Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A closer look at the WIP, colored pencil on pastelbord

colored pencil portrait (of my handsome oldest son. . . sshhh, don't tell him I said so, "EMBARRASSING Mom!!") 
work in progress on Ampersand Pastelbord
5" x 7"

Here's a closer look at my colored pencil piece I showed you the other day (the one I worked on while waiting in the car for my kids to get out of school).

I'm really happy with how it's coming along. I always forget how much fun it is to push pencil around on paper (ahem, or board as is the case here) and watch colors begin to glow and the face start to come to life layer upon layer.

Art is really kind of like magic right?

Yes. Why yes it is.

Know what else is magic?

A quiet moment in my house when the kids have been home all week for spring break. I've just tucked them into bed and the only sounds remaining are the click of the dog's toes on my kitchen floor, and the dryer quietly tumbling a load of laundry down in the basement.

Just listen. . . Wait for it. . .


Le sigh. Who am I kidding? I miss those little voices! Except for when they argue. That I don't miss. :)Off to paint I go. I hope you all have a very Happy Easter weekend with your family. :))


  1. Je découvre peu à peu avec délectation ce beau visage aux yeux malicieux et vifs...
    Je l'aime déjà beaucoup à ce stade... J'espère le voir vite en pleine progression.
    Gros bisous et joyeuses fêtes pascales à vous et à tous ceux que vous aimez.

  2. It's coming along beautifully! Art is magic. I'm always shocked that we start with a blank surface and make amazing things happen! Truly magic:) A quiet house, also magic at our stage of the game:) Someday we'll look back and wish there was a little noise:) Can't wait to see this piece progress, you are magic:))

  3. Its magic. YES IT IS..How life is created on that flat boring board is magic indeed. I love it the way it is right now.

  4. Crystal, you manage to paint a picture even with only words! You don't even need a brush! I could almost smell the laundry and hear the dog when I read your post. Those moments are precious aren't they?
    The pencil portrait is just beautiful. I love how he is appearing out of nowhere! I have yet to try coloured pencils in this way myself. But this is inspiring and I love the idea of having so much control :0)

  5. Wow! What a coincidence! I just came here from commenting on Carrie's blog and my analogy was 'magic'!!
    So I will say to you, Crystal, (almost) exactly what I said to Carrie:

    I've just been designing a website for my 'mad' Magician friend ( - now he has been pulling things out of hats for ages ... but nothing compared to the magic you use in pulling that face out of that board. It really is magic ...
    I have heard of quiet houses ... but I have yet to experience one!

  6. I love how he is handsomely emerging from the blank space of the board - almost like peek a boo revealing a little at a time - he looks so real -that could only be the reason or may be magic :) Also like how you paint with words! My kids are grown up and on their own but I remember so well those days when there was a quiet happiness at the end of the day or very early in the mornings as I finally found time to paint! Thanks for bringing back those memories!

  7. And a Happy Easter to you and yours as well!
    This piece is coming alive right before our eyes, it's amazing. Those eyes, oh my word...and you have a great model to work with :-)

  8. You have magical fingers, Crystal. This painting is absolutely his perfect expression and color. I have used pastelbord in the past and love how the pastel glides on it. I can't wait to see this one finished..its going to be beautiful.

  9. Oh Crystal, his portrait is coming along so beautifully. Such a labor of love!
    I should try to send you my video of Jacob making cricket sounds so you can play it when you need to hear is so cool. :) Have a beautiful day!

  10. Hello Crystal. Thank you so much for your visit to my blog. It's nice to come by and see what you are up to now. The portrait above is coming along magically. :) :) Art is magic for sure. I love making art and seeing what others are doing as well. Your portraits are surely magical and i especially love "Acceptance" and "Solemn". Not sure where i first saw them but so glad that i did. Have a wonderful day Crystal and happy painting....

  11. Crystal, your portrait is gorgeous!!! And he is a handsome lad!
    You have crickets, and at this time of year, I am serenaded to sleep by the frog chorus. :) I love it!

  12. Beatiful portrait! congrat on your work! :)

  13. Gorgeous! Someday (or not at all! lol) I would love to see a video of you working on your artwork. Like a close up, sped up WIP just to see your process and know how you do it. Just wonderful!

  14. I'm so amazed by the wet, dark eyes you manage to get with colored pencil! That is truly amazing... I have just restarted full day training in figure drawing this week, and I have to say -- I totally agree with you -- pushing those pencil marks on paper is soooooooo much fun! I always forgot how much I love drawing!!!

  15. Looking good.. I quite like the stage when the eyes are looking out and the whole is yet to appear..

    happy Easter to you and yours, Crystal xx

  16. Ah the quietness *nice*

    You know your stuff so well that I'm starting to believe there's no medium you can't rock Crystal, have been wanting to ask you if that pastelboard is too grainy, is it?

  17. Thanks so much everyone! I truly do appreciate every SINGLE one of your comments. :)))

    And Teresa, it is quite grainy, which is even more apparent when working with a small close up here. But I love working on the board so I'm going to keep pushing on. :) It takes quite a bit of pencil to fill in the tooth.

  18. I think you've sold me on pastel board. I love seeing how you do it. thank you for sharing.


Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment they really do mean so much to me! Because not all bloggers have their email enabled so I can reply directly through email I will try to reply here in the comments. If I don't please forgive me, life must have been hectic that day! :)) Huzzah!!

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