Welcome to the new realm of colored pencil art
Go behind the scenes with a career artist at the start of her career
View works-in-progress and read about the techniques and tools used by artist Christina Langman

Sunday, February 10, 2008

The cougar has a name! "FOCUS"

After much thought and consideration, and a lot of head-scratching, the owners of the Cougar WIP (see previous posts) have thought up the perfect title! This piece will now be referred to as "Focus". When looking at the work-in-progress today, it simply "came out"... and it seemed to fit perfectly. The cat has a very focussed look in his eye, and the picture itself is a study in differing depths of field. I won't be renaming the previous "Cougar WIP" posts, but in the future, look for "Focus WIP" for the remainder of the work.

Cougar WIP - Part 2

The background is now complete! Today the owners of this commission piece get to see the progress on the piece for the first time. I hope they are happy with it! I am glad to be done the blurred background - this is definitely one of the most difficult effects to achieve with colored pencils. I am looking forward to getting to work on the foreground and the cougar, although I'm not sure which I'll do next... I tend to rush into finishing the animals in the scene, then get easily bored with doing backgrounds/foregrounds. I'm trying to make a habit of completing as much of the scene as possible before I work on the subject. So, I will likely move on to the snowbanks in behind the cougar next. This point in the picture shows approximately 60 hours of work.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

A Great Advertising Opportunity

An exciting new era for my advertising is about to unfold... literally, in a magazine! The Night of Artists (NOA) based in Edmonton releases an annual magazine to the art world, including galleries across Canada and art collectors to a reader base of 10,000 for starters. This means that potentially 10,000 people could see THIS full page ad staring them right in the face! I had a wonderful opportunity (much thanks to the NOA crew to approach me and invite me to advertise with them) to put in a full page ad (yes, the ENTIRE page is mine!) and I am so excited to see my work in a published magazine. It comes out in March, and you can guarantee I will post pictures of the ad as it appears. I created the ad myself (including some fancy Photoshop work involving some creative tree construction!), which makes me extra proud of this new step in my career. Here's a zoom of the text for the ad: It may sound lofty and and a little (just a little) conceited, but that is how one must advertise oneself, right? I anxiously wait for my copy to arrive in the mail! (The art used in this ad is my "Repose" colored pencil piece, 20" x 28". The original is not the same crop, as the ad required room for text, hence the Photoshop work.)

Monday, February 4, 2008

Cougar WIP - Part 1

This is the first real entry to my blog. To start things off, I am posting the current status of a colored pencil work-in-progress (WIP). This piece is a commissioned work, 15" x 21.5" in size. The overall scene is a cougar cresting a snowy trail, with some trees out of focus behind him, and some rocks and snow in the foreground. He is intensely staring off into the distance.

This image shows the different stages for creating the "blurred photo" effect in colored pencils with a burnishing technique. The branch beside the cougars face shows both intermediate steps. For starters, multiple colors are laid down in layers of light shading/scribbling, including dark navy, peacock green, cool grey 90%, black, sepia etc. (basically any color visible at the pixel depth of the image when viewed on a computer screen - this is shown in the part of the branch that looks scratchy - not smooth). Then, using a color from the sky (pale blue, cool grey 10%, 20% or 30%) I press VERY hard in tiny scribbling circles to push the previous layers around until they smudge together (a.k.a. burnishing - which can be seen closest to the cougar's face, or on the separate tree on the left of the image). This can be done over and over in multiple layers, resulting in a very smooth and shiny finish, with NO paper or ghosting showing through at all. The result is almost photographic in it's feel.

Coming Soon!

The all new BigCatArt Blog will be up and running soon! See works-in-progress, as well as discussion on technique and media used for each piece. New pictures and topics coming soon!