View Full Version : Monthly CP Challenge - April 2009

04-01-2009, 08:31 AM
So I thought about posting freakishly hard refs-- just as an April Fool's joke... but I resisted. Or, I think I did. :D :evil: :lol:

Rules for the Monthly CP Challenge

1) Use one or more of the ref photos posted at the beginning of the Challenge thread. Feel free to adapt the refs to suit your creativity & imagination. Change the crop, add, subtract, combine them, etc.!
2) State which ref you are using & credit the photographer in your first post.
3) Please list the size of your piece, type of support (stonehenge, watercolor paper, colorfix, etc.), and type of pencils you are using. If you are using watersoluble pencils, please let us know if you are using them wet or dry.
4) Mixed media is ok, but because this is the cp forum, colored pencil should be the dominant medium used in your piece.
5) If you would like help along the way, please post your work as wip's (work in progress) in this thread. This is especially helpful if you're new to cp. It's always easier to change things early on! If there is something specific you want help with, Ask! What's bothering you may not be obvious to everyone else.
6) The Monthly CP Challenge threads will remain open for six months. You may post your work in the appropriate monthly challenge thread as long as it is open, even if a new challenge has begun. The current challenge will be stickied at the top of the forum.
7) There are no experts here! Some participants may have more experience with cp than others, but everyone is here to learn. Feel free to experiment, branch out, and push your boundaries. Of course, the most important thing: Have Fun!

And the ref's:

Apple by Ivyleaf


Orange Sky by redwood


WDE 12/02/05 by DGrau


Iris by devymarie


Extra Challenge:
Adapt this black & white pic to color. There are lots of threads in the library about creating skin tones, so you can use those to help you figure out which pencils to use if you need it.

Tommy’s Hands by Orchidlover6


Looking forward to seeing some great work from everyone!
And to all the newbies and lurkers: feel free to jump in! I promise we won't bite. Much. :p


04-01-2009, 01:32 PM
Nice references this month, Rosemary! I will be doing the apple first, because that one does look fairly easy, then maybe the iris. I hope I have time to do the hands! I know I should do the orange sky since I have no experience with any landscapes of any kind...and it is simply gorgeous!


04-01-2009, 02:13 PM
Char? I'd really like to see you bump the hands to the top of your list. You've mentioned several times in various threads that you have trouble with them. This will be *great* practice for you! And you already have a good grasp on how to do skin tones. Working from a black and white image will really let you stretch!


04-01-2009, 04:46 PM
oooh a lot of good ones... I love to draw hands.... and flowers... oh no.. which one to pick...lol

04-01-2009, 05:39 PM
All so wonderful, gain a winner! Great job all who pick out the refs. I love the flower, the hands, the ducky, lilly pads and flowers, the sky, where to start...hmmmm...

Char, can't wait to see you do the hands...you will do a fantastic job of course!

04-01-2009, 06:50 PM
Newbie and ready to play. I'm really new to drawing and cp (love them). I think I'll start on the apple - hope it looks like some kind of fruit as I go. How often should I post WIP?

04-01-2009, 07:06 PM
Hi, newbie! Goody, there is another Charlotte on the forum! I'm glad you are going to try a monthly challenge, or a few of them. Post anytime, especially if you want to ask questions or have some feedback.


04-01-2009, 07:50 PM
I shall enjoy having a go at these. I like the sunset best and the duck and lillies. I took some photos similar to that at a pool near us but the lillies were not in bloom.

I think I might try the hands too using my Derwent Tinted Charcoal pencils if I do them as there is no colour in them so it calls for subtlety.

Dory L
04-01-2009, 08:37 PM
hmmm, for me either the duck and the lilies or the sunset. I'll probabely get on it Sunday. I will post wip.

04-01-2009, 09:06 PM
Great to see so many willing victims ... er ... I mean, participants! :D Looking forward to seeing what y'all do with the new batch of refs!
And welcome to the madhouse, Charlotte! :)


04-02-2009, 04:31 AM
Great refs Rosemary, I never did get the landscape finished last month so perhaps I should start with the sunset, but I like the hands....and the duck...and I'm still resisting flowers so should push myself to the Iris ...Hmm-mm!

04-02-2009, 06:28 AM
I'm not sure where I'm gonna start but have 2 weeks off work starting next week so plenty of time for art :thumbsup:

04-02-2009, 02:35 PM
I have so little patience - I've answered my own question.

I drew the apple (it looks like a cross between a plum and a nectarine) and have no idea how to show it to you. Please point me to the directions for posting WIP and completed work to this group. You have inspired me!

04-02-2009, 02:45 PM
Maybe I figured it out. I'm using a 9x12 Strathmore sketch pad and mostly Prismacolor pencils. Would more layers help get the color on the apple? Should I put in the yellow tones first then work the red around them?


04-02-2009, 03:52 PM
Glad you figured it out how to post images on your own, Charlotte! :)

You've done a really good job for a first outing with cp. :thumbsup: Before you start layering more, do you have a kneaded eraser or poster putty handy? Look at the brightness of the highlight in the ref-- it's gotten a wee bit lost on yours. I'm thinking you may want to lift (dab, don't drag!) some of the cp to help bring the highlights out. Do some practice swatches before touching the real thing, though!

You've done a great job getting the shadow nice & dark. That can be soooo scary for some folks. :thumbsup:

Something else you may want to consider is investing in some better paper. Most sketch papers simply will not let you put down as many layers as you're going to want or need to do. There are loads of threads in the cp library (it's at the top of the main forum page or you can click on the link in my sig line) that will help you figure out which ones you want to try.

Hope you'll share any adjustments you make to this with us! :)

04-02-2009, 10:05 PM
Oranger Sky by Redwood
A4 Heavy Black smooth cartridge paper
Various pencils from a range of Derwent


It looks a little lighter and more violet from the scan than it really is. Also you can't see the feint wave details I topped it with. They are very subtle.

The pencils I have are good, but fairly 'dry'. The Sigbature ones are quite hard too.

If I am going to do more with CPs I think I need to invest in more Coloursoft or some other softer blendable pencils. Most of ine are good for fine detail but do not blend so well.

I cna't afford new CPs right now though, I just splurged on OPs.:rolleyes:

Dory L
04-02-2009, 10:51 PM
The sky is awesome, I love the way you did it. great highlights in the water

04-03-2009, 01:29 AM
Hey, the newbie was the first to post a drawing! Good start, Charlotte! You could use a few more layers to make it look smoother, and do that lifting thing that Rosemary told you about. You could also burnish it slightly to give it a shine.

Lin, your orange sky is very pretty!


04-03-2009, 06:26 AM
Wow - fast work Charlotte and Lin

Good start Charlotte. I'm fairly new to CP myself but finding them addictive - and the support and help on here is great

Love the sunset Lin, those strong colours really rock


04-03-2009, 07:39 AM
You could use a few more layers to make it look smoother, and do that lifting thing that Rosemary told you about. You could also burnish it slightly to give it a shine.

Char, dear? she's using *sketch* paper. It may not take any more layers than what's down, and burnishing could *easily* tear right through the paper. So let's just wait and see what she thinks before we throw some more suggestions at her, eh? Remember? I promised we wouldn't bite. Much. :D :lol:

Love that sky, Lin! It looks like you had a lot of fun with it. And all those lovely colors in the sky & reflected in the waves... :thumbsup: Really wonderful! I can't remember... do you have some colousoft pencils already?


04-03-2009, 09:14 AM
Thank you all for your supportive comments.

Tess - I have a tin of 24 Coloursoft.

Most of my pencils are WC. When I want to use 'ordinary' pencils I am more limited.

I have a load of Derwent Signature, which are now discontinued. They are the least favourite of all my Derwents as they are hard to use. They do not layer well and only seem to lay down on rough paper. They are ok for under layers though.

I love the Derwent Drawing but I only have 12 natural/neutral colours, and I have about 16 Studio, which are nice for fine lines and half a dozen 'Artists'. So you see I have all much of a muchness lol.

But then CO is new territory for me.

My mediums are:

1. Oil Painting
2. Oil Pastels
3. Watercolour pencils
4. Colour pencils, pen & wash

04-03-2009, 10:35 AM
Rosemary, I have some very good sketch paper that takes layers of cp and that I have burnished on. It might be more difficult to lift color from sketch paper without tearing it, though. I was just trying to be helpful to a newbie who asked for some help...I didn't intend to bite. I'm sorry if I stepped on anyone's toes.


04-03-2009, 04:29 PM
Lin - what a wonderful sunset. Was your paper actually black? Let me just say - WOW!

Rosemary and Char, I'm not sure I know what burnishing is - is it rubbing or dark coloring? I tried the lifting, but didn't get much change. I'm going to try again on different paper. Thanks to both of you for comments and input. I didn't feel the slightest bite!

04-03-2009, 05:33 PM
Charlotte, you've done a great job for your first CP! I can't wait to see what you do on good paper. :thumbsup:

04-03-2009, 05:34 PM
Lin, I'm impressed! I love that beautiful sunset. Your colors are just wonderful.

04-04-2009, 10:00 AM
Rosemary and Char, I'm not sure I know what burnishing is - is it rubbing or dark coloring?

burnishing is usually a *very* last step in a cp piece if you choose to use it. Usually, you use a colorless blender pencil or white (or other very light color) and *heavyheavyheavy* pressure to smoosh the layers of pencil further into the paper. It can soften & blend the layers, as well as give it a bit of shine from all the wax you're putting down. Some artists love it (like Char. :) ) and others don't (like me. :) ). It comes down to a personal choice, really.

Looking forward to seeing your re-do!


04-04-2009, 10:33 AM
Wow, lovely reference pics. I'll be a little brave this time and jump in to the challenge.

The iris looks lovely - I've always been drawn towards blues :)

Will be posting my work soon........

04-04-2009, 11:33 AM
Excellent, Pooja!
Looking forward to seeing your work! :wave:


04-04-2009, 02:35 PM
Charlotte - yes the paper is totally matt black. I often use my black paper sketchbook, but this was on thicker card. I can never get any success, whenI try 'lifting out' either. I think it must only work with certain papers/pencils or combinations.

Thanks to Charlotte and Bren for kind comments :) always encouraging.

Welcome to the CP challenge Pooja. :wave:

04-05-2009, 12:44 AM
Hi NEW Friends, This is my very first official CP piece of work and posting. I hang in acrylics, but, need something to do while sitting watching TV with hubby, so checked out the monthly challenge and started coloring. I picked up some CP supplies last summer and finally opened them up tonight. Got some other little doodads too, but have no idea what they are for, something about blending, but, well, if I hang out with you guys abit, I hope to figure things out as I go along.
I just used a plain old drawing paper pad and the pencils said Kimberly on the box. I'm sure you will also help me with suggestions for supplies too! This took me about half an hour and it was lots of fun!
Thanks for any comments, help!!!!


04-05-2009, 12:44 AM
Well, here goes...I am really enjoying the challenges because I keep learning from all the mistakes I make! http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Apr-2009/183463-Toms_Hands_CPC0409.jpg

04-05-2009, 02:18 AM
ddp - i really like the skin tones you came up with - i may have to give this one a try also.

Here's another attempt at the apple - better paper and i think the highlights are better although maybe not in exactly the right place.


04-05-2009, 04:42 AM
Its a really good first go, Ruthie. I'm fairly new to CPs too but one of the first lessons I learned was that paper really matters. I have recently obtained some Stonehenge paper, which is absolutely brilliant. I don't know anything about Kimberrley pencils, I'm afraid, but I'm sure there will be someone who does. As for all the blenders etc, I borrowed books from the library but there is lots of info on this site - you just need to browse a bit and then experiment! Good luck.

04-05-2009, 08:35 AM
I just used a plain old drawing paper pad and the pencils said Kimberly on the box.

Your apple looks really good, Ruthie! I'm betting your experience with acrylics is going to serve you well with cp! Are the pencils you're using watercolor pencils? I agree with Jools' suggestion to get better paper... And maybe even think about upgrading your pencils when you can. The better your supplies, the better your results (without hair-pulling, head-banging, teeth-gnashing frustration! :lol: )

I keep learning from all the mistakes I make!

o now hey-- you can't say something like that without letting us know what mistakes you think you made! I'm just glad to see a brave soul take a stab at the hands! :thumbsup: Which I think you did really well. The only thing that strikes me as a "mistake" is the background. It seems a bit too heavy and dense compared to the soft shading on the hands. Hope that makes sense!

better paper and i think the highlights are better

Yes! Much better, Charlotte! How did you like working with the better paper (and what type of paper is it? Curious as a :cat: )? It looks like you had an easier time with it.

So who else is wanting to jump in? :D


04-05-2009, 11:13 AM
Yes, the background was a problem and I overworked it, darnit. I have just discovered colored paper this week. Hooray! Also, I did some practice on watercolor paper with a wash background on another piece that turned out nicely. I think photographing the work and uploading it would be kinder than our high-powered scanner which picks up every blessed stroke (yikes).

I like the challenges because I keep learning something new and trying something I wouldn't have thought of on my own.

Thank you for the feedback -- always welcome!

04-05-2009, 11:23 AM
ddp - hands are such realistic colours and incredible detailing. Well done....coloured paper is a godsend. I love it,

Charlotte - nice progress with the apple. :thumbsup:

I'll do something soon. Just trying to get something in for the WDE. Been very busy with domestic stuff lately.

04-05-2009, 11:33 AM
I think photographing the work and uploading it would be kinder than our high-powered scanner which picks up every blessed stroke (yikes).

Do you have a photo editing program like photoshop? If you scan at a high enough resolution, you can usually fiddle with filters and other things to smooth it out. And then you can reduce it to a size WC will allow. I'm *awful* at photographing my work. I find it a zillion times more frustrating than scanning! :p

I'll do something soon. Just trying to get something in for the WDE. Been very busy with domestic stuff lately.

The month is still young, Lin! So you've got oodles of time. :)


04-05-2009, 03:25 PM
Ruthie, welcome to the challenge forum! You have a great start on your apple. Looking at the acrylic landscapes you have in your signature line, you are greatly talented. I can't wait to see what you do with CP once you get the hang of it. Warning...it's addictive. I only started doing CP pieces because I couldn't drag my acrylic paints into the den to watch TV. Now, the TV is just noise and I don't have a clue what is going on in any of my former TV shows, :lol:

DP, you did a very good job on those hands. I have printed that one off and have put it into sepia tone and I think I'll do it that way.

Right now, I've been doing the background of the Iris. My dilemma is that I used Derwent Inktense pencils thinking I would do a Lin and have the greens in a wash in the background. However, I have applied what I think is too much color and I think that when I apply water it will be too dark. I'm going to try it anyway and if it doesn't work, hey...I can start over...

Will try it and we'll see.

Happy Sunday, all!:)

04-05-2009, 05:31 PM
Okay, here's my first WIP on the Iris. This is 5 x 7 on canson paper, background is Derwent Inktense and the flower is Faber-Castell Pollys. The scan is not exactly right but this is close.

04-06-2009, 08:33 AM
:clap: Yay, Bren! Good for you for branching out & playing with the inktense!

It looks like you're off to a good start. It may be the scan or my monitor, but you may want to check the values on the petals you've drawn in. They're flattening a fair amount, although that could just be the monitor.

Hope that made sense. Need more coffee!!!

04-06-2009, 10:40 AM
The background is very bright indeed, Bren. It's great to experiment with Inktense. These challenges are good for pushing us into areas we wouldn't have thought to explore. When I do my light backgrounds I only use a few strokes of inktense. While it is wet if there are areas too deep you can wet the brush and lift some out while wet. Once dry though you are stuck with it.

The purple of the Iris will complement the yellow nicely. Looking forward to seeing it.

04-06-2009, 10:59 AM
Thanks Tess and Lin! I was hoping that you would offer me some advice. I haven't had time to scan it yet but I did tone down the yellow background with my white luminence pencil. It's better but we will see. I also noticed what you said, Tess about the purple on the flower. I lifted some of the reddish-pink and put in very light pink and then light purple over it. It's much better I think. Of course, this scan is not exactly right. I tried to work on the colors with the saturation and it just didn't turn out as I wanted.

I'll scan again my progress today. I was very scared picking up those inktense pencils, Lin! You are a brave and talented woman! I'm not trashing this one yet though, I think I toned the background down enough that it can be saved. We will see, won't we?:)

Art Dude
04-06-2009, 01:24 PM
Hi, here is my attempt at the Duck & Water Lillies. Paper is Langton Not Watercolour Paper 12" X 9" using my new Derwent Artist pencils. Thank you for the Photo Ref:-WDE 12/02/05 by DGrau

04-06-2009, 03:41 PM
:wave: :wave: Hi Everyone!! Glad April is here so we have new challenges for us!! Thanks Tess, you always pick some dandies!! What's funny this time is the iris!! I am trying to do a piece with iris in it and I picked this one as a ref. Maybe I will show it when it is done in the pic! Have enough trouble seeing so I don't want to do it twice!! So with no further ado, here is the Apple by Ivyleaf, for my try. Oh, tried the hands, scary! Took 2hrs just to draw them! THAT didn't look too bad, but...... May try again.

04-06-2009, 09:59 PM
Lovely works by Artdude and Adria.

I need to do another one but I have been busy and did the WDEs instead.

I did this as part of the WDEhttp://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/06-Apr-2009/179312-Donnington_finished_WDE_5_April_09.jpg

As we we talking about using Inktense I thought I'd say how I did this.

DerwentGraphitint are very muted and are like Inktense. They look , when dry like tinted graphite but when wet and used as a wash are quite bright. They are lovely for architecture and concrete so I used them here for the gravel track.
I used Inktense for most of the rest.

It is on Fabriano NOT paper around a4 size.

I laid down the shades and washed.

The secret is to not use too much. If you use as much Inktense or any other WC pencil as much as you would use a normal pencil, then wash it, you will end up with somethign akin to the boldness of acrylics. It will then over power any subsequent ordinary CP work.

BLending and mixing is easy as is tonal shading. All you do is just scribble the different colours over each other. You can also mute colours this way. Eg if you wanted to mute a yellow, stroke on the yellow and then crosshatch or stripe with eg a mauve BEFORE wetting.
Always add all the colours you need to work together BEFORE washing and dont' add much.

If unsure of how bright they will be it is better to go for less, then after it has dried apply another wash afterwards.

I used masking fluid on the awnings and lines on the track. REmoved, which lifted some of the paper very slightly in places/ But not seriously so I was able to work over it.

For the crowd I just lightly added touches of inktense here and there and dabbed with a wet brush.

After the 2 washes I used a mix of Derwnt studio for the sharp details and Coloursoft and Drawing for the grass and finish off the boards.

04-06-2009, 11:03 PM
Hi Everyone!
Okay, I went shopping and I bought 12 prismacolor pencils. There was also a Faber C? watercolor option, but I didn't get any of those this time. I redid the apple with my new pencils to see what they do and to compare products and my results. I found them to be softer which I liked, but also more smudgy which I see I will have to be more careful about my hand (lefty here). Here's my new version. The pencils are different, but I think I have also learned a lot already with my 3rd try!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/06-Apr-2009/117502-Paintings_053.jpg (http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/Uploader/upload_image_save2.php#)

I also thought it would be interesting to put my two together!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/06-Apr-2009/117502-Paintings_056.jpg (http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/Uploader/upload_image_save2.php#)

So whatcha think?

I also dug around and found a few of my old pencils from HS and College. LONG time ago--can't believe I still had some. I remember that I really liked them for their texture and softness. The label says VENUS on them. Are they still around? Probably not. I also remember that I had an eraser pencil and thought I bought one today, but it's not what I thought.... Anything else? Or any other recommendations for me??
Thanks a lot!

Wow! Awesome work here! It's been FUN to come over and browse around!

04-07-2009, 08:38 AM
Looking good, Ruthie!
Prismas *are* one of the "softest" pencils on the market. Most cp folks using them work with very sharp points and very light layers. Did you use a different sort of paper for this one?


04-07-2009, 12:08 PM
Ruthie, I really like your 3rd try with the Prismacolors. It might have a lot to do with practice, but the Prismas have a play in it, too. Your apple really looks like a real apple now!

Bren, I can't wait to see your final results on the iris....nice colors!

Art Dude, your lily pad drawing is so soft and pretty...nice work!

Adria, it's nice to see you on the thread again. Nice work on the apple!

Lin, your drawing is fantastic...what a challenge it must have been!

I wish I had time to do one of the challenges, but I'm trying to get a couple of other drawings finished. The month is still young, though.....


04-07-2009, 12:36 PM
Hi eveyone,

I went for the apple too. And I used all my pencils..lol Prismas, Faber's and a couple of Derwent's. I like the Prisma's but sometimes I don't like the waxiness, it's builds and rises for me, or maybe it's me. And I had fun in Photoshop framing it...LOL My first CP challenge! Just grabbed a sheet of paper and don't really know what it is, but semi-translucent, cold press surface and it seemed to take the burnishing fairly well, I also got lazy when it came to the shadow..:o
But here's my apple.



04-07-2009, 01:13 PM
I just got a chance to really look at everyone's work, so...

Ruthie I like the third one too, I used the Prisma's for a long time, but since I overdo everything I thought I give others a try that seem to be less waxy. You're doing fantastic with them!

ArtDude, that is really lovely, it scared me but you did a beautiful job!!

oldrockchick..Wow that's really amazing, thanks for sharing the ways & means. I bought liquid pencil, but these look like they would be great to use tinted with color. Fantastic piece!

ddp - those hands are awesome, you did a truly incredible piece and the flesh tones so natural, but I think I'm in awe that you could draw them so well, I have a terrible time with hands...wonderful work!

Charlotte your apples looks terrific! and Adria nicely done!

Everyone's contributions are terrific and it's so nice to see and learn from all of you. Spent years with acrylics but colored pencils have always been a favorite, loving being here and joining in, now that I've been bitten again by the cp bug...lol


04-07-2009, 04:35 PM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Apr-2009/171113-Iris.jpg Hi,
Sorry I don't think my image came up the last time.

04-07-2009, 05:21 PM
That's beautiful Butterbean. Have you made it into a greetings card?

You guys have done so many colourful apples it makes me hungry! They are all so realistic.

04-07-2009, 06:03 PM
Elaine, your apple is scrumptious!
Very Pretty Butterbean!
Lin your riders are awesome!
I'm so impressed with everyone's work here!

04-07-2009, 06:57 PM
Thanks RPut, I am glad you liked my motorbikers.

Here is my challenge renditions of the hands.

Tommy's Hands by Orchid Lover

All DERWENT pencils.

This one is on cartridge paper about A5 size.
Derwent Tinted Charcoal pencils:http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Apr-2009/179312-Tommys_Hands_by_Orchid_Lover_in_tinted_charcoal.jpg

This next one is one with wet and dry Derwents
On Arches HP paper about A5


Tonal Foundation layers:
Graphitint: Midnight Black
Inktense: Sepia, Saddle Brown, Mustard

Top layers:
Derwent Artists: Ivory Black for lines, Sepia, Ash Rose, Light Sienna
Derwent Drawing: Mars Violet, Chinese White and Wheat.

Burnished over with Coloursoft Peach

04-07-2009, 07:16 PM
You guys are all making me want to try these references! Elaine, your apple looks so amazingly real! Denise, your iris is beautiful! Lin, great job on the hands...I like the hands that were done with the Derwents. Great colors and technique!

My Kitten On the Bottle drawing is going pretty fast, now that I am actually working on it, so maybe I will get a chance to try one of these soon.


04-08-2009, 08:04 AM
Elaine, your apple is so lifelike and REAL looking! Wow!

Butterbean, that is a lovely Iris...so delicate and ethereal looking...

Lin, I love your renditions of the hands but I think I like the second one better. You are so talented girl!

Well, here is what I've done so far. I'm having very little draw time these days but next week, I'll have the whole week off and I can catch up then.

CC, please...I'm here to learn...

04-08-2009, 10:35 AM
Thank you Ruthie! What a great word, means a great deal to me cutie.

Thank you too Bren so kind of you.

And Char a big thank you to you as well. I saw your kitten and the bottle, excellent, was going to post but my computer bogged down so badly I just shut it down.

Bren your iris is coming along beautifully, like the definition in the petals, I'm struggling at the moment with that, taking some ideas from your drawing.

Oldrocklady..both hands are amazing! I like the second one personally and I'm looking hard to learn because hands and I are not freinds.

Butterbean that's terrific and oh yes it would make a beautiful greeting card.
Love the colors and the soft flow of the drawing. Stealing some lessons from this as well.


04-08-2009, 11:00 AM
Everyone did great on this month's challenge!
I love the colors used on the Iris and the apples look delicious :)
The hands are very realistic.

04-08-2009, 01:21 PM
Bren, your iris is coming along nicely...I like the colors you are using. I think the background might benefit from toning it down slightly to make the iris stand out more. But, I'm no expert......


Art Dude
04-08-2009, 04:39 PM
Oldrockchick--Thank you for your comments--loved your bikes and hands!
Rput--New pencils have worked well on your 3rd apple--very nice.
CRYork--Thanks for your nice comment.
Noodle1--Thank you--I think your apple is gorgeous!
Butterbean--Very nice Iris.
All the CP work is great and so is the wonderful advice--really helpful.
I think i might try the Apple or Iris next, but this time on a smooth paper--it was hard work trying the Duck!!!

04-09-2009, 05:26 PM
Here are the 2 I have been working on tonight.

Both on Arches HP paper
A selection of Derwent pencils.


(I dont' have any great special large multi coloured sets like you pros :wink2:, just odds and ends lol. One day I might invest in some nice ones, but for now this hotch-potch will have to do)

This one is about 6" x 8"

and this one is about 6" x 6"


Elaine - I forgot to say , your apple is awesome, so shiny and realistic.:clap:

04-09-2009, 08:33 PM
I'm pretty rubbish at flowers which is exactly why I tried. I only have limited pencils so had to mix and match my CP sets to get enough shades of violet/purple etc.

Basically various Derwents (not wc)

I dont' like the background. I tried really hard with blending, burnishing, several layers but couldn't smooth it out. It's the typpe of pencil I thinks.
Derwent Studio and signature are not good for blending. By the time I overlaid with the Coloursoft grey there wasnt' much I could do with it.

It's about 5" x 7" on arches HP.
This paper is really hard to lift off the colour once applied.http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/09-Apr-2009/179312-CP_April_Iris.jpg

The more practice I do the more I learn.

04-10-2009, 12:19 AM
:clap: :clap:Hi Everyone! Sure is some great looking working being shown the last couple of days!!

Just did the landscape, sorry I can't remember who it is from, but thank you! Now, I am going to upset the apple cart a bit here and I am sure Tess with have kittens, but I used my oddball pencils on it just to see what would happen! It is on Bristol Smooth, 9" x 6", done mainly with Rose Art, Pedigree, a couple of Venus and who knows what 'cause there were no names on the pencils. Some of these I may have had since I was little and they could've been by Uncles to boot!!!! So have a giggle or a down right ol' belly laugh, I did! but it was fun to see what came about!!

04-10-2009, 12:27 AM
:wave: Back again to comment!!

Lin - Your iris, duck and lily pads and the apple look great!! So do your hands. May still try those!! Getting rid of obvious pencil marks is hard! Even with solvens on my landscap, they still show. Of course it is probably the pencils for sure. I'm no pro by a very long shot! Only been painting for about a year really. That's why the Rose Art and other odd balls I have. My apple was done with Prismas as is all my "good" work. I do know better!! Your motorcycles look great too.

Ruthie - Yes! I have some odd Venus Unique and Paradis pencils. Amazing what we can did out of hiding places. Your third apple is definitely the best!

Elain (noodle) - Thought your apple was the ref! Looks good enough to eat! Wish mine looked as good. I looked back at it and realize now how bad it really is!

butterbean - That is about the prettiest iris I have seen lately! Great job!
Who ever receives the card is very lucky to be sure!

Artdude - Love the softness of your duck and lily pads. Dreamy!

Bren - Love what you have shown us so far. Can't wait to see the finish!

Have a good night all,

04-10-2009, 02:52 AM
Lin, you have really been busy tonight! I like the colors in your water and the duck in the first one. The lily pads are ok, other than the outlining. Try to have a softer edge on them. The apple looks great! Nice job on the iris, too, but again, try not to use hard edges, smooth the color all the way out to the edge without making it look like you are outlining it.

Adria, your hodge podge of pencils worked out good...your landscape might benefit from some blending and smoothing out of the colors...like blending one color into another. It is very pretty, though.

I hope you don't mind my comments...trying to be helpful. I haven't even done any of the references yet, so I guess I shouldn't open my mouth too much! LOL


04-10-2009, 05:56 AM
Wow, Lin, you are doing a lovely job so far on the challenge. I love the ripple on the water around the duck, the color choices you used on the Iris too. That greenish-blue background looks great with the purple of the Iris. You have a natural ability to choose colors, limited pencils or not. I think your apple is just perfect, may be the best one rendered yet on this challenge.

Adria, very pretty landscape. I love the way the light reflects. Which challenge will you do next? I fell in love with colored pencil with a plain old set of 12 Stadtler ergo-soft (probably not spelled right) pencils. They are really fun to use but not much color choice and I knew nothing about mixing color (not that I know much about mixing color now, lol). When I'm going on trips, I usually take them along because I can sketch with them and they have a convenient carrying case built in. They are inexpensive too, that's why they were my first pencils. But I guess I can thank those pencils for my love of CP because they are so easy to use. I don't know if they are lightfast, artist quality or anything else, but they helped me to fall in love with CP.

Art Dude, I like smooth paper. I have a pad of Bristol smooth that I have almost used up. I know that many don't care for it because it won't take many layers of pencil, but I love working on it.

Well, I am almost done with my Iris but alas, I'm away from home on a conference and have no way to scan my pic in to show. I only brought my "Iris" pencils and am looking around this hotel room which is orange and wondering if I can find something to draw with my few pencils that are with me. I KNEW I should have brought at least some other colors! Some serious pencil withdrawals here...hmmmmm....there is a building outside that may get drawn with a black grape pencil...

04-10-2009, 06:42 AM
I haven't been around a lot due to many other commitments, but now have a long long weekend that I am devoting to art.

I love cp and have lots of prismas and coloursoft pencils - just need time to use them! :)

So I thought I'd start out with this simple little apple. I always think that simple shapes can challenge and also be the most beautiful too.

This was done in a Strathmore sketchbook 9 x 12.


04-10-2009, 08:39 AM
I've fallen waaayyy behind here!

Elaine Your apple is great! What size is it? Soooo... why do you feel you got lazy with the shadow? And the mock framing in photoshop really sets it off. Nicely done!

Butterbean Welcome to the cp challenge! That's a lovely iris, but is it the ref posted? And are you collecting suggestions for it?

Lin You've been a busy girl! Your two versions of the hands are very cool! The first has almost a metallic feel to them, like they're part of a bronze sculpture. About the duck... It may be the scan, but I'm wondering if you may want to go back in and really punch the highlights in the water and on the lilypads? Your apple is really showing your progress with the cp's. Hodgepodge or not! :D hmmm... so you think you aren't good at flowers? :evil: You're giving me ideas for next month! :lol:

Bren You're making really good progress on the iris. It may be my monitor, but I'm thinking some of the values are getting a bit lost-- would it help if I posted yours & the ref in greyscale?

Adria meow. :cat:
:lol: :lol: :lol: Considering the supplies ;) you did very well with the landscape. Now, I'd *really* like to see you try again using better pencils and focusing on getting smoother transitions between the colors. If you do, I'll purrrrrrrr. :p
And I think I missed commenting on your apple... :eek: You're really coming along nicely with the cps. At this point, the one thing I noticed is the outline-- Are you drawing your sketch directly onto your final paper or ???

Dude! I missed your duck, too! The movement/flow of the water is really nicely done. There's a light and airy quality to the whole thing. :thumbsup: Soooo-- for your next one? I'd like to see you work on getting more color saturation & filling in the tooth of the paper just a bit more. :)

Jeanette Your apple is lovely! So glad you've decided to join in the fun! :wave: Are you collecting suggestions or was this a get-back-in-the-cp-habit piece?


04-10-2009, 09:29 AM
Thanks Rosemary. I'm always open to comments and suggestions as they're so useful.. I've been painting more than cp-ing lately, so its nice to get back to this medium again.

04-10-2009, 10:28 AM
Thanks for comments all, and Char and Bren as a newbie to pencils I appreciate genuine comments.

I think I did mention the problem regarding highlights. I have tried all sorts to 'lift off' but a putty rubber, and Blu-tack, do not do it. I've even tried a brutal electric razor. Last time I used masking fluid on Arches paper it just tore up the paper. I need to use up all this arches. Getting hold of a decent, small HP paper is not easy. Local art shops only seem to carry Arches. Others isnt' worth me ordering unless I tag along to a larger art order and the companies I use have limited choice unless I buy 25 full sheets!. We can't get free sample packs in the UK lord I've tried. As I do so little in CPs, it just isn't worth buying stacks of large sheets of paper.

If you have any tips for lifting out highlights on paper that refuses to play or rips, I'd love to hear it. I did go back over, but the only pencil that would even show up was the colourfost white, and that picked up the other colours and just smudged.

As for softening the edges, again it's a battle of tools. The pencils I have are just too hard for softness (if thatmakes sense). The coloursoft are great, and the Drawing ok, but my selection of colours is so limited I just didnt' have the colours for the job so had to use harder ones that dont' blend.

Now you see why I use watercolour pencils so much! They are far more workable than the 'ordinary' pencils I have.

Still it was good practice.

I got lucky with the apple, due to the colours required. I had them all available in the softer, more workable range.

Adria - Isn't it challenging and fun trying to work with limitations? You have done well with your hotch potch collection (not unlike my own CPs lol) You have got a lovely effect of the waves dying across the beach.... lovely

Islander - your apple is so soft and supple. I could just pick it up and bite it.

Art Dude
04-10-2009, 10:42 AM
Thanks to all for the comments--there's so much going on here it's hard to keep up---all the work is so good and i'm learning so much.
TessDB--It was hard on the watercolour paper although it can take a lot more punishment! I'll try harder next time:)
This is the Apple i've just finished and found it more enjoyable on the smooth surface --Cartridge paper 8" X 6" using Derwent Artist pencils.

04-10-2009, 11:03 AM
Thanks Lin. I don't know any other tricks for lifting colour other than the ones you've already mentioned.

Wonderful apple Art Dude. It has a beautiful mottled effect.

04-10-2009, 11:51 AM
Lovely shiny apple Artdude. Nice c0louring in the shadow too.

Tess - Now dont' you be getting ideas about this botanical nonsense :eek::p
I find it way too stressful, and just dont' have the tools for soft edges (as I've already demonstrated :lol:)

04-10-2009, 12:54 PM
:( Hi Tess! and everyone else too!! I have really been enjoying all the great work here. I do need to clarify something tho. Yes, Tess, I always draw or trace directly onto my final support and you will always see some outlines left or at times completly outlined with pencil, graphite that is, and there is a reason. If I drew any lighter or erased more I could not see it at all. This is because of my eyes. I have macular degeneration and eventually I will go blind and I am working as much as I can before they are gone. I have lost the ability to see tiny detail and some shades of colors. Yellow and now light colors in general are gone. I can see big details, big things so right now I can still drive, amazingly. Some days are near impossible to do any kind of drawing, so out come the altered books and paint. Crochet I can still do, found out I can crochet without looking most of the time while watching TV!! So you will have to pardon my lines left over. Just consider it Post-Impressionism work!!!!:lol: :lol: I hope this explains things.

Hugs, Adria

04-10-2009, 01:09 PM
Actually Adria many of the great artists at the turn of the century used to deliberatley draw in black outlines. Especially some of the fauvists and expressioanists. I quite like it.http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Apr-2009/179312-Matisse_-_girl_with_the_green_eyes.jpg

04-10-2009, 02:04 PM
Adria, I feel your pain! I have the beginnings of macular degeneration, plus my right eye sees everything with wavy and crooked lines due to vistrous seperation (I have a wrinkle on my retina). I, too, wonder how long I will be able to keep up with my art work. I have to look at my paper with one eye, basically, especially when I want a straight edge!

I sometimes forget that everyone has their own style, and that hard edges can just be part of your style!!

Art Dude and Jeannette, your apples are so realistic looking. I am getting the itch to try it myself!


04-10-2009, 05:42 PM
Wow, alot of really great interpretations... !!!!:clap:

Here is my iris, more sureal or abstract to me... Done on canson mi tenes 12" x 12" with polychromos, some primacolrs. C/C and comments most welcome.:)

04-10-2009, 08:09 PM
oldrockchick...I'd say that iris is quite beautifully done...very alive, love it!
Thank you bout the apple too.

Adria think it's great and how fun to use something without a name, or from other days, I've been finding all kinds of things I'd forgotten I had. Your apple was definitely not bad at all, you're silly...LOL I actually was trying to do something I had learned about...using different gray percentages/pencils for the base, seems like it works, I surprised myself....LOL And I loved your sky and the light you got.
Truly sorry bout your eyes.

And my goodness Char you too, again so sorry.

Jeanette that's terrific!! Very real, love it!

Tammy I really like your Iris, good job!

Art Dude that's a really fine looking apple, super drawing.

Tess...Thank you very nice of you. It's 6 1/2 x 7 1/2, kind of weird size but I just took paper from old stock I was sorting and it was stained on one side so I made use of the other..lol And the shadow, pretty much just how I consider I got lazy, I didn't clean up the edges and I didn't spend a great deal of time burnishing it or playing up the different values in it that I saw anyway, but it really is just me, I can see it more in person probably why I said it.

I'm hoping to try another, have a few things must do painting wise, but I'd really like to give the Iris a go too, love doing flowers.


04-10-2009, 09:42 PM
Here is my first try at the iris. While it certainly isn't realistic, I think it's going OK considering the lightly textured paper I'm using (400 Series Strathmore general purpose sketch). Also am using pencils from "Rose Art" - as long as it's fun it works for me.

What do you think, all?


Dory L
04-10-2009, 10:49 PM
Everybodys work is great. I havent had a chance to start mine yet. Hopefully I can join in on my next day off....

04-11-2009, 01:23 AM
Wow! you guys are pros.. I have a looooooooooong way to go!

So here's my first attempt at the monthly challenge - I wanted to try an ACEO since I have never worked that small. Didn't turn out like I expected but I did have fun experimenting.

Ref: Iris by devymarie (http://www.wetcanvas.com/RefLib/showphoto.php?photo=87375)
Prismas on Strathmore 400 Series Watercolor Paper

Step 1: Realized I used the rough side of the paper! :eek:

Step 2: Experimentation mode - Let's try some solvent on it :evil:

Step 3: More layers.. without solvent of course :D

Step 4: Back to the drawing board. Maybe I'll try my watercolor pencils this time.

Note to self: look at both sides of the paper before you start scribbling :o

04-11-2009, 11:38 AM
Adria and Char - Thank you both so much for sharing your issues with us... Very valuable info for me-- it really helps me to understand how & why you approach art the way you do. So, with that being said, I have a much better idea of how to nudge y'all! :evil: :D What? you think I'd go easier on ya??? silly silly silly... (that's mostly a joke. :p )

And Adria? Lin is completely correct. So here's an idea/experiment for ya-- what if you used an unusual color for the sketch/outlining? Make it about playing with color (cool colors recede, warm advance) and line, focusing on shape & contour? Hope that made sense!

Jeanette my only real suggestion for your apple is that I want more! :D Just a bit more saturation, going just a bit further with the darker values. I suspect some of what I'm seeing is the paper not taking as many layers as I'd love to see you using!

Lin If your paper is giving you fits about lifting/erasing/softening, have you tried avoiding working where a highlight will be (reserving the white of the paper?) and kinda sneak up on it? That's worked for me... but it does take practice.

Tammy Good job! I really like how you did the iris as half light, half dark. It's there in the ref, but I hadn't really *seen* it until I saw yours! :thumbsup:

Charlotte You're off to a good start. And you're dangerously close to realism! :p Keep having fun, because that *is* the most important bit! Although... better supplies can be even *more* fun! :D

Pooja Your first try with an ACEO is really great! when I started playing with that size, someone told me that it is really really important to make sure you've got plenty of dark-darks and bright highlights. Can't wait to see what you do with the watercolor pencils!

Hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend! :wave:

04-11-2009, 12:14 PM
Everyone is doing a fine job on the iris! Pooja, it's great for your first ACEO size, and I like the texture!


04-11-2009, 07:55 PM
:wave: Hi All!! Thought I'd post this for ya'll! This is my version of the duck and lily pads. It is on Canson sketch pad with Prismas. The paper is heavy enough it withstood using solvent. Surprised me!! To me it looks kinda dull/dark. Not really too happy with it.

Janette - Your apple looks so real. Hope it tastes as good as it looks!

ArtDude - Your apple looks tasty too! What are you two going to do next?

Lin - Thanks for the ref pic! I kinda like a bit of outlining myself!!

Char - I hope your eyes aren't progressing as fast as mine are! Keep track of how they are doing. When can we see a challenge pic from you? Hope it's soon!!!!:heart: :heart:

Tammy - Great iris! More More!!!
Elaine - Thank you for your concern. I thought my apple looked bad after seeing it posted - looked grainy. Left a lot of paper showing. Your work is looking great!
Charloote - Good start on your iris! Hope you get some Prismas or something better soon. Rose Arts are great to see if you might like CP work but you will get better results with better supplies. I learned that the hard way. Just wish I could get ALL the Prismas. Durned ecomony!!

Tess - Wouldn't expect you to do anything else but push us! How else are we going to learn things. I'll just keep my outlines thank you!!!:lol: :lol: :lol:
Will try that idea of using different colors for my outlines. Sounds interesting!!! Better close off, this is getting kinda long!!!


04-11-2009, 07:59 PM
:rolleyes: :eek: Please excuse that previous post!!! I don't know my pictures from a hole in the ground, I guess! The messages are okay but here is the REAL picture I tried to post!!!

04-12-2009, 03:22 AM
I'm back... with the WC pencils version :)

Tess, I tried to keep the highlights intact, but it got muddled up when I added water. I need to learn to control the brush a little more.


Here are both attempts:

Char, I like the backgrounds in both... the first one was completely unexpected :D, it's just that iris looks nothing more than an ink spot. :p

04-12-2009, 06:52 AM
I know it is already the 12th of the month but I might try to do one or two of these. Just found this today. I am going to be on vacation for the next week and will be going and doing a lot. Always take my colored pencils and supplies with me where ever I go. I have just started getting into colored pencils because it is the easiest medium to travel with and I travel a lot, and I have begun to really enjoy and like them a lot. Hope to be getting back with you quite frequently since I found all of you. I will have to figure out how to post the pictures but if I can't I will ask for help until I get it.

Thanks for being here. Looking forward to learning here.

04-12-2009, 05:17 PM
Hello Mayhaps - welcome to CP.:wave:

Yes CPs are great for travelling. That is why I took to the watercolour ones. I take mine out for the day in a pencil roll with a water brush, a sharpener, eraser and off I go lol.

You can post from these references up to the end of the month. Then another starts on 1st May. Why not print off the ones you like and take them with you.

Hope to see some of your work soon.

Adria- Keep them coming, you are doing well :thumbsup:

04-12-2009, 06:09 PM
Well, finally able to post my Iris. 5 x 7 Stonehenge paper, background done with Derwent Inktense, flower with Faber-Castell pollys.

Art Dude
04-12-2009, 07:31 PM
Jeanette- thank you!
oldrockchick- really like your Iris and thanks for all the details about your work-it really helps to know how you achieve the results!
Char- so sorry about your condition--i think your work is something to be very proud about!
tvandeb- lovely detail to your Iris.
noodle1- thank you!
pooja- this is so small and lovely!
ArtsyBren- very nice Iris- i like the soft velvety look!

04-12-2009, 11:31 PM
I'm learning so much from all of you! My husband thinks I've become addicted to colored pencils. I will be searching out "better" tools, but for now this iris is done on 9x12 lightly textured sketch paper (Strathmore) using RoseArt pencils. HIghlights are not working so well, but I'll get them eventually.

Thanks for all of your encouragement!


04-13-2009, 09:14 AM
Charlotte, you are doing great! I love the nice, loose feel of your Iris.

Tammy, your Iris is surreal and lovely.

Adria, beautiful work on the duck and lily pads...I especially love the feathers of the duck.

Pooja, I believe I like the watercolor pencil version better. It is also amazing what a difference paper makes, isn't it? I have learned to really like Stonehenge but Bristol Smooth is still my favorite, even though it doesn't take a lot of layers...

Well, now I'm working on the sunset, I made an attempt at the hands and decided I'm not ready for that one yet. I have no experience in turning black and white to color. I could sketch it in charcoal with no problem. Actually, I may do that at some point just not for the challenge...

Well, good day all!:wave:

04-13-2009, 06:33 PM
The iris remains a popular subject, I see. Bren, yours turned our really well!

Charlotte, your iris looks nice, too. Yes, colored pencils are very addictive...didn't anyone warn you about that? LOL

Adria, I am going to try to get something done in the challenge in the next couple of days. Thanks for asking! I am trying to decide which one to start with. I don't think I will do the iris...I think it would be the hardest one to do, and everyone is doing so well with it, and I am afraid to try it!

I am going to try to get a drawing done for my mother-in-law by next week-end (was supposed to be ready for Easter, but we didn't see them on Easter anyway).


04-13-2009, 11:39 PM
Hi Everyone! Things are looking great here! Lots more since I last popped in! You've been busy! Well, I was quite discouraged last week with this one, but after a few days, I have decided to post anyway. I think I will keep to my acrylics for landscapes! Anyway, here goes.....
Thanks for any comments as I try to learn CPs!

04-13-2009, 11:49 PM
Ruthie, this is great...I'm glad you decided to post it. I especially like the colors of the sky!


04-14-2009, 07:39 PM
:wave: :wave: Hi All! Sure has been quiet around here!! Either ya'll are working furiously on new pieces or better yet enjoying nice weather if you have it!

Charllote - Your iris is looking great. Keep up the good work!

Char - You were afrad to tackle a couple of other things lately and came up with great pieces. Give the iris a try. It's only paper as everyone says!

Ruthie - Back away from the acrylic!!!!:lol: :lol: What ya mean it's awful? You did a great job! Landscapes can be hard esp. ones like this. I found it hard. You did a great job, believe me. No that wasn't an echo either!!!!!

Well, for all its worth here are my version of the hands. Did it on Bristol Vellum, the rough side by mistake! And Prismas all the way thru too!! As always C&C welcome.

Thanks, Adria

04-15-2009, 06:01 PM
Came to look and became inspired - this was done on paper that my son gave from his art days - don't know the name:o sorry. The CP are left overs from a friend. Watercolour pencils Albrecht Durer and Bruynzeel Holland. The left bottom flower petal is to big and....mmmm wrong:eek: the background I added water...I don't know if I like it:(

04-15-2009, 06:45 PM
Adria, good job on the hands...but, what is that odd texture on them? Is that the paper? It looks like what you see on your tv once in a while, when the channel is trying to cut out. I think if you smooth the background out and lighten it somewhat, the hands will come forward more and stand out better.

Xandra, it is not wrong, just because it does not look exactly like the reference. I think the iris is beautiful, and I happen to like the background, too.


04-15-2009, 08:49 PM
Hi guys.
Sorry I haven't been hanging round her emuch but I have been busy with my Oil Pastels. As well as the challenges, I have been doign the WDE and also a 'tutoria' OP WIP on an architectural theme.

Just popped in to see all yoru lovely work.

Ruthie - beautiful sunset there :thumbsup:

Adria - That photo looks a bit pixelated, but despite that your work is really good. Great details and very natural colours on the hands. Dramatic background too. :thumbsup:

Xandra - Your Iris is beautifully soft and detailed. A lovely interpretation. Albrecht Durer are excellent pencils.:thumbsup:

04-15-2009, 10:45 PM
Wow been away a few days and you all have been busy creating some very wonderful interprtations!!!! Great work all!!!!:clap: :clap:

I have some extra time this month before my next show so I wanted to try a technique I saw in the "artist magazine". I did the still life apple and the duck. Both done with intense and derwent watercolor; washed, then used polychromos. I kinda like the results; very neat technique. Although the duck had me crossing my eyes a bit with all the color combinations; I think its time to get my glasses changed.:lol: Both done on illustration board; the duck one had a bit of texture. C/C and comments are always welcome. And you all keep up the great work!!!!:)

04-15-2009, 11:44 PM
:wave: :wave: Hi All!! So glad to see you all again!! Such lovely work.

Xandra - Your iris is lovely. So soft. Sometimes they could have 1 petal bigger. Don't worry about it. At least you gave it a try and did very well.

Tammy - Love your experiment too. Such clear colors. Wish I could talk DH into letting me get some of those Inktense. Sigh!

Char and Lin - I think you both could be right about my pic. I used a small piece of Bristol Vellum I was going to use for something else and used the rought side by mistake. Plus I see now that I need to reduce the resolution to make the pic smaller. It has the right # of Pixels and all that jazz but the res is still too high at 72.

Tell - Where are you? Don't run away from us, please!! If you removed my second post with the wrongly posted pic, THANK YOU!!!!

See ya'll tomorrow, Adria

04-16-2009, 07:38 AM
Struggling to find painting time this month but I'm looking in and learning when I can - some great work here again.

Managed to get an hour or so last night and had a go at the sunset landscape - found it hard going never 'cos I usually use watercolour in a fairly loose style for landscapes and this was a whole new ball game. The photo makes it look 'flatter than it actually is but I'm not happy with the lack of light on the sea anyway.

About 5" x 7" on a heavy, smooth black ground using Derwent Drawing and some new Coloursoft that I was trying out. C&C very welcome



04-16-2009, 10:41 AM
Tammy - that is one of the best ducky pond ones I have seen yet. I too have been doing first layers with Wc based pencils and washes and I absolutley love Derwent inktense I have been using them for well over a year now. Interesting choice of colours.

Suw - The sea at night isn't easy to do. Nice rendition. How are you enjoying the Coloursoft? I only have a 24 set, and would use them more but I just dont' have the choice of colours. Derwent Drawing are lovely to use, but have mainly earthy and muted colours. Great for natural things, especially architecture.

04-16-2009, 04:24 PM
Xandra, stunningly beautiful Iris! I love it!

Sue, the ocean sunset is just lovely. You captured it at that time when it's about to end just before all light is gone...my favorite time indeed!

Ruthie, I do like your sunset. It takes time to learn CP (hey still learnin' here). You are well on your way.

Adria, it must be the pixels on your hands but great job anyway...

Where in the world is our Tess?!!:eek:

04-16-2009, 05:11 PM
I'm here...
It's just been one of those weeks, y'know? :cool: I swear I'll get caught up with the work everyone has been doing tomorrow. Of course, that's what I've been saying for the past two days! :rolleyes:

I gotta dash--

04-17-2009, 08:57 AM
Finished the sunset. Stonehenge, 5 x 7, faber castell pollys.

I really enjoyed this one. I was happy with the darks for once...

Thanks for looking!

04-17-2009, 12:58 PM
Sue and Bren, your sunsets are so different, yet each one is very nicely done. Sue, yours is so bright and colorful, and Bren, yours is so soft and pretty.:)

I finally took a couple of hours to do the apple. This was the hardest apple I have ever done (well...I have only done one apple before), but the different colors in it and the different patterns were really difficult for me to obtain, especially the little tiny spots. Oh, well. I tried....and the month is only a little more than half over!

I actually almost pitched this one and planned to start over, but I really don't have enough time on hand to do that yet...I'm still working on "His Destiny".

This is 5x7 on Strathmore 300 bristol vellum, ref photo by Ivyleaf.


Shirl Parker
04-17-2009, 01:32 PM
You did a great job on that apple, Char. Congratulations.

04-17-2009, 03:40 PM
Char, thanks for your comments. I'm so glad you didn't pitch this apple. It is amazingly real!

04-17-2009, 10:21 PM
Thanks for the comments on my apple, Shirl and Bren. Next, I think I will do the hands. It will be interesting to convert grayscale to color!


04-18-2009, 08:23 AM
Ok, it's official. I am now so far behind in commenting on this thread it's almost hopeless! :rolleyes:

Let me just say everyone is doing great work here. I can really see everyone stretching. :thumbsup: If anyone would like me to look closely at their work, just let me know. Otherwise, keep 'em coming!


04-18-2009, 09:08 AM
Hi all,

I haven't forgotten you.
Nice apple Char :)
Bren - lovley sky there, almost like that time of evening just before sunset when there is still a little light around to play on the water.

I've been working on an oil painting an a large oil pastel work and takign part also in the WDEs.

Can't wait for next months' challenge ( I fear the flowers :eek: :eek: )

Hoping to buy some more CPs soon, most likely FC Polychromos (can't get Prismas here)

Will keep popping back

04-18-2009, 05:08 PM
Thanks for all the nice comments; I learn an awful lot from you all here; some of these are so realistic you could just reach out and grab it; cool!!!
Thanks ; can't wait to see what we do next month!!!!:clap: :clap:

04-18-2009, 05:18 PM
I've been using CPs for the WDE challenge. This week it was with abstracts and collage lol

Anyway I used my CP with some collages and made a piece of work....


Tracy Lewis
04-18-2009, 11:39 PM
Just a quick note to say hi, and a great big well done to you all. Your efforts are wonderful. Oh my goodness, I just don't seem able to find the time to draw at the minute, and when I have time, i'm too tired! Will try to do something before the end of the month.

04-19-2009, 04:56 AM
Hi Folks
Here is my effort on the Iris. 11x14, on Stonehenge paper and Prismacolors. All C&C are welcomed.

Question.....Am I the only one to notice that there are 2 iris blooms in the reference photo after finishing the drawing? :lol: :lol: :o :lol: :lol:
(each iris has 3 falls and 3 uprights, this photo shows 5 falls and 3 uprights. One iris is directly in front of the other:confused: :eek: :confused: )

04-19-2009, 08:35 AM
I did notice that, Paula...after I finished, as well....:lol: :lol:

Lovely rendering, especially like the deep blue/purple...

04-19-2009, 09:00 AM
Very nice, Paula!
If you're still collecting suggestions for this, you may want to consider the values in the very center of the bloom-- on my monitor (and it could just be a bad combo of my monitor & your image) it's flattening out a bit.

Question.....Am I the only one to notice that there are 2 iris blooms in the reference photo

Funny, Paula! I knew there were a few too many parts to the flower in the pic, but I assumed it was a mutant double-blossom... My grandmother (who had heirloom varieties) had double-blooms fairly often & I just assumed!


04-19-2009, 10:25 AM
Paula - I didnt' notice it lol - well spotted

04-19-2009, 08:40 PM
Hi Everyone!
This is my first attempt at doing anything with cp, so be kind...:lol: Seriously, I am usually in fiber arts, have made a couple of visits to the WDE and done some acrylic and watercolor paintings, but am very very new at all but the fiber!
Anyhow, one of my groups has been talking about colored pencils a lot lately and when I saw this challenge...well, let's just say I LOVE challenges and will jump in with absolutely no clue of what I am doing but give it my best shot :)
So, because I can't draw at all, I chose the apple, I mean really, how hard can an apple be, right? Well, turns out that an apple is MUCH harder than it looks!
I am posting my 2nd attempt, 1st one will never ever be seen :o. This one is still not right, I haven't gotten the top quite right yet, maybe my 3rd try will be better...or my 8th...:rolleyes:
I would welcome any comments, suggestions, etc as I explore this new medium!
Oh, I used Loew Cornell pencils and drawing paper for pencils, pen, charcoal and pastels by the same company and this is 9x12"

04-19-2009, 10:43 PM
Just putting my 3rd apple attempt in, I think I am going to stop with this one, I like everything except the stem which I am going to try and fix.
Again, comments are very welcome, I need all the help I can get :lol:

04-20-2009, 08:08 AM
Hi, Cathy! Welcome! :wave:
Your apples look good. Especially for first attempts. :) The stem looks pretty good from here... I'm thinking all it needs is a bit of darker/cooler (a dull, dark blue perhaps?) color here & there.
The one thing that really caught my eye is the shadow-- will the paper let you add more layers there? You've done a really nice job with the crosshatching on the background. I'm thinking maybe the shadow needs some more layers (the same sort of dk blue I suggested for the stem?), crosshatched in to help smooth it out and push it *down* onto the surface.
Make sense? And do some practice swatches before touching the real thing!

My other suggestion at this point is to upgrade your paper & pencils as soon as your budget will allow-- The pencils (and I suspect the paper) you're using are probably going to give you problems fairly soon. While student grade pencils are inexpensive, they also simply will not do what you're going to want them to. Lots of folks start off with inexpensive student pencils and get frustrated very quickly. Once you make the leap and get some better pencils, you'll be amazed.

Looking forward to seeing more!

04-20-2009, 09:30 AM
Done nothing since the sunset (thanks for the comments folks) - still struggling t0 find time for art this month but dipping in to see the work here - great stuff

04-20-2009, 09:38 AM
Hi, Cathy! Welcome! :wave:

My other suggestion at this point is to upgrade your paper & pencils as soon as your budget will allow-- The pencils (and I suspect the paper) you're using are probably going to give you problems fairly soon.

Hi Rosemary, thanks for the welcome and the suggestions, I fixed the stem last night by making the part near the apple a bit thicker, will also try adding the dark blue to see what happens, and to the shadow as well. Since I am cutting down a 9x11 paper to 8x10 I can test it out at the edge first :)
I have always wanted to draw, paint, etc so last year I went to Micheal's and bought papers, pencils, colored. graphite and charcoal, erasers, those paper blending sticks and another liquid blending thing for wax pencils
From Blicks I got the pastels, both hard and soft, brushes, gel and matte mediums and a bunch of canvas panels. From another store near here I got brushes, paints (all 3 kinds), an easel, pallete knives and pallete. Was spending birthday money :-) so had to be a bit frugal in my selections, not only that but of course I am (and was ) clueless about what KIND to buy lol
Yes, I admit I can be a bit crazy at times :lol: but I also figured I would try it all and see which I really liked the best and if nothing else my 5 year old grandson would have fun painting! (BTW, he only got to paint once, I hog it now:o)
I would like to get better pencils altready, for one thing I only have 10 colors, can you recommend a good one for me to get? And paper too?
Thank you!

04-20-2009, 01:40 PM
I just loved the duck photo, so decided to work on her Friday night after work. Then I couldn't upload from home for some silly reason, so here's my final picture. Done with some watercolor pencils I picked up at an art conference in So. Cal., on 12"x14" Canson watercolor paper. I used water on the lilies and on the water effects, just to see what the pencils would do, since I've never used them before!


04-20-2009, 02:14 PM
Lovely colours and such a fluffy duck too. The ripples are cool too.

It doens't take too long to get used to watercolour CPs. I prefer them to 'normal' ones.

04-20-2009, 02:33 PM
Cathy-- There are several threads about papers & pencils in the cp library (link in my sig line or at the top of the main forum). A lot of it comes down to personal preference. :D Because they're probably going to be pretty easy to find, I'd look for Prismacolors first. The major large hobby stores even carry a smattering of them in open stock so you won't always be stuck ordering over the internet. For paper? That's another preference thing... but I think for beginners good choices are stonehenge (sheets or pads), *hot* press watercolor paper (might have to buy full sheets of it), or a heavyweight drawing paper with a fairly light texture (like bristol smooth; although it's almost *too* smooth).

Ronnier-- That's a great duck! I really really like the contrast between the areas you used water on & the one's you didn't. Great use of your tools! :thumbsup: Hope this means we'll be seeing more from you!


04-20-2009, 04:01 PM
Cathy, amazing job for student pencils and cheap paper. I can't wait to see what you can do with artist quality tools! I especially, love the white sheen on the last apple, very nice!

Ronnier, this is a lovely job on the duck. I think what I love best about this is the way that the colors please the eye and cause you to sort of follow along in between the lily pads and around the duck. It's all beautifully done but the colors of the water are just fantastic. You obviously have a good eye for color!

04-20-2009, 05:34 PM
Ok here is the corrected drawing. I have darkened the out side of the iris a little bit lifted some of the color on the shadowed area so there wasn't so much contrast and lightened the inside alot to add some depth. Rosemary is this any better?
Everyone is doing so well with there drawings it is fun to see all the variety of all the work.



04-20-2009, 05:58 PM
Yes! Much better, Paula!
How do you feel about it now?


04-21-2009, 12:03 PM
Thank you all for the encouraging compliments! Being new at this, I tend to not trust myself. But I can sure see why you do it! SO much fun!

04-21-2009, 12:23 PM
Cathy, amazing job for student pencils and cheap paper. I can't wait to see what you can do with artist quality tools! I especially, love the white sheen on the last apple, very nice!

Thanks! And thanks to everyone else for their nice comments and encouragement!
I have so little confidence when it comes to things like this and it really gives a great boost to my desire to continue along this new and exciting journey! Makes me think I CAN do it :D

04-21-2009, 12:26 PM
I wanted to tell you that I love your duck picture! The colors are wonderful . Think I am going to have to get some watercolor pencils to try out, they look cool!

04-21-2009, 12:46 PM
Cathy - this will become infectious. I have only been on here 2 months and already ordering new pencils :lol:

As CPs is NOT my main medium, but nice and small and convenient to work with I used them now and then and watercolour CPs for pre-paintign and field sketches. Now I started to use my limited supply of CPs and got the bug. :cat:

Tomorrow I plan to order a set of 60 FC Polychromos as I foudn it so frustrating trying to do these challenges with limited tools.:p

I reckon it won't be long before you become tempted too.;)

04-21-2009, 01:25 PM
Nice to see your 3rd attempt on the apple, Cathy....you will soon get the *bug*, and there is no cure for it!

Ronnier, your duck drawing looks really colorful...nice job. I like the affect that you got from the watercolor pencils on the water. Great job on the feathers on the duck, too.

Paula, your iris looks really nice now!

I guess I will jump in and start working on the hands.....


04-21-2009, 04:06 PM
Cathy - this will become infectious. I have only been on here 2 months and already ordering new pencils :lol:
I reckon it won't be long before you become tempted too.;)

Not long at all :lol: I am already trying to plan them into next month's budget:D
I have been doing all my art with fabric, and only after joining a group of online women artists did the childhood dream resurface. I just started experimenting with different mediums last year and am having a LOT of fun. I really enjoyed using the colored pencils, so much easier to control than paints and so easy to fix mistakes :)
I really love the idea of trying the watercolor ones. I do know that I felt really stifled by my measly 12 colors though. I would love to try the flower, but I only have ONE purple pencil :mad: but not for long!

04-21-2009, 04:57 PM
Yea! Another recruit to the pencil collectors club!:lol: :lol: :evil: :lol:

04-21-2009, 08:04 PM
Here is the start of "Tommy's Hands". I decided to do them on black Mi Tientes, and when I removed the price label, it left a square of glue on the paper, so I have to use the textured side. I did a drawing on the textured side a while back and everyone seemed to like seeing the texture, so I decided to go ahead and do it on the black.

I transfered the drawing with white transfer paper, and then I used sepia to do the shading, then found out that wasn't dark enough, so I used Indigo blue for the shading to start with. This is 2 layers of light peach so far. I will keep applying the layers of skin tones, as many as I can get on, and keep doing the shading in between layers, and see how it turns out.

It is kind of an experiment, so wish me luck!:wink2:


I think it might look kind of cool on the black!:)


04-21-2009, 11:20 PM
This is how far I am on it... a layer of beige, a layer of peach, some dark umber on the shading, then another layer of peach, then some light peach in the lighter areas, then burnished with white in the highlighted areas.

The crumbs from the cp got all over the black paper, and I kept trying to get them off by using some putty, and I pretty much have erased part of the other hand.:eek:

Anyway, I'm quitting for tonight!

I think I need to go over the shaded areas again....do you think they are too dark?


Art Dude
04-22-2009, 05:17 AM
Hi all, enjoying all the new posts!
Cathy--Very nice apple-third time lucky!
Ronnier--I really like your Duck and Lilly pads-lovely.
Char--Your hand is great-looking forward to seeing the completed picture. I do like the black background for this.
I've just comleted the Iris. Terston Cartridge 5" X 7" using Derwent Artist and Derwent Inktense (Dry).

04-22-2009, 07:42 AM
Lookee! I'm staying caught up! :lol:
Do I get a cookie? :)

Ronnier/b] Good to hear you had fun! I hope you'll try with another ref this month! :wave:

[b]Cathy fair warning: cp's are horribly addictive. :D And as far as not being able to do the flower... If your pencils will let you, you could try layering blues & reds together to see what sort of purples you can get. :)

I think I need to go over the shaded areas again....do you think they are too dark?

Hmm... I don't think so... have you checked it in greyscale yet to see what you think? (Let me know if you want me to convert the image for you)
I suspect the darker/shadowed areas may be running just a bit too cool... if you warmed them up some you might feel happier. But you're doing an *excellent* job on this Char. :thumbsup:

ArtDude Lovely work on the iris! Very delicate & airy. Really nicely done. :)


04-22-2009, 01:32 PM
Hi all

Jsut to let ya know I have just placed an order for a lovely set of 60 Faber Castell Polychromos. :clap: :clap:

They should arrive just in time for the next CP challenge.

Now all I need is some talent to use them :lol:

04-22-2009, 02:21 PM
ArtDude - Lovely job on the Iris. Love the elegant lines and the colors are nice and soft.

Char - the hands are coming along beautifully. I want to try black paper but haven't had the nerve yet.

Lin - I love my pollys and think you will too. Ah, the excitement of opening a fresh pack of pencils! And as far as talent goes, you have it no doubt. Your other work is very lovely and your CP is coming along. I see improvement with each challenge you undertake!

Rosemary, here's your cookie... http://www.emofaces.com/en/smilies/c/cookie-monster-smile.gif

04-22-2009, 02:54 PM
Hi all

Jsut to let ya know I have just placed an order for a lovely set of 60 Faber Castell Polychromos.
Now all I need is some talent to use them :lol:

:clap:for you! I am soooooo :envy:. Those are the ones I wanted to get but if I budget them in we don't eat..LOL.
As for having the talent...well I thought your sunset was very cool!

04-22-2009, 07:32 PM
ok, you got me, I am hooked and on the 1st of the month I will be placing an order for Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils 72 Count and Faber-Castell Watercolor Pencils 36 Pk. from Amazon...oh boy oh boy oh boy!! Now off to find the best buy on some paper to order next week...

04-22-2009, 07:55 PM
ok, you got me, I am hooked and on the 1st of the month I will be placing an order for Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils 72 Count and Faber-Castell Watercolor Pencils 36 Pk. from Amazon...oh boy oh boy oh boy!! Now off to find the best buy on some paper to order next week...

:evil: :evil: :D *Dastardly laugh*:D :evil: :evil:

Another one enticed into our midst.

Muwuhahaaa there is no escaping now.

04-22-2009, 08:13 PM
:evil: :evil: :D *Dastardly laugh*:D :evil: :evil:

Another one enticed into our midst.

Muwuhahaaa there is no escaping now.

Guess not :lol: I'm thinking I better learn to draw real quick now:eek: One good thing, I am using my cigarette money to get pencils so at least I won't be smoking!

04-23-2009, 08:50 AM
Good for you, Cathy....for breaking the habit of letting your money go up in smoke! BTW, try starting a sketchbook, and sketch from life....a good way to increase drawing skills. Then post your sketches in the "sketching from life" thread!

Art Dude, your iris is very soft and delicate....very nice job!

Rosemary, I looked at the hand drawing this morning, and thought...that looks kind of dull and lifeless, so I will be adding in some warm colors.


04-23-2009, 09:07 AM
Good for you, Cathy....for breaking the habit of letting your money go up in smoke! BTW, try starting a sketchbook, and sketch from life....a good way to increase drawing skills. Then post your sketches in the "sketching from life" thread!

Art Dude, your iris is very soft and delicate....very nice job!

Rosemary, I looked at the hand drawing this morning, and thought...that looks kind of dull and lifeless, so I will be adding in some warm colors.


Char - I'm sure your hands will look great when finished.

Cathy - I agree with Char on the sketchbook and posting on the life thread. If like me you can't always find much to draw from 'life' and you draw from photo references etc you can also post and get feedback (if you want it) and encouragement on the All Media sketch thread

04-23-2009, 10:27 AM
I do have a few sketchbooks, I have been drawing various facial features in one from a how to draw faces book, when I was younger I used to draw all kinds of things from around the house and last night I started doing that again, I drew my grandson's rocking chair and a bottle with a fish swimming around in it (that was just from my head :))
I am trying to do at least 1 or more sketches a day, either from things around the house or photos that I have taken.

04-24-2009, 07:44 AM
Thanks for the cookie, Bren! :D
I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone can do with their new pencils. :)

Have an update for us Char?


04-24-2009, 09:31 AM
I do have a few sketchbooks, I have been drawing various facial features in one from a how to draw faces book, when I was younger I used to draw all kinds of things from around the house and last night I started doing that again, I drew my grandson's rocking chair and a bottle with a fish swimming around in it (that was just from my head :))
I am trying to do at least 1 or more sketches a day, either from things around the house or photos that I have taken.

Oh, let us see your life sketches! Post them in the sketching from life thread (of course, only if you want to...I don't want to be pushy).

Rosemary, I will get back to work on the hands later today, I hope. I've had a health problem to deal with concerning my Dad, going to see him today again to check on him.


04-24-2009, 10:55 AM
Char, I'm sorry to hear your Dad has a health issue! I hope all is well for him (and you) today. Show us when you're ready. :)


04-24-2009, 03:21 PM
Good wishes to Char. Hope he gets to feeling better!

Howdy y'all, another acrylic user here (I 'blame' Lady Carol and Elaine (noodles) for this! :D). Decided to play around with colored pencils, something I can do at work when I'm bored (which is a lot) and at home when I don't feel like pulling all the paints out. I used to play with colored pencils way back in high school, but that was a while ago and I never did stuff like this!

Decided to start in here, and will likely stick with the challenges for a while till I'm feeling more confident. Thanks for doing this, folks! It's great for learning!

Went with the apple because it's easy, and might try the iris, too, if I have a little time (have a few paintings I need to get done).


This is with both Prismacolors and Lyra Rembrandts (which I just picked up yesterday) in my sketch book. Not sure what kind of paper it is, but it's fairly thick paper (I hate sketching on thin "crappy" paper), and while I have some better paper, I don't want to use it till I get a better feel for the pencils.

Very open to C&C, and plan to still work on the shadow some. Not sure if I'm gonna burnish it or not... part of me wants to and part of me likes it as is. Decisions, decisions... (that and I'm not sure how to burnish. I get the idea and think I understand it, but I'd hate to ruin this by doing it wrong. I'm doing little side studies with burnishing. :p)

Everyone has done such beautiful work here, I hope I can keep up!

04-24-2009, 06:47 PM
Hi Kat, whoo hoo that is terrific, you absolutely nailed the apple. You have the feel for the pencils cutie, trust me. Personally I don't think you need to burnish anything on this one it works the way it is. Play with burnishing, but this one I'd leave alone it's oh so just right!


04-24-2009, 07:05 PM
Thanks, Elaine. Maybe I'll do another one and burnish it, just to get a better feel for it. heh

Still need to do some work on the shadow... I'm not happy with it yet...

04-24-2009, 07:35 PM
Alright, you asked so I did..:)
well, I did a drawing for the The Weekly Drawing thread - 20th -26th April 2009 and just posted it. And am trying to choose one for the WDE too.
I will be putting some things in the sketchbook thread, probably tomorrow.
I eat, sleep, and dream drawing now!:lol:
now off to do some drawing homework on perspective, I have boxes to draw!

04-25-2009, 12:22 AM
Didn't get a chance to work on the hands today. My sis and I took my Dad to the doctor. He has gout...hasn't been able to walk on his foot for a week. I took a wheelchair down to him on Wed. He had a shot of a steroid today and they gave him an anti-inflammatory drug to take.

Your apple looks great, Katlee! I think your shadow looks fine, unless you want to add a wee bit more color to it. Burnishing is simply using hard pressure on the last layer to give something a smooth or even shiny look. You can burnish with white or a light color that is in the apple, but it will lighten the color of the apple some. I, personally, like the burnished look, especially of an apple. But, it is a simple matter of choice. You have really done a great job of blending the colors without burnishing. It looks like you used a circular technique....did you? I really like your results!


04-25-2009, 12:38 AM
Thanks, Char. :) Yeah, I'm just not sure where to go with the shadow, it just doesn't look right to me somehow... a friend's mother said it was too round, but I'm more stuck on the value or color or something of it... I'm not really sure. Do you have any suggestions? Critiques and suggestions are more than welcome.

And, no, not circular, just back and forth, well, more up and down and a little bit of 'following' the contour of the apple. Tiny little strokes and lots of going back and filling in holes. I want to try a circular technique, too... probably on my next one.

Hope your Dad gets better soon... that can't be fun at all. *healing thoughts sent his way*

04-25-2009, 12:49 AM
Thanks, Katlee. I use circular strokes on my portraits. The tight little circles fill in the tooth of the paper really well and give the skin a smooth look. The technique takes longer, especially on backgrounds, but it does prevent the need for much blending or burnishing.

I really don't see anything wrong with your shadow, other than if you wanted to add a little more color with another layer to smooth it out more. Take a card with a hole in it and place it on the reference photo to isolate where you could add some color and what colors to use. It really works to help the colors stand out more.

Rosemary might have better suggestions for you!


04-25-2009, 08:04 AM
Hi, Katlee! Welcome to the highly addictive world of cp's! :D

Your apple is looking great-- I think you *definitely* have a good idea of how to make the pencils work for you. :thumbsup: Value-wise, I think your shadow is pretty close (although you might want to look at the shape of the darker area close to the bottom of the apple). I think the problem you're seeing is that there are some reflected colors in the ref that aren't quite there in yours. Here's a detail of the shadow in the ref:


Do you see the subtle colors in there? Some reds & purples, and even a bit of yellow?

Do some practice bits & test swatches before you touch the real thing! I'm betting if you pull some additional colors into the shadow, you'll feel better about it. :)

And yes... burnishing is a personal choice. So play and see where you fall on the spectrum!


04-25-2009, 01:29 PM
Aha! Yeah, I see them now.. Maybe I'll pull it into photoshop and poke around to see what the colors are. Thank you so much! And thank you for the wonderful words... http://www.curtumevexas.com/images/Smilies/LittleSmilies/blush.gif I will keep playing with them and see what I get.

04-25-2009, 01:43 PM
I will keep playing with them and see what I get.

:D That's where all the fun really is. :D If you haven't yet, you might want to wander through FlameLily's *excellent* trip around the color wheel (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=496877), just to give you a few ideas on where to start playing.

Looking forward to seeing what you come up with!

04-25-2009, 01:49 PM
Yeah, I've looked at a LOT of the threads in the index (I have a lot of free time at work. heh), and have a few of them saved... I've looked at a few different color wheel threads, and my head is full of color. heh

04-25-2009, 02:27 PM
AcrylicMan bursts into the CP forum..... " So this is where you hussies have been hanging out....I turn my back for one second and off you go into anothers arms....no, no, dont try to explain....i'm done with you and I sentence you to one year of painting with oils and their nasty fumes and sloooow drying times. "

04-25-2009, 02:29 PM
Oh, that's some purdy good work....

How you like them apples....uh, pretty

nice, actually. Later freaks.

04-25-2009, 03:07 PM
"Yes! Much better, Paula!
How do you feel about it now?

Take a look at the first photo. That was my last serious try to do an iris. It was drawn in 1995. I have tried off and on since then but always got to the point of discouragement and quit. After working on my drawing skills here at WC and with local drawing classes the next photo is the results. I am very happy with the results of the new drawing.



Iris are a very special flower for me. It has been a point of connection between my mom and I. We both would wait expectantly for the first leaves and then buds and then the blooms. I would willingly pull the weeds around them to give them the best growing conditions. Then we would have about a month of cut iris in the house.
In 1973 (I was 15) my mom died very suddenly of a heart attack. She was 42 and a heavy smoker. It was in Feb. That spring every flower that bloomed I would cut, get on my bike and ride out to the cemetery and lay them on her grave. Evey time I see iris I think about mom. This drawing makes me feel the connection between mom and I each time I look at it.

In 2007 when I learned that dad had colon cancer I was appointed his power of attorney and executor of his estate. I would go to his house every other weekend. When the iris begin to bloom in my yard I took him a bouquet. He was so thrilled to see it. It was a bright spot for him during a very difficult time. In my life iris represent a shared joy with my parents.
So to say I was happy with the results of my drawing was really an understatement.

I was pleased to see the iris photo posted for this months challenge because I was ready to try it again.:D

04-25-2009, 07:12 PM
What a wonderful and touching story, Paula...so sorry your parents are no longer with you. Beautiful iris!

Ray, who are you calling a freak, freak?! Thanks for slumming in the cp forum....careful, you might get addicted! Thanks for the...er...compliment...I guess! LOL


04-25-2009, 07:23 PM
Paula, that's beautiful... both the story and the iris. Excellent work! Practices DOES make perfect, doesn't it? :heart:

Ya just never know with him, Char... I just smile and nod. :lol:

04-25-2009, 09:07 PM
Ray, who are you calling a freak, freak?! Thanks for slumming in the cp forum....careful, you might get addicted! Thanks for the...er...compliment...I guess! LOL....Char

Awww schucks, i'm just kiddin....I see youre from Illinois....I was born and raised there, well, till I was 10 anyways....you probly dont know the area....Brighton/Godfrey....anywayssss, sorry about calling you a freak....Later, ya weirdo. :lol:

04-26-2009, 07:06 AM
Hay Ray, I was born in Kentucky, moved to Illinois when I was 5. I was jes kiddin, too! I gis I better quit talkin' and get to work on "Tommy's Hands" drawin.

I looked at your artwork on your Art-o-Rama page....you do good landscapes!


04-26-2009, 08:31 AM
Paula, I certainly understand why the iris is so important to you. And you have *definitely* come a long way from that first try! Thank you so much for sharing your story!

you probly dont know the area....Brighton/Godfrey....anywayssss, sorry about calling you a freak....Later, ya weirdo. :lol:

hehehehe... But I do! :p Haven't you heard? All the weirdness in the world radiates from the Catsup Bottle (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Collinsville_watertower.jpg). You grew up close enough to ground zero (with a healthy dose of the Piasa Bird (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piasa) thrown in) there's no hope for "normal"! :lol: :lol: :lol: (this, of course, is a *monumental* case of the pot calling the kettle black! :lol: )


04-26-2009, 01:14 PM
Hiya, Char !

I used to have a girlfriend named Charlotte. I think I was in the first grade. Might have been you, hehe. Thanks for the comment about my art. I looked at your stuff and was very impressed.

Hiya, RoseMary !

Oh dang, I never got to see the big catsup bottle or ketchup bottle. I do remember the Piasa Bird though. We used to go by that all the time. I loved it. Are you pretty close to that area or just passed through ?

Ok, you girls quit your flirtin and get back to paintin. Go on now.

04-26-2009, 10:55 PM
Hi CP friends! I've been busy and not had a chance to get my pencils or paint out lately. And have also had computer issues---it sure it nice to be back and take a look at all I've missed! I see a lot of wonderful peices here! Kat your apple is awesome! I love it! Char, sending you a hug for a beautiful iris and story.
Ray, get out your pencils and show us what you've got!

04-27-2009, 01:18 PM
Ahh it's funny to see so many folks coming in from the Acrylics forum. Nice work everyone!!

04-27-2009, 01:23 PM
Morning all! Paula, you have definitely improved. The Iris is beautiful as is your story.

Char, I hope and pray that your Dad has a better week this week.

Lin, I saw on your other thread that you've been busy with the pollys...wonderful work!

Welcome, Ray...you jumped right in with both feet, dincha...well, get out yer pencils and getta drawin'...:evil: Watch out for Rosemary...she will BITE!!:eek: :eek:

Seriously, I had a looksee at your blog. I LOVE your work. Especially the old house and chickens and the flower vase with the sun streaks on it. That is just lovely work! I take a lot of pics of old houses (there's alot of them here in dixie). There is just something that draws me about an abandoned home that some little lady once loved, you know? Especially, when you see flowers in the yard showing you someone once took pride in her home.

Well, later!

04-27-2009, 02:22 PM
Paula - I'm loving your flower pieces. They are so delicate and beautiful.

Hello Raymo ? we havent' met yet?

Bren - thanks I'm glad you like my Poly work

As i did all this month's pieces early on and had some problems with my lack of pencils, especially with the flower and lily pads I'm tempted to have another go with my Polys to compare. I think I might have time.

I've been pretty busy with commitments the last few days and I always like to have a go at the WDE. I did also manage to finish an oil painting yesterday.

I have to go put shopping and laundry away and stuff now. Maybe if I have time before end of the week I'll try one of the pics again with the polys ? What do you reckon ? Lilies/duck or Iris, I was quite happy with the apple. I only have time to redo one so which do you guys think I should try ?

04-27-2009, 05:22 PM
Here is a piece I have done for the CP monthly challenge. I did this the first week using a mish mash of odd pencils I had lying around. I wasn't too happy with the result then.

It's about 5" x 7" on arches HP.

I have re-done it with my Polychromos pencils.
This is done on the smooth side of some odd card I bought from open stock, not sure of the maker is some sort of art/craft paper. It has a texture like pastel paper on side and on the reverse it is shiny. I decided to try Polys on both sides. I will do another ref work on the textured side to see how it works. Even though this was on the smooth shiny side, as I pressed on the texture still came through. - This was just an experiment. Plus you all know how drawing/painting flowers is my nemesis :rolleyes:

Shiny smooth card stock, buff coloured

I havent' tried lifting off this paper or erasing.

Please note they are on different papers.

04-27-2009, 05:33 PM
I like it, a nice soft look.

04-27-2009, 06:22 PM
Ruthie....I dont have any colored pencils or I would show you what i've got. I do like your stuff here. (I was checkin to see what all you girls were up to)

Bren....Hiya ! Heck, I aint afraid of no bitin woman. Besides, there's a fine line between pain and pleasure. Uhhh, I think anyways, hehe. Thanks for the compliments on my art. You must have looked at somebody elses stuff, lol. I know what you mean about old barns and houses. Love em.

Hiya, OldRockChick....I love that name !

I'm just passin through. I just wanted to see what everyone from the acrylic section has been up to. I'm not too sure I would be any good at pencils. I tend to press too hard and always break the lead but I sure like lookin at the work here.

Later................ArtDorks :evil:

nods Kats way....:cat:

Lady Carol
04-27-2009, 08:43 PM
Howdy y'all, another acrylic user here (I 'blame' Lady Carol and Elaine (noodles) for this! :D).
Oh no. I take no blame for your dabbling in CP. Clearly Kat you have quite a load of closet talent here. Perhaps I encouraged it out into the open.

Kat, I think this is awesome. Terrific shadow and the colours in yours is better than the reference. Love it.

AcrylicMan bursts into the CP forum..... " So this is where you hussies have been hanging out....I turn my back for one second and off you go into anothers arms....no, no, dont try to explain....i'm done with you and I sentence you to one year of painting with oils and their nasty fumes and sloooow drying times. "
Oh good Lordy...Raymo has found the CP forum....

Sorry guys. I really did try to keep him chained up in acrylics but I guess he got loose :evil:

04-28-2009, 12:09 AM
Oh no. I take no blame for your dabbling in CP. Clearly Kat you have quite a load of closet talent here. Perhaps I encouraged it out into the open.

Kat, I think this is awesome. Terrific shadow and the colours in yours is better than the reference. Love it.

That means an awful lot coming from you, Carol. Thank you. :o

Oh good Lordy...Raymo has found the CP forum....

Sorry guys. I really did try to keep him chained up in acrylics but I guess he got loose :evil:
I think he gnaws through the chains... :lol:

04-28-2009, 04:11 PM
There has been a lot of activity going on here since the last time I was here...a lot of chit-chat, anyway.

Ray, I think you should buy a small set of Prismacolor pencils and see what you can do with them. Who knows...you might get addicted to them!

I don't think I was your girlfriend when you were in kindergarten, Ray. I would have been out of high school by then. Of course, when my husband was in kindergarten, I was graduating from high school. Yep...he chose an older woman!

Lin, I really like the first iris that you did...it is more colorful and the colors are richer and I like the background.

Finally, here is "Tommy's Hands"
Do you think the highlights are too bright?
The hands don't match, so I think I need to add some dark umber to the shaded areas on the hand on the right. Any suggestions?


Lady Carol
04-28-2009, 09:37 PM
Do you think the highlights are too bright?

Yes somewhat. They seem to be a little flat.

04-28-2009, 11:23 PM
I think the darker on the right will help, and yes, I think the highlights are too bright. They look good otherwise, though.. I LOVE the detail and 'weathered' look to them... they make me think of a father's hands, getting ready to hold something his child is handing to him... nicely done!

04-29-2009, 02:37 AM
Thanks, Carol and Katlee. The highlights on the b&w image were really white, but I should have known that they wouldn't be that white in the color version. So, I will make the highlights a light peach or peach and add some dark umber to the hand on the right, and will post it again.


04-29-2009, 09:03 AM
You did a fantastic job on the hands, Char. Yes, the highlight could be less white. It would look a bit more natural blended in some but otherwise superb job!

Well, Rosemary what sort of things do you have in store for us in the way of challenges for May, hmmm? Any hints?:D

04-29-2009, 10:19 AM
I found the highlights on the ref really brught too, especially as my monitor tends to be a little bright too.

Your hands are marvellous and very realistic, but I think a little colour to remove the harshness of the stark white would make them perfect. As they are - they are superb.

04-29-2009, 10:39 AM
Well, Rosemary what sort of things do you have in store for us in the way of challenges for May, hmmm? Any hints?:D

I've been wondering myself, too... itching to see what there is to work with, now that I'll have a whole month to play!

04-29-2009, 10:45 AM
Well, Rosemary what sort of things do you have in store for us in the way of challenges for May, hmmm? Any hints?:D

Nope. :D :evil:
Although that's mostly 'cause I'm still working on it... What? You think I'm so well organized I'm never pushed up against a deadline? :lol:

you're getting great advice on the hands. One thing you might want to look at is the hardness of the wrinkles on his wrists-- if you look at the ref again, do you see how the wrinkles there aren't as deep (therefore, not as hard-edged) as the wrinkle/folds of the fingers and palms. Maybe see if you can soften them a bit? Hands are tough. As is working from a black & white image. You're doing a great job.

And for those of you who didn't try the hands, I will be bringing other black & white images in as "extra" challenges. But not next month. :)

edit to add: We cross-posted, Kat! :p Our Monthly challenges aren't locked at the end of the month. So if you want to try another ref from this month, feel free!


04-29-2009, 10:58 AM
How's it?
I don't really own many coloured pencils and so whenever I use them I almost always use pen as well, not too much in this one though. New to posting any work, but here goes.

Ref: Apple by Ivyleaf
[A4 Bockingford paper]
[Black,Red,Yellow Faber-Castell Classic Colour CPs]
[Black,Red Ink Bic Pens]
[Atelier gloss medium and varnish]

Duplicated and Framed using Photoscape for looks.


04-29-2009, 01:31 PM
Bren and Lin, thanks for your comments on the hands. I will work on the highlights today. Rosemary, I will take another look at the ref photo and see where the wrinkles need to be softened.

Memnoch, your apples look really good for the limited colors that you used. I'm curious as to why you posted 3 images of the same apple and cropped it so closely?


04-29-2009, 04:51 PM
Here are the hands again. I dulled the highlights and tried to smooth out the wrinkles in the wrists, but for some reason, I still haven't gotten the hands to match yet...still need to add some dark umber to the hand on the right. I already did it once, but I went over it again with some pale vermillion and peach, so I must have erased the dark umber.

Better, anyway?


04-29-2009, 05:55 PM
ah looking good Char :)

04-29-2009, 05:56 PM
Much better... It's hard with highlights that are that bright in the photo. Well done!

04-29-2009, 08:58 PM
Hi, Memnoch! (Lemme guess... You're an Ann Rice fan? :D )
Really interesting & nicely done work with photoscape. :thumbsup:
I'd really like to see a better view of the apple, though. Any chance you'd post what it looked like before you played with it in photoscape?

Much much better, Char. :)
Looking forward to your finished version!


04-30-2009, 01:03 AM
I'm thinking the highlight on the wrist is still too bright...I think I will tone that down some more. Then, I will add some dark umber to the shading on the right hand, and one more post should be the final one. Whew! Those hands took longer than I thought it would.

Hey, there is one more day in April, then we will have new photos! Looking forward to our new challenges.....


04-30-2009, 06:43 AM
It's the last day of the month. If I'm going to participate, I'd better do it now. :)


04-30-2009, 07:55 AM
Welcome, Blade! :wave:
Nicely done. And you know, I'm curious as a :cat: ... what size is this? type of paper did you use? Ever played with cp's before? :)


04-30-2009, 08:51 AM
Hiya Blade :wave: Nice to meet you
I've just had a peep at your website too :clap:
Nice juicy apple there. Hope to see more of your work on here.
Keep on rockin' in the art world :D

04-30-2009, 12:04 PM
Welcome, Blade! Great job on the apple!

Here is the finished version of "Tommy's Hands". For some reason, the scan is not picking up the dark umber I added to the right hand, but it looks better in real life.


Looking forward to new ref photos!


04-30-2009, 12:16 PM
Really nice, Char. :)
How're you feeling about it? Good? Like you stretched and learned something? Say yes. ;)


04-30-2009, 12:36 PM
Beautiful, Blade! Can I have a bite? :)

Nice finish, Char, excellently done!

04-30-2009, 10:51 PM
Whoohoo!! I made it in time... This is my fourth coloured pencil attempt. Actually, I'm new to art altogether, so I'm learning as I go along.

This is on 8"x8" Stonehenge with Prismacolours...
Reference Photo: Apple by Ivyleaf

C&C's welcome, natch...


04-30-2009, 11:28 PM
Nicely done! I think you got your shadow shaped a lot better than I did. heh

04-30-2009, 11:44 PM
Phyrie, the apple and the shadow both look great! You are doing really well for this only being your 4th piece. You must be a quick learner!

Rosemary, I think I did pretty well on it, eventually. I might even mat and frame it! I did some subtle changes with it after I sprayed it with fixative. The black paper ended up gray in a couple of places, so I colored the black background with black cp and sharpened up the edges of the hands with the black pencil. I think it made it look much more finished. I also added a little black to the shading...the dark umber just was not covering up the tuscan red well enough. I kind of tinkered with the highlights again, too.

The changes are subtle, but I think it looks better! I'm really finished now!:lol:


05-01-2009, 12:05 AM
Thank you, Kat..I don't know that I'd agree about the shapes, but I appreciate it anyway..

Char, I've bought lots of books and read a boat load! I hope that has helped the learning curve. While I was doing this little picture, I realized I didn't know what the complementary colours should be for the red I was using for the apple to help create the shadow.
So I spent a great deal of time creating a colour wheel (thank you Janet <couturej>) so I could see the relationships of the Prismacolour pencils. It was rather eye opening, as I had already sorted my colours into groups, but found out that some of my choices were totally wrong. I understand that everyone sees colour differently, but there were a couple of colours that I was astounded to find Janet had grouped one way, when I had chosen another.

I find it easy to waste time doing "chores" like that, rather than finish a piece. I get frightened that I have no knack for this, and it's a waste of paper and pigment.

Thanks for your encouragement. I am embarrassingly needy in this regard...


05-01-2009, 07:24 AM
Yay, Phyrie! I was starting to wonder if you'd disappeared on me. :D
Your apple looks really good. I think your time creating your own color wheel served you well. :) Now grab a pencil and sign it! Stick it in a mat & frame and put it somewhere where you can see it. Just as a reminder that you most certainly *can* do this.

I like the clean-up you did with the black. :thumbsup: You're right, it did add that feeling of "finished" to the piece. I must admit, I kinda liked those really bright highlights a bit duller. Your adjustments to the tuscan red were well chosen. So yes, *definitely* hang this one.

Ok... Who's ready for next month? Y'all are gonna hate me when you see the refs! :evil: :lol: :lol: :lol:


05-01-2009, 05:08 PM
:) Now grab a pencil and sign it! Stick it in a mat & frame and put it somewhere where you can see it. Just as a reminder that you most certainly *can* do this.

Thanks Rosemary. A question about signing... Is there a recommended way to do it? I have been signing my first (real) name, no last name, on the first three projects, but I would really like to sign "Phyrie". She's just as real as I am, more so even, as she's the one who spends all her time online learning stuff! All of my friends and family know about Phyrie, and I was even going to put the name on my car's licence plate, but haven't got around to it.

Should you always sign your real name, or are AKA's or psuedonyms acceptable? I apologize if this is the wrong place for such a question.


05-02-2009, 07:53 AM
A question about signing... Is there a recommended way to do it?

You don't ask easy questions, do you, Phyrie? :D The answer to that will change with just about every artist you ask. There's several different threads (with varying tones of crankiness) in the Art Business forum. You might want to do a search in there & see what some others have said.

This is just *my* opinion, so take it for what it's worth... You should sign however you are most comfortable. But. Before you decide, take a minute or two to think about where you want to go with your art. I know you're just starting your art journey, but it's good to figure out where you want to go, y'know? So. Do you picture yourself someday, off in the distance, trying to sell your work? Maybe do the art fair/competition scene? Get commissions? Create images for licensing/reproduction?
If you answered "yes" to any of those, you should probably seriously consider signing with your legal name. It'll save you paperwork later. ;)

I spent years being known online as my alter-ego "Tess". Rosemary didn't exist in cyberspace. But I still signed my work with my real name (first initial & last name).

Does that answer it? :)

05-02-2009, 11:14 PM
Thanks, Rosemary, for your answer...

I had a feeling that was the response I was going to get. I think I concur, but I LIKE signing "Phyrie" instead of "Karin". It just looks cooler... Big, loopy "P", dropping "Y" with a flourish, ending "E" flowing up and out. The only letter in Karin that allows any "oomph" is the "K". And now I've sent my real name out into cyberspace. *sigh*

I won't use my last name while signing, but I think I could live with using the initial.
Thanks again,


08-11-2009, 11:21 PM
Hi I have only recently discovered wetcanvas in August. I really liked the apple image from Ivyleaf. I still have trouble with the tooth of the paper showing through. Maybe I need a sharper pencil or different paper. I used arches watercolour paper 300gsm hot pressed smooth, and prismacolour pencils. Any help welcome:)

08-12-2009, 08:10 AM
Lovely work on the apple, Julie! :thumbsup:
You have a sweet, delicate touch with the cp's. And that is a *very* good thing. It doesn't look like you need to practice keeping the points sharp or your pressure light. What I'm seeing is that the paper is showing through still because you aren't quite done yet. If you keep going, adding a few more light layers (especially in the shadow) I bet you'll be much happier.

Make some practice swatches & see how many layers the paper will take. I bet you'll be pleasantly surprised. :)

Hope you'll share any changes you make!

08-12-2009, 09:41 AM
Very nice Julie, I agree with Rosemary a few more layers of color would really push this piece to completion. You apple looks very real nice colors.

08-12-2009, 10:26 PM
Rosemary and Jeff


Thanks for your suggestions, I will give them a try


08-13-2009, 02:35 AM

I have darkened up the shodow and added some extra layers to the apple. What can I do about the little dark flecks in the shadow, do you add more colour around them to make them less conspicuous or lift them off with a blade?

Thanks for any help:wave:

08-13-2009, 03:07 AM

I tried putting blue slate over the entire shadow to try and unify the colours.
I think I may have gone a bit dark overall on the shadow, but it was an interesting learning exercise:)


08-13-2009, 09:26 AM
You're doing great, Julie~
The blue slate was a good choice. I don't think you went too dark at all. In fact, I think you could probably go a bit darker. :) I know I know... scary! I hope you don't mind, I've pulled your last image into photoshop & converted it to greyscale (tweaked the contrast just a bit, 'cause I'm betting the paper is white) :


and here's the ref:


Do you see where you can still go even further with the shadow? Do some test swatches & practice bits first. And if you're ready to move on to another piece, file this info away for later use!


08-13-2009, 05:18 PM
Thanks Rosemary

Thank you for going to the trouble of converting it to black and white. I will have to try and do that myself too. Yes, it is white paper. Do you have any tips for getting rid of the dark pencil flecks in the shadow? they seam to be related to the texture of the paper?


08-13-2009, 05:36 PM
Hi, Julie! I think adding more layers of cp to the shadow will help get rid of the fleks, but if not, you might try blending just a little with a colorless blender or a blending pen. If you don't have those things, then a little bit of turpenoid, alcohol, or even fingernail polish remover will work. Use only a small amount on a Q-tip or a cotton ball. Be careful of getting the paper too wet!!


08-14-2009, 08:54 AM
Before you try any sort of solvent (what Char is suggesting), make sure you play on scraps of your paper first. It will *radically* change the look/feel of the area you use it on. Sometimes, it's a good thing. Others, it can create mud and nasty gick. So please please please practice and understand what is liable to happen before going anywhere *near* your lovely apple.

Now, less dangerous and easier to correct if you don't like what happens is using *dry* blending techniques. Looking at the "flecks", I'm betting if you use a stiff brush, a piece of paper towel or tissue or a qtip you could probably buff/blend a lot of those flecks away. I still highly recommend doing practice swatches before getting near your work. :)

You might want to give this thread from the cp library a read-through: New Blending Techniques (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=501602)

Good luck~

08-14-2009, 12:25 PM
Char and Rosemary, Thanks for your tips and advice.

I went down the deepening the colour of the shadow with dry blending. I think I am done! I has been a real learning experience, the shadow seems often trickier than the object!:wave:

08-14-2009, 11:41 PM
The skin of your apple looks so realistic! Great job! The shadow does look better, too.


08-15-2009, 09:00 AM
Much better, Julie! :thumbsup:
And yes, the shadows *can* be trickier than the actual object. They're the important part in any piece. The shadows are the part that gives heft, and dimension, and depth and interest to an object. Without them, our art would be flat. The shadows are where complex colors hide. They're where you can really grab your viewer. :D