Sketch for Inspiration, Not Perfection

Art

Lately, I’ve been spending a lot of time drawing with and talking about Prismacolor Premier pencils. While I’ve already shown you my latest hedgehog drawing, today I’m featuring a 45 minute sketch that actually pre-dated the hog.

I titled the piece “Expelling Evil” and, admittedly, it is way outside my usual subject matter and artistic vibe. It all started with a silhouette of a woman’s face, before then transitioning into experimenting with the wide range of colors featured in the pencil set. (Hence the purple-blue hair and bright red lips.)

I’m sharing this drawing not because it is one of my greatest works, but because it is a sketch in the purest sense of the word. While drawing, I reached a point where I gave up thinking about the piece and instead let my hand just draw.

As an artist, it is so, so, SO important to avoid getting caught up in your own mind. To do so would be to become crippled with over-thinking and not allow for your artistic instincts to reveal new perspectives of your creative mind.

Even if a drawing doesn’t turn out quite how you imagined it, there is so much value to be gained from trying new things. Much more value than if you were to draw the same thing over and over agin perfectly.

So get out there and drawing something new. Draw something ugly. Draw to discover a new side of yourself and to re-discover your inspiration.

Hedgehog-Cupcake Drawing

Art

Those of you who know me, know that I was SUPER excited to receive a set of Prismacolor Premiere pencils from Andy this Christmas. Having already owned a small set of Prismacolor’s scholar grade pencils, I was eager to test the quality and capabilities of the company’s professional product.

(Plus, it was really past time I owned a set, given how much I use colored pencils in my work).

The piece I’m featuring today depicts a hedgehog residing in a cupcake wrapper and was inspired by a painting I did freshman year of college, titled “Bittersweet.” Said painting has been well received over the years and informally noted as being one of my most-loved artistic ventures.

fullsizer-25

“Bittersweet,” 2012

Although my first hog is sitting in an ice cream cone, viewers often mistake the creature for a makeshift cupcake. This time, I decided to give the people what they want, putting the little critter within a cupcake wrapper.

As this latest hedgehog-inspired artwork is one of the more complete pieces I’ve done with my new pencils, I can definitely say that the Premiere pencils are better than the Scholar grade hands-down. Aside from providing a much wider physical array of colors, the actual pigments of the Premier pencils blend exquisitely, allowing for greater range still.

hedgehog full.jpg

Furthering the product’s capabilities, I invested in a set of blending pencils post-Christmas to complete my set and can easily say they were well worth the $7.00 I paid on Amazon. If you’re going to invest in the pencils, invest in a set of blenders.

I’d also recommend the Prismacolor brand sharpener, though truth be told, opening said sharpener to empty the shavings is anything but intuitive (you have to pull the top as hard as you can, by the way).

hedgehogcloseup.jpg

So while this post is titled after one of my latest drawings, it’s really about my thoughts so far regarding this much sought-after pencil set. Conclusion? If you’re an artist or just enjoy using colored pencils, then this is the product for you.

Expensive? Yes. An artistic commitment? Yes. Life changing? For a third time, yes.

Celebrating the Magic of Winter and Wishing for a White Christmas

Art

Today marks the first official day of winter, also known as Winter Solstice.

A season that tends to get a bad wrap due to the raised energy bills and driving inconveniences, it’s undeniable that winter also possesses the ability to be the most beautiful time of year. (It also happens to be one of my favorite seasons!)

This year in Central New York, it’s looking like we may actually, finally get a white Christmas! While the Christmases of my childhood were always white, the last few years have left us New Yorkers in a green-spell, dooming us with rain and warm weather on Christmas day.

Sending out some white-Christmas vibes, I’m sharing with you a recent colored pencil drawing of mine, inspired by Disney Frozen protagonist Elsa, the Snow Queen.

wintermagicfullimage

Inspiration:

It’s no secret that I love Frozen and have mentioned before my fascination with winter-themed magic.

glovecloseup.jpg

This drawing was fun to do from the fan art perspective as the imagery was not taken directly from the film. Rather, I modeled the drawing after a real-life image of an arm and added my own Frozen-inspired touches.

snowflakecloseupcoloredpencil.jpg

Although New York doesn’t have its own personal winter sorceress to ensure we have snow this Christmas, I’m hoping the wishes and prayers of its residents is enough to allow this holiday to live up to its fullest and most magically picturesque potential!

P.S. Only 3 days until Christmas!

Drawing Thanksgiving Dinner

Art

Happy Thanksgiving! Tomorrow marks the unofficial end of the fall season and the kickoff to Christmas. As per my usual style, I find myself once again treating food as a drawing subject as opposed to a meal.

Unlike the egg and ice cream drawings I shared this summer, today’s artwork is of the healthier variety: butternut squash. After having grown this vegetable in my garden this year, I was inspired to represent it in colored pencil.

The subtle but vastly different colors of the squash made it simultaneously a challenge and a delight to render, resulting in a simple but happy fall piece.

Squash best.jpg

P.S. You may remember my most recent Thanksgiving recipe posts (home made applesauce and pumpkin roll), but be sure to also check out my butternut squash recipe from earlier this season. Made in the slow cooker, this simply-made vegetable is a Thanksgiving staple.

Happy Holidays!

Drawing the Water Horse

Art

Since childhood I’ve had a fascination with the Water Horse, A.K.A: the Loch Ness Monster or Nessie of Loch Ness. I was so interested in this (mythical) creature that I even wrote my 7th grade research paper on the topic.

This is not the first loch ness monster themed piece that I have created, but it is the latest. A relatively small drawing, I long debated coloring it in with colored pencil before doing so, as I was contented with the original pen and ink sketch.

img_0240

This is a valuable lesson for artists: Sometimes it is necessary  to live with a piece of artwork before making drastic decisions. As time continues, constant observation and instinct will help guide your decisions, but until you have reached that point, it’s important to keep yourself from rushing pieces, simply to say you have finished.

A simple drawing, I’m happy with the result: a naturalistic drawing that reminds viewers of the magic in our natural world.

FullSizeR (4).jpg

Drawing Breakfast

Art

I have always been fascinated with eggs. A fascination, I believe, that stems from both their beautiful exterior to the mystery and wonder held within. While their shape and general purpose unify them across the animal kingdom, I love the unique sizes, colors and patterns that are influenced by species.

While in the future I would like to create art focused on the exterior of eggs, today’s drawing is of what you would typically find on your breakfast plate.

Having been watching a lot of cooking shows lately, I thought it would be fun to do some food drawings. When picking an “entree,” I decided that an egg (sunny-side up) would be both artistically challenging as well as visually pleasing.


I knew that while the pleasant factor would be found in the bright, spherical center, the challenge would lie in depicting the egg “white.” As any visual artist knows, white is never just white, and the fun lies in attempting to pick out the colors within.

This drawing is rendered in colored pencil, which lends itself well to layering and creating depth through color, and took about an hour from start to finish.

IMG_1419

There is always something satisfying about drawing food, especially food that is visually playful. Stay tuned for my newest ice cream-inspired piece, but in the mean time, be sure to check this out!

Fantastical Vegetation

Art

It’s finally spring again! The sun in shining and the world is coming back to life. While many people see this as an opportunity to get outside and garden, I prefer to get outside and draw pictures of vegetation. Or in this case, pictures of fantastical vegetation.

I have always been fascinated by J.K. Rowling’s mandrakes and thought it would be fun to represent this personified plant in pen and ink. But once I had finished my drawing however, I noticed that something was lacking.

Unsurprisingly, it was missing color. Such a vivid combination contrast of sienna and bright green, I decided that my drawing would in fact be much more captivating if it was upgraded from black and white.

  
I used Prismacolor pencils to fill in my drawing, adding extra shadows and highlights while adding hues. I am certainly glad that I did decide to add color and am quite pleased with the finished product.

  
So whether you are a gardener or an artist, I hope you are enjoying the warm spring weather!

  

Targaryen at Heart

Art

As I mentioned back in October, I am a drawer of dragons. As a child, I was obsessed with fantasy and would use art as a way to breathe life into entities that would otherwise be unable to escape the confines of my mind. This has not changed, even though I am now a 22 year old woman one month shy of graduating with a master’s degree in public relations.

In fact, growing up has had the opposite effect on me. I place immense value in fantasy, treasuring the fantastical ideas and creations generated by myself and others.

Ridiculously excited for the return of Game of Thrones this Sunday, I am using this post to showcase a colored pencil drawing of a dragon we all know and love, despite his occasionally naughty behavior. The fiercest and by far the most interesting of Dany’s trio, the drawing below is a colored pencil representation of Drogon, symbolic reincarnate of Balerion the Black Dread.

11022587_10152923951564064_6055327893838651394_o

I chose Drogon as subject matter as he is the dragon readers and viewers identify with most. Martin has developed his personality more than the other dragons as he is Dany’s obvious favorite and impacts the story’s plot line the most.

Drogon’s red and black coloring is also most synonymous with the Targaryen house and I find the contrast enticing as an artist.

10317799_10152923951929064_2468488432707850397_o(1)

That is not to say I plan on neglecting the other two. In fact, in the future I plan on adding to this piece by creating similar drawings of Viserion and Rhaegal, compiling a small series.

After all, I am a drawer of dragons and plan on being so for many years to come.

Most Wonderful Day of the Year

Art, Holiday

I’ve decided to post this week’s usual Friday entry a day early because, as we know, tomorrow is Christmas Day.

That being said, I’m going to keep this post short and to the point. To celebrate this wonderful holiday I have created a variety of different Christmas-themed sketches and drawings. As a last attempt to spread Christmas cheer I have decided to share them with you now.

The first is my re-creation of a scene we are all familiar with, rendered in colored pencil.

snoopy drawing

The second is a simple poinsettia sketch drawn in colored pencil.

flower

I had Santa’s sleigh in mind when I sketched this elk…

deer

And finally, I create this more-complete drawing with colored pencil. A bright red bow for a bright holiday.

bow.jpg

I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and that your holiday is filled with traditions, family and simple joys.