The Small Under the Protection of the Great

Hey Everyone,
The months seem to be flying by don’t they? In one sense it’s been great because I feel like I’m really making some headway in this series. In another sense, I’m realizing there’s not much time left to complete the rest of them by the end of the year.  Each drawing in this series has been presenting its own set of unique challenges which has been great for developing my creative problem-solving skills. Without further delay, let’s dive into the latest in the series!

If this is the first post you are seeing in this series, you can read more about it on my previous posts here. Now on to the symbols represented and a few process shots.

The title of the piece is a translation of the Latin Parva sub ingenti, which is the official motto of Prince Edward Island. 
Bird – Blue Jay
Voted in by a province-wide vote, this beautiful and distinctive bird took its official status in 1977. The blue jay can be found throughout the province all year round. 
Flower – Lady’s Slipper
This unique flower that is part of the orchid species, was adopted as the official provincial symbol in 1947. The flower can be found in the woodland regions in shady and moist areas.
Tree – Red Oak
The red oak has had a long tenure as the provincial tree dating back to 1905. Once a highly sought after wood grain for furniture manufacturing, the tree was nearly milled into extinction. The Royalty Oaks Natural Area reserve was created by the province to preserve this beautiful tree for future generations.
Other – Atlantic Coast
Like many of the Atlantic provinces, Prince Edward Island is known for its stunning coastline and cliffs.

“The Small Under the Protection of the Great” 11×14 in Colored Pencil, Ink and PITT Pens on Hotpress Watercolor Paper 2017.
All images copyright Barb Sotiropoulos. All Rights Reserved.

Part of the challenge in creating a series is having something that visually unifies each piece. This is done so that when all of the pieces are seen as one, it’s clear that they all belong together. With this piece, I tried to use enough repetition visually, like with how I treat the flower arrangement, so that the pieces are cohesive. As for the rest of elements, I don’t want to be so repetitive that the pieces start to look too much the same.
This is the first piece in the series that I chose to include a landscape element. I was struggling with getting the lady’s slippers and blue jay to play well together as a unified image without looking really cluttered. My solution was to leave a gap and use the landscape as transition visually.  I was really set on using this positioning of the blue jay. Their coloring and markings are so visually striking I  thought it would be a shame and less dynamic to have it in the typical wings down resting position.
One of my favorite things to do is pair complementary colors next to each other. This ended up being one of my most colorful pieces in the series using a strong combination of primary and secondary colors throughout the piece.
Next up is Nova Scotia followed by Newfoundland! Once I wrap up the Maritimes I’ll be heading up North to finish out the series.

Follow me on Instagram or Facebook to see sneak peaks of the work in progress!

Prints available in my Society6 shop!

Barb Sotiropoulos

Barb Sotiropoulos

I’m a Canadian artist and designer specializing in coloured pencil and mixed media. When I’m not creating art, I love helping other artists by sharing tips and tricks that have helped me. You can find me on all of my social channels @barbsotiart or check out my past Q&A articles for COLORED PENCIL Magazine or my co-hosting appearances on the Sharpened Artist Colored Pencil Podcast.

2 Responses

  1. This has to be my favorite in your series, so far. I love the mix of colors and that there’s a lot going on in the piece without seeming busy. Great job, yet again!!

    1. Thanks so much Tammie! It’s always a challenge trying to make these different elements work together so I’m glad it’s working and people are like it 😊

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Hey, I'm Barb!

I’m a Canadian artist and designer specializing in coloured pencil and mixed media. When I’m not creating art, I love helping other artists by sharing tips and tricks that have helped me. You can find me on all of my social channels @barbsotiart or check out my past Q&A articles for COLORED PENCIL Magazine or my co-hosting appearances on the Sharpened Artist Colored Pencil Podcast.

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