Shawn Falchetti, CPSA


The Artwork of Shawn Falchetti
Posts tagged Colored Pencil

I completed my first piece on Light Blue Canson Mi-Teintes Touch, titled "Sunrise", using Prismacolor and Luminance colored pencils.  I really liked the color of the paper and decided to include a 1" border of bare paper around the piece, signing it in the border like I would a print.  I enjoyed working on the Mi-Teintes Touch.  The texture of the paper was prominent in the first few layers, and in a few places I let it show through heavily.  In other areas, such as the sunlit hair and window, I was able to saturate the paper with colored pencil and achieve a good range of values.  The grit was very even and allowed for nice, uniform layering and transitions of colors in the background.  I think the light blue color is a nice choice for portraits and figures - it has just the right mix of blue with a touch of green.  One other thing I liked about the paper: the weight.  At 353 gsm, it's a little more than 50 gsm heavier than Colourfix paper, and has a nice feel to it.  There's something about heavy art papers that I love.

Here's a detail of the shoulder area, where I let plenty of the paper's texture show through:

A detail of the background transitions and texture:

And a detail of the hair:

Behind the Scenes - Opaline Dreams

Opaline Dreams was interesting in that it was my first attempt at mixing Prismacolors with Neocolor IIs, which are water soluable.  Neocolors look much like a Crayola crayon when you hold them (although they are still considered a colored pencil - imagine the 'lead' of a colored pencil wrapped in paper, instead of wood).  It takes a bit of experimenting on a test scrap of paper to determine the right combination of crayons to achieve your color, especially since, once you wet them, the color will be very intense.  For this piece, I intended to use the Neocolors only for the darks; this was because I really felt the gray green color of the Colourfix paper was a key part of the skin tones and fabric, and wanted it to show through in the lights.  Since Colourfix can be difficult to get a full range of values on, having solid darks on a lighter paper also helped address this. After the Neocolors were laid down on the paper, I brushed water over them and blended them over the paper.  For the darkest area on the right, I used a very small brush and meticulously evened out the tone.  For the hair, and darks on the right, I used a larger brush and more freely 'painted' with the water.  The result was fuzzy, and uneven, which is what I wanted.  It gave the periphery of the piece a softness that was in line with the mood.

The remainder of the piece was straight Prismacolors.  I spent the most time on the folds and lace of the gown, although it was the skin tones that I found to be the most difficult area, since there was a constant push and pull between going too far in one color and not enough in another.  I tend to end up with an unusual mix of colors in my skin tones, and this one was no exception with greens, purples, and creams.


This year I'll be one of the artists donating a piece to the CPSA silent auction at the 16th Annual International Exhibition in Seattle. Since "Cascade" will appear in the exhibition, I thought it would be fun to use one of the other poses from the session for the donated piece. There are size constraints on the auction pieces, so this is smaller than I usually work on Colourfix:

8" x 9" Prismacolor and Lyra colored pencil on brown Colourfix paper


WVAL Colored Pencil Workshop

There was a good turnout for this weekend's workshop at the Wyoming Valley Art League, with 16 members attending. We had time to work with white, red, and black Colourfix paper, and I gave everyone dark green and gray samples to take home. The workshop's title was "Capturing Light with Colored Pencil and Sanded Papers". Here's a snapshot of the main exercise, a rose, done on 4" x 6" black Colourfix:

Something Special Artist's Reception - Part 1

The artist's reception for my solo show at Something Special went great this weekend! Saturday morning there was a flurry of activity as Kiersten and I packed up all of the pictures, tools, and show cards, and headed to the gallery to begin hanging the show. Hanging went quickly, and while we were working, the Something Special folks were busy cooking up all of the yummy appetizers for the evening. They took care of the details for the setting - florals, candles, music - and were the hosts, and we got all of the artwork hung, tags and cards. We had enough time to head back home and catch a bit of a rest before getting changed and coming back for the reception's opening at 5 pm. There was a great turnout! Thanks so much to everyone who supported the show - members of the Colored Pencil Society DC115, the Wyoming Valley Art League, Lizza's Studios, friends and family, and everyone at Something Special (the food, by the way, was fantastic, and the show set up was wonderfully warm and inviting). DC115 sent a beautiful floral arrangement for the show - blue flowers which went so well with the pieces. I even sold a piece during the opening - "Curve". I was able to snap some pictures before everyone came in (below), although I was too busy to actually snap any during. Kiersten's family snapped plenty during, though, so I should have some to post in Part 2.

Thanks again to everyone who came out to support me on the opening night!

dramatic-lighting whole-show guest-book betsy


8" x 10" Prismacolor colored pencils on gray Pastelbord. Completed 2007.


When I asked my brother if there was anything in particular he'd like for Christmas, he surprised me by asking for a colored pencil portrait of him. I chose Pastelbord for this because my self portrait was done on it, and I liked the idea that the two pictures would share a similar visual style.

Shakti Show Update

Tonight we hung the show at Shakti, a day spa located on Market Street, Kingston. There was room for all 10 pieces, and I was able to group some of the series pieces together. The show will run for three months. Here's a few snapshots: Pensive and Interlude, at the entrance


Distraction, center right, as seen from the second floor


Curve and Self Portrait, in the back room


My favorite: Wrapped, just over the massage chair (seemed appropriate there!)


WVAL Shakti Show

Thursday 9/6 I'll drop off 10 pictures for the Wyoming Valley Art League's member show at Shakti, located on Market St, Kingston. This is a three member show which will run for 3 months. Tonight I tagged all of the artwork - it was cool to see all of the pieces layed out together. Depending on the space available, not all 10 may end up in the show, but here's the roster: Bend, Lull, Haven, Blue Nude, Interlude, Curve, Distraction, Pensive, Wrapped, Self Portrait

So, the entire Blue Series, plus two Stonehenge pieces and my self portrait.


DC112 Regional Show

Kiersten and I drove to Bristol, RI this weekend for the CPSA DC112 Regional Show. Because it was a 6 hour drive to get there, we decided to make it a fun road trip, stopping overnight midway in New Haven, CT. New Haven is the home of Yale, and was bustling with nightlife and great places to eat. We ventured to the Union League Cafe on Chapel Street, and had an excellent meal with a decadent desert. The next day we arrived in Bristol, and had a sunny waterside lunch at Thames Waterside restaurant, watching the sailboats glide across the water.

A short walk to Gallery 297 brought us to the artist's reception. There I met a bunch of artists I've talked with on Scribbletalk, and whose artwork I admire. We posed for a group photo. Below are: Gary Ruuska, me, Cynthia Brunk, Nicole Caulfield, Christine Hebert.

Afterwards there was a group dinner at Quido's along the water, then we parted ways and Kiersten and I ventured a drive through Colt State Park, which was beautiful. A half-hour drive later, we were at our posh hotel in Providence. As an aside, I'd like to point out that Providence's street design most likely was the work of a madman. I needed to go into "aggressive driving mode" to make it to the hotel, thwarted by one-way streets and lanes of traffic with no street markings or organization. We did have quite a view from the 14th floor of the Westin, however, looking out over the state capitol.

union-league-cafe shawn-artwork scribbletalkers providence-view obaza-artwork bristol-thames-wayside bristol-boats


18"W x 24"H Prismacolor colored pencil on brown Colorfix paper. Completed 2007.


Cascade was a follow up from Self Portrait #2, posed under the same overhead picture light. The title refers to the tumbling not only of the woman's hair, but of the play of light as shadows and highlights come in and out down the picture. The part of the piece that gets the most comments - the hair - was actually fairly easy to draw. The shirt was difficult - there's a vertical weave pattern which I struggled with. This picture is interesting in that it's a tight crop drawn at 27" tall - so in effect it's slightly larger than life.