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Wednesday, February 15, 2023


WOOOOOOOOO!!!  Halfway through February and we are now at the start of SHAMROCK SHAKE SEASON!!!  And if that weren't cool enough, there's also a crap ton of half-priced Valentines candy waiting to be bought and the XFL returns this weekend!  Granted, I'll likely miss most of the games because of work, but that's why God created DVR!  I realize I look at the 2001 XFL with rose-colored glasses, but I'll always contend that it wasn't as bad as they try to make it out.  The tech they introduced certainly caught on and the 2020 reboot of it was phenomenal!  They were making good strides until a little turd called COVID had to go and ruin things.  But we're beyond that now to a degree and hopefully things will work out this time around.  Until then, let's keep the CRAZYVERSARY party going with more attempts at me jumping from cartooning to fine art!  Enjoy...

Cherry tree blossoms.  One of the first real signs that spring is on its way!  Here in San Diego, cherry trees have a deeper significance.  One of our sister cities is Yokohama, Japan.  Many years ago, our friends in Japan gifted us some cherry trees which currently reside at the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park.  Through the years, many events came to pass, but through it all, our friendship with our sister city endured and as a true testament of that, so have those cherry trees, which still stand and grow and blossom to this very day.  It's a beautiful legacy.  With this piece, I was mostly just trying new techniques involving blending and stippling.  One of the cooler things about oil pastels is that in addition to being able to seamlessly blend colors, you can also layer individual colors on top of each other with little to no blending!  You can definitely get some cool effects with it.

For this one, I was trying to be a little more detailed with it, though I wasn't quite as successful as I was in the piece above it.  Objects off in the distance are a little more forgiving in that they're naturally out of focus, so closeups are a little more difficult.  Especially when using a medium like pastels where there isn't a fine point!  Still, I'm happy with the outcome, especially with glowing effects of the clouds and moonlit hills.  The black paper used was both a stylistic choice and an experimental choice.  It's a vellum surface, so there is a bit of a tooth to it, though not as much as actual pastel or colored pencil paper has.  Admittedly, it didn't blend as easily as it would have on toothier surfaces, but by and large vellum paper still works well enough.  The reason you want to use a toothy or rougher surfaced paper is so that the pastels will blend better.  It you're using smooth paper, it'll slide right off!  I haven't tried it on a white vellum surface yet, but that day is coming!  I should also note that if you are using a black paper, you're gonna want to use your brightest colors as the darker colors, even some of the middle shades, will just blend in with the background.  Also, when finished, coat with a matte sealer.  It'll preserve the piece, keep the pastels from smearing, and, should you want to, even allow for further tinkering as matte finishes are toothy!

Well, another week down and only one post left in February!  We're switching gears a little bit for the finale as another medium I've been experiment with gets center stage, so be sure to come back and check it out!  Until then, take care, stay safe and I'll catch y'all later!

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