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Daily Art -- Eider Duck

7 1/4" x 5 1/4" in Erengi oil pastel on white ProArt sketchbook paper, occupying the top half of an 8 1/2" x 11" page. Cropped to get rid of ragged edges. Painted from the March 20th 2009 Weekend Drawing Event at http://www.wetcanvas.com which I've started taking an interest in to find cool things to paint.

I still haven't forgotten a pointillist iris though and picked out a reference today. Will get to that one later. This one was just two hours and only has one to three layers throughout, it's not as serious a painting as I could develop later on with sanded paper and much more patience.

Yesterday I finished reading my new Colored Pencil Painting Bible by Alyona Nickelsen. You may remember I wrote a bit about the video and was drooling at the book -- well, it came and it was a pageturner. It has lots of useful and practical tips in it. Alyona's techniques are a bit different from all of the others, she has enough unique material to satisfy an old expert who's got a big library -- and it is wonderfully well written, so clear and simple that I'd recommend this for a beginner.

The sections on basic art including composition, color, values, the foundation you need to paint well in anything is particularly excellent. She also makes using Photoshop to enhance and combine reference photos make so much sense I'm tempted to finally get the program since I would get some use out of it. Or at least muddle through and find those functions in Gimp.

Her methods are quite different from Arlene Steinberg. Alyona works light to dark and uses Odorless Mineral Spirits solvent washes in early stages to fill all the white specks usually. The book covers a wide variety of techniques including solvent washes and has tips for organizing color that I have not found anywhere else. A good buy even if you already have all the other really good colored pencils realism books out there. Alyona has her own special place on my shelf and I've enjoyed it so much.

She did pearls! I always wanted to paint pearls realistically. I was looking for some for still life objects or for a good photo reference, then I saw her spectacular pearls example in the book and I am thrilled. She solved my problems with rendering them. Lace, cut crystal with all its prismatic splendor, wood grain, silver with intricate patterns, marbles, all the showoffy subjects are covered as well as wonderful fruit and flower renderings. The projects are simple and relatively small, not hard to complete for a beginner or to learn and then integrate similar subjects into a more serious still life.

Of course now that I'm all warmed up for a return to my beloved Prismacolors, I need to focus again on oil pastels and work on my site some more! I might do both. I found myself getting out the odorless turpentine, refilling the Museum Cups with it and Turpenoid Natural (which is great for cleanup -- nontoxic, citrus smelling, pleasant and works really well for getting oily goop and anything else off anything). I'll be trying the Turpenoid Natural, she says it works well as a colored pencil solvent but just dries slower and takes about twice the time.

Personal stuff in the next entry. I think I'll keep this one to a book review and daily art.
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!


2013 Nano Winner
Robert A. Sloan, author of Raven Dance

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