Friday, December 16, 2011

A Second Cup

Pictured here is my newest piece, A Second Cup, which is based on an earlier piece I did, Self Portrait with Tea. For this piece, I employed a much warmer and richer color palette, and also a different colored pencil technique. This piece is 24" x 18", Prismacolor colored pencils on sanded paper mounted on board.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Preview of a New Piece

I have been working on a colored pencil drawing similar to one I did in 2008, but with a slightly different pose and more dramatic color scheme. I also am using a different colored pencil technique, as mine has evolved over the years. Here is a preview of a crop of the face (first image), and I have also included a crop of the 2008 version for comparison (second image). The final drawing will be scanned and posted on Friday.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Whistler Award

I attended the reception for the Whistler House Museum of Art Members Exhibition yesterday, and found out that my portrait of Nick won the Whistler Award! Above is a photo of me with my piece. The other award winners were truly amazing. The show goes on until December 30th. For more information, see

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

WHMA Exhibition

My oil portrait, Nick has been accepted into the Whistler House Museum of Art Annual Juried Member Exhibition! The exhibition will include artwork of various media by members of the Whistler House Museum of Art, and will run from November 19 through December 30. For more information on the event and venue, see

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Portrait of Nick

Pictured here is the final scan of my portrait Nick, 14x11, oil on board.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Oil Portrait on my Easel

A snapshot of my latest oil portrait almost complete... just needs finishing touches and a signature.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Ethan Awarded First Place in Oils

I am thrilled to announce that my portrait of Ethan has been awarded First Place - Oils at the Richeson 75: International Figure Portrait Exhibition. The juror was esteemed portrait artist Everett Raymond Kinstler, and I am so honored that he selected my piece and wrote the following:

"Portraying a child is most difficult. I think Holly Bedrosian's painting of Ethan is very successful. Most importantly, there is a child-like innocense and simplicity about the young boy. The painting is sensitive, and while modest, has a sincerity and good paint quality. The polo shirt and its horizontal patterns are subdued and intelligently rendered. A fine interpretation, convincingly handled."

The show goes on through November 4 at the Richeson Gallery in Kimberly, WI.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

On my easel...

Pictured here is a snapshot (not final image) of the painting on my easel. This was my first time painting on Gessobord, and I really like the fine grain for painting portraits. This piece is a small format (20" x 16") for a 3/4 length portrait, so it was important to use a surface that facilitates the rendering of fine details, such as for her face. I didn't tone the board as I do with canvas, but rather painted directly onto the white sanded surface, first working with thin layers of paint, and gradually building up the thicker (less turpentine, more oil) layers. I tend to paint in layers, letting the paint dry overnight, adding subsequent layers each day.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Richeson 75

I am getting ready to ship my portraits Ethan and Christian to Wisconsin, as they have been accepted into the Richeson 75 Figure / Portrait 2011 International Art Competition. The exhibition will include seventy-five figure and portrait paintings in oil, water media, and dry media, and is put on by the Richeson School of Art & Gallery, a division of Jack Richeson & Co., Inc. I have tried a variety of oil paints, but Richeson Oils - The Shiva Series is my favorite brand, and the one I use almost exclusively. I prefer these paints for their rich color (particularly alizarin crimson, which I tend to use a lot), and more uniform texture. For more details on the exhibition, please see my Events page.

Monday, August 22, 2011

SCNY Award

I recently found out that my colored pencil piece, Smile, received a Certificate of Merit at the Salmagundi Club Annual Non-Members Painting and Sculpture Exhibition. There were over 500 images submitted to the exhibition, and about 100 pieces accepted, including paintings in oil, acrylic, watercolor, mixed media, pastel, and colored pencil, as well as various sculptures.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Art Kudos

My colored pencil piece, Sanguine Expectation, has been selected as a finalist in the 2011 Art Kudos International Juried Art Competition & Exhibition. The online exhibition includes works in a variety of media from 157 artists representing 23 countries. To see the award winners and other finalist, go to

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Portrait of Danny Completed

I finished my portrait of Danny a couple of weeks ago, and above is the final scanned image.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Two Still Life Paintings

Above are the final photos of two still life paintings I recently completed working from life in my studio. The setup for the first one, Trio in Blue, was illuminated using a regular (warm) light bulb, whereas I used a full-spectrum light bulb to illuminate the bottle in the bottom painting, Ocean Waves. For both of these paintings, I started with a loose drawing of basic shapes to get the images centered on the board and properly proportioned. From there, I began adding color and contrast, constantly refining until I was happy with the level of detail.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

CLWAC Exhibition

I just found out that my colored pencil piece Sanguine Expectation has been accepted into the Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club 115th Annual Exhibition. The exhibit will run from October 4th through October 28th at the National Arts Club and will include work done by women artists in a variety of media from all over the United States. For more information on this and other upcoming shows, see my Events page.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Oil Portrait Progress

I have been working on an oil portrait of my brother, Danny Bedrosian. I still have some work to do, especially on the shirt and hair, but this is getting close to being done. The glare makes it a little difficult to see details in this photo, but once I'm finished and the painting has dried, I will varnish it and photograph or scan it with better lighting.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

CPSA Exhibit

Shown here are a couple of photos of my piece Next hanging at the CPSA Exhibition in Dallas. The exhibit continues through the end of the month; more information can be found on my Events page. Thank you to Debbi Friedman, whose incredible piece Counterpoint in Green received the Award for Outstanding Achievement, for taking these photos!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Still Life Paintings Completed

I just completed these still life paintings working from life in my studio. The bottle for the painting on the right was illuminated with a daylight light bulb, whereas the setup for the painting on the left was illuminated with a regular incandescent light bulb. This was a good exercise to observe and paint objects under different lighting situations, but now I am tired of painting blue bottles, and so I am moving on to a portrait!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Salmagundi Non-Member Show

I just found out that my colored pencil piece, Smile, has been accepted into the Salmagundi Club 34th Annual Juried Painting and Sculpture Exhibition for Non-Members. This show of original oils, watercolors, pastels, colored pencils, acrylics, mixed media, and sculpture will take place at the Salmagundi Club in NYC, and be on from August 8-19. For more information on this and other upcoming shows, see my Events page.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Still Life In Progress

Pictured here is a still life I'm painting from life in my studio. I have a light shining on the setup, and blackout curtains to keep daylight from interfering. I think that the next time I might try painting something illuminated with daylight, and try to restrict my painting to the same time each day (or paint really fast!)

I definitely appreciate being able to see so much more working from life. I also think that working from life makes it easier to stay aware of the object as a whole and keep colors and contrast in check. Probably the most difficult part is the initial sketch, having to compose the image without seeing it already cropped as in a photograph. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Picnic Completed

Below is the scanned image of my latest work, Picnic, 28" x 20", colored pencil on sanded paper.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Colored Pencil Work in Progress Preview

Above is a snapshot of a portion of the colored pencil drawing currently on my drawing table. I expect this piece to be done early next week...

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

On my easel

Above is a snapshot of the portrait currently on my easel - 14x18, oil on board. I don't usually keep track of how many hours each painting or drawing takes, but so many people ask, so this time I did. In terms of pure painting time (not including several hours of planning, sketching, and sometimes just staring at the painting looking for problems), this has taken 21 hours.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Drawing Magazine Cover Competition

I just received my copy of the Spring 2011 Drawing magazine, and I am thrilled to be featured as one of the finalists in their annual Cover Competition. My colored pencil piece Quiet Moment, a portrait of my sister, can be found on page 41, with accompanying text on page 40. The neat thing about this year's competition is that along with each finalist's image and description are tips to help make your drawings stronger.

This issue can be purchased online here:

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Untitled Work in Progress

Above is a snapshot of what is currently on my drawing table. I will probably finish up the skirt tomorrow, and have it scanned early next week.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Portrait Commission

I recently finished the portrait commission shown here, 16" x 20", colored pencil. Prior to starting this portrait, I had begun work on a new figurative piece, and I am now making final touches. I should post this new piece sometime tomorrow or Wednesday.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Electric Pencil Sharpeners

When I started working in colored pencil just over four years ago, I used a small hand-held sharpener, but I quickly realized that it was very time consuming, messy, and strained my hand after hours of work. After about 6 months I got an X-Acto Model 41 pencil sharpener, shown above, and I used it for the past three and a half years.

I know you aren't supposed to use colored pencils in electric pencil sharpeners, but this one worked like a charm - it quickly sharpened my colored pencils to a long, sharp point (many handhelds sharpen to a shorter point, i.e. showing less lead, which wears down more quickly). The other day, when the motor finally gave out, I was frantically researching the latest and greatest in electric pencil sharpeners. I even found one that claimed to be made for colored pencils. Unfortunately, the reviews were less than stellar, many people claiming that theirs broke after a year or less of light use! So I decided to go with the same one as last time.

The sharpener arrived the other day, and so far it's fantastic. It seems quieter than my old one (maybe because the motor was on the way out), and sharpens SO quickly. This model does come with a ten year warranty, but it looks like it might not apply to me because I used colored pencils in the machine. I don't mind though; if this thing can take three and a half more years of abuse with waxy lead, I'm happy!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Show in May

I just found out that my portrait of Ethan has been accepted into the Academic Artists Association 61st Annual National Exhibition. The show is on from Sunday, May 1st through Saturday, May 14th at the Karen Sprague Cultural Center, 1000 State Street, Springfield, MA. A reception will be held Sunday, May 1st from 1-4pm.

I am currently doing final touches on a portrait commission, and then have a new figurative piece already started that I hope to complete by the end of the month.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Winter Blues II

Above is my latest piece, Winter Blues II, 11x14, oil on panel (I previously did a colored pencil self portrait titled Winter Blues). I have started planning my next piece, which is to be colored pencil, but it will have to be put on hold for a bit while I work on portrait commissions.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Now this makes me smile!

My colored pencil drawing Smile has been awarded Honorable Mention in the Artist's Magazine All-Media Competition! Images of the winning artwork in all of the media categories is now online:

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Acrobats and Apples

Above are scans of my two latest paintings, Acrobats and Apples, and Lady in Blue (a much better image than my previous photograph!)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Winter Distractions

This photo is not me getting ready to go skiing, but getting ready to go shoveling. Again. But I have been planning a new still life, and my canvas is prepped and ready to go for Monday. In the meantime, below is a photo - actual size, on my screen - of a mini (3x3!) drawing I did of a local farm. This drawing, along with other drawings by members of the New England Chapter of the Colored Pencil Society of America (CPSA), will be part of a collage that will be shown at the Annual CPSA Convention in Dallas, TX this July. I did this on sanded paper, so some of the details are rough... but it definitely has the overall feel of Peter's Farm in the summer. And it made me forget about the snow for a little while.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

New Work - Lady in Blue

Here is the final piece, Lady in Blue. I was able to get the canvas re-stretched without disturbing the partly dry paint, but next time will stretch the canvas first!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Oil Painting - Step by Step

I started a new oil painting just before the holidays, and am nearing completion. I decided to photograph my progress, as I was trying a new "technique" with this piece. Previously I had painted directly onto a white canvas, but I find it's much easier to judge values when starting with a toned canvas. I had also tried a grisaille technique, establishing the values in grey tones prior to adding glazes of color. This didn't prove to be a successful technique for me, as I tend to let the paint dry and then repaint entire sections. So with this piece, I just decided to go with my instincts. In the first photo below, I just loosely established the basic shapes to get the proportions right, and wasn't too concerned with details.

In the second photo below, I have begun to lay down some color, mostly darks and mid-tones.
In the third step, I have continued to lay down color, adding more lights and contrast in general.
In the fourth step, I have begun to tighten up the details, except that I have purposefully left out the baby's breath flowers in order to allow the background to dry first.
In the final photo, I have made a few adjustments and added the flowers. The only problem is that the canvas is loose, so I will have to carefully re-stretch it before photographing the final piece.