Elemental Spirit Dancer, by Andrea Maguire

Posted by Yelena Shabrova

It’s not exactly an abstract, it’s certainly not representative, it’s both at once merging, fuzing, creating a great sense of a moving and disappearing form.

Andrea Maguire ~ Elemental Spirit Dancer ~ mixed media on canvas, 48x30

Andrea Maguire ~ Elemental Spirit Dancer ~ mixed media on canvas, 48×30

More of Andrea’s art is at the Pippin Contemporary Blog and her portfolio

Further experimenting with canvases

Posted by Yelena Shabrova

Looking back at all my attempts to make colored pencils play nice with the digital canvas, I have to admit that they certainly prefer a traditional linen one. So the blank digital canvases that I still have will be used for other media. For example, a graphite pencil:


Miniature – graphite pencil on canvas, 3.5″ x 2.5″

Things learned with this one:

– only soft graphite works, harder grades scrape the priming off the canvas without leaving noticeable marks
– for blending, small sponge makeup applicators and bristle brushes work best
– common erasers are of little help when you need a highlight or to scrape off a mistake, but kneaded eraser works wonderfully (I am using a Koh-i-Noor Hardtmuth eraser that comes with its own case and like it better than other brands I had before)
– an x-acto knife can be good for small bright highlights, but using it requires care because it easily gets deep into priming and scrapes it off
– areas treates with a x-acto knife are still good for blending tools, but pencil marks behave unpredictably, so better be avoided

My other canvas experiment that is yet to be finished is a mix of the black India ink and graphite. I am not sure how I like the result so far, but we’ll see.

The Distorted Street Faces of Andre Muniz Gonzaga

Posted by Yelena Shabrova

Since 1997 Brazilian artist Andre Muniz Gonzaga has been turning haphazard, porous, or cracked surfaces into bizarre, misshapen faces in his unique style of street art portraiture. His site-specific paintings have appeared around the world this year in places like Senegal, Portugal, Berlin, Amsterdam and of course his native Brazil, and he’s also known for much more elaborate and polished graffiti murals.

The Distorted Street Faces of Andre Muniz Gonzaga

Pinterest: an Opportunity for Creators – or a Threat?

Posted by Yelena Shabrova

Mark McGuinness posted a great article on the Pinterest for artists issue, Pinterest: an Opportunity for Creators – or a Threat?. A lot of good points there, but do not stop with the article itself or with links to posts in other art marketing blogs about Pinterest. There is a lengthy and insightful discussion in the comments very well worth reading (I could not help but add my $0.02 too).

To me, the amount of attention that Pinterest is getting is amazing. How comes that images of artworks have been shared everywhere for a long while now, from Facebook to Tumblr, often without artist’s consent, and nobody made a big deal out of it? Or did opponents of image sharing only now caught up to the new reality? Is it really such a big deal? Pins are small, unfit for reproduction, even on a very amateurish level. Plagiarism concerns? Artists risk that every time they put their creation on display. Traffic stealing? Now that was probably the most unusual claim I’ve heard, complete with the total lack of supporting facts. Puzzling…

Miniature on canvas with a boardwalk

Posted by Yelena Shabrova

Miniature - colored pencil on canvas, 3.5

This one was created with Derwent Coloursoft pencils, not my usual Prismacolor. The good thing is that these pencils are really, really soft and blend together easily. The bad thing is that in just a few layers it becomes impossible to add more color. The next stroke tries to lift off what’s already on the surface. This is not such a big deal with lighter colors, but getting good darks with Derwent on canvas (at least on a digital one that was used for this piece) turned into a challenge. The solution: use a softest graphite pencil you have. Koh-I-Noor Hardtmuth 7B worked quite well for me.

How to pack, post and ship art – Resources for Artists

Posted by Yelena Shabrova

This Squidoo lens by makingamark has answers on all kinds of questions related to packing and shipping art: how to ship different kinds of art, how to ship to exhibitions, to overseas patrons, which materials and tools to use, tips from artist (with video even!), galleries, museums, and conservators: How to pack, post and ship art – Resources for Artists. Great resource!

New miniature on canvas

Posted by Yelena Shabrova

Miniature - colored pencil on canvas, 3.5
colored pencil on canvas, 3.5″ x 2.5″

Most of this one was done with an artificial light, and today I was going to put finishing touches on it while we were at the Pescadero Beach. But the sunlight showed me that more than just that was needed. Good thing that the weather was very warm and without strong winds, or the miniature would travel back home to be finished there. I must say though that colored pencils start to lay on the canvas in a funny way as humidity goes up. I think if I was working with water soluble ones, I would end up with a painting without adding water.