Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year Everyone!

I'm sorry to have not posted sooner. I had a very intense commission that required all of my time. I will share that project with you shortly but until then... here is another project I was up to last year, and the year before, and before that... and i think before that too! Talk about dragging something out to long...!

Mind you.. this was an extreme test on the Pastelbord, I doubt any of you will encounter what I did. But, it's good to know!

I started this piece as a Pastelbord experiment, the first time I had used it. I always test new supports to see how far I can push them, before deciding if I want to use them or not. This piece I put away, worked a bit on, put away again...

So, way back before I started "The Boys of Summer" This was on my easel.

White pastelbord 11x14.

I used NeocolorII as an under painting, "set" into the tooth of the pastelbord with water.

November 11, I have piddled with this thing a long time lol.

After the neocolor I started in with my prisma's, adjusting skin tones etc. I laid in all her hair too.

With the skin tones layed in... I then put the pastelbord on my electric griddle to see how the direct heat effected the bord and the pencils. I blended the skin tones but found the heat effects vary at different temperatures.

This next image is dated Feb, 2009 lol. Somewhere in 2008, I took this piece back out, put it on my easel and hated it. It was an experimental piece anyway, I recall being in a really bad mood, so I took my dark umber pencil and I vented all over it. lol. ALOT. I scribbled all over it.. everywhere.. to which there are no digis lol. I felt better though lol. Then I put it in a drawer for awhile..

Then in Feb last year, I took it back out, and thought "eh, what the heck" ... sooo I poured gamsol over it and took an old toothbrush to it. When the cp layers were dissolved, I wiped it up and off with a rag. What I was left with was a lovely warm patina, with no white any longer, my original outline still in place. After letting it dry over night, I decided to play with it some more. Taking a different approach this time, looser and more energetic. But what the heck.. it's just a test piece....right?

Again, I set it aside for a month..

March 14, 2009 I decided to go ahead and get serious about playing with it, so on the easel again she went....I'm still keeping those wonky cross hatching strokes I had, just more and more of them. layers and layers and layers..

You might notice the dark strokes that "appear" to be hair on the left side of her neckline here, and along her collar.. they aren't lol. Those are the leftover shadows of my temper tantrum and the umber pencil lol. However, later they become hair strands.. happy accidents! lol

and again.. I put it away lol.

April 1st was a nice warm toasty day with a lovely light breeze.. so I took it outside to warm in the sun... solar blending! And it worked beautifully.

after blending in the sun, I spent a few days working on my layers solar style.
This is where it was at on April 10th.

As I fiddled with it, this is where I almost called it finished on May 5, 2009. I should have.


But the texture of her eye on the right was bothering me...

and no.. I didn't leave well enough alone!

As I attempted to blend her eye as I wanted to do, the surface of the pastelbord flaked off with the tip of my prismacolor.. leaving a slick white surface that refused to take any pencil at all!
So, this is where she is Today, Jan 1, 2010 lol. and me, about to figure a way to repair it.

Eh, it's a test piece right? What do I have to lose?

I hope each and every one of you has a wonderfully inspired, productive 2010!!!

Keep Scribbling!


Lynda Schumacher said...

Ohhhhh Toni, you are tooooo funny! If you and I lived in proximity to each other, we would spend WAY too much time laughing at each other! This entire description sounds so much like my process with my graphite "Canadian Cowboy", right down to the surface piece that lifted off the board! But you will work this out, and the piece will be lovely! : )

Meisie said...

Nothing like taking the easy way out huh? ROFLOL...gel medium with marble dust?

Have a wondeful 2010!

Dors said...

Oh how we all can relate to this. I have just been though trauma with a commission. A.. take 3 was where I said enough is enough...LOL but i have finished it. Not the happiest.
Human portraits are so hard and it just shows what an professional you are. I see this piece as a wonder work of art. I know with your expertise you will be able to fix the eye.
Thank you for sharing your trauma also the temper tantrum LOL with us.
We sometime push ourselves beyond in perfectionism.

It's a beautiful piece.

Toni James, Toni, Tj, pencils4me said...

Oh Lynda, I know your posts make me giggle so I can only suspect you might be right! Something about misery loves company? ;)

Charne! LOL.. oh girl, that's what I was thinking too, but I have none, not much use for it usually! Whatever I do, it'll be a learning experience lol.

Dors! Well, you know they can't all be perfection always. If anyone says everytime is perfect I would suspect they have a few pieces hidden under the bed! Like I said, I pushed this one on purpose, I found out I really like the patina it has now, and I'll do that again, intentionally ;). Sharing my roadblocks might help someone else out there, and that's just fine.

I hope you ladies have a very wonderful start to your New Year!

Eric said...

Hey you posted!!!
Good work adapting to roadblocks there. I had one of those in a sculpture not too long ago.
Hope New Years and the holiday season was 'Aces'...

DEB said...

What a fun post this was to read! I think your test piece is a beautiful work of fine art at each of its test stages, but I think you might be onto something with the bright white eyeballs. I think whatever you do, you should fake the whites off the other one too and treat them the same....Maybe some gouache and then pencil over it?

Teresa Mallen said...

Holy moly, what a journey you have had with this piece! I loved seeing it in all of its various stages. I can't wait to read about the 'fix'. :-) Thanks for sharing...and Happy New Year Toni!

Toni James, Toni, Tj, pencils4me said...

Thank you Eric, my Holidays were very nice, however, I'm so glad they are over with! Someone guilt tripped me for Blog neglect, hey maybe we need a blog award for that too? ha...Aces.. lol.

Hi Deb,thank you. I'm glad you enjoyed it. Part of what makes a test successful is being able to fix the booboo's that sometimes happen. If they are truely unrepairable then I won't use the support anymore or if I have to, it'll be very carefully. I dunno about those bright white eyeballs.. they kinda creep me out. lol.

Hi Teresa! Are you keeping busy art wise up there? Warm to I hope. I've been meaning to pop into your blog, but dang if I've not much time to do anything of the sort lately. Will you be attenting the CPSA convention this year?

Thanks everyone.. stay tuned, (but not to close) more to come soon!

Gloria Callahan said...


Stopped by your blog and found this test piece. Pastelboard is tough and you sure put it though the trials. I used some of the colorfix clear paint to fill a spot where turpenoid I used to try blending took the tooth right off. But this was on a background edge not noticable part. I tried sanding it with 000 size sandpaper to put tooth back on but it didn't work so I then used the clear colorfix. Hope you find a fix I'm curious to know how you do it.

Gloria Callahan