Friday, March 18, 2011

Coloured Pencils and Paul Simon...

As pretty as the little pansy ATC card that I posted previously is, it was created as a specific project to teach beginner students about working with coloured pencils and I used a very limited palette of only the 3 primary colours plus white and a blender.

My usual method is to incorporate as many of the pigment colours available to me as is necessary and depending on the subject I am rendering that could be anywhere from 10 to 20 to 30 or more different pencils! My goal is rich, saturated, full spectrum layers of colour that accurately reflects the true colour of the subject no matter what it is I am rendering.

I have a lot of coloured pencils to choose from, I currently work from full sets of 3 different brands of pencils. Prismacolors are my go-to brand and come in 132 luscious colours. They are a wax based pencil.

Aren't they gorgeous! Who wouldn't want to use all of them?

I also use Polychromos which are an oil based pencil. I had to order the full set from the US when I bought these because I hadn't been able to find them locally.... and then of course I hoarded them since they were difficult for me to replace, but I have recently found a local art store in K-W that carries them in open stock!   mmmmm 120 soft buttery colours...

and I have been using wax based Derwent Coloursoft pretty well since they came on the market in Canada ...they seem to be becoming very popular and are available at many locations open stock. They come in 72 colours.

I like to keep my sets full at all times as reference to what colours are available to me and then I know for sure that I have at least one extra pencil if I need it. I also have a leather zip travel case of Prisma's that I usually work from and then extras of all brands I keep in a carousel in my studio.

.....getting back to what I was originally going to talk about today :-)

This is (Paul) Simon who has been on my drawing board since before Christmas! He is a family pet, and I unfortunately had to put him aside to work on other projects. I usually don't keep too detailed of records while I am working unless I plan to use the piece for demonstration purposes

...for Simon I noted what colours I had used for his nose, 13 in all, and for his eyes 14 colours in all. Now I am into the later stages of his beautiful fur and depending on the colour and value (creamy or white, beige or tan, orange or golden and light or dark) I usually have between 5-8 colours in my hand constantly changing with every few strokes. There are about 15 fur colours in one box I where I keep pencils in use.  

My list has 40 different pencils I have used so far on Simon, I am now working on his collar and metal name tag and I know that I have pulled a few greens and others out of my case to render the chrome and copper accurately.

I will show you a couple of updates of Simon as I complete him, he has been "half a cat" for way to long, I want to get him done and framed so I can scratch him off my to do list and get going on something new!



Leanne said...

I like Mr. Paul Simon! Is Jay Gatsby next?

Debbie Eckmier said...

Hi Joanne!
Above Ground Art Supplies in Toronto near Queens Park and the Ontario Art Gallery has open stock of Polychromos. You can order online from them as well. Price is less but then you have to add on shipping or gas for the car! I'm sure they have open stock of Derwents too.
I was just down there visiting Tim and we took a side trip to pick up a selection :-) Deb E

Joann said...

Thanks Deb! I did know they had them, but I haven't needed to order from them...yet. I am still working primarily in Prismacolour for student/class pieces because they are easy for most everyone to find.