One of the best ways to learn a new skill is to take classes from artists who have perfected a specific technique, and that is exactly what North Clackamas Artist Guild member and Oregon City resident Karl Rousett will offer during an upcoming colored-pencil workshop.
In the class, students will learn two different techniques: transcribing the image from a photo to art paper and using colored pencils to colorize it, and then applying a solvent to make the work more durable.
Rousett uses Gamsol, "which melts the wax of the pencils to make a uniform color and it pushes the pigment into the nap of the paper," he said.
He will provide the photos for people to work with, but after the class, once students have mastered the technique, they can use their own photos to create one-of-a-kind images.
During the workshop, he will also supply the Prismacolor pencils he prefers, noting that 72 colors are included in a standard box. He said he can also give students advice where to buy the pencils for a discount price.
Rousett has been painting for over 20 years, using conventional mediums like oils, watercolor and acrylics. In 2001, he began using colored pencils and said there are a number of advantages to this technique.
"This method gives you a great deal of control, with details only surpassed by masters," he said.
When using other mediums, work can dry out or you can run out of a color that you have specifically mixed.
"But with colored pencils your work is always dry, and the colors are always there. Plus, you never get paint on your arm," Rousett said.
Also, "working with a sharp pencil you get a line you could never duplicate with a brush."
He noted that realistic images work best using colored pencils, which is why some people have told him his artwork resembles photographs.
"Art is something that helps you jump from one side of the brain to the other," Rousett said.
With colored pencils, getting the correctly sized image uses your left brain, and switching over to choosing colors uses your right brain, he noted.
Rousett added, "Anybody can do it; it improves both sides of your brain."
Karl Rousett workshop
When: 10 a.m-2 p.m. on July 16
Where: Saving Grace Church, 13820 S.E. Webster Road, Milwaukie
Fee: Members $30/non-members $40
Details: All materials will be supplied.
History: The North Clackamas Artist Guild was founded in the mid-1990s and is always open to new members, who are invited to attend meetings held from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. on the second Tuesday of the month at Saving Grace Church. The next meeting will be Aug. 9.
Coming up: See art made by members of North Clackamas Artist Guild's show and sale from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on July 31 at the new Goodwill at 13500 S.E. 172nd Ave., Happy Valley.
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