Get the Color Without the Mess with Colored Pencils


The Inside Scoop on Colored Pencils

Many of us haven't picked up a colored pencil since middle school and yet, coloring with colored pencils is a great way to develop sketching form and still get a burst of color in your artwork. Without the mess of paint or having to wait for it to dry, Colored pencils are a vastly underrated art form, especially for the more casual artist. They do take finesse though, and if you want to make something like this below, you'll have to know how to use them.

First, if you want to create anything like this, you'll need some artist grade colored pencils. These pencils will have a high concentration of pigments and should have a good lightfastness rating- a rating based on their resistance to UV rays in sunlight. Breakability, water resistance, and core durability are also features to be noted when looking for artist grade colored pencils. We at Jerry's like SoHo Urban Artist Colored Pencils. They have a smooth, buttery consistency that glides across paper and cover well when shading. They are even artist endorsed:

"Colors are rich, bold, and very durable; soft enough to blend beautifully, yet sturdy enough that they won't run down quickly or break easily."-Kim Maselli, professional artist

And, right now, with purchases of the Full Set of 72 SoHo Urban Artist Colored Pencils, you will also receive a 5 1/2x8 1/2" Reflexions Double Wire Field Sketchbook and a large Creativo Art Messenger Bag for free when you purchase at Jerry's Artarama Online Superstore.

After you have your colored pencils, start coloring. You'll grow by practice. Try exploring the paper with more than one color pencil for a colored area in your sketch. By using different layers of color together, you can add some vitality to your drawings. However, be careful of over-saturating your paper with color, because the colors will adhere less as you build it up. Don't be afraid to make mistakes in the beginning, you'll get better with time, but if you do make a mistake, a good eraser can be an invaluable tool. The Vanish 4-in-1 Eraser is the strongest eraser we know of and can actually clean up after itself. It reabsorbs any crumbs it makes and right now at Jerry's, buy 2 and get a third free!

To shake things up when you're drawing with colored pencils, try including a good range of values. Vary your layers of color and the amount of pressure you use when putting the pencil to paper and you'll find all kinds of colors and tones you like. When you do find a combination of colors you like or a shade you like, mark it on a separate sheet of paper as a color key, this you can go back to that combination or reference the colors you used at a later time. If you're working on a subtle, tonal drawing, say a sunset or sunrise, work from dark to light. 

Hope that quick overview was helpful. If you have any colored pencil tips, let us know in the comments below!



Jerry's Artarama Supports Cre8time Movement at 2014 CHA Foundation Gala

Jerry's Artarama generously donated to the Cre8time Movement and the 2014 Craft and Hobby Association Gala

Earlier this year, Jerry's Artarama took part in donating to the CHA's (Craft and Hobby Association) 2014 Foundation Gala benefiting the Cre8time movement. The Gala, which attracted almost 300 attendees, was a huge success for the movement, which assists people in reclaiming the time to express their creativity. 

The Foundation Gala took place January 12th, 2014 in Anaheim, California as part of CHA's 2014 Megashow. The Gala consisted of cocktails, dinner, dancing, a silent auction and an inspirational keynote speech from Jeffry Sparr, co-founder of Peacelove Studios. 


Jerry's Ultra Mini Stretched Canvas and Easels

Jerry's donated 300 Ultra Mini Artist Stretched Canvas and Easels, which were used as special table decorations and party favors. Each mini canvas was hand-painted by Sparr as part of an intertwined theme, along with a larger canvas that Sparr painted during his speech to match the mini canvases. The guests were allowed to take the mini canvases when the night was over to act as reminders of the inspiration provided by the Gala.

The mini easels and mini canvases are perfect for giving as a gift, decorations, or as a piece to a large mosaic multi-media collage. The edges of the canvases are stretched perfectly, so that you can even paint the edges for a frameless presentation on a wall display or as a display on the mini easel. These sets have been a huge success with professional artists and organizations.


Judith from Waldoboro Maine said "I gave donations to environmental organizations as presents this year, and I painted a small image of each animal (or trees) I helped by donating, in the recipient's names. Thus my paintings were part of the gift. Everyone loved this and it made the donation more personal. Your little canvasses and easels were perfect, and I plan to do this again. Thank you!"


Success of the Gala

"Sparr's message was important for all of us to hear and Jerry's Artarama is proud to be a sponsor of the Cre8time movement.  Creativity is something that we all need more of," Said Michael Marchetta, Director of Marketing for Jerry's Artarama. 

"The CHA Foundation Gala was a huge success, nearly 300 attendees celebrated a night of fun and inspiration that was encompassed by an awe inspiring speaker, awards presented for lifetime achievement contributions to the industry and a wonderful dinner ending the night with a fabulous band, singers and dancing! In addition, there was a very successful silent auction." Said Gail Czech, CHA Foundation Development Committee Chair, "Thank you to all attendees, it was a very exciting evening."

To see more of Jerry's work with the Cre8time movement, see our previous article "Jerry's Supports Caribbean Lifetime Missions".




Give Art This Valentines Day and Win

Chocolate and roses are great but your art lasts forever!

With Valentines Day right around the corner, you may be looking for a gift for that special man or woman in your life. Chocolate, cards and flowers are nice, but a bit cliche. Why not try for something that's a little more special, something a bit out of the box and a little more creative to show her or him how special they truly are to you. Why not give them something that sincerely represents your love  and compassion for them-something like art!

This year, give them a gift from the heart, a piece of homemade art that symbolizes your affection. It's a sentimental gift that lasts forever.  Last year, we were inspired as one of our own coworkers received a lovely painting as a Valentines Day Present. Here is her story:

"He completely surprised me with the piece. It was of him and i holding hands, a photo a friend had actually taken of us on one of our first dates (it was a double date). I've always liked the picture, but I never thought that he would immortalize that moment so specially as he did. It makes me feel so warm and loved inside because of the time I knew it had to take to create such a piece. He even took the time and picked out a lovely frame. Every detail of it is so special and meaningful to us. I love him so much and its a painting that will I will always make me smile when I look at it.

There is nothing like art to show the way you feel about someone. This year, grab some paints such as our LUKAS 1862 Oil Paint or Matisse Structure Acrylics, and paint your loved one something beautiful that represents them. Portraits are always nice, but sometimes, scenes from particular memories or moments that represent your relationship are a nice touch. Then, go the extra mile and frame your piece with a beautiful Baldwin Wood Frame, Plein Aire Frame or Illusions Floater Frame to add a personal touch at a low cost. See All Picture Frames



Give them an art piece you made, frame it, and then share your love for them with everyone.

You can show us your art, tell us your love story and inspire others to give the gift of art this Valentines Day as well. Enter our Valentines Day Art Contest and you can even win up to $150 in Jerry's Artarama eGift cards. We also have a $75 eGift card for second place and a $25 eGift Card for third place. For inspiration, here are some of our current entries and their stories:

Exploring Consciousness by Angela Schwengler 

"My biggest inspiration is my boyfriend. He came into this world with childhood cancer and relapsed when he was a child as well. He has taught himself so much about becoming a healthy person and living the best life that he can. He does whatever he can to help people in need-because he was once in need- and he doesn't care about getting money in return. I love him so much because of his selflessness and his willingness to be adventurous. He challenges himself in so many ways and hit makes me want to aspire to be like him.

I used a lot of love to paint this, but I also used acrylic paint, hands and paintbrushes. I worked on it for several days, and I finished it with one long all-day marathon at the end in the heat outside (where the best lighting is)."


Love Story Lily IV by Sheila Heinen

"Last year for Valentines Day, my husband of 25+ years brought me gorgeous Love Story Lilies. I was so impressed by their beauty that I painted a series of 4 mixed media acrylics. This is the last one in the series, executed by multiples pours over gold leaf."

We will accept entries from February 3rd-February 23rd. For a full list of official contest rules, information and other entries, check out our Valentines Day Contest Page and share your Valentines Day art as well for a chance to win. 



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