Sunday, December 12, 2010

This is something I wrote for all my fellow artists.

The day of Christmas, I woke up and the sky was blue, red and white.
The clouds looked like a Clyde Butcher’s Everglades pictures.
The mountains were for sure Ansel Adams’s Yosemite style.
The ground was painted like Pollock’s black and white drip paintings
and my house looked like Edward Hopper’s “Cape Code Sunset” white
I saw a man and woman walking on the street. They looked like Romeo
and Juliet in a Shakespeare’s dream. I tried to walk toward them, but
instead my feet moved like the Irish dance from here to there. And
when I tried to speak to them, I was only able to recite Maya
Angelous’s poem “Still I Rise”. By this time, I felt like Edvard
Munch’s painting “The Scream” and when I was ready to shout, something
made me pause. So I paused. And it was in that moment that I realized
that I am an artist in all forms. I realized that my Christmas gift
this year wasn’t a Romero Britto rolling carry-on or a modern looking
metal basket by Italian designer Alessi. Instead this year, my gift
was the ability to see the world with the eyes of the artist in my

This Christmas, I leave you with this thought. Remember that no matter
what happens under your Christmas tree, you will always have your
eternal Christmas gift: your imagination and your art.

Merry Christmas my fellow artists.


Vanessa Montenegro
Copyright © 2010 Vanessa Montenegro

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

How to Keep Your Drawing Clean?

When you need to work on a drawing that requires your hands and arms to rest on the artwork, these are some tips that can help you keep your artwork clean:

1) Cover the area of your drawing where your hands and arms are going to rest. You can cover it using a paper, newsprint paper or simple paper towels. You can tape the covering paper to your drawing board to prevent it from moving.

2) Try to begin drawing on the upper corner of the paper and work toward the opposite lower corner. So if you start on the upper left hand coner, you end up on your lower right corner.

3) If you are using different materails on the same drawing, lets say soft charcoal, conte and dark charcoal, leave the materail that smears very easily for the very last.

4) Use some fixative every so often can also keep the charcoal and pastel in place. But use this option as last resource since fixatives tend to change the texture of the paper.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Free Art Class at The Upper Tampa Bay Library

The Art Of Drawing by Vanessa Montenegro
Saturday Nov 13th at 10:00am
Upper Tampa Bay Regional Library
11211 Country Blvd., Tampa, FL 33626

I will be presenting a hands-on drawing workshop for adults and teens. I will be offering advice about materials, techniques and step-by-step exercises. Feel free to bring a drawing pad, pencils, etc.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Selling Artwork on Etsy

Early this year, my friend Judy B Freeman, who is also an artist, showed me how to sell on Etsy. Judy has had great success selling her ceramic artwork on Etsy, so she was the perfect person to teach me how to sell my drawings and paintings on Etsy. I asked her if she could teach me and she was so nice to offer her time to show me how she does it. We met at her house and in about an hour, Judy told me all the tricks, the do's and the don't to succeed on Etsy.

So following her advice, early this month, I adventured to post my first item on Etsy. I posted "the swimmers", a small painting with an easel (see picture). My strategy was to just post one painting and see what happened. Whether I sold it or not sold it, this was going to be a learning experience. The first couple of days, I checked the store every single day to see how may people had seen the piece; however, after a couple of days I got busy at work and I forgot about it. Then, one day, I opened my email and there it was. My little piece was sold. I was so happy. I was jumping up and down away.

As a result of this first step success, I have decided to post almost daily for a month and see what happens. So far, last week, I have posted 3 drawings. Here are the links to see the drawings.

I hope they get sold and I can keep telling the great stories about Etsy.

If you are an artist and you want to sell your work, I hope this story inspires you and get you started selling your artwork online too. If you decide to sell on Etsy, here are some tips Judy B Freeman shared with me and which have helped me getting started

1) Roam Etsy before posting something. See what is selling and time machine to see recent listings

2) Visit the treasure for collections

3) Check the forums

4) Get familiar with the Search features

5) Check if your work is a good fit by checking your competition on Etsy

6) Photograph your work before you start

7) Check competition prices and then price your artwork

8) Calculate your shipping

9) Set up a Pay Pal Account

10) Set up your shop

11) List new stuff as often as possible

12) Join a team

13) Post in the forums twice a day

14) Post your store on facebook, twitter and so on...

Good luck!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils could be so much fun!

For years, I have been drawing with pastels and charcoal but this winter I rediscovered color pencils when one of my art students requested me to teach her how to draw with color pencils. And wow had it open the doors to new adventures and recreations.

When I was a teen that was the art medium of my choice; however, as I went to college, I left it behind as I discovered other materials such as charcoal and pastels. The freedom and speed that pastel and charcoal provide me are really great but sometimes I wish I could use media that wasn’t so messy. Well, I think that I found it again early this winter when for the first time in years I started working with color pencils. I had forgotten how much fun they are. Like pastels, the Prismacolor Premier Colored pencils have a rich variety of vibrant colors. Easy to use, clean and most of them non toxic, Prismacolor Premier Colored pencil provide a great venue to create great art.

For instance, the giraffe on the picture was drawn with Prismacolor Premier Colored pencils. I started with an underline drawing. Then, I added a layer of light yellow color to the light section of the drawing and light blue color to the shadow areas. After that I layered the light shadows with oranges, creams, yellows browns and some light blue. On the dark shadows, I incorporated dark blues and purples and even some greens. Even the black areas like the eye have blue and yellow. Finally, I colored the background with a light blue and created some light white clouds on the top right to give the feeling that the background is the sky and not a plain blue background.

While working with color pencils isn't as fast as working with pastels, I really enjoyed the clean aspect of the material and the ability of creating really small details. I also enjoyed layering colors one of top of the other just like I do when I worked with acrylics. Color pencils are easy to carry around so you can take them with you when you travel. The only drawback about prismacolor pencils is price. Prismacolor pencils aren't cheap. You can buy them in boxes or individual. A box of 48 colors of Prismacolor Premier pencils cost you about $60.

Over all I am enjoying drawing with Prismacolor Premier Colored pencils. So if you like to draw and want to try a new material this summer, may be you might want to try color pencils.

Finding The Beauty On The Mundane

It was a rainy fall day in Florida. I was working on a portrait commission at my home studio with the patio door open, listening to the rain...