Many students have asked how I design a project; I hope to share the designing process of my latest colored pencil painting with you through this blog. I’ll be teaching this project at seminars in 2009 & 2010. Be sure and check the seminar listings on the website www.janellejohnson.com to sign up. If there isn’t a seminar in your area contact me to schedule one!
I’ve had this lantern for a couple of years and have always been intrigued by the glaze and how to capture it in colored pencil. Since the lantern was to be the focal point, I took probably 25 different photos to study, do the drawing and make a plan of action.
Next was the copper watering can. I chose copper because of the glaze of the lantern around the butterfly cutout. The actual piece is a pitcher, so a bit of artistic license was taken to turn it into a watering can. Also, the pitcher was quite large so the scale of the drawing had to be adjusted to be smaller than the lantern.
The third item to complete the design was a bit of a challenge. I really wanted a small object to set at the base of the lantern, but it just wouldn’t work with the design elements. What frustration! I tried a small glass bird, small candle, another copper object and the list went on and on. I finally set it aside for a day and came back to it with a different mind set knowing that I needed to make a sacrifice. I was sitting at the dining room table with the lantern in front of me and with my eyes unfocused I saw a pathetic looking plant in the background behind the lantern. TaDa, I had the other element in the design; something that was larger than the lantern!
I was so excited with having these three items that I didn’t even think about something to anchor it to until after I had these three pieces penciled. The river stones were an after thought that worked into the design later. Not a good plan, but it worked for me!