I've been meaning to try scratchboard for a long time now. I keep on drooling over my talented friend Ann Ranlett's
wonderful work, and decided it was time to give it a shot. I've been
doing a lot of research about tools, surfaces, techniques, watching
videos, trying out different strokes... So basically there's been quite a
lot of scratching involved in my life in the last month or so since I
started. So much so that whenever I drive over a brand new resurfaced
road, I have a bad urge to scratch something on it! I did a few
pieces on scratch paper to get used to it, but I'm now ready for the
real stuff: Ampersand Scratchbord. Stay tunned for more scratchbord
work. This is what I've done so far:
Along with the Art Snacks box, I decided to sign up for the Scrawlr
Box as well as the Smile Create Repeat box. The Scrawlr Box is based out
of the UK, but the other two are in the US. I love Art Snacks and
Scrawlr Box. Smile Create Repeat is getting better in quality, but the
value remains poor and I usually pay more than what's in the box. I will
give it a few more tries, and if the value doesn't improve, I will most
likely end my subscription. I've been having a blast trying to create something with the limited supplies from each box.
One of the most exciting things is my discovery of subscription boxes. I signed up with Art Snacks,
and each month I receive a little box with new art supplies to try.
It's a lot of fun because I receive supplies I would never buy
otherwise, and it forces me out of my comfort zone and helps me be more
creative. If you take on the Art Snacks challenge, you have to
draw/paint something with all the supplies in the box. I LOVE IT!
Here's an unboxing/speed painting video I did with this month's supplies.
A few months ago, I bought a couple of sheets of wood paper (I think
it's birch). I decided to try them out, and I used my Caran d'Ache Pablo
pencils, as well as my Lyra pencils. They both work very nicely on
The wood paper I used is smoother than the regular paper
I use (Stonehenge), yet, it holds many layers. It works great with both
solvent and a colorless blender. The only difference is the direction
of the wood grain/veins. The little crevaces can be annoying sometimes.
Because of this texture, it's definitely different than with paper, but
because the pencils feel very smooth on the wood, it's very enjoyable.
Plumeria 21 - 8.5x11" - Colored pencils on wood paper - FOR SALE
I hadn't planned on doing this month's Colored Pencils Magazine challenge
as I'm busy preparing for my art show next week. But once again, I
couldn't resist Sally Roberton's beautiful photo. So I gave it a shot,
and decided I will include this drawing in my show.
I used the Caran
d'Ache Pablo pencils, which are oil based and similar to the
Polychromos. It's the first time I do a piece entirely with them. They
have a nice variety of colors, keep a sharp tip for a long time, and
blend very well. I like them a lot; it was a real pleasure to work with
Each year, I like to give myself a new art challenge. Last year, I
decided to participate in every Colored Pencil Magazine challenges, 12
in total. It was fun and I learned a lot. The year before, I
participated in the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge, and later on, I
did a 30 ACEOs in 30 days challenge, too.
This year, I won't
do anything so stressful, but I've decided I had to finish all the
paintings I started over the years and never finished. By December, I
want my "unfinished" pile to be gone.
January started very well. I finished these two:
This month, I really liked the photo, but, for some reason, the
motivation wasn't there. Maybe it was the holiday stress, who knows? But
I got more and more into it as I kept working on it, and I'm pleased
with the result.
I recently found out that Stonehenge makes
120 lb paper. I had to give it a try. It's pretty nice, but closer to
watercolor cold press paper, so not as smooth as the regular 90 lb. I
had to use mineral spirit with the first layer to cover the paper
better. I don't think I'll use this paper again with colored pencils,
but I'll have to try it with watercolor.
So this is it; one full year of CPM challenges! I told myself I had to do it, and I did. It's
been fun, and, I must say, I learned a lot. Being used to use mostly
black paper, I had to get out of my comfort zone, but I ended up trying
many different pencils and papers.
Thank you Colored Pencils Magazine for helping me grow, and thank you Sally for your beautiful photos. I
don't know if I'll be able to participate in all the challenges in 2016
because I have to prepare for a show. But you never know...
Happy 2016 everyone!