One of my goals for this year was to take three art classes (or more if possible!) I checked the first one off the list with a delightful colored pencil technique class with Barbara Hranilovich and now I'm hooked!
Barb is one of those teachers who knows her stuff (she's an accomplished illustrator, can paint like a crazy woman, and yes, she works in clay, felting, makes soap -- she's just diverse!). But what makes her a terrific teacher is that she's so darned much fun, you just want to be there and learn!
And, it was a surprise and delight to discover that my other classmates weren't only my friend Kate, but a former work colleague, the wife of a different former work colleague and a woman I've known since sixth grade!
The class was a four-hour session so we weren't learning how to draw but how to use the pencils in a variety of ways. Our first exercise involved making marks from lightest to darkest to see how various pressure affected the color and intensity of the pencil. Then we moved onto doing a blended circle and square. (I loved the circle!) Again, moving from dark to light or from one tone to another.
Barb demonstrated and I was impressed she could do it backwards and upside down. It reminded me of a Ginger Rogers story about how she had to do everything Fred Astaire did -- but backwards and in high heels!
We practiced this a bit and also experimented on different papers. I was particularly fond of the black paper.
Then it was time to tackle a still life. I'm not terrific at drawing from life (which is why I should probably do it more often).
But it was fun to tackle the shapes of the Japanese lantern flowers and the oil can.
I needed two things from this class. The most obvious was to learn some new techniques for my non-watercolor colored pencils. I wanted to go beyond simply coloring in and really seeing how to make them work for me. I accomplished that goal -- now I just have to practice to refine it.
The second was more personal. I needed to step into the classroom and create in good company again. I've been so down this January -- Beth calls it "a case of the Januarys." No mojo, feeling under par. I needed to pick up the energy of creative people, laugh with like-minded people and admire their accomplishments while learning new ones of my own.
Mission most definitely accomplished!
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