Two Hearts – Colored Pencil

Heart of Gold

Faber Castell Polychromos colored pencils
Canson Mi Tientes pastel paper
8.5 x 11 inches


Heart of Glass

Faber Castell Polychromos colored pencils
Canson Mi Tientes pastel paper
8 x 10 inches


These are my first two major works of 2017 and my first attempts with Faber-Castell Polychromos pencils (previously I have used Prismacolor Premiere).

My drawings start with my photography. Both of these pieces are faithfully referenced to photos I took in San Mateo Central Park in January. In the park, there is a long flower bed that is currently full of irises. Most of the irises are white, yellow, or light purple. Only one plant is a gorgeous deep wine purple red. I noticed one day that this particular plant receives direct sunlight for about 5 minutes in the afternoon, starting around 4:27. So every day that I thought there might be a possibility of catching this magical time when the low sun hit the wine red flowers, I hung around the park and photographed it.

In Heart of Gold the flower in full bloom with one ray of direct afternoon sun shining upon it. This light enters the flower’s center and creates a fiery golden glow, radiating red through the petals from the inside out. The iris is at its peak, triumphant in all of its shimmering raspberry glory.

Only a few days later, Heart of Glass illustrates the death of the blossom. The petals have closed in on themselves. The once proud tall ruffled flower top is completely enclosed by the bottom petals, curling toward the center. Again, the sunlight hits the blossom but this time it reflects off the upper petal in a golden crown. The shape of the dying blossom suggests a human heart, the veins shimmering in the light, fractured glass.