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Progress on Website and Videos!



Today didn't have any art yet. Yesterday had a couple of pieces of art, with stages no less. White Rock has progress images and you can see them on my site in the Blending article under Techniques and the White Rock Blending Demo under Basic Drawing. Yay and good. I wrote three pages yesterday because I also did the Shading page under Basic Drawing, with many less polished examples of things like spheres and cones and cylinders or the ever-popular Shading Bar Doodle, just as cool in oil pastels as in graphite or anything else.

I also did another sketch of a horse. Kitten looked at it and pronounced it equine... Equine Jailbait got its title because she also said its proportions made it underage, somewhere between eight months and a year.



Happily though, it isn't deformed! I like how it came out. Both of these are in oil pastels of course.

Today I got my sample of Maimeri Classico oil pastels in the mail from ArmadilloArt, the USA distributor of this Italian brand. They generously sent me a 12 color set! So I was able to do a color chart and will be doing a small drawing with them for the product review very soon.

My February budget is properly organized and ready to go -- it is all oil pastels this time, gathering up most of the brands I still need to review plus a larger set of Caran d'Ache Neopastel since it's crazy to hobble along on a 12 color field set of my favorites. I won't be making a final decision till I actually send off the order, but this could be just about everything except a 48 color set of Maimeri Classico, a 50 color set of Marie's and maybe a 72 color set of Loew-Cornell since I found out again why I liked those and finally decided to get the full range next month in its somewhat higher priced wood box set.

It's a whim to have that many in a student grade brand, but also a way for me to test whether some of the colors are lightfast enough for an artist hard on his luck to use. If only some of them fade, it may be vital to know which limited palette to use out of a cheap box to do art you can sell without cheating your customer with something that'd fade fast.

I've got twelvers of some of the cheap brands and larger sets wherever they claim to be fadeproof, since I will begin lightfastness tests in either mid-April or early May. Depends on which products I have in hand at the start of April, if I need to keep getting more oil pastels on my April check then the testing begins a bit later in mid May -- and continues for a full year with reasonably frequent checks and a set of Blue Wool cards to calibrate the fading process. Every stage will be documented.

Alizarin Crimson watercolor is a benchmark level -- anything that fades at the same time it does or earlier isn't artist grade. This may include some colors in artist grade brands, so it's good to know which ones those are. Conversely, anything that still hasn't faded when the Alizarin starts to go and only fades with the 6, 7 or 8 swatches on the Blue Wool card counts as artist grade and should stand up to reasonable art preservation conditions.

I'm excited about doing the Blue Wool tests. It turns my home lightfastness experiment into something documentable and repeatable, the Blue Wool cards are standardized and if I date my samples at their first fading and keep good records... then it is a good reliable source of information for anyone who hasn't done it themselves. One more cool thing to add value to my site as a reference, something less subjective than my personal opinion of Neopastel vs. Sennelier texture.

Today is Thursday. Lisa might come over or she might not, she hasn't called yet.

I also had a brainstorm about my art instruction videos. I took out my little lightweight field easel, the one that I bought for the canceled plein air trip to Camp Gaia. Lovely thing, it's very easy to set up and stable. I realized I could set that up on the side the camera's on and not worry about its short cord. Just work on that side. It took shoving the trash can out of the way and a little fooling around, but I shot a three and a half minute test video today and it worked a lot better than the first one.

My face isn't in it but big deal. I can splice together a short shot with my face for an intro and then do a longer one just looking at the sketchbook from a fixed position. I blended some colors on screen, noticed that indeed I am getting fairly true color on the webcam (so glad I bought the good one!) and like the results. A bonus is that my end table is visible in the shot. I had it cleared off and put a box of oil pastels there, could see everything and easily grab them while working with my hands choosing them on screen.

Not a bad setup. One logistic problem sorted. Now I need to rehearse my patter, because I had too many long pauses while drawing for a good art instruction video. I need to start scripting it and come up with topics, plan rather than just scribble for blending colors. This one is almost good enough to upload to YouTube.

I also reached another level of traffic on my site -- it's now getting 50 visitors a day! I'm stunned and happy, continuing to write lots for it as many days as I can. Sick days in between are frustrating but on my good ones like yesterday I often do two or three pages. It's up to 40 pages total now and growing.
Explore-Oil-Pastels-With-Robert-Sloan.com Articles at eHow.com, ETSY shop, My Bonanzle Booth, deviantART gallery, SFFmuse and look for art by robertsloan2art on eBay. Listed on Art Blogs 4 U
Proud member of the Oil Pastel Society
Interesting art blog: Patrick's Art Blog focused on realism!
New Topical Blog: www.robs-art-supply-reviews.blogspot.com for all the cool art stuff that isn't oil pastels!

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Robert A. Sloan, author of Raven Dance
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