I have eight bird feeders around my house! I know it’s a bit much, but “birding” is a love that was passed down to me from my mom and my grandmother who were obsessed with feeding their birds and frustrating their squirrels. Anyway, I woke up one morning last December and was drinking a cup of coffee at sunrise in my greatroom looking out the window when the sun came up in the east and filtered a ray of yellow sunlight through the trees to hit squarely on this beautiful yellow Pine Warbler just outside one of my windows. I startled my wife Carol when I exclaimed “I have to go get my camera!” It was just as the sun was coming up and still quite dark. The muted browns from the trees and their dried leaves from the forest behind our house made quite a striking backdrop for the bright yellow feathers on the Pine Warbler’s breast. I have wanted to do a drawing of our little yellow friend ever since.
Youtube Tutorial Video:
I did the drawing using Faber-Castell Polychromos colored pencils, Prismacolor White, Titanium White powder from brushandpencil.com and of a couple of Cretacolor pencils on sanded paper – tinted sepia with a spray bottle of diluted acrylic paint. This drawing had three applications of Textured Fixative from brushandpencil.com to allow layering, corrections and a protective sealing of the surface. Only one is shown in the video. I thought the drawing was finished at one point and after applying the Texture Fixative and I removed the drawing from the drawing board. After looking at it and doing a bit of touch up, I realized that I could continue working to increase detail and brilliance of the colors and retaped it to keep working. You’ll see that at about the 2:30 point in the video.
The actual drawing took about 6 hours over several evenings. This video is compressed to about 3 minutes. Please leave me any questions or comments!
For more information on this wonderful bird, visit the Audubon site:
I recently saw a Facebook post by Debbie, a work associate, of her kitty “Pumpkin” and I asked if I could do a drawing of it. She gladly said “YES!” and I did a mixed media drawing that harkened back to a look reminiscent of a sketch from renaissance days. To create a surface to work on, I used alcohol ink stains by Tim Holtz (see video below) to create a rich antique leather-like surface and used Koh-I-Noor “Giochonda” Artists Pencils in charcoal, black, sepia, white and red chalk, powdered titanium white and Powder Blender (from brushandpencil.com). I also used a few traditional colored pencils from Caran d’Ache to add Ochre and Sepia colors. The video is self explanatory and lists materials used.
A Step-by-Step Tutorial:
Fixative used was Blair Marker Fixative (after treating paper with alcohol ink) and Krylon Matte Workable Fixative (two very light coats at the end – if you use too much fixative, you may need to brighten the whites a bit if the fixative dulls it).
Enjoy and please leave me any questions or comments!
I specifically used the workflow on pages 99-101 for creating a monochrome underpainting, using her Texture Spray Fixative to fix the underpainting layer and subsequent glazing layers, then using her Titanium White and Touchup Texture for details, Faber-Castell Polychromos Colored Pencils and Prismacolor Premier White for highlights. I used Powder Blender to create glazing layers to complete the portrait similarly to how I would paint an oil painting with an underpainting and painting medium to create glazes. Thanks Lloyd for letting me use this great photo of you to create this “painting!” I hope you enjoy it!
I did this drawing for the upcoming Abstract Art challenge by Vera Curnow, founder of the Colored Pencil Society of America. She challenged all members to do something abstract “Like telling a story without any nouns!” I like that! I have done a number of traditional collages using acrylic medium, found materials, paper scraps, paper clips and whatever Minnie and I find on our walks! (some of which are posted here: http://www.georgehoffman.com/category/art/collage/)
But I haven’t translated those to colored pencil. So I took on the challenge and thoroughly enjoyed creating this 100% abstract “Faux Collage” with colored pencils. It allowed me to let loose with some creative techniques that I can actually use in my “normal” colored pencil drawings. Here is the final drawing which was done on Uart 800 Sanded Paper with Faber-Castell Polychromos pencils and Prismacolor Premier and Verithin pencils. I also used the Powder Blender system extensively and expanded its use by treating it somewhat like an acrylic medium – splattering it, daubing up colors and creating textures.
Here is the time-lapse YouTube video of the process:
A Five Minute YouTube Time-Lapse video of the Drawing:
I had much fun doing this drawing from a photograph I took of a marching band at Disney World in 2013. I always wanted to do a drawing of this. As I was working on it, I noticed the LW logo on the band jacket and a Longhorn logo on the sleeve. I asked Carol to Google “LW” and “Longhorn” and see what she could find. It turns out it is the Lutheran West High School Marching band who was invited in May, 2013 to march in the Magic Kingdom parade. I contacted the school and talked to and texted them and they confirmed this was their band! They were very excited to know I had some pictures and was doing this drawing. I entered it into the 2017 Colored Pencil Society of America 2017 International Show (cpsa.org) and will find out in May if it will be accepted.
Many thanks to Alyona Nickelesen at brushandpencil.com for her Powder Blender system and helping me understand how to use the system with colored pencils. She gave me a draft to review of her upcoming book on Colored Pencil Portraits (pre-order at https://www.amazon.com/Colored-Pencil-Painting-Portraits-Revolutionary/dp/0385346271/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8). I finished reading it about 1/4 of the way through this drawing and completely changed my approach to the faces. I highly recommend the book and will be submitting a review to Amazon. I did a full video (speed drawing) of the process of doing this drawing and posted it on my YouTube Channel. It is a 5 minute time-lapse video of the drawing – a drawing that took many hours to complete!
UPDATE: This drawing was juried into the 2017 Colored Pencil Society of America Explore This! 13 Online Exhibition. This was quite an honor as only 61 pieces were selected from submissions by the international community of colored pencil artists! Visit the CPSA online gallery at: http://cpsa.org/explorethis-13exhibition
I did this colored pencil drawing of a banjo player in a bluegrass band that was playing at Stone Mountain when we took the family to visit the park a couple years ago. The siding was a bit boring on the porch where the band was playing so I found a photo I took last weekend on our trip to the north Georgia mountains of some really dilapidated siding. Unfortunately it was on a building I help design 40 years ago for a company I used to work for! Does that make me feel old or what!!!
I also did a YouTube tutorial of the layout of the Banjo Man and a second YouTube video of the process of doing the drawing.
My “Nana” was Francis Mann, who in her younger days starred in silent movies when the movie industry was located in New York. She and her sister, Alice Mann were both actresses in silent films with her sister becoming more well known with her roles as Fatty Arbuckle’s leading lady in films, acting alongside Buster Keaton. One was “His Wedding Night” available on Youtube. (She is the blonde with the wavy hair that appears with Buster Keaton in the first scene and throughout the movie.) “Auntie Alice” and “Nana” as we called them later when they were our Great Aunt and Grandmother lived in Hollywood, Florida in the 60s and early 70s and we would visit regularly. We lived with our Nana when I was a senior in High School and we visited on weekends with Auntie Alice. Mom told us stories of Fatty Arbuckle and how he’d come to visit with their fellow actors on Sundays and Arbuckle was famous for his chili. Unfortunately, there was a scandal surrounding Fatty Arbuckle that destroyed his career. Mom always contended that there was no way he did what he was accused of and he was finally acquitted after three trials. (Link to story here).
Here is a still photo from a movie set featuring my grandmother Francis Mann and an unknown actor that I decided to restore:
Here is a Youtube video showing the restoration process and the Photoshop tools used to rebuild the photo:
You can easily capture a vintage image from the internet and restore it with Photoshop and then create a Before-and-After photo. Here is a YouTube video I created showing how I did this restoration in about 10 minutes.
Here is a short YouTube video showing how I captured and restored Corporal Carter’s photo and then created a side-by-side image of the restoration.
This is my most ambitious photo restoration ever! I got this box of scraps from Carol’s mom from a drawer I opened when we helped her get ready for getting carpet installed. It is a posthumous memorial certificate for Herman Carter – Carol’s great uncle who was killed in World War 1 while sitting up in a tree. The war had just been declared over and the armistice signed, but the troops where he was didn’t know it (and the enemy didn’t know it). This is a labor of love and took many hours. The certificate was given by the French government to the U.S. soldiers who gave their life in the war and is signed by the president of France. I am not sure how to put the original back together but at least this print will be able to be framed nicely. I have tried to preserve the patina of the document. Also, it means a lot to me because my grandfather also fought in France in World War 1 and received the French Medal of Honor. I have the medal framed with the certificate which I got from my mom. My grandfather went to France when he was 17 and fought with the French before the U.S. entered the war. Maybe he and Herman knew each other! What brave men our country has had serving over many years and in many wars. And thank you to all the troops serving today!
Here is a YouTube video of the restoration project. You can scan forward if you want to see how I put together the pieces and cleaned up the document for printing:
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…George Hoffman's Creative Journal. Thoughts, memories, art & photography. God has been too good to me! Grace undeserved!