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.

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 Artist 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 location
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.

Stories of the Forest series finished

image of Stories of the Forest I, mixed media drawing on canvas board, 12" x 9", by Yelena Shabrova
Stories of the Forest I ~ mixed media on canvas board, 12″ x 9″
image of Stories of the Forest II, mixed media drawing on canvas board, 12" x 9", by Yelena Shabrova
Stories of the Forest II ~ mixed media on canvas board, 12″ x 9″
image of Stories of the Forest III, mixed media drawing on canvas board, 12" x 9", by Yelena Shabrova
Stories of the Forest III ~ mixed media on canvas board, 12″ x 9″
image of Stories of the Forest IV, mixed media drawing on canvas board, 12" x 9", by Yelena Shabrova
Stories of the Forest IV ~ mixed media on canvas board, 12″ x 9″
image of Stories of the Forest V, mixed media drawing on canvas board, 12" x 9", by Yelena Shabrova
Stories of the Forest V ~ mixed media on canvas board, 12″ x 9″

This series started with a title, and that almost never happens to me. By the time I sketched the very first piece I could not remember how exactly I came up with “Stories of the Forest,” but the initial idea was to make ink drawings of groups of trees and shrubs that would gradually fade into the paper collage background to showcase the beauty of common plant inhabitants of Western Oregon forests where I often hike. Every little plant, every shrub and tree have a story to tell if we look close, and together they weave a more complicated story that makes some unassuming spot in the forest look amazing.

It all looked good in pencil, but moving forward with inking was a different story. It looked too busy. Varying density of strokes and dots didn’t really work, so two ruined drawings I decided to change the approach. Maybe pen and ink was not the right choice for what I wanted to achieve, or maybe (and more likely) I failed to collaborate with my pens properly.

So I started to remove details that were less essential from my sketches, starting with varied growth under and behind tree branches, then with nonessential branches themselves. I do all corrections on tracing paper laid on top of the original sketch that needs to be improved. This considerably speeds up the process and keeps new ideas flowing without interruption of redrawing the same parts of a sketch.

And that’s how I’ve ended up with just a few leaves and scarcely spaced branches, letting the gently colored background to hint at whatever a viewer wants to see in the finished piece. There is special beauty in simplicity, and that old saying “less is more” gave me exactly what I wanted.

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

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!)

“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.

Hello… (horse head in colored pencil, 11″ x 14″) – in progress

Updated: January 5th, 2017

Yelena Shabrova ~ Hello (work in progress) ~ colored pencil on Strathmore watercolor paper, 11" x 14"
Hello (work in progress) ~ colored pencil on Strathmore watercolor paper, 11″ x 14″

Decided to make progress with the horse first and with the window frame later. Both are going to differ a bit from my reference, and because the horse is more important I am going to figure out where his colors end before touching the window. I am now debating between natural wood and old paint that would compliment the horse.

Updated: April 26th, 2016

Yelena Shabrova ~ Hello (work in progress) ~ colored pencil on Strathmore watercolor paper, 11" x 14"
Hello (work in progress) ~ colored pencil on Strathmore watercolor paper, 11″ x 14″

So it was a good idea to use graphite first, then continue with color on top of it. Maybe a softer grade like H6 would be more efficient, especially on a textured paper like this one. The disorganized colors that are already there are from different kinds of strokes I tried to see what works better.

Updated: December 10th, 2015

Yelena Shabrova ~ Hello, in progress~ colored pencil on Strathmore watercolor paper, 11" x 14"
Hello (work in progress) ~ colored pencil on Strathmore watercolor paper, 11″ x 14″

Back to the unfortunate horse who is now ready for color! I am done with the graphite underdrawing (if this is not a word it should be) and securing it with a workable fixative. Let’s see if that speeds up adding darks with colored pencils. Rainy shooting conditions made it look like there are at least two different tones of graphite, but in reality it’s the same tone.

Original post: Feb 21, 2015

Yelena Shabrova - Hello, drawing of a horse head in progress - colored pencils on Strathmore watercolor paper, 11" x 14"
Hello (work in progress) ~ colored pencil on Strathmore watercolor paper, 11″ x 14″

I don’t think I have ever been this excited to see a rough drawing of a horse head finally appearing on a piece of paper as planned. There were at least two iterations that were not to my liking at all, but finally everything is where it should be, the sketch is transferred to the final watercolor paper (it’s a Strathmore one with nice slightly uneven surface), and I can move on to preliminary shading with graphite.

The horse is picking out of a barn door window, but it is barely visible right now. I need to decide whether to keep it white like in the reference photo or make it natural wood. The horse is going to be light chestnut with a lot of color nuances in the face, and even weathered white seems to be too stark next to all that, so most likely I will use some kind of amber or light wood for the window.