Sunday, October 23, 2016

Look at These Gems!

A beautiful collection of  my students' "Gemtangles"
waiting to be completed with embellishing "tangles."
Now look at the "gems" who drew them!

What fun it was today creating Gemtangles" or "Gemzens" with this lovely bunch of ladies! I was so surprised when I showed up to class that I knew each and every one. Though they had taken classes with me in the past, this was their first time ever making gemstones. I am so impressed with their results that I had to share them.

This Sunday afternoon customers streamed into my favorite, colorful, jam-packed-with uniques-things-store, Two Hands Paperie, where we held class. The ladies were so engrossed in their project that they didn't take note - or notice the many onlookers amazed at what they were working on. They were too busy adding shading here, veining there, feathering-in highlights, and adding the finishing touch; sparkles with white gel pens.

We started by learning some pencil stroke techniques that I taught as a botanical illustrator at the Denver Botanic Gardens. I included other traditional illustration techniques; color layering and grisaille (a method of painting in gray monochrome, typically to imitate sculpture, and in our case form.) Our first practice mini gems included a drop shadow with reflective light; not so traditional, but they make the 2-D drawing so believable, and as if the little stones are glowing.

Next we progressed to our main attraction; the big gem that would be embellished with tangle patterns. Here are some of those plain stones, smooth and burnished, some already with highlights and veining.

One of my sample pieces.

My sample for this class.