Thursday, October 05, 2006

New Hampshire Pears

This is a piece which I did one evening just over two weeks ago in New Hampshire while staying with my friend and fellow Fine Line Artists member, Nicole Caulfield. It's now posted as an image in the Small Works Gallery on my website.

Once we had her two delightful daughters in bed, I wanted to see how Nicole worked as she gets a really super finish to her coloured pencil pieces. So we decided we should both draw a couple of pears in coloured pencils from life (my main way of working) on colourfix (her support of choice in the past) and watch what each other did while we did this.

It was absolutely fascinating. We both had a completely different approach to working on the colourfix - I do very light sweeping hatching strokes every which way (with some link to form and shape) and work the whole drawing all the time while Nicole has an oval polishing approach and works her way out gradually from one point on the pear. She gets a very even finish and very gradual and subtle transitions this way (which I like) whereas you can see all the marks in mine (which I also like!). We also compared which pencils we were using and both got to try some we'd never used before.

Then we talked about colour and I showed her how I approached optical mixing, what colours I could see and what pencils I would use next if I was doing her piece. She did the same for me.

It's really interesting exercise to really look at what somebody else is doing and to have to explain what you're doing to a fellow artist - it makes you look at processes and approaches in a way which you've maybe not done since you first learned how to use the medium in question. In some instances this evaluation process can also lead to thoughts about possible changes - as indeed it did for Nicole who happily pushed her colours with a bit of encouragement from me. You can see Nicole's pears which were the result on her blog here.

And although I know this is coloured pencil on burnt umber colourfix, I can't tell you how big it is as I gave it as a present to Nicole. She even made me sign it!

(PS The Fine Line Artists website link was fixed while I was away and is now in full working order here ).

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  1. Very interesting! I like yours, and I like hers, too. One of the things I am learning is that there are no absolutes -- plenty of room for differing styles, choices, and tastes.

    One of the things that stops me from being too censorious of my own work is the certain knowledge that someone else (maybe even someone I greatly respect) will like some of my work that seems only so-so to me.....

    -- Vicki in Michigan

  2. Lovely work as always Katherine and what a marvelous experieince to be able to spnd time with fellow artists and work together.


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