Monday, May 30, 2011

Second Color Pencil Drawing - Dahlia

To continue my practice drawing with color pencils I thought I'd tackle a Dahlia flower.  I took pics as I went along to show the progression.  This time I didn't draw it out first with lead pencil, but went directly to using a medium shade of purple to draw all the outlines and shapes, then defined the shadows more thoroughly with the same pencil.  (Sorry the purple is so faint, I tried to adjust the contrast in PS but that didn't help much)

Work in progress color pencil drawing of Dahlia

Here yellow has been added to the heart of the flower and I layered over some of the original purple with a redder shade to add some depth to the shadows: 

Work in Progress image of a Color Pencil Drawing of a Dahlia Flower

Next a darker purple was layered over to give more definition to the shadows and the petals:

Work in Progress photo of a Color Pencil Drawing of a Dahlia Flower

For the darkest shadows I began to add brown and began shaping the petals more with varying shades of pink and purple:

Work in Progress - 4th photo of a Color Pencil Drawing of a Dahlia Flower

Continuing with the purple, more pink and white was added for the petals' highlights:

5th photo of Work in Progress - Color Pencil Drawing of a Dahlia Flower

This is the completed drawing before cropping:

Finished Color Pencil Drawing of a Dahlia Flower before cropping

And this is the cropped copy slightly color adjusted in PS. The original drawing is quite purple, but most of  the photos and even the scan kept bringing out the blue.  It was hard for me to decide which one I liked best, so I tried to keep it as true in color to the original as possible:

Purple Color Pencil Drawing of a Dahlia Flower artwork

I still find myself layering a lot and many of the drawings I see in this medium that I admire are not so heavy handed. I guess it might just be my pencil style, more like painting in a way, but I also think it is my inexperience that I need to do so much layering before getting the look I want.

This was another fun exercise to do and I'm already looking through my photos to find the next one.  Over the past couple of summers I've taken many photos of flowers growing in my garden, mostly macro shots and I have plenty of source pics to choose from.  It is good practice and flowers are fun to draw because they are so pretty - lol!

Thanks for visiting! :)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

First Color Pencil Drawing & other 'News'

I pulled out my Prisma color pencils a couple of days ago and drew a rose from a photo I took in my garden.  It has been years since I've used color pencils to draw anything in a realistic style having really only experimented with drawing grapes that way in the past.  Even though it was fun and the grapes looked pretty good, I didn't continue to develop this medium's potential.

Now, after seeing so many (and I mean LOTS and LOTS!) of really amazing drawings by artists who do use them on the sites I've joined, I am inspired to try again.  My technique is underdeveloped (I don't really have one - lol!) and I made plenty of 'mistakes' as I went along, but here are a few snaps of the process until the completed drawing scanned.

First I drew the rose out lightly in pencil then began adding a mid pink tone to define the shapes and shadows:

First Photo of Work in Progress - Color Pencil Drawing of a Pink Rose

I began adding layers of darker shades of pink and I think that was my first mistake in not choosing all of the colors carefully right from the start as I had to go over the darkest areas a lot before completion (I think people who are really good at this medium don't have to do that but I am not sure yet what is the best approach)

Then I added some leaves and a background to define the edges of the rose and see the perspective more clearly to begin more detailed shadowing and color blending:

Third photo of Work in Progress - Color Pencil Drawing of a Pink Rose

This photo is after many more layers of varying shades of pink and purple on the rose.  I added a touch of brown to the leaves and stems to give them more definition and another layer of dark green to the background:

Fourth photo of a Work in Progress - Color Pencil Drawing of a Pink Rose

And here is the final drawing - I decided to use the same brown from the leaves to add another layer to darken the background further, added a little more green highlight to the leaves and to the rose I added many, many more layers from very light pink to white and dark pink to purple tones to create more definition and depth:

Pink rose original artwork - color pencil drawing

So there it is, my first color pencil drawing of a flower. It was a good exercise and I did learn from it how I might better proceed right off the top for the next one I attempt. I think I overdid it with the layering simply because I didn't have a clearer grasp of the overall shadows' color/tonal qualities of the art as a whole when I started so was correcting that as I went along much more than not.

In other news, my Zazzle store is up and running and can be found here:

I don't have a lot of designs uploaded to it yet but it sure is fun creating all the products, please visit if you are so inclined - also, if you have your own Zazzle store and 'favorite' mine, I will return the favor ;)

Red Bubble has been fairly active for me this past week, 'Boats In Sunlight' has been featured 3 times since I wrote here last and 'Two Tulips' received it's first (links to feature groups under artwork detail on Paintings page).  So far I have only been adding pics of my older artwork to this blog when it gets attention elsewhere, since my intent is to move forward from where I am now in my journey as an artist. 

As well as the cultivation of inspiration and motivation, another great thing I enjoy about blogging has been getting to know other blogging artists, some of whom I feel a wonderful like minded connection which is very rewarding and exciting!

Thanks for reading and visiting! :)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Joined Zazzle, new features and 'Two Tulips' added

Well I figured I might as well expand my online reach a little bit more and signed up at For those of you unfamiliar with Zazzle, it is a venue for 'store owners' to upload designs which can be printed on various items and clothing on demand.  I will post a link once I've got my first store all set up and ready for visitors.

Meanwhile, I spent most of last weekend scanning various forgotten drawings and art that has been sitting in my portfolio case.  Much of it likely won't make it online, but some is worth preparing for upload.

I have decided to put less energy into maintaining my profile on Image Kind, since I have been reading in the forums that there is a genuine concern by members of a poorly designed internal search engine in place.  Even though IK offers high quality prints (some say among the best), this search issue is a problem since other unrelated images appear first a lot of the time (even if searching with the exact keywords).  As a free member it is doubly hard to get noticed since we are only allowed limited categorization and keywords and the poorest placement in the search hierarchy to start with.

I'm very content with maintaining Fine Art America, Red Bubble and The Untapped Source however :)

There are a few more features to mention since last week; 'Bono' got it's second feature on FFA yesterday in and 'Tillie' got her first feature on FAA today in  'John Lennon' has been featured four times since my last post (to view the groups, please see the links posted under the painting on the 'Paintings' page).

This morning I added 'Two Tulips', which is a 9" x 12" acrylic painting on canvas:

Tulip Flower original artwork

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Another Site to Showcase and Sell Prints

I've just joined The Untapped Source  (, which is a site designed to be strictly a gallery to showcase and sell art prints.

The other three inspire a lot of involvement in the social aspect of the communities which is fun and rewarding, but also very time consuming.  Activity on Fine Art America has been picking up since submitting my art to more groups and I do like the look and feel of FAA.  Even as a free member I can see much potential in it and will likely upgrade my account as my productivity increases.

'Boats in Sun Light' has been featured in three FAA groups now and was featured for the first time on Red Bubble today :) (Links to all my profiles if you want to check them out are in the side bar)

Setting prices for artwork on all four sites is done differently, so I guess depending where buyers live, the shipping costs and what type of print is being ordered, the best deals will be determined on an individual basis. I've posted links to each artwork's retail page under their image on the pages in this blog and on my website.

There are still other retailer sites that could be joined, I will investigate them as time permits, but for now I think setting up these four will have to be enough, I still need to scan some of my older artwork to include and I really want to get down to the business of creating!

Cheers! :)

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Recent Activity

It has been an interesting week as I've been getting familiar with the arts community. Of the three sites I joined when starting this blog, it is the one that sees the most activity - at least in my experience so far.

I don't know how that translates into sales for the artists, but the atmosphere is a very supportive and inspiring community of so many talented artists from all around the globe. I've been blown away by the fantastic art and photography I've seen there. If you visit my profile at, you can view my 'favorites' tab to get a glimpse of some of the amazing artwork on the site.

It is really cool to be featured and that helps a lot to get your art seen since there is so much really fine stuff being submitted all the time into the groups. Some of the groups change featured work frequently, others not as often.  Since being on the site, my drawing of Bono has been featured a total of five times now and has had the most views, 'Cereal In Spoon With Milk' and 'Tillie' have both been featured twice and I uploaded this oil painting of John Lennon on Friday which got it's first feature today in this group:

John Lennon painting artwork

Or link to the painting:

It has taken a lot of time setting accounts up for all three sites and I have found my focus to be mostly on Red Bubble after the initial set up on each.  As only a free member at Fine Art America and Image Kind, my submitted art gets buried under so much other artwork that unless I upgrade my accounts, it doesn't get preferred listing in the internal search engines so it is much harder to get views.  I may upgrade my accounts as I move forward, but I am still in the process of getting organized and managing what I need to take care of first in order to do so.  I'm just about ready to start creating new... yeah! :)