Archive for Colored Pencil

The judge has reached his verdict and…

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on April 25, 2012 by Lisa Mills

Woo hoo!  “Reflections on Heavy Metal” was juried in to the CPSA 20th Annual International Competition to be held in Covington, Kentucky this summer.

I stumbled on this bit of news in an unexpected way.  I was perusing through my Facebook newsfeed last weekend and stumbled upon a status update for another CPSA artist.  She said in her update that a work she submitted was juried in to the CPSA show.  While I was excited for her, my heart absolutely sank.  I had received no communiqués from CPSA about the list of accepted entries.  In fact, the list wasn’t due to be posted for another few days.

With my heart racing, I immediately went to the CPSA website.  I clicked on their “news” link and saw that the list of accepted entries was, in fact posted.  One more click took me to the list.  I thought about it for a moment, then begin to slowly scroll down the page.  Since the list is in alphabetical order, it didn’t take too long to arrive at the “M’s.”  Ma…Me…Mi…then I saw it! Mills, Lisa!!!  Something resembling a squeak came out of my mouth.  I couldn’t believe it.  This is a huge honor for my name to appear amongst some really accomplished artists.

So now, my framed work will travel to Covington, Kentucky this summer to appear in the exhibition at the Carnegie Center for about six weeks.  Each accepted entry will be reviewed by the judge and from those, awards will be given to those who he deems has merit.  Last year there were over 700 entries, with approximately 120 or so being juried in.  From that, just over 10% will win an award.  I don’t know where the judge thinks my work fits in this whole puzzle, but I am thrilled to have been selected to appear in the exhibition.

On other notes of exciting news, I have teamed up with fellow artist and my former teacher, Alyona Nickelson in creating online tutorials as a part of her website.  She offers subscribed members access to various tutorials and my first one has been published to the site!  Also, this blog that you’re reading now is the Featured Artist Blog in Colored Pencil Magazine (both online and in print) for the month of May.  Many thanks go out to Sally Ford, editor/publisher of Colored Pencil Magazine for deeming my work worthy of print!  All that said, I must get back to work.  Among the items I’m working on now is a larger piece of my two dogs playing in the snow and I have taken all the photos I need for an upcoming piece that will continue in my “Reflections” series.  Not a guitar this time…but I’ll keep you guessing!

Until then, here’s a picture of a work that I did of Lucy in the snow after I finished “Reflections on Heavy Metal.”  It’s called Snowdog.  Lucy, after her playtime in the snow came up for air with a “beard” of snow.

A Departure From My Norm…

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on March 16, 2012 by Lisa Mills

I just finished this piece that I have entered in the CPSA (Colored Pencil Society of America) International Competition.  Works entered are evaluated by a judge and then, if selected (juried in) are shown at the international show and evaluated further for awards.  Just being juried into the show would be a HUGE deal for me, as I failed to make the cut last year.  I decided to depart from my animal art for this piece and do something completely different. This is my son’s Fender Stratocaster.  It’s all in colored pencil and done on Art Spectrum Colorfix Suede paper.  I loved how the paper, which has a velvety surface, combined with the wax and clay in the pencils creating a very painterly effect.  Here’s the piece entitled, “Reflections on Heavy Metal.”  Wish me luck in this year’s competition!  The results are not out until late April.

“Reflections on Heavy Metal” 15.5″x8″
Colored Pencil on Colorfix Suede Paper
Copyright 2012, Lisa M. Mills

Happy New Year!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on January 3, 2012 by Lisa Mills

Happy New Year everyone!  I’ve been too busy to blog lately, so I thought I’d bring everyone up to date with what’s been happening at the drawing board.

Thanks to two great friends who had a lot of confidence in me, I complete my first two commission pieces in 2011.  The first, Lola (see Blog Post titled “Commission Accomplished”) was done as a Christmas gift from a dear friend of mine for her hubby.  This posthumous portrait was of a beautiful and spirited Golden Retriever.  The second piece was titled “Annie” (see below).  Annie is an adorable West Highland Terrier who is the pet of another dear friend’s mom.  This too was a Christmas gift and boy, was I sweating it out Christmas Day knowing that the two gifts were being unveiled to their recipients that day!

“Annie”
Copyright 2012, Lisa M. Mills

In addition to Lola and Annie, I recently finished a picture of a horse while experimenting with a new technique.  Here’s his photo:

“Gentle Glance”
Copyright 2012 – Lisa M. Mills

I love the new technique.  It’s a lot more fun to execute and it has a real painterly feel to it, but with the media control of pencil.  That’s all the time I’ve got for now…I will share with you soon the newest portrait of my dog Lucy playing in the snow.

Teaching an Old Dog New Tricks

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on November 6, 2011 by Lisa Mills

I am so thankful for teachers.  I’m thankful for teachers that teach my son on a daily basis. I’m thankful for artists who are willing to share their art and techniques with others.  Teaching is something that I seriously doubt that I could do and do well.

As an artist who left her drawing tools on the back burner for a few years, I had to reacquaint myself to my craft and the tools that go with it.  I first found a colored pencil artist by the name of Alyona Nickelsen.  She is an accomplished still life artist and fortunately for me and others, is willing to share her techniques with those willing to learn.  She has a book called The Colored Pencil Painting Bible and she offers an online colored pencil painting school.  Last year I began her three courses, finishing the last one in February of this year.  Her instruction and insight helped me infinitely!  Check out Alyona’s work at www.brushandpencil.com. Many of my “instructional” pieces in my gallery were done under Alyona’s tutelage.

I recently discovered another colored pencil artist who specializes in wildlife art.  Beautiful wildlife art.  Her technique amazed me and upon further investigation, I discovered that she also offers a tutorial on her technique.  Her name is Christina Langman and you can find her artwork on her website at www.bigcatart.com. I purchased her tutorial and am now doing a small experimental piece using the new technique in a drawing of a horse.  I’ll post pictures of the process in a forthcoming blog post.

I am grateful for both of these artists and their willingness to share their techniques with others.  Some artists are very tight-lipped about their work and their processes and I respect that. But I view my work as a process and I try to learn every time I sit down at my drafting table.  I learn from the process and I learn from others.  Thank you, Alyona and Christina for your willingness to share!