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Before the light ~ sketch done with black Faber-Castell PITT and white Gelli Roll pens on Strathmore toned gray paper, 6″ x 4″

Finished this during last weekend’s Holiday Art Show. It’s my first experience with the Strathmore gray toned paper, and because art shows tend to be busy, I chose a subject that allowed me to work in short spurts without losing focus. Loved small darker fibers in the paper, they add to the look of the finished sketch.

Before the light (or after, if you prefer) ~ sketch in pen and ink, 6" x 4"
Before the light ~ black Faber-Castell PITT and white Gelli Roll pens on Strathmore toned gray paper, 6″ x 4″

horse in a cave silhouette sketch

Gave Faber-Castell PITT pens one more try. A few years ago they seemed not to be dark enough, but things change with time, right? Not these ones, though… Ok, no big deal, I will stick with Derwent Graphik.

Yelena Shabrova ~ horse in a cave silhouette sketch ~ pen and ink, colored pencil, colored paper, 6" x 4"
horse in a cave silhouette sketch ~ pen and ink, colored pencil, colored paper, 6″ x 4″

Silent auction at the Oregon City Festival of the Arts

This was the first time I participated at the silent auction at the event organized by the Three Rivers Artist Guild of which I am a happy mamber. All proceeds from the auction go to support the guild. Guess I missed the memo before, I do that regularly.

This year I gave this one to the auction:

Yelena Shabrova ~ A sketch a day: rocky terrain ~ oil pastel, 6" x 4"
Rocky terrain ~ oil pastel, 6″ x 4″

Glad to help TRAG a little bit.

2018 Landscapes Art Competition

I’ve entered several drawings into the Landscapes Art Competition at the Light, Space, and Time Online Gallery and quite pleased with the results. “Truckee River” received a Special Recognition award, “River Of Light” got a Honorable Mention.

Yelena Shabrova ~ Truckee River ~ colored pencil on colored paper, 9" x 6"
Truckee River ~ colored pencil on colored paper, 9″ x 6″
River of Light - pastel pencil on Canson drawing paper, 5" x 7"
River of Light – pastel pencil on Canson drawing paper, 5″ x 7″

Experiment with colored pencil on a gesso board

This is take two. Take one happened two weeks ago and went so wrong that the piece could not be saved. I started with darker colors thinking I would lighten distant ridges later. But apparently at a certain number of layers pigment clings to the surface for dear life and refuses to be lifted with any kind of eraser. So I am going with a much lighter hand now, and it seems to be better that way. The surface is not as smooth as it looks. I am glad it’s mountains and not some young face.

Updated: May 17, 2018

I am working on this between other things, but here is what I’ve learned so far. Darks are more work on a gesso board than on paper. Even canvas is more agreeable. It’s not that the board doesn’t accept dark pigments. It does, but the wavy texture lines on it that go vaguely vertical keep some narrow areas persistently lighter than the rest and require ongoing touchups. But I like the sturdiness of a gesso board very much. I am starting to wonder if maybe graphite or charcoal would be easier, but that’s for the next test or two. Also need to look up other brands in case some have a really even texture.

Updated: July 23, 2018

What I thought would be a quick experiment turned into a long argument with the gesso surface. Mountains changed their look at least 4 times, and I am not touching them again. The future sunset sky is all mapped, and the gesso texture that gives me so many headaches is showing in its full glory right now.

Copying Other People’s Art Can Boost Creativity, Study Finds

Creativity and copying appear to be the opposites. Therefore, it seems unlikely then that there would be a link between copying another artist’s work and being able to create fresh, original work of your own. However, Kentaro Ishibashi and Takeshi Okada, an architect and a professor at the University of Tokyo in Japan respectively, have been researching this topic for several years, and they found that copying may help facilitate artistic creativity.

The increased creativity is not really a product of the copying itself, Okada says. Instead, it’s about being pushed beyond the familiar, being exposed to other possibilities, questioning the other artist’s choices and thoughts.

Pottery Is the New Pilates, and Macramé Takes Away the Crazy

… creative work can alter the brain’s neural pathways, and how working with your hands can produce changes in multiple brain regions, which can alleviate depression and improve one’s ability to problem-solve.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/30/style/anxiety-crafts-pottery-embroidery.html

Relations I – work in progress

Updated: October 9th, 2017

And this is how the whole piece looks. Layer one – an ink drawing on tracing paper. Layer two – a tissue paper collage with grated pastel. Layer three – a canvas.

I need to remember to never, ever use a gel pen of any sort on tracing paper except for small details. The gel stops flowing rather quickly, and after the first time it keeps happening more and more often. No amount of cleaning the ballpoint helps. My next white ink of choice is going to be Derwent Graphik Line Painter.

Updated: October 6th, 2017

Freshly mounted on the canvas.

Updated: September 28th, 2017

White gel is done too, I think. The bright orange paper will not be a part of the final piece, it’s just there to help me see what I am doing with white areas.

Updated: September 26th, 2017

Black ink all done.

Original post

I am starting on the first piece for the upcoming show at the Sherwood Center for the Arts, Four Eights.

Last year taught me that square canvases are not really all that square, so this time I am making each piece of tracing paper for an ink part to match its designated canvas. No more odd paper edges, or so I hope.

And another change I am making concerns the preliminary sketch for the ink drawing. It is now rough and loose, just a general idea of the composition. I used to make a precise sketch and then map it on the tracing paper with sparse ink marks, but it is quite time consuming, so this time I am doing the final ink drawing on top of the rough sketch using it as a general guide.

If the experiment goes well, I will try it on an animal portrait that would be more demanding than branches, leaves and flowers.

My new mixed media pieces at Four Eights 2017

I will have four new 8″ x 8″ mixed media pieces in the Four Eights Atrist Challenge II exhibit and art sale at the Center for the Arts.

This exhibit will showcase artworks created during the Four Eights an Artists Challenge II that tasked participating artists with creating original artwork around a singular theme on four square canvases, each canvas being 8″ x 8″. All artwork will be for sale and priced between $30 and $100.

My theme this year is “relations” expressed through flowers, leaves, and branches that make a bush or a tree, all different yet inseparable. See how the first canvas came to life.

An opening reception for Four Eights will be on Thursday, October 12, from 6:30 p.m. till 8:30 p.m. Stop by to meet the artists, curators and other art lovers, enjoy refreshments and live acoustic music.

Show lacation
Sherwood Center for the Arts – 22689 SW Pine Street, Sherwood, OR 97140
Map

Open
Art Exhibit & Sale – October 12 – December 12
Monday – Friday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Yelena Shabrova ~ Relations I ~ mixed media, 8" x 8"
Relations I ~ mixed media, 8″ x 8″

Yelena Shabrova ~ Relations II ~ mixed media, 8" x 8"
Relations II ~ mixed media, 8″ x 8″
Yelena Shabrova ~ Relations III ~ mixed media, 8" x 8"
Relations III ~ mixed media, 8″ x 8″

Yelena Shabrova ~ Relations VI ~ mixed media, 8" x 8"
Relations VI ~ mixed media, 8″ x 8″

Beaverton Arts Mix! 2017

Two of my drawings were juried into the Beaverton Arts Mix! show and sale. The show will open on October 5 and run through October 8 at the Beaverton City Library. Reception will take place on October 6, 7:00 – 8:30 pm. If you will be in the area stop by to enjoy more than 100 juried artworks by Oregon artists!

Show lacation
Beaverton City Library, 12375 SW 5th Street, Beaverton, OR

Open
Thu – Sun | Oct 5 – 8 Art Show & Sale
Open during regular library hours

Yelena Shabrova ~ Stories of the Forest I ~ mixed media ~ 9" x 12"
Stories of the Forest I ~ mixed media ~ 9″ x 12″
Yelena Shabrova ~ Stories of the Forest IV ~ mixed media ~ 9" x 12"
Stories of the Forest IV ~ mixed media ~ 9″ x 12″

More information about the show can be found on the city’s website

“Fortitude” and “Sun Kissed” earned the Special Merit Award at the 7th Annual “Botanicals” Art Exhibition

Yelena Shabrova ~ Fortitude ~ Prismacolor colored pencil on drawing paper, 9" x 6"
Fortitude ~ Prismacolor colored pencil on drawing paper, , 9″ x 6″
Sun Kissed - colored pencil on colored paper, 8" x 10"
Sun Kissed – colored pencil on colored paper ~ 8″ x 10″

My colored pencil drawings “Fortitude” and “Sun Kissed” have received the Special Merit Category of the 7th Annual “Botanicals” Art Exhibition held by Art Space & Time Online Art Gallery.

I am still browsing through images of artists recognized in different categories and admiring the talent and vision of so many.

The show will be featured on the Light Space & Time website for the month of August 2017 and then will remain online in the Light Space & Time archives.

Stress-related hormone cortisol lowers significantly after just 45 minutes of art creation

Whether you’re Van Gogh or a stick-figure sketcher, a new Drexel University study found that making art can significantly reduce stress-related hormones in your body.

Although the researchers from Drexel’s College of Nursing and Health Professions believed that past experience in creating art might amplify the activity’s stress-reducing effects, their study found that everyone seems to benefit equally.

A sketch a day: conflicting needs of those with no hands ~ graphite pencil, 4″ x 6″

Yelena Shabrova ~ A sketch a day: conflicting needs of those with no hands ~ graphite pencil, 4" x 6"
A sketch a day: conflicting needs of those with no hands ~ graphite pencil, 4″ x 6″

It’s a tough life for a horse when she needs to munch and scratch an itching knee but has only one set of teeth for everything.

A sketch a day: mountains ~ charcoal, pen and ink

Yelena Shabrova ~ A sketch a day: mountains ~ charcoal, pen and ink, 6" x 4"
A sketch a day: mountains ~ charcoal, pen and ink, 6″ x 4″

The blacks are ink, all shades of gray are charcoal including grays over blacks. I hoped for a different result, but it’s just a small sketch, so not a big deal. I will get where I want with the next version.

How to draw 3 points perspective

I finally found out who was the author of the perspective drawing with a rubber band video that was making rounds on FB:

It’s Reza Asgaripour. Would like to know why the second part of the YouTube title of the one below is in Russian, but regardless… it is as neat as the older one, if not more:

Reza Asgaripour is on Instagram too: https://www.instagram.com/architectdrw/, and here is one more of his neat videos:

It’s fascinating to watch even if the art you create does not rely on getting perspective right.

“Gathering” series at the Three Rivers Gallery and Gifts

I am excited to have my drawings in the Three Rivers Gallery & Gifts through March and April. The gallery is located inside the cozy Singer Hill Cafe in Oregon City. The gallery is hung salon style and offers paintings, drawings, ceramics, jewelry, and about anything you can think of. The cafe serves excellent coffee and features beautiful vertical gardens indoors and outdoors.

The artists’ reception will be on March 19, 2017 from 1 to 3 pm. Stop by if you are in the area to meet the artists and see their wonderful art.

Address: 613 7th Street, Oregon City, Oregon 97045, inside Singer Hill Cafe
Open: every day, 9 am – 4 pm.

Golden Lilies for the Twitter Art Exhibit

Updated 6/6/17: My Golden Lilies are now coming back to their new (hopefully happy) US home because somebody saw them online and in their words, could not resist. Funny how art travels sometimes 🙂

Yelena Shabrova ~ Golden Lilies ~ gel pens on colored paper, 6.3 x 4.7 in (12 x 16 cm)
Golden Lilies ~ gel pens on colored paper, 6.3 x 4.7 in (12 x 16 cm)

An experiment with gel pens. It will be a part of the Twitter Art Exhibit that this year supports Molly Olly’s Wishes. Mailed it to UK today and hope it will get there safely.

This is my first semi-serious drawing in gel pens. I did sketches before, but they were line works, never pointillism. Turns out it’s more enjoyable to stipple, I just need to get a better grasp of color and opacity changes as gel inks dry and remembering how different pens interact when placed on top of each other.

Four Eights an Artists Challenge 2016 update

Sadly, I missed the reception for this show because of the trip to Russia and didn’t have time to see it before leaving, so had to check it out after coming back. This was one impressive show, and not just because I love small works of art. It’s fascinating to see what different artists can do with the same set of four square canvases, how different their styles and subjects are, and how beautiful the walls covered with 8″ x 8″ squares look.

All my creatures were sold. Hopefully they all are sharing the same happy home now.

Yelena Shabrova ~ Oregon Wildlife. Opossum ~ mixed media on canvas, 8" x 8"
Oregon Wildlife. Opossum ~ mixed media on canvas, 8″ x 8″
Yelena Shabrova ~ Oregon Wildlife. Least Bittern ~ mixed media on canvas, 8" x 8"
Oregon Wildlife. Least Bittern ~ mixed media on canvas, 8″ x 8″
Yelena Shabrova ~ Oregon Wildlife. White Pelican ~ mixed media on canvas, 8" x 8"
Oregon Wildlife. White Pelican ~ mixed media on canvas, 8″ x 8″
Yelena Shabrova ~ Oregon Wildlife. Gray Fox ~ mixed media on canvas, 8" x 8"
Oregon Wildlife. Gray Fox ~ mixed media on canvas, 8″ x 8″

Sharon Orella, the show coordinator said that my artworks were very popular and sold very quickly. That’s very nice to hear; I hoped that my creatures would connect with people and be appreciated for their beauty and character.

A sketch a day: textures in colored pencil, with a horse

Yelena Shabrova ~ A sketch a day: textures in colored pencil, with a horse ~ Staedtler colored pencil on Canson drawing paper, 6" x 4"
A sketch a day: textures in colored pencil, with a horse ~ Staedtler colored pencil on Canson drawing paper, 6″ x 4″

That’s my sketch on the go from earlier this week finished. I wanted to see how much texture could be built on Canson drawing paper with pencils only, without any other tools. To my surprise, the paper let be create quite a few nice subtle patterns. I especially like those crossing lines on the horse.

Four Eights an Artists Challenge at the Sherwood Center for the Arts, October 21 – December 8, 2016

I am going to be a part of an interesting show at the Sherwood Center for the Arts. Artist are challenged to create and complete four 8”x 8” painting canvases which are provided by the Center.

Because I do not paint, my entries are drawings attached to tissue paper collages that are attached to the canvases. The collage part is messy but beautiful and freeing. This is where I do not have to pay attention to details and can let pastels and rubbing alcohol do their magic on pieces of torn paper.

Yelena Shabrova ~ Oregon Wildlife. Gray Fox ~ mixed media on canvas, 8" x 8"
Oregon Wildlife. Gray Fox ~ mixed media on canvas, 8″ x 8″
Yelena Shabrova ~ Oregon Wildlife. White Pelican ~ mixed media on canvas, 8" x 8"
Oregon Wildlife. White Pelican ~ mixed media on canvas, 8″ x 8″
Yelena Shabrova ~ Oregon Wildlife. Least Bittern ~ mixed media on canvas, 8" x 8"
Oregon Wildlife. Least Bittern ~ mixed media on canvas, 8″ x 8″
Yelena Shabrova ~ Oregon Wildlife. Opossum ~ mixed media on canvas, 8" x 8"
Oregon Wildlife. Opossum ~ mixed media on canvas, 8″ x 8″

The show will run from October 21 to December 8, 2016. The Opening Gala will be on October 21.

The Sherwood Center for the Arts is located at 22689 SW Pine St, Sherwood, OR 97140.

Beaverton Arts Mix! 2016

I am happy to announce that Plum Blossoms will be a part of the Beaverton Arts Mix! four day art show and sale.

Show lacation
Beaverton City Library, 12375 SW 5th Street, Beaverton, OR

Open
Thu – Sun | Oct 5 – 8 Art Show & Sale
Open during regular library hours

Yelena Shabrova ~ Plum Blossoms in Los Gatos Creek Park ~ Prismacolor colored pencil on Bristol paper, 16" x 20"
Plum Blossoms in Los Gatos Creek Park ~ Prismacolor colored pencil on Bristol paper, 16″ x 20″

More information about the show can be found on the city’s website

A sketch a day: storm

Yelena Shabrova ~ A sketch a day: storm ~ pastel & charcoal, 6" x 4"
A sketch a day: storm ~ pastel & charcoal, 6″ x 4″

A somewhat failed experiment with charcoal on top of soft pastels – I was aiming for a little different, more dramatic look. Apparently a workable fixative is not capable of holding even a thin amount of pastel in place, and it keeps mixing with charcoal. I wonder what would work better?

Daydreaming included into Ann Kullberg’s CP Hidden Treasures – Volume III

Very pleased to have my little drawing in Ann Kullberg’s CP Hidden Treasures – Volume III.. The magazine-style publication features over 160 incredible colored pencil artists from around the world.

Daydreaming - colored pencil on drawing paper, 8.5" x 5.5"
Daydreaming – colored pencil on drawing paper ~ 8.5″ x 5.5″

Some artworks are featured in Ann’s video below, all look much better as you go through the book (yes, I have a copy!)

A sketch a day: lichen

Yelena Shabrova ~ A  sketch a day: lichen on a tree branch ~ colored pencil on drawing paper, 6" x 4"
A sketch a day: lichen on a tree branch ~ colored pencil on drawing paper, 6″ x 4″

I started with lush lichen I saw here in Oregon during winter, but it ended looking like something that would be at home in the swamps of Florida. Sometimes non-committed sketching takes you to unexpected places.

“Muncher” was selected for the Special Merit Category of the International Animals Art Exhibition

Yelena Shabrova ~ Muncher ~ mixed media on canvas panel, 8" x 10" (original drawing of a squirrel)
Muncher – mixed media on canvas panel, 8″ x 10″

Got notified today that “Muncher” was selected for the Special Merit Category of the International Animals Art Exhibition held by Art Space & Time Online Art Gallery.

The gallery received 900 entries from 24 different countries from around the world. The final selection features amazing creations in all kinds of different media, and I am happy to be a part of it.

The winning entries will be featured on the Light Space & Time website for the month of June 2016 and then will remain online in the Light Space & Time archives.