Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Outta my comfort zone?

I felt very confident after watching a few Janie Gildow videos and reading her book on colored pencils. Granted I did not do a single suggested exercise...as that's not me...I like to just jump in and figure it out as I am going along. Most the time that kind of madness is fine but as soon as I got to Swains art store I felt like a fish out of water and felt myself getting very nervous!! Luckily I had already researched the type of paper I wanted to use as I only like to use papers with plant based sizing...so I headed first to the paper isle to get some Mi Tiente...man was it flimsy but okay...now to find a piece that wasn't totally bent up. Obviously since they are so thin it must be hard to handle without getting quite a few dents in it...note to self...try Dick Blicks art store next time!! Then there were a million Prismacolor pencils to choose from with no color chart in sight! Ugh!

But with my paper and pencils in hand I headed home to start!
I had already drawn out my tiger, now I just had to figure out how to transfer it onto green paper.
I rubbed an old 3B graphite pencil then charcoal over the back and transferred it that way, altho this method did not work very well as I could barely see any lines on the top portion of the paper. There has to be a better way to do this!!
My inspector, Dakota thought I did a pretty good job but still chewed up my paper and pencils when not paying attention! (never leave artwork unattended when there's a kitten in the house!)
I started with lightly redrawing the top portion then jumped in on the eye, and so on. Omgosh, was it fun! Messy yes, lots of wax everywhere and my tips kept breaking, so a lot of sharping...but boy time just flew by!! I made a few mistakes with placement and color but I just scrapped it and it worked out just fine!

This beast is night and day from graphite, actually once I got into a groove, lost all my trepidation regarding it I  thought it was waayyy easier than graphite (in my humble opinion!) I wasn't slaving over a million details like I do with graphite! 
I am definitely hooked but there is SO much more to explore with colored pencil and I am SO eager to try it all now that I am over my fears about it!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Trodden Path

~William Shakespeare~

Trodden Path    Kathryn Hansen   (c) 29014  9x14
Trodden Path wasn't an easy piece to draw, there were lots of challenges in it for me as I was trying to get it done quickly (because it's a commission) which just added to my frustration. A woman named Mary M, from my FB business page told me to just slow down, so I did, and I actually enjoyed the next few challenges I faced with it...so many thanks to Mary...sometimes stating the obvious to me really works!!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Set a spell, take your shoes off

and meet the Clampetts and their feathered friends!!

My newest drawing in progress. 

I've been wanting to draw this trio for some time now, basically since I got back from Kenya 4 years ago, so I guess it's finally their time! I changed things up a bit, added a few oxpeckers and egrets to the scene for interest. 

As some of you may know I was fascinated by all the birds perched on the mammals there, so I tend to always add them to my work.

Oxpeckers can be invasive birds to elephants, but they also reduce the amount of lice, ticks, and other parasites living on elephants' skin and hair. Egrets also eat parasites on the elephants backs but mostly they eat insects that are stirred up from the dust and grass as elephants stroll thru the towering grasses. 

I am hoping to get through all the wrinkles, folds and grasses in this piece in a timely manner...elephants always seem to take me a bit longer to draw...shooting for the end of this week! 

So y'all come back now, y'hear!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Harry and the annual fundraiser!

This will be my 7th year creating a drawing for the California Wildlife Center in Malibu CA for their annual fundraiser in September. I can't even begin to tell you how honored I am that I get to do this! I swear every time I see an animal released back into the wild (almost 5000 last year) by CWC I get a lump in my throat, I am so thrilled by how all these amazing staffers and volunteers have helped yet another animal in Southern Cal!!!

On the Lookout   Kathryn Hansen (c)  2014  5x7

check out these 4 heartfelt short videos about the work CWC does...they are beautifully created!

*All photos courtesy of California Wildlife Center*

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Dolores and friends

With Quiet Solitude aka Edgar completed, I'm diving right into my next drawing, a duck I named Dolores.
Quiet Solitude  Kathryn Hansen  (c) 2014 7.25x10.25
I spotted this beautiful Mallard duck in Santa Barbara while on vacation with my super fun girlfriend at the Botanic gardens on the out skirts of town. Its leisurely paths take you thru a small redwood forest, native plants, and a lovely pond filled with birds and turtles!
With some luck I should have Dolores done in time to enter into a gallery exhibit in the San Fernando, Ca area.

Friday, June 27, 2014

The Peace of Wild Things

“When despair for the world grows in me, and I wake in the night at the least sound in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be. I go and lie down where the wood drake rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds. I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought or grief. I come into the presence of still water. And I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light. For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free”
Inspired to do a portrait of one the many beautiful white egrets I saw at Lake Balboa last weekend!


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