Sunday, January 27, 2013

On My Worktable Today

Currently I have two projects on my worktable.   I have been working on this lion for a couple of weeks.  He is drawn with Derwent Graphic Pencils on Strathmore Bristol Board.  He has taken so long because I've had other responsibilities that have kept me from working on him as steadily as I'd like.   He and I have to share stolen moments.  : )  I think that just makes our relationship stronger.  I know that sounds a little funny.  But I do feel I know an animal after I've finished studying every nook and cranny of their face and looked deeply into their eyes.  I do feel this particular lion and I are special friends now.   He still needs a few hours of work to be finished.   When he is complete, I'll also share with you the incredible site where I found the photograph.  I do have permission from the photographer to use his work as my model.  It is always better to work from a live subject rather than a photograph.  But I have the hardest time getting those lions to climb the stairs to my studio and lie down so I can draw them!!

The other project I've been working on is this workshop example for using Zest-It solvent with colored pencils.  I have used Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils on Strathmore Bristol Board paper.  I will be recording that workshop this week and offering it soon through my online teaching site, CreativePencils.  We are longing for Spring in my part of the world.  These tulips seem a bright promise that there will be color outside my window once again soon.  This will be a fun workshop for those that like to play with colors to create the shading and play of light on a subject.  If you would like to learn more about working with colored pencils, you will love this opportunity.   **More on the workshop in a few days. 

Wind and Honey Creations

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Grow Your Blog Party

Dancing Swan

Today I am joining the Grow Your Blog Party hosted by Vicki at 2 Bags Full.   I will begin by telling you the obvious.  I am Elizabeth Johnson of Wind and Honey Creations and Creative Pencils.   Wind and Honey is the name under which I create my own personal art.  I have used that name for almost 25 years now.  --I was but a toddler when I started.  Hahahahaha!!!!!

This has nothing to do with anything.  I just thought is was pretty.

 I have created a variety of types of art.  But in my wanderings, I always end up coming home to my first love, artist's pencils.  The sparkle and excitement of paint and glitter call to me.  But bringing life to a blank piece of paper with nothing but a simple pencil is what makes my heart sing.  Somehow when I've drawn something I love, it feels as if a part of that subject is then in my heart in a way that cannot ever be removed.   My passionate first and forever subject of choice is animals.  I love them all -- domestic and wild.  I strive to capture each one's unique personality and show it to the world. 

Just some of my pencils

Creative Pencils is the name under which I teach drawing 
workshops.   I first began teaching in my local community 14 years ago.  I started with children and eventually grew up to adult classes.  I have taught almost as many media as I have experimented with.  But, as with my own art, I always return home to my pencils.  I have taught many students my right-brained approach to drawing.  And it has been a delight to watch them blossom and discover they could do something they thought they could not.  I love watching the look on their faces as they begin to realize they are actually drawing.  Last year I opened an online site called Creative Pencils where I teach online with a video format.  That has been quite an adventure.  

I began blogging when I had a shop on Etsy some years ago and it was suggested that it would be a good thing to do.  Oh my!  I had no clue what I was doing or what to say or what to do!  But I stumbled in anyway.  Through visiting other blogs and basically following what I saw in others, I found this to be an enjoyable place to be.  I much prefer blog hopping to spending hours on other social media.  When I visit blogs I feel I've spend time in someone's living room or had tea in their quaint gift shop.  I hope my blog communicates that kind of warm atmosphere too.  And, although I do brag on my students here, and I do show my work here, my blog has become much more than just a place to promote my business.  It has become a place to visit friends and share my world.  

As to my personal life, I have been married over 30 years to a man that spends his free time writing poetry.  And yes, ladies, some of those poems have been written to me.  I have to say, its pretty nice. 
I have 2 grown children.  My son is a chef and my daughter is a sculpture artist.   They are the delights of my life. 

I have 2 cats and a Great Pyrenees who grace my home with warm snuggles, lots of laughter, and constant studio supervision.  

Thank you for visiting me here today.  I am giving away a prize!  Fun, fun!  And anyone can participate.  I will hold a drawing on February 1, 2013 using the names of those that comment here.  The winner will receive a Giclee fine art print of my Dancing Swan created with mixed media pencils.  It is the image at the top of this post.   It is 10" x 8" and will come ready for you to mat and frame as you wish to coordinate with your own personal decor. 

Wind and Honey Creations

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Art Journaling with Pencils Workshop

Keeping an art journal is very popular right now. There are journals of all kinds of sizes, bindings, and paper types just about everywhere you go. I always thought I should be keeping one. I saw them everywhere. I loved the look of the mixed media pages with paint and pasted images.  They are all over the internet.  So cool, I thought.  And surely I should be keeping one, I thought to myself.  After all, they are so "artsy"!

Journal page Swan

But as I attempted to journal using the beautiful and ever popular paint and paste method, it just didn't work for me.  Art journaling should be free.  One should just go with the flow with the inspiration of the moment, just as a written journal would be.   I found that I got so caught up in the method of painting and pasting and looking for the right image, that any sense of free creativity elluded me.


And so, I did not journal.

Until it occurred to me that I could find ways to accomplish the same looks with my artist's pencils.  Well, that sounded fun to me.  But where to start?  I began to play with my pencils in a free and journaling format.  And with time I began to discover all kinds of ways to create some of the same layered and colorful looks of paint and paste journal pages, simply by using my pencils.

Journal page crop
Journal illustration from workshop

But the most fun discovery for me in this art journaling process, was how relaxing it was.  If I wanted an image, I didn't have to search through files or worry about where to find just the right image.  I simply drew it.   I don't mean grand works of art.  I mean simple easy drawings that most anyone could do.

Using graphite, charcoal, or colored pencils to create my images was a slower process.  But it gave me more time to mull over the idea I was trying to communicate with that image.

Having loved this process, I would like to share what I've learned with you.  So I have created a workshop in which I share some of my discoveries from art journaling with artist's pencils.  This workshop is currently available on Creative Pencils.  In this workshop I will help you find your focus and help you see how to bring a variety of elements to your pages.  I will create an entire page on camera so you can see the process unfolding.  You will get to create your own personal pages.

I used a variety of pencils including Prismacolor Premier colored pencils, Derwent Inktense and watercolor pencils, Derwent Tinted Charcoal pencils, and graphite pencils.  You may use what you have on hand.  And if you love the process, you may want to add to you supplies accordingly.

I hope you will join me.  I think you will enjoy your journals all the more once you can creatively incorporate your pencils for a new look.

Wind and Honey Creations

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Returning to Classes

Student Bunny 1
A bunny in soft pastels by an 8 year old student
Today my local classes resume.

The little ones will be making winter tree sculptures. That will be fun. And the older kids will be drawing again after a short hiatus to design their own pendants.

Clint is a private student who does not like breaks in our weekly meetings. He will be glad to be back.

Clint's Lightening Storm
Clint's interpretation of a lightening storm in watercolor
The adult class will be glad to be back to work as they find it difficult to work drawing time into their busy schedules without class time.

And for those of you who are not close enough to drive over today to join us for class,  Creative Pencils has ongoing workshops.   The Pencils Series 101, 201, & 301 continue providing a solid foundation in graphite skills for drawing, shading, and more. 
Calla Lilies
Calla lilies - one of the projects for Pencils 201

And Colored Pencils 101 is available for the beginner in colored pencils.  This workshop addresses colored pencil technique, color theory, and a lovely butterfly project.

One of the projects for Colored Pencils 101

New workshops are also coming to Creative Pencils soon!  I am excited about the projects I will be able to offer for 2013.  More information about those is coming....

Wind and Honey Creations

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Does Your Blog Need A New Look?

I just love the look of my blog.  Sometimes I just sit and appreciate it. 

I can say that because I didn't do it. 

Karen Valentine of Valentine Design and My Desert Cottage designed my blog a little over a year ago.  She took my own drawings and put them together to create a background and banner that is uniquely mine.   Then Karen added special touches in the tabs and the sidebar so that everything goes together.   I have to say that I get a lot of compliments on it.

Maybe your blog needs a boost.  I used to change my blog constantly.  I changed the background every few weeks and moved things around in the sidebar chronically.  I lacked direction and had no idea which way to go.  So I just followed the crowd.   Now, I am content because it has unity and a finished look.

Karen is not only talented at designing a unique blog, she is also great to work with, and she is full of helpful guiding information.  You would love working with her.   Here is her design site.

Or if you are techy, you could purchase Karen's book Building Beautiful Blogs.  She explains in very clear details how to do just about anything you might want to do on your blog.

Hop on over to Karen's gallery and see some of the other blogs she has designed.  You'll be impressed.

Wind and Honey Creations

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