Monday, October 13, 2014


Friend and teacher, Gemma Black posted wonderful images from her Purely Pencils workshop. Wishing I could take her workshop (a trip to Australia and Tasmania is on my bucket list), I was inspired to try my hand at the From Nature to Paper exercise.

 In this exercise, Gemma asks students to bring in something from their garden, a flower, leaf, etc. Students are to analyze the colors that make up the plant. Then, they draw a letter and create a pattern to color. Dominant colors that make up the flower get larger or more areas.

When I first did the exercise, I wasn't aware of the color ratio. I was happy to draw a letter with double pencils and color in the pattern with watercolor pencils. I used the cover image from "Better Homes Than Yours" (Better Homes and Gardens). I liked the cover image which had bright orange Chinese lanterns in a cobalt blue vase and a pumpkin. The background was faded, grey wood. I really liked the striking orange and blue combination. I called my creation a Gem and emailed a pic to Gemma. She very kindly explained the workshop and reminded me that dead leaves have color inspiration in them.

Looking at it reminded me of a stained glass window. So, I did another. Outlined the letter with double pencils and colored it in with a black Inktense pencil. The black lines were colored in with a black Sharpie pen.

Both were done on a 4 inch square of watercolor paper (whatever I grabbed from the scrap paper box). I really like the look of the stained glass Gem.

If you get a chance to take a workshop with Gemma. don't let the opportunity pass. Gemma is a wonderful, patient teacher (I took an online class with her) and a good friend.