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.