Amanda Rose Rambo: Faceted Gem Masterclass

Faceted gem done in watercolor by Amanda Rose Rambo

This week I am honored to focus again on the Gem Queen, and my friend, Amanda Rose Rambo! This artist never stops producing quality products for teaching gem art. The above gem was done with watercolor! It’s one of the loveliest gem renderings I’ve seen done free hand.

In the artist focus I did on her a few months ago, I learned she had a Facebook group dedicated to those passionate about gem drawing. I immediately joined because well, her art is amazing. She frequently adds video tutorials and exclusive content just for her “Gem Ho’s”, and I am happy to be one. Amanda’s new Gem Coloring Book is getting ready for publication, and we’re currently having an exclusive coloring contest, the winner of which will have their art published on the cover, runner-up may be featured on the back cover. I’m totally focusing on gems for the next week!

In this post, I wanted to highlight her Faceted Gems, Master Class. It’s on etsy.com here. Amanda graciously allowed me participate in the master class and it is terrific! Below, find the art, both before the class and after, of several of Amanda’s “gem ho’s”, including myself!

Amanda’s Faceted Gems Master Class is a 3 part series of videos accompanied by a short ebook that includes links to the videos and material lists, as well as some really great coloring pages for practice. Amanda takes you through 3 different gems types using her technique for faceted gems.

I found the first video the most important as to the techniques used. I’ll admit, my first try was disappointing but, practice makes everything better and after the 3rd try they started to improve. The 2nd and 3rd parts talk about shading and highlighting incorporating different shapes, colors and facet configurations. These are my weakest areas for sure and I feel it’s intimidating to most people. Amanda and I have agreed to disagree about which pencils rule! I am a Prismacolor Premier Soft-core pencil lover (but I own both) and she swears by Faber-Castell’s Polychromos oil-based colored pencils. Amanda recently borrowed a full set of Prismacolors and used them exclusively for a month, so i can’t truly complain about her preference. For me, my Prismacolors are soft and smooth on like silk. Using odorless mineral spirits helps to dissolve the binding agents (here it would be wax or oil) and unlock the pigments on both but the Prismacolors seem much richer pigmented to me. This is an ongoing disagreement among colored pencil artists and one that wont be solved today! Here’s an example of both pencils in similar colors blended with odorless mineral spirits.

 

Here is my practice page for the gems covered in class. By the time I did the last green, I felt I was getting the hang of it. It’s not very good but given it’s copy paper (the cheap kind) which limits the amount of layering it would accept from the pencils, maybe you can understand.

Once I finished the videos and practice sheet I was ready for something more challenging.  Here’s my work in progress on one of the contest pages.  There is a huge difference in my confidence and understanding of how faceted gems are drawn. They attracted me but intimidated as well. I have put off learning this for some time and now wish I’d done it much sooner! Of course, now I want to learn the watercolor gem at the top!

I love Amanda’s tutorials because her presence is so relaxed it reminds me to have fun and take my time. I’m pretty pleased with this one, though the white lines are a true challenge for my shaky hands.

This next art is by colorist Sonya Griffin, also in Amanda’s Facebook group.

 

 

 

 

 

This last one will be stunning when finished! I love the ice blue gem!

Next is colorist Kim Henderson. She is really good at these!

Lastly, we have colorist Mara Lula, who definitely has a talent for these gems!

 

 

 

 

Thanks to all the artists in the Gem Ho’s Facebook group who allowed me to share their art with you!  Amanda’s Faceted Gems Master Class is a perfect course for the gem enthusiast!

Being in Amanda’s Facebook group is a great way to get advice, see exclusive content and videos and even receive discounts on her merchandise. I was also was given a sneak peek at some of the coloring pages from Amanda Rose Rambo’s newest book, Color a Creation, Gemstones Volume 5 being released soon at Amazon.com. These pages have an elegant look and lots of creative room to explore.

Here is a preview of some of the pages.

 

You can find Amanda Rose Rambo on facebook at facebook.com/vitruvianart

On Youtube at http://youtube.com/c/vitruvianart

On Etsy at etsy.com/shop/vitruvianart

Now newly on Patreon/vitruvianart

And on Instagram @vitruvianart

 

Dont forget to come back to see the contest entries! 

PETA HEWITT’S World- Wide Coloring Competition 

Last week I spoke about Peta Hewitt’s coloring competition. This week I want to show you my finished entries although I’m not as pleased as I had hoped with the way they turned out. I know this is not surprising because most artists feel this way about their work before they’re finished. If you are interested in checking out Peta’s competition or her website or blog you can find her here Peta Hewitt’s website (la-artistino.com) 

Peta used three different pictures that she drew based upon an Australian theme and there are prizes for each picture.  

The first is a pair of sugar gliders in a garden: 


The second is a platypus napping in a stream. 

The third is the Australian National flower: the waratah flower. It was a real job getting the flower petals on bottom a rich dark red and still leave the main flower with a bit of pinky maroon. (Yes, pinky is a word.) 

Winners will be announced on July 4, 2016 (Peta’s birthday!) It would be nice to win but I learned about Australian flora and fauna and no finished product is useless.  I only wish all my Sakura stardust pens would show up in a picture.  The platypus pic is covered in glitter! 

Playing with Mungyo Pastels

I’m excited today because my package from Amazon arrived! (Who doesn’t like getting stuff in the mail?!) One of my gifts (to myself) was this set of Mungyo Pastels. This is the 64 color set. Pretty huh? 

So I’m playing with pastels today and working on my coloring entries for Peta Hewitt’s coloring contest. Peta is an amazing artist and colorist from Australia and I regularly stalk her wonderful YouTube channel la-artistino.com. Peta Hewitt la-artistino.com  Her coloring contest is Australian based and includes 3 special pictures drawn by Peta around the flowers and animals of Australia theme. If you want to give it a try,  visit Peta’s website at the link above for more information. 

This is my test page for Peta’s sugar glider picture.  I’m testing several ways of blending the pastels as well as looking at how it layers over colored pencils and how dark I can take the background without going black. The yellow steaks on the above picture are prismacolor soft core canary yellow. I started with light color combos then moved darker still blending. I’ve been using a paper towel over finger tips to blend. You can see at the right top the yellow pencil under pastel pink is a nice blend. The dark blue over it shows a blend, just not one I’ll use much!


Here I’m trying to see how dark I can go without going black. I plan to use this technique in my coloring books and it will be important to keep the pages sprayed with a workable fixative such as Krylon. I’ll also keep blank sheets of paper between the pages I’ve worked on to prevent smudging. 

Here in the bottom right is about as dark as it will go.  I also switched from a paper towel for smudging to a q-tip. It’s much smoother and softer looking.  I also stopped putting pastel on the paper and started loading the q-tip by swiping it along the top of the pastel. These are so soft you don’t need to scrape it off which will save on wasted pastels! Also I wanted to mention, if you get it someplace you don’t want it (an almost certainty with pastels, you can easily erase any mistakes.  And lastly,  when using with colored pencils,  whatever kind, remember the wax in the pencils puts down a protective layer so if you get pastel over pencil it wipes right off.  It makes pastels ideal for coloring books where you’ve use colored pencils for the design and want a soft background. I’m not sure yet whether if you want it to stay over the pencil if the fixative spray will keep it there.  Ah! An experiment for another day!

I love these Mungyo Pastels and this 64 color set was under $10 USD on Amazon.com.

I will post my finished entries as soon as they are finished. They may look like grade school art projects but I’ll have fun doing them!