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Crayon Still Life Drawing by Emma Heyes

Emma Heyes
Still Life

Caran D’Ache Crayons
11.75″ x 15″


“I had never set up a still life before and I found the instructions really useful to enable me to do this, and to think about things like lighting and colour and the combination of objects used. This was also the first time I had used these Caran D’Ache Crayons and I really enjoyed working with them – they were really easy to use and I wish I’d bought a bigger box with more colours because I think I will use them a lot in the future!

It was great to have the tutorial to understand how to use them and how to use fixative to get more layers of colour. I also really appreciated the step by step process given to create your artwork – this made it a lot easier than just having to jump in.”

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4 responses on "Emma Heyes"

  1. Clearly you’ve got an eye for color. My favorite part is how complex the coloring is. Even though everything is pretty high saturation, you capture a good variety of hues, and in odd but lovely combinations. Few people think to put magenta next to yellow ochre, but it’s a combination that truly sings.

    Another thing I’m a fan of is your line work in the flowers. You’re using lines to map the contours of the leaves and petals, but since your lines are in color, they look like neon lights guiding me back and forth across the page. I would love to see more of this overlapping line work on things like the teapot and the bottom of the green fabric. These two areas are kind of focal points, but it looks like you’re just filling up the space as fast as you can by shading it a bit. Doing more line work will give you the opportunity to continue playing with color combinations as well as add volume to some of these large areas. This project was definitely successful for you though, and I hope to see more!

  2. Emma I’m really excited by the looseness of your crayon marks, and the fact that the marks are all moving in different directions throughout the drawing. Nice job on the highlights on the various objects as well, especially the magenta tea pot has a sheen to it that is well articulated.

    In terms of your handling of the crayon, don’t be afraid to put a LOT more pressure on the crayon! It’s really an incredible drawing medium because you can press down crazy hard and still keep layer the colors as long as you want. Building up a much beefier layer of color in your drawing will make the objects look a lot more vibrant and substantial!

    Layering more will also allow you to mix and blend your colors more. Right now you have a lot saturated colors, but not that many muted colors. Muted colors are important (even though they’re “ugly”) because they help balance out the saturated colors.

    Clearly this is a terrific beginning to what I think will be a long lasting relationship with these crayons!

  3. I’m really enjoying the energy I see in your mark making and the really vibrant and exciting color palette! It’s great to see you challenging yourself by exploring a new subject matter and material!

    Moving forward, it would be great to see you continue to explore with texture! Perhaps layering the crayon more, so that the paper isn’t as noticeable, in some areas will help convey they object’s texture better. You could also really exaggerate your mark making to help better inform texture. For example, it would be great to really get a sense of the waxiness of the candle, the softness of the petals, and how those contrast with the reflective qualities of the bottle!

    I’m thrilled to see you exploring new things, and I can’t wait to see where you go from here!

  4. I’m loving the use of complementary colors in this piece, particularly the way those yellow flowers stand out against the blue tea cup in the center of the composition… The yellow reflected light in the red teapot is an excellent touch, as well; you’re really getting the most out of the Caran D’Ache crayons and the complexity of color they can offer!

    In the future you should focus on achieving a greater range of value… As is, the strong black of the bottle on the left really steals our attention and diverts it off the page – but adding some darker shadows in other areas around the composition would keep our eye engaged and moving.

    All in all, however, this is an excellent start!

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