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More Resources for Color Work

September 17, 2010

Hi all! I just finished photographing this tealight lampshade, the pattern is by Amanda Dray and found in the September 2010 issue of Parchment Craft Magazine. Like usual, I made a few changes, a little touch of Chiara. First I dorso’d my parchment paper a turquoise color, and for one of the final touches, I added little turquoise colored jewels to the flower centers.

Now onto the important part of this post. 🙂

I want to talk about finding help on coloring techniques. You understand the basics of various coloring techniques and can apply what you know, but now want to make your work stand out.  I started searching for classes, seminars and demonstrations in my area after a discussion with Gail Sydenham a couple of months ago. We were chatting and mentioned she had attended a seminar with Ann Swan (a botanical illustrator), and she was pretty excited about it.

“Ah, I wish there was something like that here, ” I mentioned, and we talked for a few minutes about places to check for seminars or workshops.

Well, I found out that there demonstrations and workshops, it’s a matter of looking, and sometimes looking hard. My search took a lot longer than I expected, not because there wasn’t anything available, but because I found a number of potential resources, that I hadn’t thought of looking at. Sometimes, one idea would be a little bit of a dead end, but folks I spoke with were quite helpful and gave me additional places to check.  The following suggestions is in no way definitive, but it is a good start.

For us gals that live in the US, local Community Colleges and Universities often have non-credit courses available during the school year. These courses generally last several weeks, and are not necessarily geared towards parchment crafting per se, but they can help you expand on a particular coloring technique, for instance pencils. If you do look into your local Community College or University, you may also want to see if you are eligible to audit a class (near me, that means being 65 or older to get the reduced fee).

If you happen to live near a University, you may be lucky enough to have a fine arts store (not the big box craft stores), usually not too far away from the University (easy access for art students). I do have one of these and do go there on occasions depending on what I need, and only recently found out that during the fall and spring they offer demonstrations. This fall there is one that is of interest on using soft pastels (chalk not oil).  Again, the demonstrations may be in mediums that are not to your current needs, but do ask if the store would consider finding an artist to demonstrate a particular medium that you are interested in. They may be quite receptive to the request.

Another resource for finding art instruction is your local community centers. I noted that the local Jewish Community Center will hold watercolor technique classes on Monday’s for a few weeks. Generally, members of the Community Center pay a small fee, while non-members pay a larger fee, but it is still very reasonable. An inexpensive alternative to non-credit courses with a University.

And, for those of you that are of a certain age (a very nice way of saying a senior citizen) look into your local Senior Centers. Many of them offer art education.

Being that I live near the Appalachia’s there are a lot of artisans and craftsman/craftswomen in the area, thus there are several Craft Clubs and Craft Guilds. Some of these clubs offer workshops that are open to non-members, usually for a small fee. So, do check your area phone book or use an internet search engine, to find any local craft clubs.

Another resource for artistic education is your local museums. That may be hit or miss, as oftentimes art education is geared towards young school children, but it doesn’t hurt to see if they may offer art education for adults. Even if they do not offer adult art education classes, they may be able to direct you to where you can find workshops or seminars.

Depending on what is available in your area of the US, JoAnns, Michaels, Hobby Lobby, and AC Moore will offer classes. I don’t often see any fine art type classes at these stores in my area, but that doesn’t mean they won’t offer them in your area. You may want to ask at these store if they will be offering classes in color pencil illustrating/drawing, painting with watercolors.

If none of these ideas pans out for you, there is always the library. There are numerous books, with illustrations that you can borrow or browse through. And finally, check youtube.  The companies of pencils, oil pastels, and  ink brands, often have artists give short demonstrations on different techniques.

Now that you’ve found a workshop, demonstration, or class to your liking, and have expanded your knowledge it is up to you to transfer your new-found knowledge onto parchment paper. Good luck!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

  1. September 17, 2010 6:20 am

    This article is terrific, Chiara!! For those of us in the USA it’s so difficult to even know where to begin searching for avenues to explore to help us in our parchment crafting. Thanks very much for doing this research and pointing us in the right direction!!

  2. September 17, 2010 7:19 am

    A gorgeous lamp shade Chiara! We have an AOE art supply store near us that is fabulous. It stocks for the University of South Florida and carries a wide variety of materials, I’ve been shopping there for years. The prices are reasonable. I believe AOE is a chain. Your viewers may be able to Google it and see if there’s one in their area.

    • September 17, 2010 7:56 am

      Thanks for mentioning AOE. We have a Jerry’sArtarama, which seems to be a small chain. Depending on the time of day and the traffic, it can take me a while to drive there, so I don’t go very often (a 30 minute drive for about 10 miles can be quite frustrating, under normal circumstances it should be a 15-20 minute drive). For some supplies, I just can’t beat their prices and availability.

      I know that the Jewish Community Center has been very active since I’ve lived here. But, who would have thought to check there for art instruction?! So, that was a very pleasant surprise.

    • September 17, 2010 8:00 am

      Forgive my ignorance, but what is AOE?

  3. SueJ permalink
    September 17, 2010 5:07 pm

    Very interesting Chiara, thank you.
    Here in the UK we have evening classes usually in our local high school. Sadly a lot of them are being closed

  4. September 18, 2010 4:24 pm

    Very interesting and helpful! I love the colouring you did on the lampshade – so pretty!

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