There is a fascinatingly fuzzy line, if you’ll excuse the expression, between “drawing” and “painting” when working with mediums like pastel and colored pencil. Both can obviously be used as drawing media, and can also be applied to renderings that have many of the characteristics of paintings.
UK artist Katherine Tyrrell calls them “dry media” and is adept at both, as well as working in pen and ink and pencil. On her site Pastels and Pencils you’ll find galleries of her work arranged into subject categories, from detailed observations of flowers and other plants to still life subjects and varied landscapes.
I like the range of colors she finds in surfaces that are ostensibly white, whether in the walls of buildings or simple still life subjects like eggs in a bowl or fruit on a white surface. Both pastel and colored pencil are particularly suited to creating “broken color” in which streaks of varied colors mix optically to make an overall tone.
The nature of dry media obviates the need for liquid mediums and thinners, and they lend themselves to sketching and “painting” on location; which fits in well with Tyrrell’s penchant for traveling and recording her travels in colorful sketches. She has a section of her site devoted to Travels with a sketchbook, as well as a more recent (I think) dedicated blog, Travels with a Sketchbook in…. The latter often includes photographs taken in the area she was sketching.
Tyrrell is a prolific blogger, and has several blogs, web sites and site sections devoted both to her own work and to an increasing set of resources for artists. Among these are several Squidoo “lenses”, web pages dedicated to a particular subject, with relevant link to articles, blog posts, books and other resources. Tyrrell’s entries include several that are among the most popular subject lenses on Squidoo, Botanical Art, Pastels, Colored Pencils and general Drawing and Sketching Resources for Artists.
She has so many points of presence on the web that I frankly have a little trouble sorting them out, and I don’t know how she manages to keep track of them all, let alone maintain them. Maintain them she does however, adding constantly to the resources and articles and listing and linking to a multitude of fascinating and useful web destinations.
Tyrrell’s main presence on the web is her primary blog, Making a Mark in which she posts about a wide variety of art related topics, including a weekly account of “Who’s made a mark this week” which is an overview of useful and interesting links to art blogs, articles, and information about all manner of subjects including art business and marketing news, that she’s encountered in her own browsing.
She also has a Making a Mark website which seems to serve mainly as a jumping off point for other blogs, site sections and resources, including a list of general Artist Resources. In addition there is a Who is Making a Mark Squidoo lens that catalogues and links to many of her other reference and resource pages, sites sections and blogs, as well as her gallery sites.
As I have found in my own experiences with teaching and blogging, there is a blurred line between teaching and learning, just as there is between painting and drawing. In addition to her own artistic endeavors, and her exploration of “dry media”, Tyrrell embodies some of the best characteristics of community oriented artists, a desire to learn from others coupled with a willingness to share, and the savvy to use the web to advantage to do both.