Shrink-e-dinks….nostalgia from the 80’s

This past December I decided to take my work and create pins and earrings.  The question was how to do this.  I found something from my childhood that I always loved to create with, Shrink-e-dinks.  Yes, those plastic sheets you could paint, color or draw on, cut out and then pop in the oven to watch them shrink into a hard plastic.

I remember creating Disney Christmas ornaments from kits that my parents would get for my sister and I.  Those snowy Saturday afternoons where mom and dad needed to keep Karen and I busy….Boy, those were the days.

Well, I found the Shrink-e-dink material and decided, WHY NOT!

First off, I started actually drawing out images and then coloring them in.  This took a long time for each image but once shrunk down they looked really cool.  I used a variety of media including colored pencils, alcohol markers, and inks.

I then did a little more exploring on the art supply websites and found Shrink-e-dink material that you can send through an ink jet printer.  Hallelujah!!!!  This was so much easier. So, I started to look through my sketchbook and computer and found lots of images that I created to print out.  The results were great and the items were and are some of my most popular sellers.

Take a look for yourself here as I have some items still for sale.  Just contact me via messenger in Facebook or you can email at banasiakart@yahoo.com.

Next up, a review of the Epcot® International Festival of the Arts:  Disney has art classes and workshops? Who new they were so artist friendly?  Stay tuned.

Cougar portrait in pastel

Cougar, Mountain lion, Puma, Florida Panther….. Whatever you want to call the largest of the small cat species, Puma concolor is one of North America’s most elusive and enchanting felines to roam the wilderness.

This post will focus on the step-by-step process I did while drawing the cougar mount from the Field Museum’s exhibit hall.

Cougar, Puma concolor, mount from the Field Museum.

The cougar portrait started, like all of my other portraits, with a rough sketch.  From there, I refined my sketch by measuring and scaling from the cougar mount and transferring my measurements to my paper. The ground I used for this portrait is a burgundy color from Canson’s Mi Teintes collection.  This is a textured paper with a medium size tooth which perfectly holds the pastel for that textured feeling and finish.  I used my trusty color-erase white pencil as it is one of the essentials I keep close when I work on dark colored ground.

My set-up in the Carnivore room while drawing the cougar portrait.

Drawing felids (cats and cat relatives) are a slight challenge as they have a flat skull compared with other animals.  They also possess a foreshortened and wide muzzle orsnout which is unlike canids (dogs and dog relatives) as the muzzle length and width are a distinguishing factor between some of the species within both groups.

At this time in the process, I am sometimes still deciding what media to use (not surprised).  This time I choose Prismacolor Nu-Pastels and Derwent pastel pencils.  I started with an under-painting of Nu-Pastels as I could get a larger amount of the ground covered in a shorter amount of time.  Once the basic colors for the under-painting were complete, I added the highlights and shadows in places so that I knew where I would be enhancing certain areas when I started the detail work.  As you can see above in the finished under-painting, the cougar has a flat feeling to it as I have not rendered the form much in this photo.  As I started to add the detail (more color layering, hair and texture) the cougar starts to take on a more “real” look or a more modeled look on the paper.

I added dark patches of color to create the base of the skin and fur folds, the dark shadows within the ears, and the shadow that is created under the chin on the neck.  Once that was done I started with more highlights around the cheeks, over the eyes, and on the tips of the ears.  You can see that once the low- and high-lights are done, detail can be added.  And I LOVE DETAIL!

The eyes are the entrance to the soul so this is my favorite feature to draw and paint.  I do have a tendency to add more emotion into the eyes I create then what is presently on a mount or in a photo reference.  The detail is were I get to use pastel pencils and my blade to sharpen the Nu-pastels.  I can get a better point with the pencil or by cutting or chopping away at the pastel sticks or blocks to create a point verses just using the Nu-pastels or my Sennelier soft pastels.

Folds on the skin are the first part of the fur that I started on.  I layered the dark colors with medium tons and then after a quick spray of fixative, I added the light colors and white highlights.  The textured paper takes away a little bit of dimension since you do see a little of the ground color through the layers of color but with each mammal portrait I do, I try to balance the color of the ground with the base colors in the specimens fur color.  With the cougar, you can see the the burgundy color of the paper balances out with the orange and golden yellow colors of the fur.

Once finished, I always sign and fix with spray so that the pastel does not rub off easily.

Cougar, 2016, Pastel on paper, 19″x25″. Copyright Rebe Banasiak, The Brush Hilt, Rebe Banasiak Art.

I will be doing more carnivore portraits in the future so keep your eyes on my blog pages here, Facebook and Instagram to watch the progress unfold.

Next step-by-step, Shrink-e-dink sketch magnets:  How I create shrink-e-dink magnets from my sketches.  Stay tuned.

AAF @ the Field Museum

The first two months have been crazy for me.  I’ve been doing a lot of cleaning, both at my regular job at the museum and also in my studio.  But there have been some good things happening as well.

First, I was part of Lewis University’s President’s Show.  Also had three pieces picked for a show in April (I’ll blog about that one later on). But this month is different.  The artist group I’m in, Artist at the field, has been having a mini-showcase at………..

(wait for it)……..

The Field Museum!

It is just in an exhibit case outside their Harris Education Center’s location on the ground floor but it is still something special for me.  As an artist in the group, I usually have to deal with crowds while working in the exhibit halls but that is trumped by the people I end up talking to who ask questions because they were unaware that the Field is an artist friendly location.  Even better is when they are very complimenting to whatever I am working on and want to know more about working at the museum.

This brings me back to the mini-show.

Peggy Macnamara was talking with the HEC manager, Wendy, and she liked the idea of us hanging our work up to show what we do on the Saturdays we are all in.  This mini- show has most of the original (core) members included but I am hoping that when I am done completing the AAF website, we can garner some interest in getting more opportunities for the group as a whole to show all of the memeber’s work. 

I think the case looks great and with the advertisement of the Artist at the field website, the Facebook page and Leonard’s email, hopefully our little group can be noticed and grow to be a recognized group throughout Chicago.  I want to thank my friend Ella for helping Peggy and I hang the show and take photos.

I can now say that I have had my artwork hanging in the Field Museum.  How many artist’s can say that!

You can see the mini-show located outside the Harris Education Center in the west hall of the ground floor of the museum.  Artwork will be on display until the end of the month, March 31st, 2016.

AAf member artwork in display case outside the Field Museum's Harris Education Center.

AAF member artwork in display case outside the Field Museum’s Harris Education Center.

Where has the time gone…

Wow! It has been about nine months since the last post.  Too much has been going on at work that posting what I am doing in the studio and in the exhibit halls has taken the back burner.  I have been trying to set time aside but to no avail, the time escapes me.  You all know what I am talking about.  Just when you think you have the time to paint, write, update files, etc., etc., etc., the time seems to pass so fast that it is time to go to bed.  Well, that is how it has been for me since mid-June.

My regular job has taken the front seat since the division is short staffed.  When you are down one person, all the others pick up the slack.  I was balancing all my time perfectly; regular museum work, artwork in the studio, artwork in the exhibit halls, working out (got to stay healthy people), and time with family and friends. Probably the only thing I was not able to keep up with were my blog posts here.  Keeping the Facebook and Instagram active is easy.  Basically, you take a photo of what your working on and post.  Not much work there, lol.

Painting and drawing, I have had no problem staying focused all summer.  Focusing on updating my posts, website, and blog, that is where my biggest problems have been.  As many of you know, I consider myself a working artist. To me that means, I work my ass off to do my art but have a regular job to pay the bills (which I wrote about here, “Yes, I do have another job to pay the bills…”).  Well, the full-time job has needed me more than ever this past October through February.   We had an unexpected tragedy happen to someone we work with and someone I look up to and admire as both a mentor, boss and friend.  I have been helping out with taking care of what he used to do with the other three members of our division.  It has been hard but when “everything happened” I went into a slump, a kind of mini-state of parent neglect to my artwork.  Yes, this “mother of drawings” (pun intended) placed down her pencils, pens and brushes and forgot to finish work that I wanted to have finished before the end of the year.  Many things have been left on the sidelines, oil pastels needing glazing, mini-ink paintings needing layers added, drawings looking for pastel to start covering them.

Well, since the first of the year, everything has slowly been coming into place.  I have been able to go to my Artist at the field drawing dates to continue on paintings and drawings from this past couple years.  Slowly but surely, artwork will get finished this year.  I do not know how many posts I can write to update you all on the progress but I will try.  Until the next posting.  Happy days!

IMG_20151218_232806

 

#5dayartchallenge Day 5

I was nominated to do the #5dayartchallenge by one of my besties, Frank. So, for the next five days I will be posting three pieces of art I have done over the past 20 years here, on Instagram and on my Facebook page. Hope you all enjoy the next five days.

#5dayartchallenge Day 5

Now we are at the end of the #5dayartchallenge.  I will leave you with 5 of my favorite sketches and journal entries from between 2011 until now.  Hope everyone likes the sketches.

Just a reminder you can follow my blog by pressing the blue “follow” button at the right and you can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.  Have a great weekend everyone!  😉

 

Chickadee sketches, Sketchbook 4 page 20, 2013, graphite.

Chickadee sketches, Sketchbook 4 page 20, 2013, graphite.

Treasures from the sea, Journal book 1 page 10, 2013, watercolor.

Treasures from the sea, Journal book 1 page 10, 2013, watercolor.

Seagulls, Journal book 2 page 24, 2013, watercolor.

Seagulls, Journal book 2 page 24, 2013, watercolor.

Pretty shoes, Sketchbook 5 page 2, 2013, watercolor and ink.

Pretty shoes, Sketchbook 5 page 2, 2013, watercolor and ink.

Brown pelican, Sketchbook 5, 2013, colored pencil and ink.

Brown pelican, Sketchbook 5, 2013, colored pencil and ink.

JUST A REMINDER: All work is copyright to Rebe Banasiak and The Brush Hilt and only a written permission statement by the artist (Rebe Banasiak, that’s me) is acceptable for any and all image use from this website.  Legal action will be taken if use of any images from this website are used without the proper written consent from the artist (yet me again).

#5dayartchallenge Day 4

I was nominated to do the #5dayartchallenge by one of my besties, Frank. So, for the next five days I will be posting three pieces of art I have done over the past 20 years here, on Instagram and on my Facebook page. Hope you all enjoy the next five days.

#5dayartchallenge Day 4

So, I am on the next five years from 2006-2010.  Let’s see what I can find to show you now.  😉

Tiger

Tiger, 2006, ink on paper.

Pansy III, 2008, Inktense and watercolor on aquaboard.

Pansy III, 2008, Inktense and watercolor on aquaboard.

The Year of the Dragon (Kimodo dragon), 2008, watercolor on paper.

The Year of the Dragon (Kimodo dragon), 2008, watercolor on paper.

 

JUST A REMINDER: All work is copyright to Rebe Banasiak and The Brush Hilt and only a written permission statement by the artist (Rebe Banasiak, that’s me) is acceptable for any and all image use from this website.  Legal action will be taken if use of any images from this website are used without the proper written consent from the artist (yet me again).

#5dayartchallenge Day 3

I was nominated to do the #5dayartchallenge by one of my besties, Frank. So, for the next five days I will be posting three pieces of art I have done over the past 20 years here, on Instagram and on my Facebook page. Hope you all enjoy the next five days.

#5dayartchallenge Day 3

Now, for the time after I got out of school and needing to get my ass in gear.  This next batch is from my first 5 years after graduation from SAIC.  Hope my skills are getting better as time goes on, LOL.

Clouded Leopard, 2002, pastel on paper.

Clouded Leopard, 2002, pastel on paper.

Tiger, 2004, watercolor on paper.

Tiger, 2004, watercolor on paper.

Hyacinth Macaw, 2005, pastel on paper.

Hyacinth Macaw, 2005, pastel on paper.

JUST A REMINDER: All work is copyright to Rebe Banasiak and The Brush Hilt and only a written permission statement by the artist (Rebe Banasiak, that’s me) is acceptable for any and all image use from this website.  Legal action will be taken if use of any images from this website are used without the proper written consent from the artist (yet me again).

#5dayartchallenge Day 2

I was nominated to do the #5dayartchallenge by one of my besties, Frank. So, for the next five days I will be posting three pieces of art I have done over the past 20 years here, on Instagram and on my Facebook page. Hope you all enjoy the next five days.

#5dayartchallenge Day 2

Now I will take you to my time at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where I learned so much from my mentors Peggy Macnamara and Olivia Petrides.

Sight in Yellow and Violet (Wolf series), 1999, mixed media collage.

Sight in Yellow and Violet (Wolf series), 1999, mixed media collage.

Scarlet Macaw I, 2000, oil on canvas.

Scarlet Macaw I, 2000, oil on canvas.

Raccoon, 2001, graphite on paper.

Raccoon, 2001, graphite on paper.

JUST A REMINDER: All work is copyright to Rebe Banasiak and The Brush Hilt and only a written permission statement by the artist (Rebe Banasiak, that’s me) is acceptable for any and all image use from this website.  Legal action will be taken if use of any images from this website are used without the proper written consent from the artist (yet me again).

#5dayartchallenge Day 1

I was nominated to do the #5dayartchallenge by one of my besties, Frank. So, for the next five days I will be posting three pieces of art I have done over the past 20 years here, on Instagram and on my Facebook page. Hope you all enjoy the next five days.

#5dayartchallenge Day 1

So, I will take you back to my years at Lewis University.  Here are three of my favorite portraits that I did.  In my opinion, two of the best teams in sports! Yes, I am a diehard Chicago Blawkhawks and White Sox fan!  Born and bred, BABY!

Ozzie Guillen, 1992, graphite on paper.

Ozzie Guillen, 1992, graphite on paper.

Eddie the eagle Belfour, 1994, oil on canvas, 4'x6'.

Eddie the eagle Belfour, 1994, oil on canvas, 4’x6′.

Chris Chelios and Brett Hull, 1995, acrylic on illustration board.

Chris Chelios and Brett Hull, 1995, acrylic on illustration board.

JUST A REMINDER: All work is copyright to Rebe Banasiak and The Brush Hilt and only a written permission statement by the artist (Rebe Banasiak, that’s me) is acceptable for any and all image use from this website.  Legal action will be taken if use of any images from this website are used without the proper written consent from the artist (yet me again).

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to everyone in cyber world!  I am back with plenty of ideas, some new artwork started and lots of good things to write about.

If you are someone who makes resolutions then I have some good ones to share with you.  More like self improvements for me to accomplish so I can have a more full and satisfied art career and life in general.  So here is what I came up with:

IMG_20150109_223417

As these are more about self fulfillment, the 2015 GOALS are a bit different.  They are directly intertwined with my art life.  They are also small goals (for me) in comparison to years past.  I already have number 4 checked off the list.  Started the Instagram account last night, YEAH baby!  So here are my goals for the year:

IMG_20150109_223613

If any of you have resolutions or goals planned for this year, keep your chin up and held high.  You may not be able to get them all done but it’s trying that counts.

See you all later and keep your eyes open for new posts.