the Color Pencil Challenge Lesson


Fleeting final pic Combining Watercolor pencils
with Oil and Wax based pencils
by Barbara Krans Jenkins



THE CHALLENGE:
To create a painting using all three kinds of colored pencils from a
combination of sketchbook notes, photo references and working on location.


Although I prefer to work on location, I often am just not able to be there for very long. I must then come up with a way to bring my subject back to my studio to work from there. To this end, I keep an active sketchbook which I often use to refer to in the creation of my art. In addition to this, I also will use photographic references for my work, most of which I take myself.

Since a very large portion of my creative process is in the preliminary planning, I must take a little time right up front to tell you what went into this particular piece of art. For me, the "process" is the most rewarding part of my work. Perhaps I can share a little of that with you.





Preliminary work for "Fleeting Moment of Glory"


My challenge was to create a piece of art for a show a group of friends and I were doing with the theme "Lure Of The Rails". The subject had to have something to do with the Cuyahoga Valley National Park’s Railroad.

I decided I liked the idea of cropping my subject up close and capturing the combination of man-made tracks and hardware with the persistent beauty of wildflowers. Nature insists on coexistence, despite the smoke puffing mega-tons of the huge Iron and Steel train as it periodically roars over the tracks (crushing anything that lingers on them) which stretch throughout the park. I was taken with the simple beauty and textures of the wooden ties and the corroded iron hardware that held them in place. I found wildflowers as well as weeds growing among the stones between the ties.



photo reference 1 photo reference 2
photo reference 3 photo reference 4
Photographic References

I took about two rolls of film as I walked along the meandering Cuyahoga River and stretch of tracks in Peninsula, OH. Composing and cropping for angles and textures of the wooden ties, corroded hardware and stones. I narrowed these pictures down to just a few.





Sketchbook


Although I did not actually see violets growing there at that joint of the ties and rail, I did see Phlox and other wildflowers and knew that if I walked long enough, I would indeed surely see violets growing also. Besides, I am the artist, you know, so, I can choose whatever I want to put in my painting, whether it grows there or not! My sketchbooks are filled with studies I make all the time of all manner of things that catch my eye as I walk the woodlands. So, first, I examined some previous pen and ink sketches I’d made while on location of some wild phlox.

I decided, "Nope, too tall, I really like the corroded colors and textures of the iron and the weathered wood of the ties. I must pick a wildflower that is close to the ground… Violets!"

If I was working on this art work in the Spring, I could simply go out into the woods and draw on location, but, since that season had passed, I looked over my sketchbooks instead, for violets. Finding them, I decided on my color scheme. I’d use the most commonly found violets from around here, blue-violet.
sketch-phlox

color sketch-violets

sketch-violets



thumbnail sketches

final sketch
Thumbnails


Now I made some rapid rough, almost scribbled tiny sketches with a ball point pen (because that was what I had on me at the time). These were different combinations of this and that from the photo references and the violet sketches from my sketchbooks. I was searching for the best focal point and combinations of textures and balance. Did I want this at an angle rather than the squared format the joints of the ties and rails wanted to dictate to me?

I decided "yes !"… a very slight angle, not too much off the "square". I liked the slight tension that gave the composition … definitely more interesting to me. Next, I did a graphite value sketch (another small thumbnail sketch, but I took a little more time on this one) of this final compositional decision.






back to introduction on to finished work on to list of pencils

This page copied (with permission) from gallery.passion4art.com to bkjstudio.com






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