Today’s Behind the Scenes is a report on studio news for June.
Studio News for June 2023
In-Person Art Talk
I don’t do speeches very often. Mostly, I suppose, because it’s difficult to know what to talk about in front of a group of people, even if they are friends.
But on June 17, I did just that, talking about my life as an artist and my art for the monthly Sunday school lunch. It turned out to be a fun thing. I shared a few finished pieces (see the gallery below), and also two works-in-progress. The works-in-progress were used to demonstrate in brief my usual drawing method.
The most interesting aspect was answering questions. There were a lot of very good questions, including questions from a fellow artist who currently does graphite work. She’s interested in learning colored pencils, but had all kinds of questions about paper, pencils and other things.
There was no set time frame for my talk. My “talk” wasn’t very long, but by the time the last question was answered, I’d been at the podium for about an hour. What a surprise!
What a surprise to realize later that once I got started, it was more enjoyable than I anticipated!
I had the permission of my sister (the owner of Lucy, the Corgi) to show the finished portrait for my presentation. Afterward, I packaged and shipped the portrait to my sister.
It arrived safely and she liked the portrait even better in person than in the digital images. It’s always a relief when a client approves of the finished portrait when they can see it up close and personal.
Faithful Lucy Tutorial
I also had permission to write a tutorial based on this portrait. The drawing process itself was so disorganized that about halfway through the portrait, I decided a tutorial was out of the question.
Then toward the end of June, I had a little spare time and decided to work on the tutorial. What do you know? I finished writing it.
The tutorial is nowhere near ready for publication, but I hope to publish it sometime this summer. Stay tuned!
Reader Gallery Critiques
Last month, I mentioned my intention to start offering critiques to artists who submitted work to the CP Magic! Reader Gallery.
When I opened up submissions for the July issue of the magazine, I also opened up critiques on a trial run basis. About half of the artists who submitted work asked for a critique. I worked my way through them and hope the artists have been helped and encouraged by my comments.
July 2023 CP Magic!
Speaking of the magazine, the July issue is out and ready to inform and entertain you. This issue turned into a compilation of articles on dealing with drawing mistakes and miscues, beginning with a comment or two by featured artist Karen O’Neill.
You can also view the online Reader Gallery here. It’s a great collection of work by artists from around the world.
Work on the restoration house has been steady, but slow. It’s definitely one of those “two steps forward and one step back” deals.
Actually, for a lot of June, it seemed like one step forward and two back!
The good news is that the waterline is now leak-free from the city main to the kitchen sink! We replaced old lines with PEX waterline, including new shut off valves in a couple of places. So now we can wash brushes (and our hands) when necessary without having to haul water or go home. Let me tell you, that’s a huge improvement.
We hauled off the old refrigerator and water heater (both long defunct) to the scrap metal yard. The house was treated for termites, the property has been surveyed, and we have two quotes for roof work in hand.
Current Works in Progress
As you might guess, working on an old house takes a lot of time.
As you might also guess, that means drawing is temporarily sidelined. I think I picked up colored pencils once or twice this month, but not to draw. One time, I had to pick up the pencils the cats were playing with.
The second time, I sorted all of the colors I’ve used so far on the portrait of Thomas, and put them together in a glass jar. The reason I did this was that there were too many of them to fit in my small project tins. Having them all together is also more convenient than trying to keep them with the full set of Polychromos.
Besides, there was the stray thought that if I have pencils ready to travel, I draw during lull times at the house. I didn’t have to think about that very long before deciding that was a bad idea.
So instead, I’ve been gathering photos of clouds.
Why cloud photos?
I like looking at clouds and some of my photos make great wallpaper for my computer and phone.
But what I’m really hoping to do, maybe in 2024, is a series of cloud “portraits”. Maybe even big portraits.
There’s no time like the present to start collecting reference material.
Looking to the Future
Best Colored Pencil Work of 2023
Now that it’s July, I can tell you that I’m planning another Your Best Colored Pencil Work issue of CP Magic!. I’ve set aside the February 2024 issue to showcase the best colored pencil artwork you have created (or will create) in 2023.
IThe most important guideline is that only work based on the artist’s own photography is eligible. Copyright issues make this an absolute necessity. Since I know a lot of artists routinely depend on websites like Pixabay for good reference photos, I wanted to let you know about this now so you could start taking pictures and preparing before it’s too late.
I’ll be writing more about this in the future, so stay tuned. If you have any questions, post them in the comments.
But in the meantime, keep drawing.
That’s the Studio News for June
We have a brief break for Independence Day, then it will be back to work.
How about you. What’s your studio news for June?
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