Colored Pencil Techniques 1

Earlier, I had mentioned that I signed up for a free colored pencil class at the local library with someone who can make pencil drawings look like photographs. The class got delayed a week due to a big dump of snow (10″ that day) so tonight was Class 1. There are only 8 students so its pretty great with the teacher-student interaction.

We learned about blending. I always thought blending was what you do between two colors. Not in today’s example! Proper color pencil technique is all about building layers. We began with boxes. First an even layer of yellow, covered by an even layer of blue. Then, yellow again but with changing pressure from hard to light. Same with the blue. We could keep going back and forth to blend it nicely, or use other blending techniques if we had them available. For instance, you could use a white pencil, but I had a colorless blending pencil. I only had that because I bought a blending kit. I had never heard of one before but its pretty nifty! On the far side, I did experiment with white as a blending tool for comparison, which is why that section looks different.

After making green, we made orange the same way. First yellow, then red. I was helping a kid next to me understand what was meant by changing pressure so distractedly I picked up  my blue pencil when I started. Oops. Ignore the left! And then again, I put white on the righthand side. Which taught me to clean off the lead, as it still had some other colors mixed on it that smeared into my orange. Grr.

And then purple, with red followed by blue. This was the most difficult for me, and I think partly because my color set did not include a true red nor a true blue. White was also added on the right.

After that exercise, we drew an apple and used yellow and blue to make a green variety. I spent a lot of time working on blending the colors. I got a bit streaky with my blue. That is what I need to work on before next class. I got done a little early so I tossed on a stem and leaf.

While my blocks looked spotty, I worked a long time blending the apple to try to get those white dots outta there. It did nothing, though, for those pesky streaks! I also think I should have carried the stem down a little further since I added a little darkened spot up top. Lessons are being learned, I love it!

Next week will teach us different styles of filling, like hashing. After we learn some basic techniques, the rest of the course will be learning how to make an image from start to finish, learning crucial things along the way.

I’m excited – this is going so much better than stupid water color paints!

WIP-TAST-ic Wednesday 7

First, let me be straight with ya’ll. I have no TAST to show! My sweeter-than-pie kitty Maya is finally getting her nose-breathing woes checked out at the Purdue vet hospital far away from here so we spent the day down there with her. They have her until possibly Friday and though today’s preliminary workup doesn’t really explain why she is the way she is, everyone is optimistic that tomorrow’s more invasive scanning (CT and rhiniscopy, in conjunction with the radiology department…) will solve the puzzle and she’ll be home and happy soon. Fingers crossed!

(Sometimes, even she has to tell chatty Sasha to shush it;)

But I have been crafting! Over the weekend, we had peeps over for gaming and ya’ll prolly know that I can’t just sit still when it isn’t “my turn”. I grabbed up this painted pattern at the last guild meet and stitched it up. I still need to add the light grey part, but I don’t own light grey so this project will become part of my non-finished stack until that is resolved. From what I can tell with internetting, it is a Designing Women pattern, 0147, probably titled Fluer De Lis.

I also made headway on the quilt top and got it all pieced together. I’ll talk about it in a separate post once it’s finished but I am reminded once again why I am not a quilter.

I think I’ll be able to TAST tomorrow without issue so I’m still not worried about that. This week is the feather stitch, another “simple” one.

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Additionally, rather than simply ignore what happened in Florida today and pretend life is swell and dandy, I want to add that my heart goes out to everyone involved, and everyone who has suffered similar tragedies in their own history who have been coping as best they can and now must relive their own horror. I was in high school when the events at Columbine happened, and near twenty years later, I don’t understand, still, why a) this kind of access to guns is a thing and b) we stigmatize mental health issues so much that people don’t seek help (or charge too much for it to make it accessible). Peace to everyone.

TAST: chain stitch

You’ve read about my idea for this here, right? Ok! See all completed TAST posts here.

Besides my usual haunts of Sharon’s and Mary’s websites, Summers of India had a lot of great examples! I did the “magic” chain, some whipping and lacing, barred, picot-ed, crested, zig-zagged, double-linked, and triple chain stitches.

I tried out two different fill variations: vertical rows (orange) and then one that follows the box around to its middle (purple). Fat-Quarter gave me the idea for sequins. The top variation is appropriate, but the bottom one allows the sequins to move back and forth. I followed Sharon’s description of beaded linked chain. There is also a heavy chain (which is now my favorite “basic” chain stitch!), an open chain, and then a practice with running stitches (so technically those might be considered detached chains).

Of course, as I already mentioned, I didn’t get very creative with the motif, so I left the “curve” word to illustrate how nicely it follows them.

Last, but not least, the title and example:

While I am looking forward to next week for TAST, I am also looking forward to just another week of February to be over. It’s not my favorite month, even if our recent 10″ of snow make things pretty and fun for driving (yay for all wheel drive cars!).