Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Art of a Sketchbook - Friday

While trying to decide which sketchbook to use next I realized I had a few sketchbooks that had some, but not many, blank pages in them.  So, before I start on yet another sketchbook I'm going to finish filling in those blank pages .....

In looking through those sketchbooks I noticed I had done similar sketches of my kitchen area, a year apart, both using my Lamy fountain pen.

  One was in January 2009......

 and the other was in February 2010.  

Do you every find that you are sketching the same thing frequently?  I sketch my husband, my coffee mug and evidently my kitchen most often *grin.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Honorable Mention ...

I am thrilled to announce that my painting Almost Home was the first oil painting I had ever entered into an art show ....

Honorable Mention, Almost Home, 24" x 36" Oil on Canvas, © 2013 Nancy Van Blaricom

and it won Honorable Mention. I couldn't be happier.

When an artist enters a local art show... winning even a small award can be very encouraging, especially if they are new to a medium. It makes us want to continue to work at becoming a better artist.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Art of a Sketchbook - Friday

Its that time of year again when we start thinking about boating season again.

In the above sketch from a number of years ago we were in a marina and tied 
across the dock from this boat ... too close not to sketch, right?

In the above sketch I decided to map the route we took while on this trip.  I gave up on that idea after a day or so because I ran out of room on these two pages and decided since we were going to be gone for a couple of months I would be taking up too much paper.  Its hard to see the route in this photo because you can see through to the back side of these two pages.  Clicking on the image might help.

This is just a dreaming sketch. I was sketching ways to  improve the  galley on the boat.  
Instead we sold the boat ...

Have a great week-end ... try to squeeze some sketching into your days.

Recently I've been working on a couple of  watercolor commissions and hope to finish with them next week.  Meanwhile I've been reading a lot about the basics such a color theory, composition and drawing.  It is a wonderful refresher course for me and I'm looking forward to putting some of what I've been reading into practice soon.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Art of the Sketchbook - Friday

 If it holds still ... its fair game

Neil reading, 6" x 9" sketchbook, ©2013, Nancy Van Blaricom
I can't begin to tell you how often I've sketched my husband.  If he's holding still like when he reads or....

Neil sleeping, 6" x 9" sketchbook, ©2013, Nancy Van Blaricom
If we are out camping and the sun is shinning while he's in one of our camp chairs napping.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Alstroemerias in Silver

Alstroemerias in Silver, 6" x 8" © 2013, Nancy Van Blaricom

Yes ... a floral! You may have noticed I haven't painted many florals.

Thoughts on this painting:  I didn't want to be overwhelmed with a lot of detail of too many flowers so I thought I'd choose a small bouquet of flowers, (I had over looked the fact that Alstroemerias have a lot of petals, what was I thinking?). Now looking back I'm not sure what difference it really made, except there might have been some stems and a vase with water showing ... anyway, after I chose to arrange my Alstroemerias in a small silver bowl I still wasn't sure of the look I was after.  I decided it still needed more punch to the composition so sat the whole arrangement in a small cardboard box with the opening facing out.  This was just the look I wanted.  A little mystery in the background.

I'm really pleased with how this little painting turned out.  I love that I was able to make the one flower be the star of the show(focal point) and make the others recede into the background, (edges).  Also, the color was great with the dark interior of the cardboard box.  Just the look I was hoping for.

Here I've placed this in a black 3" frame. ... I see I've picked up some reflected light from a near-by desk lamp.

Note to my artist friends:  I've finally been able to stand back at arms length and paint with my arm extended ... I simply move my taboret between me and may easel.  This method is working perfectly f.  Possibly I'll share photos of my painting arrangement in a later post.  Yea, a huge victory for me.

Monday, April 08, 2013

Peninsula Art Association - Spring Art Show

Spring seems to be a perfect time for art shows doesn't it?  Our little town, Shelton Washington, has an annual show that just gets better each year.   I haven't participated in this show for a couple of years and I'm excited that for the first time since I started working in oils that I will be entering two of my oil paintings.  

Please, if you are in the area, come and take a look at all the wonderful art that will be on display.

After you peruse all the art you can choose which painting is your favorite and at the reception the winner of People's Choice will be announced.


Best of Show $300 1st place $100* 2nd place $75* 3rd place $50* *in each category
People’s Choice  Gift Basket 

This year the show opens on April 11 and runs through April 19th.
The categories are

  • Oil, 
  • Acrylic 
  • Watercolor
  • Gouache 
  • Inks 
  • Hand-pulled prints
  • Pastel
  •  Colored Pencil
  • Charcoal 
  • Graphite 
  • Photography
  •  as well as 3 Dimensional Works

Thursday, April 04, 2013

The Art of a Sketchbook - Friday

Tools of the trade ....

I use a number of different tools - mediums, in my sketchbooks and today I thought I'd share them with you.  In the above photo I was celebrating spring and used watercolor for the first page of this sketchbook.  If you don't go too heavy with the water it doesn't wrinkle the pages too much.

On these two pages I used my favorite Pilot pen.  I love this pen because of the shading capabilities when you moisten the ink with water.

Of coarse pencils, all sizes and degrees of hardness, are a favorite.

Here I used a couple of markers.  A black Sharpie and a cool gray Prismacolor marker.  Great for value sketches.

I don't use crayons as often as I'd like ... I seem to forget about them if they aren't sitting out where I can see them instead of tucked away in a drawer.

Also, I have forgotten to include photos of pastel pages.  I haven't use pastels very often, but I do have a few in my sketchbooks that I've sprayed with a fixative... not my favorite.

Don't limit yourself to only pencils ... other mediums make for some fun sketching also.
On another note I wanted to share with you that I am still working at learning more about painting with oils and hope, before long, to share a few things I've been working on with emphases on values and composition.  I work slow but hopefully before too long I will post some work.