22 August 2015
by Randy
1 Comment

Crayon resist night sky

We didn’t do all of the assignments for Kids Art Week. But we did work on the next one. It’s called: Crayon Resist Night Sky.
Using crayons or oil pastels, we had to fill a page with color, lines, shapes. We used my oil pastels and Fiene loved them so much, she couldn´t stop drawing :)
Fiene drawing
She didn’t even want to proceed to the next step, watercoloring on top of the drawings, until she saw me painting mine (I eventually decided I wasn’t going to wait for her to be ready ;) ).
I didn’t take process shots of the drawing she used to complete the assignment, so I can only show you the endresult.
Endresult crayon resist Fiene
The last step of the assignment was to cut out a skyline of houses and trees using black paper. Fiene cut and pasted the paper herself :)
I made two variations of which I took pictures after step 1 and step 3.
Step 1 crayon resist Randy
Endresult crayon resist Randy
Step 1 crayon resist 2 Randy
Endresult crayon resist 2 Randy
In the second one I drew some shapes on top with a regular pencil.

This was fun!


The last assignment we did so far had to do with leaf printing, which I will show you in my next blog post!

28 July 2015
by Randy

Picasso dogs

Today Fiene and I worked on the monday assignment for Kids Art Week. (We do the assignments one day later so I can watch the video the night before and make preparations.)
This time no crazy birds, but crazy dogs :) Picasso dogs!
Here’s what Fiene created.
Fiene's Picasso dog
Her dog disappeared underneath all the paint so it turned into more of an abstract painting :) If you look closely you can see some legs, her creature is hidden underneath the green blob!

This one’s mine.
Randy's Picasso dog
It’s really a lot of fun to do this together!

27 July 2015
by Randy

Kids Art Week

My daughter Fiene and I are participating in Kids Art Week, a free online art class (you can still join in if you like!) with 6 lessons from Carla Sonheim, Lynn Whipple and Diane Culhane, three teachers I have taken or am taking other art classes with.
Today we started with the lesson that comes before the first actual lesson, it’s called Crazy Birds :)

Here’s what Fiene (age 4) did.
Fiene's crazy birds
Fiene's crazy birds
Fiene with one of her crazy birds
My birds didn’t turn out at that well, I guess this assignment wasn’t really for me, so for today this is all I can show you ;)

If you’d like to try this for yourself (with or without kids :) ) you can find the crazy bird tutorial on Carla Sonheim’s website or you can sign up for the entire Kids Art Week.

14 July 2015
by Randy

A special gift

Last year one of my best friends, Annelies, had a special request for her birthday: she asked me to make her a piece of art as my gift to her. A few days ago, I finally handed her that gift.
Watercolor and graphite drawing by Randy Roelen
This is the piece. It is done in watercolor and graphite.
Watercolor and graphite drawing by Randy Roelen
It’s kind of crazy to see my work framed. I only ever framed one other drawing, my two rabbits, that I have in my own home.
This work now has a new, proud, owner! :)
My piece hanging in my friends house - Randy Roelen

3 July 2015
by Randy

Pastel drawing

I wish I had taken process shots of this one.
Pastel drawing by Randy Roelen
I started my second ‘attempt’ in pastel drawing by making sort of a lineair composition. I write ‘attempt’ because I think it was actually quite succesfull. My first abstract pastel drawing was more of an attempt to copy Debora Stewart’s way of working, which didn’t work for me much since obviously I am not her ;)
As a starting point for this one, I decided on a lineair composition and I used a few really light colors as an bottom layer. I loved the colors and the design of that layer, and I added some great stuff on top, but somehow, somewhere, I totally wrecked the thing. Luckily I’m getting better at not giving up, and after a lot of adding, wiping, drawing, smudging, blending, I got to this point, where I really like what I’m seeing.
I’m suprised that I so quickly found a way of working and a style that looks and feels like me, with lines and shapes and marks I really like.

28 June 2015
by Randy
1 Comment

Creating a color wheel

In the abstract pastel video’s by Debora Stewart, she talks about color theory and she uses a very nice color wheel. One where you can turn the middle part to show you the different color schemes (complementary, split complementary, triadic, rectangular, square).
Just about every art book I read has a part in it about color theory and I usually skip the part because I think I already know it. Truth is, I don’t really, I’ve never taken much time to really get into it. I definitely should.
I checked at the stores where I buy my art supplies, but the color wheels they sell are all about color mixing. And actually, I’d rather spend my money on actual supplies rather than a color wheel. So I just made one myself!

I will show you what I did, step by step, in case you’d like to make one too.

First, I created a circle and used a protractor to divide it up into twelve equal sections. Inside the circle I added two smaller circles.

Color wheel step 1
In the outside ring I wrote the twelve color names: Red, Red Orange, Orange, Yellow Orange, Yellow, Yellow Green, Green, Green Blue, Blue, Blue Violet, Violet and Red Violet. Underneath I added the associated color, using pastel (but ofcourse you could use any other medium).
Color wheel step 2
I cut a small circle from a different sheet of paper and placed it on top (not attached yet). From there I created the identifiers for the different color schemes.

Color wheel step 3
I used a split pin to attach the two pieces of paper together so that I could turn the middle part around.
Color wheel finishedThat’s it! Simple and fun to do, and very usefull :) (And so very pretty, too, with all the bright, beautiful colors!)

25 June 2015
by Randy
1 Comment


Some of the things I’ve been doing lately…

Got a subscription to ArtistsNetwork TV
Bought Deborah Stewarts book ‘Abstract Art Painting’
Extended my collection of Pastels
Made my own abstract pastel painting/drawing. First attempts are hard!
Creating some fun small books for the year long class ‘Year of the Spark‘ (small folded booklets for stream of consciousness writing on different topics, used for the next assignment)
Taken my first (small) step in Negative painting (painting around an object instead of painting the object itself) as instructed by Linda Kemp on  ArtistsNetwork.tv

Abstract Art Painting by Debora Stewart
My collection of pastels
First attempt at creating an abstract pastel drawing
Small books for Year of the Spark
Negative painting exercise

14 June 2015
by Randy

Three shade paintings

Using dark grey watercolor and water I mixed three different shades of grey to paint with. I used them to experiment with creating more depth and interest, something I’m looking into to take my paintings and drawings to the next level (hopefully).
I created a couple of little paintings to see the different effects that I could get using the three colors.
three-shade paintings
As you can see I tried different variations.
Starting from the middle with a dark shade and working outward with lighter shades.
three-shade paintingsThe other way around (light to dark).
three-shade paintingsVarying the shades.
three-shade paintings
Making one painting layering the 3 colors on top of each other.
three-shade paintings
It was a great learning experience, especially in finding a balance between the colors, and the composition.

I created two paintings starting with light grey in the middle, because the first one wasn’t really balanced, the dark parts are too strong. So I decided to add colored pencil to it to try and balance it out again, which was also fun to do :)
three-shade paintingsthree-shade paintings

6 May 2015
by Randy

Graphite drawings

I’ve discovered graphite and I’ve been thoroughly enjoying drawing with this medium. I purchased both woodless graphite pencils and a block of graphite. With that last one I’ve created a bunch of drawing starts by dragging the block across the paper in various ways.
Graphite drawing starts
After creating a composition like this, I intuitively start drawing into what’s been started, mostly following the shapes and forms already there. Other than graphite, I’m starting to use Conté crayons (my favorite crayons) more and more, to add color and life and fun to the pieces.
Untitled by Randy Roelen
Untitled by Randy Roelen
These two are just examples of what I’m sure is going to be a series of drawings. These are great fun to make!
In the bottom piece I used the ‘assert and obliterate’ method mentioned in my last post. At one point I thought I had ruined the drawing but by covering part of it up and drawing the lines again, I feel like I’ve saved it.

4 May 2015
by Randy

Assert and obliterate

While perusing the internet I found an interesting free online class on expressive drawing. A great class to loosen up and start creating.
I learned that the class is actually based on the book Expressive drawing by Steven Aimone, like a drawing workshop in book form, and I decided to purchase the book.
Expressive Drawing by Steven Aimone
I’ve actually had the book for a while now, and I have to say, this is definitely my favorite art book. Ever. There is just so much in this book. Like I said: it’s a workshop in book form, covering many subjects: different types of drawing (though this book focuses on abstract drawing), line, shape, composition, working with flux, repetition, rhythm, balance, working with a grid.

While I haven’t worked through the entire book yet, I learned a lot already, and one lesson in particular really got my attention and has helped me move forward in my artmaking.
The lesson is about working in flux, creating interest and movement in a piece, and the method used to achieve this is called: assert and obliterate. You draw something, cover some of it with white acrylic paint, and then you draw some more, cover some of it up, going back and forth like this until you’re satisfied with your piece.
This is a great method to create an interesting, layered drawing, and, it’s a great way to let go of the fear of making a wrong move in your art. If you don’t like something, you can just cover it up (and make the piece more interesting in the process)!

These two pieces were made using this method.
Butterfly Wings by Randy Roelen
Untitled by Randy Roelen