Colored Pencil Workshop with Allan Servoss

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I spent three fun, creative, and inspiring days attending a colored pencil workshop with the wonderful artist Allan Servoss, an amazing teacher with a wealth of experience to share. The workshop was held at the Heyde Center for the Arts in Chippewa Falls, a location I can’t say enough nice things about.

Colored pencil is a new medium for me, and I had been looking forward to learning from a master artist ever since I bought my pencils a month or two ago. He started with what seemed a simple task–draw a leaf–and he brought in leaves for us to choose from. I learned quite a bit about light layering, sticking with a limited palette, and adding shadows. My leaf was a bit busy as I fell back into my habit of cluttering up the image, but I was pleased with how it turned out.

The medium of colored pencil isn’t a fast one–I stuck with my leaf much of day one. Days two and three focused on negative space and using graphite over colored pencil. Even though Allan demoed and taught techniques, we also discussed the creative process, other artists and their works and writings, material selection, and the benefit of hard work throughout the entire workshop.

I started this iris drawing on day two but didn’t complete it until I got home. I think I muddied up the background, but I’m still happy with it. I began with a background “wash” of yellows and oranges, a process he demoed that takes a great deal of time. I lightly drew in the iris and then began the background, using the negative spaces as the darkest areas. Once I finished the iris itself, the main struggle was creating a dark background.

I’m hoping for a second workshop in the future, but in the meantime, I have more than enough to think about and practice.

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