Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Casein — Day 1

Today, I tried painting in casein for the first time. Casein is an ancient type of paint, it was used in ancient Egypt and continues to be used today. I've been following James Gurney as he's started using casein and I thought I’d like to try it, too.

"Naval Officer," Casein in Stillman & Birn Beta sketchbook,
copyright Sara Light-Waller, 2014

Here is the result of my first casein painting — the portrait of a naval officer from the 18th century. I’m pleased with the result. He looks ready to tell me his story. *smile* The perfect thing for a portrait.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Bam! A world of fashions made out of paper

Yesterday, Matt and I took a field trip to Bellevue, WA to take in the Isabelle de Borchgrave show at the Bellevue Arts Museum (BAM).
I was only made aware of Isabelle’s work a few days ago and was completely transported by the clothing she creates out of paper. They look real!

Here is a link to the show, in case you'd like to see it.

I’ve created a Pinterest board highlighting some of Isabelle's remarkable fashions.

You can also find out more about the artist on Wikipedia.

Can you believe this gown is made entirely out of paper?
I found Isabelle’s paper fashions an irresistible subject for sketching and did a few drawings while we were at the show. Honestly, I could have stayed there for days drawing all of those dresses. I had such a lovely time.

Sketch by Sara Light-Waller, 2014., Isabelle de Borchgrave show.
Pen & ink, Gelly Roll pen, Koh-I-Noor Hardtmuth Magic Pencils

Sketch by Sara Light-Waller, 2014., Isabelle de Borchgrave show.
Pen & ink, Gelly Roll pen, colored pencil, Koh-I-Noor Hardtmuth Magic Pencils
Urban sketching has become such a regular part of my life that I don’t think twice about drawing in public. I also enjoy chatting with the passersby who are curious about my drawings. I had several engaging conversations yesterday with other museum patrons while drawing. To me, this adds a dynamic facet to both the urban sketcher and museum-goer experience. 

Friday, January 24, 2014

A very delayed post – or maybe not. It is my blog after all….

I thought it was high time I recorded something here about what’s been going on in my life.

I’ve been writing. Yes, writing. As I intend all the books in my series to roll out in a timely fashion, I need to have several book in various states of completion at once.

Here's the rundown on my forthcoming novel series - 

Book I of the series is nearly done. I’m currently working on the painting for the book cover. This will be one of the very last steps before I bring it out. (I tell myself to “have faith” several times a day. *lol*)

Book II is written and has already been through several drafts.

Book III is under way and the first draft is about 3/4 completed.

Book IV (the final book) is still a twinkle in my mind’s eye.

As you can well imagine this has been a lot of work. And a challenge to my courage and fortitude every step of the way. First it was, can I actually write these books? Then it was, can I step up and do the illustrations the way I visualize them? Now it’s, am I going really going to do a painting for the cover? Can I do it? Well, sure I can. But it means pushing my skills once again.

So that’s what I'm doing right now — preparing the painting for the Book I cover. At the moment, I’m doing character sketches before starting on the color thumbnails for the whole painting. Slow and steady work.  

I feel like such a girl geek laying this all on the table out like this. It sounds like some pie-in-the sky project that will be talked about forever and never actually done. But that's not the way I work. It'll all get there, eventually. And hopefully be worth it when it does. 

I already have quite a bit planned for the book launch, including some videos and sample chapters available on my website. It should be exciting and fun! So, that's it for tonight. I’ll be back again soon. Now back to the drawing board.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Using Crayola Crayons as Fine Art Tools

“Blue Angel, © Sara Light-Waller, 2014.
9” x 12” Crayola crayons on Stonehenge paper.

I am a big fan of crayons. Give a person a crayon and they will lose all their artistic inhibitions. Honest, it's true! Give it a try sometime and see for yourself.

I had a hole to fill in my art calendar and I decided to try a fine art piece using Crayola crayons. For my subject I chose a funerary statue of an angel that I think is quite beautiful. I’m fond of painting and drawing statues, the textures and colors of worn stone are endlessly fascinating to me.

For this piece, I chose a limited palette of Crayola’s – Cornflower, Cadet Blue, Cerulean, Blue, Indigo, Blue Violet, Violet, Purple Mountain Majesty, Mauvelous, Orchid, Burnt Sienna, Brick Red, Black, and White. I used Stonehenge paper, as it has good tooth and you can scratch it without too much damage. As I'm sure you'll remember, you can't erase crayons. But you can scratch them out with a sharp craft knife to bring back some lighter colors from underneath.

I have made a little video showing the progress of this piece. (Actually, this is only my second video and one of my intentions for 2014 is to do more videos, so here we go – the first one this year.) I hope you enjoy it and my “Blue Angel.”

Happy New Year 2014!