Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Ladies and gentlemen, the main event today, world championship colored pencil match.

In the Ultramarine corner, all the way from Yonkers, New York...weighing in at .17 ounces is Prismacolor pencils. 

In the crimson corner, all the way from Cleveland, Ohio...weighing in at .22 ounces is Polychromo pencils.

Lets have a good clean fight!

Prismacolor pencils (P1)








Polychromo pencils (P2) (drawing in progress)























With only about 3 hours into my fox drawing with Poychromos pencils I can already tell the huge difference between the two pencils.

These are my observations~

1) I am able to get the fine details that I normally get with my Tombow graphite pencils using P 2. plus I can use my Tombow pencils right along side the colored pencils...all the whiskers are with graphite.

2) My biggest pet peeve was all the tiny wax pieces everywhere with P1, no matter how careful I was! I was scraping off pieces with a razor blade on my swan...you can see slight residue on the actual piece.

3) I would have a beautiful sharpened point on P1 but as soon as I started drawing, it would break...my second biggest pet peeve with P1!! I know I am heavy handed with my pencils but come on! I did not have that issue with P2.

4) My local art store carries both pencils and I noticed that P2 had a lot less colors...altho the whole point of cp is to layer to get a beautiful vibrancy, so I'm not seeing this as an issue...but I am still a newbie at this!

5) Price- A LOT more for P2 than P1, BUT, because of the breaking points, I had to sharpen way more and so I went through 2 black and 2 white pencils on my tiger...I probably would not have with P2

6) I was able to erase the Polychromo pencils!! Because P1 is wax based erasing is impossible.

7) I have about the same amount of layers on both drawings, altho I pretty sure I can go with more on my fox (P2)

8) P2 pencils are wider so they barely fit in my pencil sharpener...I have to tug them out.

9) I had heard that the white P2 pencil did not work well, so instead I just bought a Caran d'Aches Blanc pencil to use and it worked perfectly along side P2

So, despite a few glitches such as price and width, the clear champion for me is the Polychromo pencils!



Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Cute Dog Photo Contest!!!


Typically I run this contest on my Facebook business page, but thought I would open this up to my lovely blog followers as well!!

I am looking for your cutest dog photos!




Send me your best dog/puppy photos (up to two) for a chance to win a matted print of your beloved friend!


I will pick and announce the
winning photo(s) on Monday September 29th. The competition closes on Sunday 9-28-14 at 8am. I will then create a 5x7 drawing of him or her and send you a matted print of the drawing! 






All entered photos need to be original, good quality, high resolution jpeg photos. You can email up to 2 photos to kh@kathrynhansen.com


Good luck!!









Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Vegan drawing papers

Most likely you don't know that I've been a vegetarian for about 25 years now and on my way to being a vegan...I'd already be there but that darn tasty cheese keeps tripping me up!! My last hold out. 

I am also an animal right advocate...have been since my early 20s. You won't find leather or products from companies that test on animals in my home. 

If there is an animal in distress, such as being left in a car with the windows rolled up (twice this summer), I go and find the owner. 

Never once tho did I think that art supplies would contain animal products in them!! But thanks to my friend Katherine Kean, my eyes were opened in her early 2011 post, Vegan Art Supplies. 
Since then I've done a lot of research on the type of sizing used in papers. If in doubt about a paper you use just contact the company, they gladly write you back and let you know.

~here are my findings~

For years I used and loved Arches, but it's derived from collagen obtained from various animal by-products, so I no longer use it. 

Can't use Lanaquarelle, a 300 lb beautiful soft watercolor paper because it also uses a gelatin sizing in their paper.


As for the good papers I love that use a plant based sizing:

Strathmore (love their bristol board) 
Fabriano (a very ethical company!!) 
Canson Mi Tientes colored papers 
(using it now with my tiger)
Daler-Rowney Canford papers


And a new paper that has come to my attention by my friend Lissa RachelleTerraSkin, which is neither plant or animal based. It is made with calcium carbonate (rocks) and HDPE (plastic). I've never used it before, but plan on buying some very soon on CheapJoes (their only supplier so far).


So there you go! Hope that helps next time you're in your cherished art store looking for cruelty-free, plant based sized paper for  your next masterpiece!!


*Please feel free to add any of your favorite papers or general art supplies that you know are animal free products in the comments section.*



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*

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