Sunday, February 28, 2010


Finally finished! I am very excited to have completed the first Peony drawing of the series and also extremely pleased with the final image. The show opens Tuesday, March 2 and runs through March 21 at The Broome Street Gallery, 498 Broome Street, New York. The gallery is open from 12-6 Tuesday-Sunday, I hope you will be able to attend.

Image size is 25.5" x 19"
Colored Pencil on 100% cotton paper
Copyright 2010 Eileen Baumeister McIntyre

Monday, February 22, 2010

Luminous Layers

This image is a detail from the Peony drawing I am currently working on. This is about half of the total piece, the other half I will be working furiously on all week long. I have been on a mission to complete this drawing by the end of the month to get it into a show that opens in March in NYC.
I am also anxious to begin the next drawing in the series which is a huge close up of another white peony flower. Last summer I cut the flowers from my garden and photographed them outside as the sun was setting, my favorite time of day. The warm light and intense shadows work well with a pure white flower. The reflected light on the petals create gorgeous colors in the shadow areas. After at least two hundred photos with my digital camera I selected about ten that I wanted to use as possible references to draw from. I was looking for dramatic compositions as well as high contrast between light and dark areas of the flowers. I again used my computer as a sketchbook and cropped and altered the photos to create the reference material I wanted. Colored pencils are the perfect medium to capture the luminosity of the peony petals. The soft colors are slowly layered on top of each other building up beautiful warm velvety petals and the intense blue-violet background contrasts well with the ‘white’ peony.

Monday, January 25, 2010

White Peony Series

Over the summer I sketched out eight large drawings of peony flowers. My plan for this series is to use colored pencils, Prismacolor, on heavyweight Strathmore Series 500 paper, which is my favorite surface to draw on, and possibly add some watercolor washes-or not. Colored pencil is the art material that I am most comfortable with. Most of my portfolio consists of colored pencil drawings of still life fruit and vegetable subjects and a couple of beach rocks. I like the fact that I am able to control the medium any way I want. Colored pencil drawing is such a labor intensive material to work with and the slow process allows for a lot of thought as to what I’m doing. The dark areas may have 60 or 70 layers of color overlapping each other in order to achieve a ‘colorful’ dark value, so, with all the time involved in that process it is actually hard to make a major mistake that can’t be adjusted with the next layer. Although I don’t erase the colored pencils, by layering new colors on top of an area I am not happy with usually does the trick.
The image shown here is the Peony drawing-a work in progress. I started adding color to the flower petals and later I will go back and complete the background when I am satisfied with the contrast between the flower and the negative space.