Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Colored Pencil Painting!

If you've known me any length of time at all, you know that the colored pencil medium is not one of my favorite mediums to work in.  Don't get me wrong, it is one of my favorite mediums to look at and long to do well, but the mastery of it hovers slightly out of my reach.  I think it has more to do with getting bored with a painting before it's finished than anything else.  I also think the average non-artist would be amazed at the length of time a really good colored pencil piece takes to do really well.  And that's the rub for me - I just don't seem to have the required patience and stamina to do a colored pencil work as well as it should be done.  Take this cat, for instance.  I started it way back in September, I think.  It's only 5 x 7 inches and is on Ampersand's PastelBord so a background wasn't necessary to paint.  There is a bit of detail in the face with several color changes but, really, it shouldn't have taken this long to finish!  And, no, I wasn't working steadily on it the whole time.  Frankly, I'd gotten bored rather quickly and had put it away soon after starting it and only worked sporadically on it since.

So, I found it when I was trying to straighten up my studio and decided to finish it.  It's not at all perfect as I didn't have the colors I really needed to "optically mix" the colors I wanted.  But, I did finish it and am proud of that fact!

Maybe one day I'll decide that I really want to pursue colored pencil but for right now, I'm content just to have finished this one!


pencilportraits said...

Well I think it's beautiful, and if you think there's room from improvement I would continue with colour pencil as you seem to have mastered it very well so far

Jan said...

Thanks so much, Karie-Ann. I'm quite sure there's room for improvement but I'm not so sure I want to invest the time and effort into colored pencil work. It's so beautiful when done correctly but takes sooooo looooong to do!

Jeanette said...

Jan, I think we all have mediums that we gravitate to and they become our comfort zone. Its good to go outside that comfort zone and test our skills. You did that with cp and it worked well in your favour. The fur texture here is wonderful, looks very soft.

Happy New Year Jan, you just keep on doing what you're doing. As you do it very well.

"JeanneG" said...

If it is not fun, then it isn't for you as that makes it more of a "job". I have learned to speed mine up but it does take a lot of time and working thru a lot to get to where you are comfortable with cps. The cat looks just fine.

I have tried watercolors and I just don't get the same joy from them or other painting that I get from cps or graphite.

doughditties said...

I wish my curious endeavors would come out so well! I can appreciate all the time in this project and love all the detail. My mom did watercolors and they have always been my favorite art to admire, but I couldn't paint one to save my life! I tried pastels a few months ago for a diversion, but didn't get very far with that either. I wonder if the discipline and mind stretching it takes to try another medium helps us fine-tune or make new discoveries in our art of choice; shifting focus and coming back may lend a new perspective and add freshness to "old" mediums.

Christine said...

That's a nice cat portrait! There are some techniques, as you are aware of I am sure, which will speed up cp work. Some artists use India ink or watercolors in addition to regular cp's. I haven't used India Ink yet, but have seen some exquisite work done with combined media.
Happy new year! ~Christine

lisa's blog said...

Oh Jan, your work is just wonderful! I can't imagine what time the details does take with all that you do. I get very tired and like to move around on what I do also so I can only imagine with something that takes that long!!! Love all that you do!! Hugs Lisa

Jan said...

Thank you all for your kind comments.

Yes, Jeanette, it is fun to meander outside of our comfort zones. I did sort of enjoy this piece and at least completed it! Happy New Year to you also.

I know what you mean about enjoying the process, Jeanne. While I do like cp, I guess you could say that I really don't enjoy the process. I think it's fine if I don't have any deadline for finishing and enjoy being able to take my time with them.

Mary, I think watercolors are the absolutely hardest medium to undertake that there is! If you're going to stretch yourself, maybe you should do it with an easier medium! Plus, any medium is just going to take time & practice to get comfortable with and learn to do. As for your observation that trying new mediums might help infuse our normal medium with freshness, I think you're right!

Christine, I've missed you - thanks for stopping by! I do know about combining media to speed up cp but for some reason, I'm reluctant to do it. It may be all in my mind, but I sort of see it as painting something twice and that just doesn't seem right!

Thanks so much, Lisa. I actually worked on this very much off and on so didn't get as bored. I don't know how many hours I ended up with invested in it but I do know many artists who put in 50 to 100 hours per piece! That makes me tired just to think about & may be the mental block that keeps me from pursuing colored pencils as one of my favorite art mediums! lol

Teresa said...

You did a great job on this Jan. I clicked on the pic to see the enlarged version and it looks a lot like pastel. I think you can safely say you have a good grip on cp's.

Jan said...

Thanks, Teresa! (I really like your new avatar btw!)

I think this looks like pastel because it's on Ampersand PastelBord and I really didn't take the time with it that I should have. There are still some areas that show the bumpiness.