Thursday, November 1, 2012

Shadows and Skies

Today I'm being brave and trying something just a little different.

I've been following the blog, "Just Add Water Silly" by fellow Vancouver Islander Jennifer McLean.  She's a watercolour artist and hosts the "Artist's Play Room" where people share their interpretations of a weekly theme.  I've been quietly observing (and enjoying) the submissions to the Artist's Play Room all the while thinking that maybe it would be fun some day to be brave enough to join in...

Well... today's that "some day" and I'm joining in.  It's a little nerve racking to do something you've not done before and expose your art to a whole new audience... but (...pausing for a deep breath...) here goes.....

The theme this week is "Shadow" and below is my interpretation...

The artwork is based on some fall leaves I collected today...

When I began the art piece I rearranged the leaves and I positioned a desk lamp off to one side of the leaves to create more dramatic shadows -- the type of task lamp that creates a bright spot-light effect on things it is close to.  In real life, the part of the shadows closest to the leaves include a bit of reflection from the yellowy orange of the leaves.  I tried to suggest that in my shadows.  I'm not entirely satisfied with how that turned out, but this is all about trying things and learning from our experiences... right?  : )

The art piece was done with water soluble coloured pencils -- Inktense brand, to be exact.  I'm working through Dion Dior's online workshop about watercolour pencils and I'm really pleased with how the Inktense brand are working for me.  The leaves are outlined in a fine point Faber-Castell Pitt pen in Dark Sepia colour.

The next part of this post is in response to a blog post by Suzi - another alumni member of the Creative Courage class.  Suzi writes the blog "Vignettes de la vie by Suzi Poland" and in her post of October 26th she posted a beautiful pastel night sky picture and posed the question, "Have you been to the desert and seen how big the sky is?" Now, Suzi's in Australia and I've never had opportunity to visit that country (yet...), so I can't say that I've seen how big the desert sky is that she's looking at.  But I have been to Phoenix Arizona (USA) and I was blow away by what the desert sky is like there.  Suzi's post inspired me to find some of the sky pictures I took in Phoenix last winter/spring and share a few with you.  The sky here on Vancouver Island has (in my memory) never looked quite this amazing!!

Not much else happening creatively at the moment.  I'm hoping to do more experimenting with the Inktense water soluble pencils.  Perhaps Jennifer McLean's next Artist's Play Room challenge will fire up some more creative neurones in my brain... who knows where the creative whim will lead me!

So... what's inspiring you this week...??
: )  Fern


  1. Oh wow, Fern, I am honoured to inspire you! Thanks. They are beautiful big sky photographs. It's amazing how the clouds make a reflective ceiling for the sunset light. I love your detailed Inktense watercolour pencil work too. The shadows are a beautiful purply blue. It's springtime here, so the leaves are quite green, apart from the eucalypts which loose their leaves all year round, much to the displeasure of many a gardener! Anytime you want to come over an visit this side of the planet, do let me know, love you to visit. :)

  2. So glad you are joining in... love these leaves and the shadows are really beautiful and loved your big sky photos... looking forward to seeing you join in more often... I hope... and following along when blogger decides to let me... doesn't it drive you nus sometimes...xx

  3. Hi Fern,
    welcome to The Artist's Play Room. We're glad to have you. I'm in love with your leaves, you should be thrilled with how beautifully you captured their dimensional aspect and shadows. I just got inktense pencils too, don't you love their intensity?? Hope you continue to join us in the upcoming weeks, you're just over the Malahat from me, we just moved from Victoria to Nanaimo last year. Hope your enjoying all the beautiful leaves and FINALLY the rain, lol. SO nice to have someone in my neck of the woods. :o)

    PS. if you're going to (hopefully) continue to join us, would you mind turning off your word verification?? it's so hard to read and sometimes I just can't get them right, I wouldn't want you to not get comments! If you need instruction on how to turn it off, click on my sidebar's Blogging 101 and one of the sections will instruct you how. THanks so much Fern!!

  4. Lovely leaves. You did the blending of yellow, orange and red beautifully. I want to try pitt pen in dark sepia too. Also, enjoy reading your process :)

    Pavinee from creative courage group

  5. So glad you decided to join in Fern. Your leaves are beautiful. The colours are perfect and the shading really give it dimension. I have the Inktense too, haven't had much chance to play with them yet but seeing what can be done with them, I will have to get them out. Hope you continue to join us each week.

  6. wonderFULL to meet you, Fern!! and your leaves are gorgeous. I used to live in Phoenix and in Sedona, so I have seen a great many skies, sunrises, and sunsets in that sort of big and overflowing backdrop.

    I was interested to learn about the light and the shadows it makes. I am mostly a collage artist, yet the more I see these wonderful drawings and interpretations, the more I feel encouraged to branch out some. I think that I "can't" when what is really true is that I can't DO what someone else does. So that's my takeaway here. learn, listen, explore, and experiment and BE Happy Life offers such an abundance of ways to PLAY!!

  7. What a gorgeous drawing! You caught the curling of a dried leaf perfectly! I love your strong use of shadow too. We lived in Las Vegas for a number of years and I have many photos of similar skies - there is something about the flat landscape that seems to lend itself to the grandeur of those big colorful skies! Beautiful photos.

  8. Wow, i love how you captured the curling leaves! Just perfect!

  9. Glad you joined us, Fern! Thanks for sharing your leaves - they are very well done. I especially am in awe of the curled-up one... I have tried some of those before and they drove me bonkers;-/ Hope to see more of your art in APR:-)

    1. Thank you all! I am especially pleased with how the curled leaf turned out, and so happy that you like it, too. I'm glad I was brave enough to join in with the Artist's Play Room. Thanks for your support!

  10. Your leaves are gorgeous! Inktense pencils are wonderful to work with. Love your sky photos too. Great to see you've joined in over at Artist's Play Room. :)

  11. Okay, wow, yes, this drawing is absolutely amazing and the result you've achieved with the Inktense is really dramatic. I think I need to get my hands on some of those pencils to try them out for myself!