Saturday, March 28, 2009

Alma Lee Featured Friday on Esbqart Blog

I took yesterday off to celebrate my husband's 60th Birthday, and when I returned home I I found that I had been featured on The Feature Friday ESBQART Blog. It finished off a perfect day!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Wheel of Fortune
Solomon Walker

A number of weeks ago I ran into this article Imagekind. I thought it contained very pertinent and useful information,that I had to share.

Solomon Walker is a professional artist living in Toronto. His art like his writing is relevant, enlightening and fresh. He is also Co-Administrator for the Digital Fine Art group on Imagekind I want to thank Solomon for taking the time to write such a useful and concise article. It is a short article, and well worth the read!

Visit Solomon Walkers gallery:

50 Best Places To Make Money $$$ Selling Your Art Online In 2009

By Solomon Walker

Even though world economies are a bit chaotic at the moment, that doesn’t meant you cannot make substantial amount of money selling your art online or off.

According to some recent reports from reputable industry publications such as the Art Newspaper and Flash Art Online, it’s an opportune time for new players (both buyers and sellers) to enter the Art marketplace. Savvy buyers, who are seeking to collect up-and-coming artists, whose work are selling at bargain prices. For Artists, who wishes to gain access to the coveted arena of art lovers and high-rollers with ready cash to invest.

To begin, you may want to consider targeting your market, rather than the shot-gun approach adopted by many online. Don’t be discourage by lack of sale from one site; there are literally hundreds of FREE and low-cost galleries online, where your work may finds its ideal audience.

Scott Listfield, an artist who has carved out a nice niche selling his unique paintings online, states it best:

“With the rise of the Internet in general, and Print On Demand (POD) technology in particular, the game has completely changed. As the tired cliché says, the playing field has been leveled. As an artist, you no longer need to be “discovered” by a gallery owner, or lucky enough to be one of the handful of artists a publisher prints each year. Nor do you need to “sell out,” painting schlock in order to sell.”

My personal experience has been a positive one thus far, with printed sales being relatively steady since early summer of 2008. I have a few friends and associates who are selling extremely well online. One gentleman I met on a year ago has recently sold about 8-10 original paintings for prices between $500 and $10,000 each! He is a great artist. He markets relentlessly, and has an excellent rapport with customers worldwide. I think it’s a good idea to learn a few languages in a multicultural marketplace such as the internet!

While many artists I met make sales with originals, a vast majority does very well with printed work. Either option is great way to hit the road running in 2009!

The following is a list of some of the great places I personally have knowledge of, and some others are recommended by friends and associates. The list is not in order of ranking, and to be fair to each, I avoided pointing out the top moneymaker (but it’s in the top 10). This is a guide which you can use over and over again for reference as you go forward in 2009. Please have a look at each site, and decide which best fits your creative goals.


You are welcome to suggest your own sites which offer proven potential.

Good luck with your art ventures!

Solomon Walker
Co-Founder, MDFA

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

How to Paint with Color Pencil on Wood and MDF PANELS

New Color Pencil Paintings
by Alma Lee

How to Create a Color Pencil PAINTING on WOOD!
A step by step tutorial by Alma Lee

That's right I said painting on wood! After all these aren't your Grandma's color pencils. If you are like me you thought of your color pencil set only in terms of sketching, color selection, and drawings. Color pencil technology has increased hundredfold in the last few years. Making painting with color pencils on a variety of substrates including Wood and MDF panel a reality.

I decided to create a step by step tutorial for my technique and show my NIBBLEFEST entry; GEISHA KITTY & SILVER MOUSE SUSHI as a work in progress. I will be using all of the traditional color pencil choices in this piece. But one in particular trumps them all, when it comes to performance on wood and MDF panel. I want to introduce you to my personal NBFF (New Best Favorite Forever) Color pencils for wood, made by Walnut Hollow. These pencils are oil based, acid free, and photo safe. What makes them superior on wood is they are semi opaque, instead of transparent. Wood grains show through, but are not allowed to "overrun" the image. They truly have a buttery lay down and a excellent adaptability to blending, and shading. If you love working with color pencil, and longed to create "painting" like finishes on a heavy substrates, these are going to rock your world. Here is the step by step through the process and hopefully it will expand your creativity, and get you started on your very own.


You will need:
MDF or Wood Panel. ( Home Depot in a 2'x4' 1/2" sheet.),
Walnut Hollow Oil Color Pencils (Michaels or Dick Blick)
Liquitex Gesso (S) Surface Prep Artist Acrylic
Prismacolor Colorless Blender
Paper stick Blender
Prismacolor Matte Fixative
Winsor & Newton All Purpose Varnish
Soft Brush (for whisking away stray pencil particles)

Step 1 Preparing your surface.
You will want to cut your board to desired size. I used a circular hand saw and then smoothed the edges with belt sander. Dust off any saw dust and debris. Next you will want to lay down the thinnest layer possible of the liquitex gesso. I squirt sparingly out of the bottle right onto the panel, then then using a foam brush with firm pressure "force" the gesso into the fibers on the board.
Because color pencils of any kind do not adhere well to an acrylic surface. You are not trying to seal the panel here just laying down a hint of white to reflect through the color pencil and markers. When you are done you will have a slightly irregular coat, but that is OK.
Step 2 Make your sketch and transfer it to the panel.

Step 3 Lay in Your base colors.
I chose to use Dual Brush Pens for this. They have a brush end that is a little more flexible than a felt marker. (water based only at this point) You can use your color pencils, or art sticks for this instead of marker, if you choose. Bear in mind because the Walnut Hollow Oil pencils are semi opaque, you will be able to change the color slightly in the following layers. But they are not opaque so stick to laying down the median color or highlights
Step 3 Lay in Your base colors.

Step 4 Start with a thin layer of Color pencil
At this point you can use any brand of color pencil desired. I use the majority of my prismacolor and ergo soft colored pencils during this step, primarily for color range. Prismcolor and Ergosoft have more color choices than Walnut Hollow. So I just want to establish my color scheme at this point.
Note: you can use any brand
of color pencil at any point from here to finish as desired. The chemistry of all these pencils interacts very well with the others.

Step 5 Blend your colors and add your shadowing.
This is the step where you are finishing your layers to desired opacity in order to get that faux oil painting sheen finish. Stick to prismacolor colorless, and the paper stick blenders. Using turpentine, or alcohol to blend will run your colors and distort them with the panel texture.

Step 6. Add highlights with Color Pe
ncils and markers. This is where you will be concentrating on the final touch ups and full color saturation. Once you are done with this stage you will be unable to return to either color pencils or markers.

Step 7. Spray a couple of light coats of fixative. You should do 2 coats about an hour in between. This sets your color pencils and prevents colors from "wax surfacing as it ages. Note: be sure that the entire piece is coated with fixative, otherwise your finish coat of general purpose varnish will make your colors bleed.

Step 8. Spray 1-2 Layers of Gloss Varnish. Again light coats are the rule. I used Winsor Newton All Purpose Varnish High Gloss. It is a permanent non-removable protective coating. I found that I did not end up with a High gloss finish, just a satin sheen, because the MDF panel absorbs a lot of it. But it is a very attractive sheen nonetheless. and certainly reminiscent of a oil painting finish.
Note: I did notice that it did cause the red tones in my piece to bleed slightly through my metallic silver markers, but it was very subtle and not an issue for me.

Here is the Finished piece. A little FYI it will be available for purchase for March's Asian Inspired Nibblefest Auction on EBAY starting 03/20/09.
Check out my Alma Lee Originals EBAY Store for details


by Alma Lee © 2009
Color Pencil Painting
Available starting 03/20/09

Monday, March 9, 2009

Loss of a Muse...

Dix(S.O.N) Seven of Nine

DixS.O.N. was one of my best friends and consummate muse. My husband and I had to put her down today. It is a void I can not soon fill. I wrote this poem about his relationship with her. Rest in peace Princess...

ODE to DIX(SevenOfNine)

She was only seven of nine,
But to his heart the first.
His Princess , the ever safe harbor
To his longing heart.

Her hair, long, cascades of silk
Newly spun.
It blew wildly as she ran,
Finding rest as it draped over her
Carmel eyes, concealing a tiny spark
Of mischief.

Now as her stillness settled over him he
Even now He loved her, of this, he was as certain
As puzzled.
She had torn his heart, broken and beyond
yet with sorrow and sigh
he knew she had been worthy of the

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Featured Artist of the week

This week I wanted to spotlight the art of Lutz Baar. I got caught up in his use of color, composition and the exquisite breaks in his visual plains. He is a member of the Contemporary Cubist group on Image Kind but does not see his art as cubism. I find myself at a loss to describe his work, but fortunately he has done so beautifully that for me. He describes his work in this way;

"In my paintings I am working in the borderlands where light and illuminated surfaces meet. The motifs are between half figurative and abstract.They form a starting point in my adventure where I try to visualize a primary component of images that is in fact invisible – the light.

I am fond of all of his pieces, but have picked two of his feline paintings, because I feel that the way an artist portrays a cat speaks volumes about who they are and how they view their life in the world. And also I think his Kitty on a String looks very much like Lutz himself. Check it out and let me know! Buy Lutz Baar art here:

by Lutz Baar

Kitty on a String
by Lutz Baar