Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Winner for Staedtler Mars Lumograph Pencils


Pink Passion

Acrylic on 8” x 8” canvas

Copyright 2010 Valerie Jones


I finished the 2nd painting in my gerber daisy series of 4, Pink Passion. 

The winner of the Staedtler Mar Lumograph drawing pencils is Barbara Thompson!  Thanks to all who participated.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Value Scale – The Drawing Board

Value Scale 2010

If you recall, Value is the degree of lightness or darkness of a color. White is the lightest, or highest, value; black is the darkest, or lowest, value.

Pencils I use in a drawing: 4H, 2H, H, HB, B, 2B, 3B, 6B, 8B, and Ebony.

The H (harder) pencils are used to create the outline drawing. I sometimes us a “2H” pencil to smooth out the texture for the mid-tones.

The B (softer) pencils are used to create shadows in the drawing. I usually start all my drawings with a only the “B” pencil. Each person has a different hand pressure, so test your pencils to see which ones work best for you.

If you want to create your own value scale, email me at Please put Value Scale in the subject line. I will send you a copy of this form.

You can also create your own value scale with a ruler and your drawing paper. Make 5 squares, 3/4” w x 1/2” h for each pencil value.

Instructions for creating a value scale: You will want to sharpen all your pencils. The objective of the value scale is for you to get used to your pencils and what they can do for you. As you go down the sheet, the tonal differences that each pencil makes are the “values”. Starting with the “4H” section, Box 1, press as hard as your can while filling in the area. Box 2, press a little lighter. Box 3, lighter still. Box 4, press a lightly as you can. Box 5, leave white. If you are left-handed, you will want to start with Box 5 and go from the lightest to the darkest. Go on down the sections with each different pencil. Remember, the “H” pencils are very light, the “B” pencils are darker. You won’t notice much change in value with the “H” pencils. Once you get to the “B” sections, you will start to notice a difference. You will find that softer pencils will need sharpened more often than the harder pencils.

Now for the goods: I am giving away a set of Staedtler Lumograph Drawing Pencils! Only comments made on my website’s blog, Valerie Jones Art will be accepted.

Staedtler Lumograph Set of 12

Make a comment on my blog at Valerie Jones Art about your drawing experience between now and Tuesday, 12:00pm CST. A random winner will be announced Wednesday, May 26th.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Refilling the Well

Studio2010 My Studio (aka kitchen table)

Two weeks ago

Today, as I strive to write, I decided it is time to refill the well. I am making excuses as to why I shouldn’t have to write, or why I shouldn’t make art. When this starts happening, I find myself in need of a break. The break I need is to be silent and listen. Listen to my inner self. Find a way to refuel my inner artist.

There are many things that a person can do to refuel that inner artist. One thing that I like to do for refueling is go to an art museum. You have to go by yourself to be able to really listen to that inner voice. Don’t take the kids. Don’t take your best friend. Only take you. Don’t be afraid to go alone. Aloneness is what you need.

Refueling Stations -

  • Coffee shop
  • Library
  • Art museum
  • Park
  • Nature walk (nothing is more inspiring that pure nature)
  • Shopping
  • Restaurant for dessert (can you tell I’m hungry for sweets?)
  • Chapel

There are many, many more places to go. What is your favorite thing to do to refill the well?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Pink Passion Gerber Daisy – Wacky Wednesday

Pink Passion WIP2

Pink Passion

Acrylic on 8” x 8” Canvas

Copyright 2010 Valerie Jones


I’m labeling this post with the Wacky Wednesday’s because the paints were purchased on a whim. 

I’m having fun creating this piece.  The Orange Slush piece was quickly done because I couldn’t wait to see how it would turn out.  With Pink Passion, I’m going a little slower.  I’m building this one in layers.  There is approximately 4 layers of color on each petal.  I like the way the center turned out.  All that is left is the area around the center and maybe a tweak here and there.  So, be watching for the finale next Wednesday.

I am also dedicating this piece to a special lady whom I have met at work.  Her nickname is “Pink”. 

Monday, May 17, 2010

Drawing Glossary – The Drawing Board

 Petunia Graphite


2009 Copyright Valerie Jones


When I began drawing, people would use words that only the art world would recognize.  I had no clue as to what they meant.  Now that I know what they mean, I thought I’d share some terms that I frequently use when I teach.

I took these definitions from Betty Edward’s books Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain and Color.  A few also came from Lee Hammond’s book How to Draw Lifelike Portraits from Photographs

Cast Shadow:  The darkest dark, as close to black as possible. This is the shadow the object creates from being away from the light source.

Composition: The arrangement of shapes, spaces, lights, darks, and colors within the format of an artwork.

Contour Line:  In drawing, a line that represents the edge of a form or a group of forms.

Crosshatching:  A method of shading by using short parallel lines, often in superimposed sets of lines crossed at various angles to darken an area.

Edge:  In drawing, the place where two things meet (for example, where the sky meets the ground); the line of separation between two shapes or a space and a shape.

Foreshortening:  A way to portray forms on a two-dimensional surface so that they appear to project from or recede behind a flat surface; a means of creating the illusion of spatial depth in figures or forms.

Full Light:  This is where the light falls directly on the object. The paper will remain white.

Grid:  Evenly spaced lines, running horizontally and vertically at right angles, that divide a drawing or painting into small squares or rectangles.  Often used to enlarge a drawing or to aid in seeing spatial relationships.

Grisaille:  A method of painting that uses shades of gray in an underpainting to establish the value structure of a composition.

Halftone:  This is medium gray, the true color of the object. It is neither light nor dark so that is why it is called halftone.

Hue:  The name of a color.

Line:  A narrow mark that defines the edges of spaces and shapes in a composition.  Line can also be used for shading, as in crosshatching.

Negative Spaces:  In art, the shapes that surround the objects; sometimes considered background shapes.

Reflected Light:   This is the edge of the object, between the cast shadow and shadow edge. Reflected light is never white. It is closer to halftone in value. The value is between white and halftone.

Shadow Edge:  This is not the edge of the object. (The edge is the reflected light.) It is where the object is receding from the light, and is on the opposite side of the light source.

Sighting:  In drawing, measuring relative sizes by means of a constant measure (the pencil held at arm’s length is the most usual measuring device); determining relative points in a drawing – the location of one part relative to some other part.

Value:  The degree of lightness or darkness of a color.  White is the lightest, or highest, value; black is the darkest, or lowest, value.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Artfest 2010 – FANtastic Friday


I went to a meeting May 11, 2010 hosted by Grace Community Church.  This meeting was for local and area artists to gain information about a wonderful opportunity to present art inspired by the Word of God.  I’ll share with you what I learned in the meeting.

Grace Community Church will be hosting Artfest 2010 at their facility December 3-4, 2010.  The theme for this year is The Word Became Flesh.  Their are five Biblical passages that the artist in us can go to gain inspiration. 

  • Matthew 1:18-25
  • Matthew 2: 1-12
  • Luke 1: 26-38
  • Luke 1: 39-45
  • Luke 2:1-20
  • John 1:1-14

We are not limited to just these five passages.  It is a guideline for us to use.  The New Testament is full of information as to how Jesus ministers to us as being God in the flesh. 

The old masters gained inspiration from their era to present religious paintings.  Think about ways to get a fresh new take on the historic story of Jesus Christ without changing the events. 

Art Categories:

  • Drawing – pen & ink, pencil, charcoal, pastel, etc.
  • Painting – watercolor, oil, acrylic, etc.
  • Sculpture – original works in metal, stone, wood, etc.

No mass-produced copies, digital art, or photography are accepted in this year’s show.

Size of artwork is limited to 28” wide x 60” high, including the frame.  All artwork must be framed with a wire hanger.  No saw tooth hangers allowed.  No gallery wrap canvas paintings are allowed.

For more information, you can download a brochure that lists the timeline of for Artfest 2010.

You can also become a patron for the event and receive 50% credit on the amount you pledge towards the purchase of a piece of artwork.  Very generous of the Artfest folks, if you ask me!

Any artwork that doesn’t sell can be taken to Wolf Productions Gallery in Claremore, OK for the duration of the holiday season.  Another reason to participate!

I encourage all Bartlesville area artists and students of mine to get out of their comfort zone and stretch their abilities. I state it again, this is a wonderful opportunity for us as artists.  God created us and gave us the inspiration and talent needed for us to be artists.  Let’s show the world how great God is.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Orange Slush – Wacky Wednesday

Orange Slush

Orange Slush

Acrylic on 8”x8” canvas

Copyright 2010 Valerie Jones


Last Wednesday, I shared with you my impromptu purchase of some acrylic paints.  

I finished the piece and changed the name from Orange Gerber Daisy to Orange Slush. 

Things I learned:

  • Never use a brush after drinking too much coffee.  It helps the artist create shaky lines.
  • To blend the colors smoothly, work wet on wet.
  • To paint the sides of the gallery wrap canvas, add a little Golden Acrylic Glazing Liquid Medium (Satin). This keeps from streaks appearing after the paint dries.
  • You can layer light washes of color going light to dark, just like in colored pencil. 
  • It’s quick!  I didn’t keep track of the hours, but I think it is 5 or less.  A colored pencil piece this size would have taken me over 20 hours.

What are things you like about your medium of choice?

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Drawing Board

Gerber Daisies “Gerber Daisies”

Graphite on Smooth Vellum 4” x 6”

2010 Copyright Valerie Jones


“When the artist is alive in any person, whatever his kind of work may be, he becomes an inventive, searching, daring, self-expressive creature. He becomes interesting to other people. He disturbs, upsets, enlightens, and opens ways for a better understanding. Where those who are not artists are trying to close the book, he opens it and shows there are still more pages possible.” ~Robert Henri

Graphite Pencils is our topic of discussion today.  The Gerber Daisies picture was drawn using close to a full range of graphite pencils.

The “H” pencils are the harder pencils and create the lightest values.  I use these to redefine and smooth skin tone values.  In the daisy picture, I used these to create the mid-tone value of the flower petals.

Graphite H Range

 The “B” pencils are the softer pencils create the darker values. The “8B” pencil is almost as dark as charcoal which creates a nice black.  The “Ebony” pencil is close in range with a “6B” pencil.  It creates a rich dark that I use to create the darks in the pupil of an eye or shadows in the hair.


Graphite B Range

I use the medium graphite values to create a darker mid-tone.

Graphite Medium Range

Try these on your next drawing.  Is there a pencil that is your favorite?  My favorite is plane ol’ “B”.  It creates wonderful mid-tone values for me.  If you tend to be heavy handed, try “H” or “HB” for your mid-tones. 

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Art Associations – FANtastic Friday


A brag about my local art association. I am a member of the Bartlesville Art Association. Since becoming a member a five years ago, I have learned so much about art and the promotion of art. Not only that, these people get me! You know how sometimes your family just don’t understand why you do what you do? Well, these like-minded fellow artist do. Not only have I learned to get out of my shell and think outside of the box, I have made many lasting friendships as well. These artists are a wonderful source of inspiration.

The Bartlesville Art Association hosts many events that allow artists to showcase and sell their work. I have had the opportunity to sell work this way. It is a great way to meet collectors. So far this year, they have had a spring art show and several workshops. In June, they will be exhibiting artwork at the historic Dewey Hotel Museum from June 1-30. Also in June, they will participate in the OK Mozart Festival from June 11-19. This event allows association members to showcase their work. People from all over the nation participate in music festival. In July, they will exhibit artwork at one of the local retirement homes, Green Country Village. The first weekend in November, they will be hosting their Fall Fling. Holiday shoppers enjoy this opportunity to purchase unique gifts for Christmas.

They have monthly meetings. Members and non-members are invited to their monthly meetings that provide people with information and/or demonstrations from artists. These meetings are well-attended and very inspiring.

They host workshops. In August, I will be teaching a 2-day workshop on how to make Christmas Cards. In October, Todd Williams will be giving a workshop on “7 Keys to Unlocking a Great Painting”.

If you are from the Bartlesville area, please contact me for membership information about the Bartlesville Art Association at

Your local area doesn’t have an art association or group? Try looking online. is a wonderful online resource for artists of all types. is another great resource for artists who enjoy working with colored pencil and graphite. There are others out there. Is there an online group that you are a member of that I don’t have listed? I’d love to hear about it so I can become a fan too.

I just finished an online class about blogging. This class was hosted by Alyson Stanfiield from Art Biz Coach and Cynthia Morris from Original Impulse. I received wonderful advice from these two ladies plus met a wonderful group of bloggers. These people will be my source of blogging inspiration for many months to come.

Become part of a group. Don't just stay in the studio. Get out and mingle. Be inspired. It will help sell the work you create while in the studio.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Acrylic Paint – Wacky Wednesday

Orange Gerber Daisy WIP1

“Orange Gerber Daisy”

Work in Progress, Acrylic on 8” x 8” Canvas

Copyright 2010 Valerie Jones

The Bartlesville Art Association is getting ready to have its members sell their work at the OK MOZART Festival in June. As a member, I am working on some artwork for the event.

I primarily work in pencil. Pencil takes awhile to complete and need to get some pieces done quickly. So, I purchased some Golden Fluid Acrylics. They are wonderful for the art that I am creating. Me? Not so wonderful with the brush. My hand was shaky. Was it from too much coffee or the excitement of trying something new? hmmm…I’ll never quite know for sure. Don’t worry, the shaky line will be gone before I’m finished with the piece.

One thing to note…Don’t buy your full color palette online. Unless you already know what the color really looks like in real life, our computer screens can show colors differently. I found that out with the yellow, reds, and orange I purchased.

Happy painting!

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Drawing Board

Macy Crop

“Macy’s Joy”

Graphite on Strathmore 500 Series Plate

10” x 8”

Copyright 2010 Valerie Jones


Welcome to The Drawing Board where we discuss everything that pertains to drawing. 

Today, we are going to talk about paper.  Your drawing surface is just as important as the subject you are drawing.

I always have my graphite students draw on Strathmore 300 Series Bristol Smooth paper.  This allows a smooth texture to be created for the drawing.  This is a student grade paper, so it isn’t the best quality paper out on the market.

When I do a drawing for commission, I put it on Strathmore 500 Series Bristol Board Plate 4-ply.  It lets you create the smoothest texture, plus gives you breathing room for erasing mistakes and re-applying graphite without smudging.  The 300 Series will sometimes create smudges or darker areas around what has been erased. 

I encourage you to try different papers.  Sometimes your subject will need to have texture and some drawing papers have enough tooth to allow wonderful textures to be created.

If you have a favorite paper you use for drawing, I would love to hear what it is and how it works for you. I enjoy experimenting with different papers!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Shortcake’s Story

Shorty Complete Small


Colored Pencil artwork

copyright 2010 Valerie Jones


The 2010 Verdigris Valley Art Exhibit ended today in Independence, Kansas.  I had 3 pieces of artwork on display for the event.  “Shortcake” was one of the pieces.  The original photograph was taken of her while she was catching some Vitamin D rays on the living room floor one afternoon.  It was a picture perfect moment, with the light shining behind her.  So, not one to let the moment pass me by, I took her picture.  It turned out to be one of the cat’s better photogenic opportunities.  (You should see her on her “bad hair days”).   A dear lady bought this picture at the exhibit.  I can’t wait to hear what spoke to her about this piece.  Does this picture remind her of a cat she once had?  Does she have a family member in love with cats?  As an artist, it’s always inspirational those stories.  What do others find fascinating about the artwork you create?