Monday, January 19, 2009

coloured pencil chard WIP and following the rules...

Swiss Chard work in progress, 17" x 7"
Coloured Pencil on Colorfix Paper
Copyright Teresa Mallen

This is how it looks now. Since the last post, my goals have been to get down more colour, to start focusing on values and to start putting down some detail.

Most cp artists end up liking certain pencil brands over others. I am no exception. I am not a fan of Derwent Coloursoft pencils but I must admit that I have liked using them on this sanded pastel paper. Normally I don't like their larger diameter. The pencil feels too chunky in my hand and they don't fit into my electric sharpener opening. But, they are holding up well on the sanded paper - they hold their point longer and there is less pigment coming off during application (compared to Prismacolors). As a result, I don't have to sharpen my pencil or brush my paper as often. I will definitely turn to them again for future sanded paper projects.

I have had a couple of emails from people curious for more info as to why readers are not to leave critical comments on this work. I thought I would take a minute to explain where this comes from...

As I mentioned initially, if all goes well with this piece, I may enter it in competitions or juried shows. If you have never done this sort of thing, you should be aware that there are rules and regulations that you need to follow. Depending on the show or the competition, there will be various restrictions on your entry.

To start with your entry will usually only be considered if it is available for viewing in a slide format or available as a digital image (and the specifications for slides and digital images get quite specific so you need to check out this information carefully).

Your work may be required to meet certain size limitations. Your choice of mats and frames can be limited too. The CPSA requires that all entries accepted into their annual exhibition be framed with acrylic instead of glass.

As well, your artwork may have to meet 'originality' requirements. For example exhibitions and shows will often require you to declare something like the following: "That the artwork submitted is the original work of the submitting artist from concept, through design, to completion." Or you may encounter this sort of requirement: "All work must be original from the artist's own inspiration and reference material. They can not be done in a class, a workshop or under an instructor's influence, not critiqued, photomechanically reproduced, computer enhanced or from kits."

The Colored Pencil Society of America states the following in their exhibition prospectus: "Concept, design and execution of the artwork shall be solely that of the artist. No work copied from copyrighted or published materials. No imaged produced by drawing over a digital reproduction allowed. No prints. No collaborations."

So what does all this mean for the artist? Well, depending on the particular exhibition's requirements, your work may not qualify. You may need to change how you work on pieces that are destined for shows. For example, if you use photo references, they may have to be your own. Please note that even if you have obtained permission to use a photo this would not meet the requirement of being something from your own concept, solely your own work and design. Last year, when the UK Coloured Pencil Society changed their rules for entry submission, some wildlife artists were left rather frustrated. Now, in order to work from a photo of an elephant or leopard for example, you will have had to take the photo yourself. So, you may be required to work from your own source material. You may also be required to have created the drawing yourself - no projectors or drawing over a photo, etc.

The requirement of no critiques and no influence from others really comes into play for those of us who post our art as works in progress. Many people also post work on various on-line forums where their work is commented on. To get around this we either have to stop posting WIPs or we have to do what I am doing - asking people to refrain from giving any helpful feedback that could be construed as influencing me.

Bottom line, if you are thinking of entering your work into juried exhibitions and shows, do your homework first. Get a copy of the exhibition prospectus to determine the rules and regulations.

Thanks for the emails. I hope this info helps to clarify why I am asking for no critiques. If you are a reader who would like to ask me something or you would like to comment on a blog post, (but you are not registered or not a blogger) please feel free to contact me. I would love to hear from you!


Teresa said...

But it IS okay to say that I love what you've done so far, right? :-)

Chantell Van Erbe said...

Teresa, I wont make any comments on your work thus far. But I will discuss Coloursoft pencils. When I use them, I do so as a base. They cover paper (especially grainy paper) very quickly and lay down dense color. But I never use them for detail or shading. I leave that for other brands. Happy creating!

Teresa Mallen said...

Hi Teresa, my understanding is that people can say that they love a work (and thank you). I have read on-line forums that have no-critque threads and such feedback is allowed. I am just trying to defer helpful suggestions, for example if someone said something like, "You should use a dark red background because it would really make the green areas pop."
Thanks for stopping by!

Hi Chantell, yes the Coloursoft pencils would work very well for a base layer, especially on a sanded paper. I am actually warming up to them the more that I use them in this piece. I might even have to purchase a new sharpener, one that they will fit into!