I consider myself to be a student of the world, happily ignoring any attempt at “photographic” representation. In fact, I’m quite content directing my attention toward the mood or quality of a particular place and moment. The energy of a mark or brush stroke is more interesting to me than the labor of highly rendered “finished” pieces. A decision to leave such preciousness behind has been a conscious one, as was the choice of simple tools used to realize such expression: a fountain pen, a tiny watercolor kit, a sketchbook made by hand from my favorite paper.
My blog, Just Sketching, featuring quick sketches of life, can be found at https://justsketches.wordpress.com
Brent Anderson was born in Lubbock, TX in 1964. Although not formally trained as an artist, he has been an artist all his life. From an early age, he was drawn to art and could always be found creating, building, or drawing something as a child. Brent's creative side comes out in the kitchen as well, where he loves to create and experiment with new dishes. He expressed his passion for art through intricate and detailed drawings of wildlife or outdoor settings. Brent created several drawings on consignment for both individuals and for commercial applications as well. His work can be found hanging in homes across the West Texas area. Brent has been married to his beautiful wife Susan for 26 years, and has three wonderful children. Susan is a cancer survivor and will celebrate 12 years cancer free in February. He founded the 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization: In My Father's Eyes, Inc. in 2014 to bless families of children diagnosed with cancer, or families who have lost children to this horrible disease with framed portraits of these beautiful fighters. In My Father's Eyes provides all of this at no cost to the families. If you would like you can contact Brent here.
Ms. Kutza is an artist residing in New York. She has studied at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Art is her passion. Her work "Desserts" was inspired by an article she read which stated that drawing comfort foods makes us happier. It is done with acrylics on 400 Series Acrylic paper.
I have always been attracted to smooth surfaces, although I have not always drawn on them. In the past, when drawing was just a sporadic hobby and not yet an integral part of my life, I often used pastels and would go for the obvious textured and tinted surfaces. In the spring of 2015 I decided to follow my long-lost dreams and take up drawing again. I discovered coloured pencil and did some research regarding different sorts of paper and surfaces. When I tried the Strathmore Bristol smooth paper it immediately became a favourite of mine.
I find it challenging to work on a smooth surfaced paper and there are pros and cons that make it more suitable for some mediums and pencil brands more so than others. A smooth surface, as opposed to a more toothy one, gives you more control and is perfect for lush, fine detailed work.
However, it is also more vulnerable than papers with a more textured surface, because there isn’t as much opportunity to fill the paper like there is with more toothy papers. You have to watch the position of your strokes and work very lightly.
I have found that the beautiful texture of the smooth Bristol paper can take many more layers of coloured pencil pigment than other competing brands. The effects can be breath-taking and very painterly. However, I have discovered that the secret to success is to remember to create very light, soft and even layers very early on. It’s important not to press too hard too soon in order to avoid filling the paper too much to early.
I often draw children’s portraits and this surface is ideal to emphasize the softness of child’s skin, the roundness of the cheeks and the freshness of children’s faces. I really enjoyed creating the multi-layered affects in ‘Ascension’ and with each subsequent layer I became excited as my image began to evolve into a rich and densely covered application. The Bristol smooth paper surface helped this image to really glow!
Being an artist is a never-ending learning process. I see Strathmore Bristol smooth paper more as a tool for advanced artists, who have mastered their craft really well. Why am I using it then myself, while still being a relatively new artist? Because it motivates me to get the best out of me and to strive for the best strokes and application possible for me again and again.
During the course of the years my style and technique have changed and evolved; I have also tried many different brands of graphite and coloured pencils, but my love for Strathmore Bristol has remained!
Ryan Spahr is an accomplished artist working in a variety of media, including marker, pen and ink, oil, pastel, photography, and tattoo. His work exhibits bold, expressive mark-making, exploration, and experimentation. Ryan lives in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania where he spends his free time with his family and collecting records. His future plan is to further his education in the Arts.