Gesso/oil pastel experiment

A few days ago, I gessoed over a magazine page to try a new technique. I kept the coat thin so some parts of the image beneath could still be seen. I’m not sure what I was planning on doing with it, but tonight, the page was nearby, I was feeling a little anxious and needed a pre-sleep wind-down, so I grabbed it and started working.

I also took out my package of Crayola Portfolio Series water-soluble oil pastels. They’re a student-grade product and they come in sets of 12 and 24 colors. I don’t really use them as much as I expected to when I bought them, mostly because I haven’t found an application that I’ve liked with them. But when I used them tonight on the gessoed page, I started to get reaaaally excited! They have a super smooth color laydown and my gesso is not the best, pretty gritty, so they smushed into the brushstrokes. Then I added the water and my excitement grew.


I love the way the colors blended together while still retaining the soft look from the gesso. Feels a little Impressionist-y. And the brushstrokes are so out-of-this-world-pretty.


I will definitely be playing around with the Portfolios and gesso a lot more. Until then, pick up some Portfolios! I bought mine here in the U.S. at Staples for around 10 bucks, and for any international artists out there, I’ve seen them on eBay. Happy Scribbling!


Sketching Adventure #1

I spent a good chunk of today at Fort Popham at half tide. After a long (and very windy) walk along the beach, calmed by the steady pounding of the surf, I settled down on a bench for a quick sketch from the path above the shore.


The ocean comes off more as “sky” than as “ocean,” but I’m pleased with it as a first attempt at a nature study.

For the initial sketching, I used a Derwent Sketching Pencil in Dark Wash 8B. This pencil isn’t as soft as other 8B pencils I’ve tried, but when activated with water, it lends a subtle, clean wash. I’m very impressed and will be picking up a Light and Medium Wash pencil in the near future. For the color, I used Prismacolor Watercolor pencils in Copenhagen Blue, Peacock Blue, Cool Grey 50%, Dark Umber, Terra Cotta, Goldenrod, Cream, Grass Green, and Light Peach. These were so convenient for my first travel sketching expedition because I could capture the color on scene but save the mess of the water for when I got back to my desk. They’re also much more “sketchy” and not as heavy as watercolor crayons, which was perfect for this scene. The sketchbook is a Blick hardbound with a medium weight paper. It held up well to the water with no bleed-through and only a little buckling.


And I have a bit of a sunburn! Summer is officially around the corner, and I am excited to try new techniques and supplies on the go.

Pendants, Part 3

Pendants, Part 3

I tried some different colors for this second wave of pendants. Not very satisfied. These were also the runts of the batch, and will probably end up becoming buttons instead of pendants because they’re just so small! One of my goals for this week is to make a new batch– this time, much bigger and out of a white clay body. I think the colors will be much more appealing on white than on brown. But we’ll see! Glaze fires are always a surprise.

Next steps: create hooks for the back to make them pendants, photograph, upload to Etsy. When this finally happens, you’ll be the first to know!