Ken Avidor Sketches NAMTA 2013!
Artist Ken Avidor sketches the International Art Materials Association (NAMTA) Trade Show held May 1-3, 2013 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Ken captures the essence of this annual event through his sketch montages complete with captions.
Demonstrating our 400 Series Toned Sketch paper, Ken blended into the background of the event while documenting the various interactions and conversations between the Strathmore team, art material distributors and art retailers as they discussed new products at the show. If you attended this trade show, you might recognize yourself… or other industry “characters” in his pen, colored pencil and pastel pencil drawings. Ken is an artist, illustrator and cartoonist from St. Paul, Minnesota.
Fine Art Rolls - New Expanded Line!
Strathmore’s high quality fine art papers are now available in an expanded offering of large rolls. These specialty grades typically cannot be found in roll format and provide artists with the convenience and flexibility of creating without traditional size limitations. Perfect for either practice of techniques or finished artwork.
Check out the following new Items:
300 Series Newsprint
300 Series Charcoal
300 Series Bristol, Smooth
300 Series Bristol, Vellum
400 Series Recycled Sketch
400 Series Drawing
400 Series Recycled Drawing
400 Series Layout Bond
400 Series Toned Sketch, Gray
400 Series Toned Sketch, Tan
400 Series Mixed Media
500 Series Mixed Media
For more artist freedom, try our expanded offering of Fine Art Rolls. Sold at Fine Art Retailers.
Artist Tips from Abstract Painter – Robert Joyner
Take some tips from abstract representational artist, Robert Joyner. Robert is the instructor for Workshop 1 - Abstract Fine Art Painting with Mixed Media – in our 2013 Online Workshop Series. The tips are from his video lesson for week 1 entitled “Introduction to Materials and Techniques.”
Create contrast and variation in your under painting or drawing. Lightly mist your surface creating some wet and dry areas. This will help vary the edges of your lines from hard to soft. You can use this technique at any point in your painting. Here Robert uses Caran D’Arche Neocolor II water-soluble crayons for his under drawing. The wet and dry misted surface creates variation in his lines. He also creates contrast in his lines by varying the pressure while drawing with the crayon.
Mix but do not over-mix colors. For example, if you are mixing two colors, mix them “halfway” so you have a variety of color instead of just one color.
Use transparent layers to create depth. Take the opportunity to build numerous layers of transparent paint using watered down acrylics versus only thick, opaque layers. Robert also mixes white with his acrylics to achieve opacity, and then uses “hit or miss techniques” throughout his painting, making sure that the under paintings and drawings show through.
Use a liner brush to create linear interest. Many artists use liner brushes to sign their paintings. Robert really enjoys using a liner brush throughout his paintings, almost using it like a pencil. He adds random, linear strokes, mixing thick and thin strokes as well as long and short, choppy strokes. He encourages artists to experiment and try a liner brush to see if they enjoy painting with it.
To find out more about Robert’s techniques and tips, join our 2013 Online Workshops! Classes are self paced and will remain open until December 31, 2013. For more information.
What does the term “vellum” mean?
Frequently Asked Question:
What does the term “vellum” mean? Is it a type of paper?
Answer from Strathmore:
Vellum is used to describe a paper finish and a paper type, which can be confusing. Our Bristol and Mixed Media papers feature a vellum finish. When you look straight on, a vellum finish might look a bit smooth but at an angle, you will see subtle, roughness or tooth that helps “grab” dry media.
You might also hear the term vellum to describe a paper such as “translucent vellum.” In this context, vellum comes from a French term which refers to a parchment made from calf skin. However, today’s vellum papers are technically not true parchment papers. Instead they are constructed of wood or cotton fibers and are typically translucent or semi-translucent to resemble traditional vellum parchment.
Techniques for Drawing on Toned Paper
The following is an excerpt from our Winter Artist eNewsletter written by artist Scott Burdick.
I really enjoy drawing on toned paper since I can let much of the paper show through and simply add a few accents of white chalk for highlights. For this drawing I’ve selected the tan Strathmore® 400 Series Toned Sketch paper that features one of my drawings on the cover.
1. I tend to start with the nose when doing a profile, since it gives me a lot of good landmarks to measure from for other features. When doing a straight-on portrait, I usually begin with the eyes.
2. At this point, I just map out the proportions correctly and do not put much thought into modeling or shading. I really like the sweep of the design from the woman’s face, down the front of her cloak to the chicken she’s holding. With that as my focus, I plan to leave a lot out that would take away from this area of interest. I often find that the most important part of a drawing or painting is what you decide to leave out and how you simplify what you render.
3. Once I map out the proportions, I start blocking in some of the large dark shapes of the face. Notice that I treat the entire eye-socket as a single, dark shape. Always start with large, simple masses of dark and light, and then go into the details on top of that. As you approach each area, continuously compare it to the lightest lights and darkest darks of the subject and ask yourself where it falls in relation to those extremes. It is very difficult to identify a particular value in isolation. Always compare it!
4. Use white chalk to define a few of the light areas. Use your white chalk sparingly, because if it starts to bleed too much into the charcoal you will get a muddiness that you might not want.
5. Whatever you are drawing, think in terms of abstract lines and shapes. You are not drawing a nose or lips or a tree, but only the light and dark shapes and patterns that make up this object. The longer I paint, the more I embrace this lesson.
This is a relatively quick drawing that took me about three hours total. You can see in the final drawing how I only include the parts that interest me and help create a strong design. If I render her entire figure and everything in the background, it will have a lot less impact, in my opinion.
To read the entire article and find out more about Scott, download our Winter 2013 Artist eNewsletter.
Mike Sheehan - Sketches on Toned Gray
Artist Mike Sheehan recently created live sketches of jazz musicians using Strathmore's 400 Series Toned Gray paper with pens for a new series of paintings.
Mike is a graduate of the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA. His range of experience includes working for Walt Disney Imagineering, the Animation Attaction for California Adventure, and a variety of design fields inlcuding toys and fashion accessories.
Throughout his career, Mike has been a studio and plein air oil painter, but has always kept sketchbooks to maintain his skills, refine ideas for projects and paintings, and generate new ideas. From Mike’s perspective, “I love the interpretive aspect of sketching. You have to make decisions as to composition, what to leave in or to edit out. It’s a direct impression of the experience/place. I always say it’s like data entry for my brain. I remember everything about the experience when I sketch it. I don’t get the same feeling from a camera…”
See more of Mike’s work and sketches he’s done on Strathmore’s Toned Gray and Toned Tan Sketch on his website: http://mikesheehanstudio.com/dataviewer.asp?keyvalue=33270&page=ViewCollection&subkeyvalue=53829&startrec=1
Workshop 1 Supply List Now Available
Our free Online Workshops start soon! Workshop 1 entitled “Abstract Fine Art Painting with Mixed Media” with Robert Joyner begins March 1.
In Workshop 1, artists of all levels will gain the confidence and tools necessary to paint expressively on Strathmore 500 Series Mixed Media Paper and Boards. They will also learn valuable painting techniques that can easily be applied to any type of painting surface and subject matter.
For students who want to stock up on supplies early, following is a supply list for Workshop 1:
- Strathmore 500 Series Mixed Media Board, Sizes: 22”x30” or 16”x20,” 3 boards*
- Strathmore 500 Series Mixed Media Paper, (90 lb./190 gsm) Size: 22”x30,” 4 sheets*
- Acrylic Paint (Instructor uses Australian Green Gold, Magenta, Olive Green, Phthalo Blue,
- Acrylic Ink (Instructor uses Bright Red, Prussian Blue, Sepia)
- Compressed Charcoal
- Artist Crayons
- Spray Bottle
- Synthetic Brushes (Instructor uses #10 round, #12 round, #4 flat, 1” square wash, liner, sash)
- Palette Knife
- Paint Palette
*Note: If you are unable to locate 500 Series Mixed Media, try our 400 Series Mixed Media paper (140 lb./300 gsm), Size 18” x 24”
Registered students will receive an email prior to the start of the class with instructions on how to access the online classroom. If you are already registered, watch your email. Also, once the classroom is open, you will be able to access it from our website home page. If you haven't registered yet, visit: http://www.strathmoreartist.com/2013-online-workshop-series.html
We look forward to learning with you!
Strathmore 100 Series Youth
Strathmore’s 100 Series Youth Line is designed for the young artist to ignite a life-long love of art. We believe providing artist-quality materials for kids is the best way to nurture talent and interest, and enhance the creative process.
With a wide variety of paper types and product features, young artists can explore their different artistic interests and begin to develop their craft.
Specially marked pads and packages include two project ideas with instructions created by Art Projects for Kids: Classroom Tested Art Projects for K-5 and beyond.
Check out some of the products in the 100 Series Youth line, which includes classic items like the Drawing Pad, Sketchbook and Paint Pad, inspirational items like the Imagination Pack, Story Drawing Book, and Construction Pad, and NEW items like the Marker and Mixed Media Pad.
We hope the products in this line inspire all the young artists to explore art and have fun doing it!
2013 Online Workshop Topics & Instructors
Learn techniques from experienced artists through online videos and downloadable instructions. Get inspired by other students in our virtual classroom. Keep motivated with ideas and tips from your instructors.
We are excited to announce more details about workshop toics and the instructors. Here’s what we have planned:
Workshop 1: Abstract Fine Art Painting with Mixed Media
Instructor: Robert Joyner
Start date: March 1, 2013
Description: This course is designed to give artists of all levels the confidence and tools necessary to paint expressively on Strathmore® 500 Series Mixed Media paper. Learn valuable painting techniques that can easily be applied to any type of painting surface and subject matter.
Workshop 2: Sketching and Drawing with Toned Paper
Instructor: Stephen Cefalo
Start date: May 1, 2013
Description: Toned paper with black and white pencil brings a whole new dimension to drawing. Since the middle tones are already in Strathmore 400 Series Toned Sketch paper, it is possible to work in both light and dark tones, creating an instant sense of relief from the page. Integrating white pencil with black can be scary, but knowing the pitfalls to avoid can make it easier. With shared photo sources provided by the instructor, this class will lead students through essential toned paper techniques from the quick sketch to a fully realized drawing. Tonal drawings make excellent studies for paintings or stand alone as beautiful pieces. Practice these concepts in your toned paper sketchbook and you'll soon be ready to take on any subject with confidence!
Workshop 3: Artful Card-Making Techniques
Instructors: Jane LaFazio and Joanne Sharpe
Start date: September 3, 2013
Description: A blank card is much like a blank canvas. Unlimited potential! Jane will guide you in sketching and watercoloring an original card in a step-by-step, clear, easy method using Strathmore blank cards. She'll also show you how to artfully collage cards, with paper, fabric, glue and with stitching for all kinds of occasions. This workshop will inspire you to create original cards that will be cherished by those who receive them.
Artful Card-Making Techniques Artwork by Joanne Sharpe
Joanne Sharpe will share her popular artful lettering techniques and color rich design ideas to make a collection of whimsical cards. Explore a variety of playful hand lettering styles and simple illustrations to showcase greeting card sentiments and messages. Combine assorted mixed media techniques with creative lettering tools to adorn your mini masterpieces.
If you haven't registered, register today! Once you are registered, we will email you in February with classroom log-in informatation. We look forward to learning with you in 2013!
Strathmore’s new Toned Sketch paper has “kraft and bark fiber inclusions.” What are fiber inclusions?
Fiber inclusions are fibers added to paper for the sole purpose of creating a decorative or visual effect. Our new 400 Series Recycled Toned Sketch papers incorporate the natural colors of two different types of inclusions – kraft fibers and plant material. The result is a soft, natural look compared to traditional art papers, such as pastel papers, which typically use dyed rayon fibers.
Kraft fiber is created from a specific pulp-making process that uses wood chips and results in very strong papers. Most cardboard boxes and grocery bags are manufactured from kraft fibers. In our case, we use a small amount of acid-free kraft fibers to create visual interest.
The unbleached kraft fibers in our Recycled Toned Sketch appear as fine strands throughout the paper and feature the kraft’s natural color which is brown or tan. You will also see random patterns of small flecks throughout the paper. This visual effect is created with plant materials (usually waste from another process) such as tree bark. For more information on new Toned Sketch paper.