Friday, May 22, 2009


It's Friday, it's sunny and not too warm outside, and I just scanned this colored pencil drawing that I did once as an assignment in art class. It is not easy to represent clear glass using just colored pencils and ink pens for depth and shadows. But, it was a good assignment and fun to do. Just how do you "draw" a clear bottle or vase so that you can see through it? I think it is all about what you "don't" draw in the piece. You have to be careful to represent the shadows and shading that is there without doing too much and obliterating exactly what it is that you DO want to represent, which is the clarity of the glass and what you can see through it. Like I said: it was a good assignment and fun to do. I really love drawing with colored pencils. There is something soothing about all the layering that you can accomplish with just 3 or 4 colors.

I once had to draw a white egg using only 3 colored pencils: a yellow, a red, and a blue. I noticed over my shoulder that quite a few of the students were actually DRAWING the egg using these 3 colors. What I did was draw AROUND the egg, representing only the shadows and the edge of the egg with these 3 colors. That was also a fun assignment too.

Sometimes I think that it is what we DON'T see that is most important. The lesson comes from observing and experimenting in life. I have a small little book written by Celia Thaxter entitled "An Island Garden". She says: "Like the musician, the painter, the poet, and the rest, the true lover of flowers is born, not made. And he is born to happiness in this vale of tears, to a certain amount of the purest joy that earth can give her children. Joy that is tranquil, innocent, uplifting, unfailing".

So, it is not the destination but the journey that seems important. And, to have your eyes open during the journey takes practice. Some of us have the raw talent and we are born with it but I do believe that if we keep our eyes open we are certain to find the joy that Celia Thaxter speaks of.

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