So Many Owls, So Little Time

Actually, only 9 owls, and until January 10.  Our art association, Placerville Arts Association, is having a 3D and 3X3 show.  The primary motivation is to have a show for our 3D artists, but since we need to be sure we have enough art to fill the walls, we’re supplementing the show with a 3X3 portion.  The 3X3 portion will be twelve collections of 9 paintings.  Each collection will be by a single artist working in a single medium and united by a theme of the artist’s choice.  Each painting will be 8″ x 8″ and will be hung unframed.  The nine paintings in each collection will be hung together in a formation of three rows and three columns – hence, “three by three.”

I’m one of the participating artists and my theme is owls.  So here’s the first one.

For my medium, I chose colored pencil.  I’ve worked a fair amount in colored pencil, but always in a “drawing” style rather than a “painting” style.  For this group, I’m using solvent (Gamsol) with the colored pencil.  The solvent seems to intensify and, in some cases, blend the color.

This is my first effort, and I must admit that I struggled with all the detailed markings in the feathers.  And the solvent, applied sparingly with a q-tip, was certainly something I had to get used to.  Although I prefer other brands of colored pencils, I’m using Prismacolor because I think they are the most popular and so it’s a fair guess that much of the information I’ve seen on the internet about using solvent would apply to this brand.  If I like the effect, I’ll probably experiment later with my preferred kinds, Caran d’Ache, Derwent, and Polychromos. 

So far, I have learned that the solvent acts diffferently with different pigments.  Some spread and blend more than others and Indigo Blue becomes very brilliant and somewhat greenish – kind of reminds me of Prussian Blue.  I like the intensity of color that the solvent gives, but I seem to be losing some of the control with value that I’m used to by varying my pressure.  Also, I have to be very careful when applying the solvent because some colors – black, for example, will smear.  But, as my sister would say, “Keep working!” 


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