Tuesday, October 30, 2012

CPM October Challenge - 2nd Entry.....

The Colored Pencil Magazine posts a colored pencil competition each month, this month's challenge was a photo of a snow leopard gecko.  I have already entered one drawing and came up with another variation on the same subject matter.

 With this version I challenged myself on vibrancy, intensity of color and shadowing. Every night when I have finished working on a piece for the day, I place it into a plastic sleeve and place it on an easel on our coffee table. Then I sit back, listen to the news and other entertaining shows, and I constantly look at and critique the current piece. A lot of times I find something I want to jump up and amend but I just leave it there, let it mull in my mind over night.

This morning I woke up and went "It is totally dull ... ". Something was missing. Finally realized the something that was missing was Me! I was so worried about using the right techniques, not ruining the paper, not ruining the drawing, that I was holding myself back. So I threw up my hands, said to myself .. "It's only a piece of paper ... go for it and be happy when you are doing it!".

I know I have made a lot of mistakes in this drawing (like too much pencil pressure, scratches from the pencil are showing, wasn't blended subtly) but I was sure happy at the end of the day when I sat back and relaxed enough to see what I had done. I think art is not so much about doing it right but putting your twist and yourself into what you are doing and being happy with what you have created. I win again! I am finding myself revealed in my art!

Prints of this piece are available in My Etsy Shop..... in ACEO format as well as various Art Print sizes.

Below is a copy of the CPM challenge photo....

Happy Day!


  1. You did a lot of mistakes in this gorgeous piece of art??? I wish I made mistakes like you Karen Anne!!! ;o) LOL! This is stunning! I believe like you, art should be about the person who is creating it! It's from your heart! It is all about you! Big Hugs ;o)

  2. What mistakes? It is simply perfect!!! I love it. And I totally agree with you about putting yourself into your work.

  3. Hey Stacy and Maggie! You two are really wonderful friends!

    Glad the mistakes are not noticeable - that's a plus! Basically, I was trying to adhere to colored pencil techniques I have been reading about and trying to master; some artists have such a light delicate touch they can actually manage to apply up to 20 or more layers ... I am lucky to make it to around 8 layers without accumulating a waxy build up and turning the colors muddy.

    I finally figured out that I am not as patient, as are many colored pencil artists, so I decided to use their techniques and adapt them to my capabilities. In reflecting over what I had been reading, I finally discerned that was what they were actually trying to convey to the reader/student. They were just showing how they used their techniques and skills.

    I also remembered a time in high school when I took my first art class in my junior year. The teacher gave us oil paints, brushes and a canvas and told us to paint whatever subject we wanted. I had asked her if she could provide instructions on the use of oils and she said to just jump in and have fun, some people just have a natural instinct; if I was doing something drastically wrong she would let me know. I really enjoyed that class and all the varied mediums she introduced me to!

    So, when all of that came together ... I just jumped in, let instincts take over, and had fun!

    Does that make sense?

  4. I've been doing some form of art since I was 2 or 3 years old and although I've had training in all areas I have always believed that if we don't paint or sculpt or sketch or stitch or whatever it is we are doing to express ourselves and what we feel it isn't really our best effort. I also think that the work pictured here is absolutely stunning and there are no flaws anywhere on this piece. Karen Anne, your two gecko pieces are wonderful colored pencil drawings and of the two the second one better reflects the style of your work.

  5. That must be nice to have training, I have always seemed to stumble my way through life trying all kinds of new things, etc. I found my love of contrasts and vivid colors years ago and I think, with this drawing, I have found my way back.

    I really like working with colored pencils but I don't care for the wax bloom I seem to generate, so I have been reading up on the types of colored pencils and I understand that oil based colored pencils don't have a wax bloom and are a harder lead (I prefer harder leads). Today I finally ordered a set so that I can try them out. I'm going in for cataract surgery tomorrow (right eye) and the pencils should be here in about a week or so and it will be fun to try them out with an eye that doesn't see double!

    Thank you Maddy Rose, Stacy, and Maggie for reinforcing that I seem to be headed in the right direction with my art.

    Big hugs to all of you!
    Karen Anne

  6. Oh Karen Ann, this is simply stunning. I cannot imagine being anything but proud with this quality of art. Warmest hugs, Mina

    1. Oh, thank you so much Mina! Warmest hugs to you too!

  7. I love it! The colors are so vibrant and I see no mistakes. Perfect!


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