trees | Art Bits & Pieces - Yelena Shabrova's blog - Part 2
About me: Yelena Shabrova, an artist and web designer who lives and works in Silicon Valley, Ca. See more of my art at shabrova.com or visit duskowl.com for everything that has to do with graphic design and web development.
Here is my newest tiny digital canvas. I haven’t done any for a few months and completely forgot my past experience with colored pencil on this kind of surface. It is a bit slippery and does not allow to build up really dark darks unless you carefully plan for them from the beginning and use very sharp pencils all the time. Unlike with paper or traditional linen canvas it is not possible to start with lighter colors everywhere and then go darker in as many layers as necessary. Darker colors on a digital canvas start to chip off relatively quickly if you are not careful.
So with a refreshed memory, I am now going to use digital canvas with soft graphite pencils only and leave colors to linen ones. Or maybe it’s worth trying to gesso a digital canvas and see if it becomes more tolerant to dark colored pencils.
A sketch a day: a walk in the park – colored pencil on Canson drawing paper, 4″ x 6″
Trying to exercise patient light strokes after dealing with canvas and rough watercolor paper. Somehow I got too heavy-handed for smooth drawing paper and with this little sketch had to stop and remind myself that the goal was to go with light strokes. As in, light on everything.
This is my latest miniature partly inspired by a very cold and snowy winter of 2011-2012 and partly made because right now here in California it’s overly warm and sunny even by local standards. In the process of bringing winter closer to me I found out that a digital canvas can take a fair amount of scraping with x-acto knife which is pretty convenient for putting snow over heavily darkened areas.
About two months ago I received a rather unusual request to create an illustration for a book that was not finished yet and didn’t have a title. All I had to go by was a short foreword and a few more details from the author. The interpretation and medium was left up to me. On one hand, it was very enticing to have that much creative freedom, on the other, it was as reassuring as walking through a thick fog. The temptation prevailed.
To make myself feel a little better, I sent the author a rough sketch of what I had in mind, and to my surprise she enthusiastically approved it. Since I didn’t know which parts of the storyline are going to be the most prominent in the book, I went with the main theme of an abrupt change from a farm teen to raising the son on her own in a city. The shadow in the illustration is the girl’s son in the end of the book, grown up and capable of supporting herself, her concern for years and a final reward. Today I turned the illustration to to the author. Thankfully, she loved the finished work which made me happy. She is till working on the book, hopefully the illustration will give her an extra creativity nudge.