Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tuesday Tips and Techniques: Take A Workshop!


We all have our favorite "go to" art supplies, and no matter what your's is, there's someone using it in a way that you've probably never dreamed of before!  Taking a workshop whether online or in person, is an excellent opportunity to view your materials in a fresh, exciting way.


"The Kiss" by John Smolko

I had such an opportunity this past Saturday when I attended a colored pencil workshop with John Smolko. (View more of John's work HERE).  The workshop was sponsored by my instructor, Jennifer Kosarco, and CPSA. The moment I viewed John's work, I knew it was a workshop that would enhance my creativity.  His work is full of color, vibrancy and movement, and I was eager to learn his technique.  


The main objective of the workshop was to teach us rendering and blending with line, and color blocking in areas with line and scribbling.  We began by practicing the scribble and discussing color choices.

We continued by choosing a block letter and after drawing the letter, we began color blocking and shading the letter.  We filled in the background and were given additional information on color choices and color experimentation.  

We followed this exercise by working on portraits from photos that we brought with us.  I chose a photo from my photo file of National Geographic images.  I was captivated by this gentleman's beard, mustache, and the folds of his turban.

I would be hard pressed to describe the excitement I felt as I learned this new technique!  The very act of using line differently breathed a new life into my work, and I've been obsessed with this method of drawing since the workshop.  I've worked on this portrait every day, and I'm at a point where I'll set it aside and look at it again next week to see what I need to add.

Adding the layers of color has been a fascinating exercise in color juxtaposition and experimentation.  There are 14 colors in this drawing at this point, and some of the darker areas have up to 8 layers of color.


The fun part about learning a new technique is "making it your own".  I'm already thinking of ways to incorporate this technique into not only my journals, but in my acrylic paintings.  How fun will it be to use this technique by squeezing craft acrylic straight out of the bottle?  I can't wait to give that a try.  In the meantime, I started using this technique on a new spread in my moleskin journal. (more on that tomorrow).

I hope you're having fun each day and finding new ways to enhance your creative muse, and I hope that if you     get an opportunity to take an art workshop, you'll give it a try.   Wherever your journey takes you, remember to "Celebrate, LOVE, and Create!"


"Red Sky at Morning"

I took this photo early one morning about 2 weeks ago as the sun was coming up over the rooftops.  The saying "Red sky at morning, sailor take warning...", proved to be true as thunderstorms rolled in later that afternoon and evening.


  1. Celebrate, love and create is so much more fun when I see so many things that excite me. Thanks for the share!!

  2. yay for scribbling. I always love when techniques that seem child-like or non-artistry end up being used in really amazing and talented ways! It is a nice dichotomy combination

  3. Wonderful work! This is something I've been wanting to learn... how to layer color!
    Very cool!

  4. Awesome my girl! Awesome! And yes, I do think you must stay here in the the world of pencil and squiggles, color and passion for the work. Did I say awesome? Yes I did..... Much love! Ro

  5. what a fantastic workshop that would have been. I love the portrait that you did and it looks like you have learned so much about a different medium.


Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me! It's a pleasure sharing the creative world of art journaling with you. I love hearing from you, so comments and questions are always welcome.

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