Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Colored Pencil Rooster-Day 1

© Ellen Blonder
I've been playing with colored pencil, but not sketched anything very colorful. I thought I'd try a rooster. This handsome guy posed for a photo along a walk in Kauai, where they're everywhere. I darkened the scan of this to show the basic shape; the lines are actually much lighter.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Red Roses-Final

© Ellen Blonder
The roses I used for reference are both the same dark red, but I liked leaving the one on the left lighter for contrast. Now it's done.
Post p.s.-My friend Jeanette just commented on this post with a poem, but it's too good to be lost in the comments; I'm adding it to the post itself. 


A single flow’r he sent me, since we met.
All tenderly his messenger he chose;
Deep-hearted, pure, with scented dew still wet —
One perfect rose.

I knew the language of the floweret;
“My fragile leaves,” it said, “his heart enclose.”
Love long has taken for his amulet
One perfect rose.

Why is it no one ever sent me yet
One perfect limousine, do you suppose?
Ah no, it’s always just my luck to get
One perfect rose.

~ Dorothy Parker (1893-1967), American writer of poetry and short stories  

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Red Roses-Day 4

© Ellen Blonder
This is fun, but it's fun in slow motion, without the anxiety of watercolors that might dry too fast in the wrong places. The challenge is to still to get the flowers dark enough.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Red Roses-Day 3

© Ellen Blonder
I'm wearing out my pencils trying to get the reds dark enough. Once I get these tones down, it'll probably take another round to darken everything even more.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Red Roses-Day 2

© Ellen Blonder
These roses will go way darker, but sketching in highlights and shadows helps me see where I'm headed.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Red Roses-Day 1

© Ellen Blonder
My friend Jenny gave me some red roses that were so dark and velvety they were almost black. I'm going to see if I can reproduce that color and texture with colored pencil.

Monday, August 15, 2011


© Ellen Blonder
This was an exercise in patience. The hardest part was to keep the greens from getting muddled or indistinct where they overlapped. It was also a challenge to make the flowers greenish but still lighter than the leaves, but not so light they'd be too flat. I think I'll stop fussing now.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Hellebore-Day 4

© Ellen Blonder
Lots of pencil sharpening today, darkening leaves and inner background to make the greenish-white flowers stand out better. The right side is far more finished than the left.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Hellebore-Day 3

© Ellen Blonder
Working away, mostly on leaves.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Lily Chan Photography

© Lily Chan Photography
Ok, time to take a break to mention a cool, young photographer. Lily and my daughter Lisa worked together briefly, and have been friends ever since. Recently, Lily decided to turn her passion into a business. Especially if you're in the LA area, check her out. She has a special knack with children, pets and sweet family relationships. Here's her website and blog to find out more about her. Best wishes, Lily!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Hellebore-Day 2

© Ellen Blonder
I think I spent over an hour today sharpening and organizing my motley collection of colored pencils, but now all my green pencils are together in one cup. I think I'm using eight or nine different greens, in addition to grays in this.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Hellebore-Day 1

© Ellen Blonder
I love the fans of leaves and greenish flowers of hellebores. I also like that some varieties bloom in my garden during the bleaker months. I guess that's why it gets the common name Christmas Rose. This one is from a photo I took at  Casa Loma in Toronto last year, and I thought it would give me a chance to try out my new green pencils. 

Monday, August 8, 2011

Varanasi Bracelet

© Ellen Blonder
Last December when I was in Varanasi, India, I stood near a raised platform next to a woman selling a few dusty items from her tarp on the ground. I was talking to my friend, oblivious, when I felt the woman tug at my pant leg. Without understanding a word between us, she pulled a clean tarp from her basket and motioned that I should spread it on the platform so I could sit without getting dirty. She asked nothing in return. 
I was so stunned it took me until I saw her again to purchase a few of her string bracelets, to remind myself such open kindness exists, even from the most destitute.
The one sketched here is attached to my laptop case, and it keeps me from getting too wrapped up in my own problems.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

My Foot

© Ellen Blonder
Ok, this is a lame post (both literally and figuratively, now that I think about it), but I thought I'd sketch what was in front of me: my post-op bandaged leg, with just two toes peeking out, after surgery August 2. I'll try to post more often, now that I can get to my newly-set-up "office" in my house, waiting for repaired tendons to heal. Anyone out there have experience with a posterior tendon transfer and calcaneal osteotomy?