Thursday, July 27, 2017

Summer Reading Anyone?

I love to read about artists. It’s good to learn about their struggles and successes. Often I find myself more inspired than ever. So I thought that perhaps it would be fun to cover a few books I have read in the past. Perhaps it can help you with your summer reading list.


Lust for Life (1934) Fiction
by Irving Stone
I never really understood Vincent Van Gogh until I read the biographical novel, Lust for Life. Irving Stone went to great lengths to make this story accurate, using Vincent’s letters to his brother Theo and even visiting Holland, Belgium and France for "on-field" work. 

I loved being taken back through time to enter the life of the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists years. You can almost feel Vincent’s pain and madness with an ending that was much sadder than the film, starring Kirk Douglas.

By the way, Lust for Life was Stone’s first major publication. The book was rejected 17 times over three years. Hope you’ll enjoy the journey

The Agony and the Ecstasy (1961) Fiction
by Irving Stone


Another great work by Irving Stone, The Agony and the Ecstasy, is the story of Michelangelo Buonarroti, the famous sculptor, painter and architect. Stone researched for this book over a period of six years, first having the artist’s correspondence translated as well as doing his “on-field” work  in Florence, Rome, Carrara and Bologna. 

What I admire about the author, other than his descriptive writing, is his dedication to detail, even visiting the quarry where Michelangelo chose his stone.

Stone does an absolute job of bringing the Renaissance era to life and recounting the struggles the artists of the time experienced not only to accomplish what they wanted but to serve (and sometimes battle with) the aristocracy and the church.



Depths of Glory (1983) Fiction
by Irving Stone
Yes, I’m a fan of Stone. There’s another book he wrote, Depths of Glory, that covers the life of Camille Pissarro. Not known by a lot of people, Pissarro was the oldest of the Impressionists by as much as ten years, but was highly influential on the group. He never really earned a lot of money, usually poor as dirt, but very prolific. 

The one story I remember most from this book is when Pissarro returns to his countryside home from London after seeking safety for he and his family during the Franco-Prussian War. 

Upon arriving home he learns that twenty years' worth of his work has been destroyed. Only 40 paintings had survived because a neighbor had saved them. The Prussians had used his house as a stable and his painted canvases as aprons when butchering the pigs and as floor mats in the garden walkways.

Depths of Glory is another wonderful book where Stone takes you by the hand and leads you on a fantastic journey through yesterday’s artists and the history that surrounds them.

Van Gogh, The Life (2012) Non-Fiction
by Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith
While we’re on the subject of Van Gogh, I highly recommend another book that hit the New York Times Best Seller's list: Van Gogh, The Life. Complete with a family tree, illustrations and maps, this volume gives you an all-encompassing account of Vincent’s life and his relationship with his family and friends. What’s most interesting is the appendix that talks about the peculiarity surrounding his death. Although lengthy, nearly 1000 pages long, the book is rather entertaining and easy to read.

Sacré Bleu A Comedy D'art (2012) Fiction
by Christopher Moore

What a fun, strange and interesting book. A student recommended this book to me, and I’m glad she did.

You’ll learn more about Van Gogh but more importantly about the mysterious Colorman. Part mystery, part love story, part art history, Sacré Bleu is well worth the read.















Here are some others:
Claude & Camille: A novel of Monet  (2011) Fiction
by Stephanie Cowell
Wonderful love story

Private Lives of the Impressionist s (2007) Non-Fiction
by Sue Roe
One of my favorites. Superb account of the Impressionists, learning history, struggles, very inspiring


Portrait of an Artist: Georgia O’Keefe (1997) Non-Fiction
by Laurie Lisle
Good story, interesting read. Helped my understanding of O’Keefe’s artwork and life.


American Mirror: Life and Art of Norman Rockwwell (2013) Non-Fiction
by Deborah Solomon
Great story. But disappointed when I learned that as a commercial artist he was forced to trace everything. Deadlines wait for no man!

By the way, to learn more about the Impressionists and other artists go to the left hand column to the Blog Archive Links. I have covered many of the artists mentioned in this article.











What's Coming Up

Glastonbury Studios One-Day Workshops
All studio workshops are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Includes supplies and lunch. The cost is $85. Class size is limited to ten students. Pre-registration is required. Only payment reserves your seat.
For full description of workshops see: 
Workshop Catalog

Drawing with Pastels/Oil and Soft
August 5

Beginning Acrylics
September 30


Stippling with ink and markers
October 14

Register by email:
jjgoodell@gmail.com


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Sign-up for Australian/NZ Sketching Trip
Ends August 30th
10-Day Sketching Cruise
Sydney, Tasmania, New Zealand

Come join us in January of 2018 on a sketching cruise from Australia to New Zealand. First, we will explore the sights and sounds of the city of Sydney. Then, we'll spend a day in Geelong (south of Melbourne) and another in Burnie Tasmania. By day five, we'll  sail across the Tasman Sea to the breath-taking beauty of New Zealand, where we will enjoy five ports of call, ending in Auckland.


Sunday, January 21-31, 2018
Cruise $849 (PPDO) plus fees and taxes* 
That's $85 a day!!
Workshop Tuition: $700
Registration ends August 30, 2017
*Cruise only, rate subject to change. Does not include tuition and airfare.


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Fall Classes begin Last week of September
Weeks of 9/24-10/22

Come join the fun while learning how to draw and/or paint in the Glastonbury Studios classes. Five-week term; limited to six students per class. Pre-registration and payment needed to secure your seat. To sign up for classes in my studio, please email me.

Pencil to BrushWe will draw then paint a subject every two weeks (pencil and acrylic paint). Final week will be special project.
Every Tuesday morning*

10 am to 12:30 pm
$75 per five-week term

The Evening Draw
Pen and Ink
Every Tuesday evening*
6:30 pm to 9:00 pm
$75 per five-week term

The Morning Draw
Pen and Ink
Every Wednesday morning
10 am to 12:30 pm
$75 per five-week term 
Full

Pencil to Brush 
We will draw then paint a subject every two weeks (pencil and acrylic paint). Final week will be special project.
Every Thursday evening
6:30 pm to 9:00 pm
$75 per five-week term
For more information email:
jjgoodell@gmail.com

Monday, June 26, 2017

July 2017 newsletter: WC pencils techniques

Drawing a frog with watercolor pencil
For weeks now I’ve been working with watercolor pencil. It’s not easy. Sure there are some books (not many) and YouTube videos out there, but nothing that can prepare you for the patience needed to really create a believable picture.

While creating the rendering below, I found that the best method was drawing the entire frog as if it were a colored pencil project. After that, I gingerly added a light layer of water, melding the colors below--very much like adding solvent to colored pencils when blending. When everything was dry, I added more dry color and details. 



Layering: Color, Wet, Dry, Color At first, I went along with other people’s recommendations (authors and presenters). I added water to each layer of color, let it dry and then add another layer. I found this to cause a real mess for me. That doesn’t mean it’s not a good method, but I just found it to be difficult as well as tedious—color, wet, dry, color. I also didn’t get the best results.


Using lines, not so much color
Some folks use a lot of lines, hatch marks and cross hatching. I didn’t like that either 
because the marks would remain after the water was added. This may be cool if I were doing perhaps a grassy area and wanted green lines ghosting in the background. But aside from that application, I prefer to “color” in my subject using closely spaced lines or the side of my pencil.

Heavy outlines, then color
If you prefer to have your subject look like a drawing, you may opt to use heavy lines in an outline fashion. Some artists like to use this method for flowers that have dark edges. But be aware that it may be hard to pull any color away from the lines. And more importantly, you may not be able to change your mind.
 Yes, you can erase your watercolor pencils, but no matter how much you try, you’ll always leave a bit of residue and it gets worse when you use a hard line.

The picture below, which is from one of my test pages, shows how you can create a mess with heavy outlines. Unlike the garlic drawing above where I used dainty lines and light washes, these edges on the flower are hard and when water is applied, it can cause a blurry result. Notice though, that I accomplished something similar by first drawing two lines (in this example in ink, but can be laid down in pencil) and then "coloring" in between the lines. Voila! Blurry has been diminished. 


Layering: Drawing, Wet, Touch Up
While I vary my technique, sometimes adding water as I go along, I have found the best method for me, as stated above,  is to draw the object just like I were working with colored pencils. I apply all the color I can and then lay down water to blend. I let it dry completely, and add final details as the last step.


Making notes
Along the way, I've been taking notes on all the projects I've worked on. It helps me to remember what I did, what I learned and hopefully what I will or will not repeat. It is hard learning a new medium and this one is especially challenging. But once you get a handle on how these pencils work, it actually becomes a lot of fun.
I keep notes of all my experiments with watercolor pencils.


And finally
I created a pencil chart of several different manufacturers which is going into my watercolor pencil workbook. I thought it might be handy for you when you shop. Hope you find it useful.


Click on the above chart to make it larger

What's coming up!

Studio Classes and Workshops
New classes begin week of July 2, 2017*
Come join the fun while learning how to draw and/or paint in the Glastonbury Studios classes. Five-week term; limited to six students per class. Pre-registration and payment needed to secure your seat. To sign up for classes in my studio, please email me

Pencil to Brush
We will draw then paint a subject every two weeks (pencil and acrylic paint). Final week will be special project.
Every Tuesday morning*

10 am to 12:30 pm
$75 per five-week term
Full

The Evening DrawSketching with pen and ink
Every Tuesday evening*
6:30 pm to 9:00 pm
$75 per five-week term

The Morning DrawSketching with pen and ink
Every Wednesday morning
10 am to 12:30 pm
$75 per five-week term
Full

Pencil to Brush We will draw then paint a subject every two weeks (pencil and acrylic paint). Final week will be special project.
Every Thursday evening
6:30 pm to 9:00 pm
$75 per five-week term

For more information email:
jjgoodell@gmail.com
*July 4th Tuesday evening class will meet on Wednesday evening, July 5.

**********
Glastonbury Studios One-Day Workshops
All studio workshops are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Includes supplies and lunch. The cost is $85. Class size is limited to nine students. Pre-registration is required. Only payment reserves your seat.
For full description of workshops see: 
Workshop Catalog

Drawing with Pastels/Oil and Soft
August 5

Beginning Acrylics
September 30

Stippling with ink and markers
October 14

Register by email: jjgoodell@gmail.com

Good News!

Reduced Price!
10-Day Sketching Cruise
Sydney, Tasmania, New Zealand

Come join us in January of 2018 on a sketching cruise from Australia to New Zealand. First, we will explore the sights and sounds of the city of Sydney. Then, we'll spend a day in Geelong (south of Melbourne) and another in Burnie Tasmania. By day five, we'll  sail across the Tasman Sea to the breath-taking beauty of New Zealand, where we will enjoy five ports of call, ending in Auckland.


Sunday, January 21-31, 2018
Cruise $849 (PPDO) plus fees and taxes* 
That's $85 a day!!
Workshop Tuition: $700
Registration ends August 30, 2017
*Cruise only, rate subject to change. Does not include tuition and airfare.


Friday, May 19, 2017

I’m beginning to deeply study watercolor pencils. Oh sure, I’ve used them in the past, but now I want more control over them, have a better understanding on techniques. The biggest problem I have with these pencils comes from their chalk-like appearance when laid down on paper.  So I’m taking it upon myself to use as many papers and pencils as I can afford to purchase.

In this newsletter, I will talk about two manufacturers:  Prismacolor and Derwent In my upcoming classes and/or workshops I will cover more companies.  From the top, I love Prismacolor colored pencils. They have always been soft and full of pigment. So naturally, I turned immediately to their watercolor pencils first. I was surprised. While I love the full, vibrant color in dry form, it can be a challenge in the wet form. In other words, you really have to color lightly with these puppies--create layers.  So this took some getting used to when applying the color.

When you open your box of watercolor pencils, I’d recommend creating a color chart, as I’ve done below. In that way you can get a good feel of what colors are available. Since the names or colors on some pencils don’t necessarily follow any standards.


On the other hand, I found Derwent less colorful and stiffer to apply. Their colors don’t even begin to match those in the Prismacolor set, although their Inktense brand beats them all. However, the Inktense pencils are water-soluble ink pencils, not watercolor (water-soluble) colored pencils. Back to the Derwent pencils, they do have their place. I found that using certain colors was fine. Notice below, the reds are far brighter and juicier in the Prismacolor, but as for the greens, there seems to be no difference.

 
Notice the greens are fairly similar, bu there is
a larger difference between the reds.

Papers 
For years I've never liked the way watercolor pencils appear on paper. After you apply water to them, they always seem to have that messy line work.  You can see what I mean on the cherry below. There isn't that smoothness you get when working directly with colored pencils.


Maybe I'm too picky, but I like my work to be less muddied. That got me to start thinking about the papers I use when working in colored pencil. I usually prefer smooth (or plate) surfaces. And that was the solution. Below you will find a drawing (not complete) I've done of a bird colored with Prismacolor watercolor pencil. Notice how smooth everything is?

Drawn on hot press watercolor paper; much
smoother. Have not completed project. Notice the
lines to placed down for future blending.
Now notice the garlic picture (unfinished as well) that's been done on cold press. It's more difficult to blend the lines, which is okay because they are helping to define form.


The good news!
I am really enjoying myself. Part of my previous problems with watercolor pencils is that I really didn't give the medium a chance. I've discovered that not only the quality of pencils come into play but also the paper on which you draw. Plus, you can use different pencils in the same drawing. That gives me lots of freedom.

 Learn how Prismacolor makes their pencils:

https://youtu.be/6zlbsiOh3LQ

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What's coming up!

Second session of Spring classes begin next week!

Pencil to BrushWe will draw then paint a subject every two weeks (pencil and acrylic paint). Final week will be a special project. Landscapes.
Every Tuesday morning

10 am to 12:30 pm
$75 per five-week term

New! The Evening DrawWatercolor Pencils
Every Tuesday evening
6:30 pm to 9:00 pm
$75 per five-week term

The Morning Draw
Watercolor Pencils
Every Wednesday morning
10 am to 12:30 pm
$75 per five-week term
Full

Pencil to Brush 
We will draw then paint a subject every two weeks (pencil and acrylic paint). Final week will be a special project. Landscapes
Every Thursday evening
6:30 pm to 9:00 pm
$75 per five-week term

To sign up for class, please email me, Jill Goodell, at:
jjgoodell@gmail.com


Upcoming 2018 Sketching Cruises

10-Day Sketching Cruise
Sydney, Tasmania, New Zealand



Sunday, January 21-31, 2018
Cruise $949 (PPDO) plus fees and taxes*
Workshop Tuition: $700


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Sketching Fall Colors 7-Day
Sketching Cruise
 New England and Canada


Friday, Sep 14 - 21, 2018
Cruise $799 (PPDO) plus fees & taxes*
Workshop Tuition: $700

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Last chance to sign up for England Sketching Trip




Marlborough, England

September 3-10, 2017

Registration ends:
June 15
See details at: Travel Sketching Holiday