Let it Shine!

I went out for a walk and came upon Mahonia. It is an evergreen shrub that has really cool leaves. They are pinnate which means they are multi-divided. I love the berries because they are purplely blue with a powdered frosting. They are native to North America so it looks like I will have some in my new garden. I didn't know that it would grow this far south so it was wonderful to bump into it.

My challenge for today was to tackle shine. To make a leaf appear shiny it is important to set up stark contrast. Think of a black patent leather shoe or an eggplant. The darker the pigment the brighter/whiter the highlight. If an outline occurs by the highlight, it will loose the form. The transition must be stark and subtle at the same time. For this I went back to the Icarus Drawing Board and it worked like a dream. This is my second time using the board and I know that I will be a "lifer".  I like the way the board heats and melts the wax of the colored pencil. I was afraid it would make it mushy, but I found that the temperature can be easily regulated with the temperature dial and the color becomes like butter as it blends across the paper. the paper cools quickly when I put it on the cool side and it makes going back and forth very easy. I have wanted to do larger pieces in colored pencil but with backgrounds and I just didn't want to work that hard. This drawing board is the answer. I am going to play around with it and further explore what it can do.  I am sure you will see more paintings done this way during my 18 more days of the leaf challenge. After the challenge is over I am going to plan some pieces to cover all the paper. Such fun! Does anyone else have any experiences with the board? Let me know I would love to hear from you!


This leaf is available in my Etsy Store: BugsBeastsBotanicals