Similar to the Origami Crane symbolizing peace and goodluck the lotus mandala denotes the same values. A very unique aspect to both of these subjects is that a single sheet of paper is used in the making of a crane and a single line connects all the dots in the mandala.

Summer Fun and upcoming Show at UK

I have been absent from my blog and work for a while the reason being all the beautiful sunshiny days up in the pacific northwest unlike last year. So I vowed myself to be more active outdoors and so far I am loving it. From the lavender festival in July –

to the new Ferris wheel at the pier

and the most recent hike to Lake 22 up in the Northern cascades , summer has been really nice so far.

To top it all off I just got the confirmation that TWO of my works are going to be in UKCPS this year!! The show runs from October 2012 – Nov 2012 in Nuneaton , United, Kingdom, am so excited!! I hope everyone’s having a great summer as well!

Juried into Art Port townsend!

I am so glad to announce that my piece “Epiphany” got juried into the 14th Annual Art Port Townsend / Expressions Northwest Juried show. I was really happy to find out that the Juror, Rock Hushka is the Director of Curatorial Administration and
Curator of Contemporary and Northwest Art at Tacoma Art Museum.
My work is one of the 67 pieces selected from 413 works of art submitted from
Washington, Alaska, Oregon,Utah, Nebraska and British Columbia. The show

The show runs from Aug 3rd,2012 to Aug 26,2012 the opening reception in of Aug 9th.
For more information kindly visit – http://artporttownsend.org/

My take on reference Photos

“Untitled” – 12×16 neocolors and colored pencils on Ampersand Pastelbord.

This is my recent commission piece which I have been working on for the past couple of weeks. All of my still life’s are drawn from photographs. I thought it would be interesting to write about how I manipulate my reference photos to achieve what I want. Over time I have discovered that we don’t need a perfect photo to use as a reference, an average photo or a set of photos works fine as well.

(Click to enlarge)

Here’s my reference I used for this piece. As you can see the reference has too many unwanted reflections and bright highlights. I had to make several decisions before I started in order to achieve the desired result. I tend to keep my piece realistic rather than photo realistic so I had to make sure that the source of light was subdued. When I was taking this picture I just had 5 apples so I had to stitch 2 photos (thanks to photoshop!!) in order to get this set up. I also used PS and created a seamless background.

The biggest challenge always is the silver; it looks really pretty in a setup but its very hard to take a good picture of it especially if you are an amateur photographer like me. But it’s easy to mimic silver in the painting if you understand some basic qualities about it. First, it reflects everything around it so you can see my whole room in here!!  Secondly, there is always a darkest spot next to the brightest spot. Meaning the highlights are most likely to be surrounded with dark lines making them pop up.

Note the multiple distorted reflections of the Apple on the bowl.Adding these emphasizes the curves of the bowl & plate and makes the piece more realistic.

Thirdly, adding the reflections of objects on the surface. The reflections of the objects on the surface always follows the contour of the surface; in this case it’s a variety of curves and ellipses.The reflections are distorted (most of the time) according to that same contours. So the apple’s reflection on the bowl is distorted according to it’s curve and does not appear spherical.

One tip while working would be to look at the piece in the mirror from time to time. The geometrical errors would be so evident when it’s reflected. Last but not the least, the most important thing in any painting is deciding which stuff to keep and which ones to ignore. Avoiding unwanted reflections – in this case the reflections of pictures that were up on my wall was the key. Always follow the old adage: Less is more.

Once the piece is complete all you see is a still life with just silver and apples. If you have more tips on creatively using your reference photos that you would like to share email me!