Marilyn Rabetz
Part of set up for "Garden of Eden"The Still-life Set-upA Sampling of the ObjectsThe Apple  The Lead ActorsThe SwanOn the wallA Black and White VersionAlmost finishedFinished "The Garden of Eden"
In Process
For those who are interested in the process of creating a Colored Pencil Painting, this folder contains progressive views of the current work in process.

Since Colored Pencil paintings are created with the very sharp points of many pencils, and depend on multiple layers and burnishing to achieve their brilliance and continuous color fields, it often takes as as much as a hundred hours to create a new work.

The artist says, "Although one can use watercolor pencils which can be quickly turned into paint with the addition of a brush and water, I generally prefer the more laborious but, for me, more easily controlled wax based pencils. I use many different brands, but the majority of my work has always been done with Prismacolors.

I set up my still-lifes in my studio under daylight-lights so that I may work any time of the day or night and see the same scene with the same shadows.

Then I make several thumbnail sketches of possible compositions. For me, the composition is the most important element as it holds the work together and determines if the viewer will stay and explore all the information in the image or just go by quickly to the next image.

Then I create a line drawing of the composition, solving all perspective and proportion issues in the process. This drawing is on tracing paper and I transfer it to the finished 5-ply, acid-free, Bristol Board, smooth surface paper by applying graphite to the back of the tracing paper, tacking it to the finish paper and going over all the lines again with a red pencil. I use red so that I will know which lines I have transferred and which are still to be done. The graphite on the back of the tracing paper acts like carbon paper and the result is a light line drawing on the finish paper - ready for the color to be added.

Finally I put the almost finished drawing up on the wall and make adjustments. I no longer look at the original setup, but make the changes (sometimes containing magical elements) using just artistic judgment about what needs to be darker or greener or bigger or softer etc.

When all is finished, a high resolution photo is taken for the archival print and then it is on to matting and framing the original painting, and putting it out into the world for people to see it and for it to find a new home."