Against the Clock – Almost Finished!

AgainsttheClock_June18_2013-001I’m slowly, but surely getting there on this one. In my last post I stated that I wasn’t too pleased with the Mixed Media board that I’m using. However, the more I’ve worked on this piece the more I like the board. The smooth surface has allowed me to build up quite a few layers and the pencil blends beautifully on it.

Originally I wanted to use only Polychromos pencils on this piece. However, I found that I had to use colors from other brands in order to create the look that I wanted. Those other pencil brands that I have used on this piece include Luminance, Dick Blick and Prismacolor. Prismacolor pencils have been inconsistent in their quality ever since they started making them in Mexico…so I try to avoid using them as much as possible. With that said, however, Prismacolor still has the best black pencil on the market. They also have a lovely “Eggshell” color that really helped me blend together the colors of the sand.

Comments and criticisms of my work are always welcome…either comment below or send me a private message at

Thanks for looking!!


Against the Clock – WIP

Just thought I’d pop in and give an update on this piece.  The Strathmore Mixed Media board has been okay.  It seems to be accepting layers pretty well.  However, I still am not 100% happy with it.  I’ll try yet another substrate on my next piece – which is currently in the sketch phase.



As much as it pains me, I had to start over on the piece “Against the Clock.”  Unfortunately, I had the very same problem with this piece as I did with “Sworn to Protect” – the colored pencil stopped layering and started coming off of the paper.  Now, I’m pretty sure that it isn’t my technique.  I’ve been very careful to use a very sharp pencil and a light touch.  I hardly had any layers of color on the paper and was far from the burnishing process!

I suspect that there are two reasons for this problem:

  • Stonehenge is too soft and smooshy (there are actually quite a few artists who complain about this aspect of Stonehenge and refuse to use it as their substrate).
  • Prismacolor pencils no longer have the same quality now that they are being made in Mexico.

This time I am using Strathmore 500 Mixed Media Board and Faber-Castell Polychromos and Caran d’Ache Pablos pencils.  These products cost a lot more than the Stonehenge paper and Prismacolor pencils, but so far they totally seem to be worth it!!

I started this new piece about two weeks ago.  Here is what I have so far:AGAINST_vs2_3.15.13

Against the Clock (WIP)

Still plugging away on this piece….slowly, but surely.  I am far from being done, but thought I’d give an update as it has come a long way since the last update I posted!

Unfortunately, life has gotten in the way of my colored pencil work lately.  The beauty of colored pencil, though, is that I can walk into my studio, pick up a pencil and get to work.  No time wasted on mixing up paint and trying to get just the right colors each and every time!

Against the Clock (WIP)

Day Number 10.

More underpainting.  Beginning to add a little bit of detail, but even these spots that I’ve begun adding more detail have a long way to go.  I bought a new “toy” – a scanner.  Now the colors and clarity of each piece will be truer to the original.  Taking photographs of art is way too tricky.

Against the Clock: WIP

Day Number 5.  More underpainting.  Still need to establish more layers of shadow before blending/refining.  As mentioned in a previous post, I tend to work all over the page – unlike other colored pencil artists who finish minute details of the painting a little bit at a time.

Title given:  “Against the Clock.”


Latest WIPs

This summer has been miserably hot here in Wisconsin….as well as the rest of the United States.  As a result, I’ve spent a lot of time indoors.  Unfortunately, I haven’t worked a whole lot on my art.  This is partly because I’ve been suffering from headaches and nausea off and on almost every single day for the past month and a half.  I have no idea why, but my husband suspects it could be a tick borne illness of some sort.  The other reason I haven’t been too productive is that my studio is not well insulated – so it is unbearably cold in the winter and hot in the summer.  In the winter I can pile on clothes and crank up the space heater, but in the summer all I have is a fan….which just blows around the hot air.

On days when it has been cool enough I have been working on the two pieces pictured at the end of this post.  I do have several commissioned pieces that are in the planning/sketching phase.  I’ve been trying to be “good” and finish up pieces before starting something new, but I don’t think that is going to happen.  Colored pencil is not a medium that can be rushed, so at some point I will probably have to set these aside and start on the commissioned works.

Can I Have A Bite?!? (WIP)

My current work in progress is from a photograph that I took of my Rat Terrier buddy, Ranger, mooching while my son eats a cookie.  It totally cracks me up how he is sitting on his butt in the picture.

The first version of this piece I had to scrap.  I was working on smooth illustration board and I made the mistake of building up too many layers quickly on the sweatshirt area.  It got to the point where no matter what I did I couldn’t get the shirt to look right.  Instead of plodding on with a piece that was going nowhere, I decided to begin anew.  This time I was able to include my son’s face.  Since his eye contact with Ranger helps to make the piece, it really is for the best that I started over.