Today I got something that I have been looking at for 5 years. It is an Icarus Hot/Cold Drawing Board. I saw Ester Roi demonstrate how to use it at an ASBA Conference. Being a total color junky I was amazed at how vibrant her colored pencil work is. They look more like oil paintings than colored pencil. I love working in colored pencil but I never liked the way my work looks on paper because it is very grainy. I like the way other people's work looks,u but for some reason it looks like I was drawing with a big fat crayon. In the early 1990's I started doing my colored pencil work on drafting film, specifically double frosted mylar made by Dura-lar. The film is frosted on both sides and looks like thick tracing paper. It has a fine tooth. The colors are bold and beautiful. The mylar is not good for doing large areas as it tends to look streaky. (I will have to do another blog post of the pros and cons of mylar.) When I saw the Icarus drawing board I thought that it might be a new approach to my work but at the time I was not willing to plunk down the money. Now that I am in a new studio I decided to treat myself and buy it. I got the larger board. I think it measures about 22 wide by 18 deep. Half of it heats up to melt the colored pencil. The other half remains cool/room temperature. I decided to try leaf #4 on my new drawing board.

The leaf came from a tree, but I do not know the name. It is one of the few trees that change color here in Gainesville, FL. I am used to the vibrant colors of the fall in the Northeastern part of the United States and living here is very different. It was 87 degrees today! When I saw this leaf I knew I had to paint it. It is about 2 inches wide, heart shaped which in morphology terms is cordate. I decided that for my first go around with the new drawing board I had better make the drawing bigger. My leaf is enlarged 2.5x the live specimen. This made it much easier to blend and work with.

I had a great time with it. Before I started I went to YouTube and watched a bunch of videos on how to use the Icarus drawing board. They were very informative and I recommend you go and watch some of them. The shifting between cool and warm sides really makes the colored pencil layering go much faster and the end results are pure saturated color. I think I am in LOVE!

This painting is available in my Etsy store