Monday, 30 November 2015

What makes a good coloured pencils project?

When my students start working with coloured pencils they often ask, "what is a good subject to draw/paint?".

My answer is whatever you want BUT! For a beginning coloured pencils artist it can be overwhelming, so I have listed below some pointers which I hope will be useful to anyone thinking of using our wonderful and versatile medium:

- Join the UKCPS, the benefits are too numerous to list here!

- Choose subjects which you are familiar with

- Start simple and build up to more complex subjects,patterns, and shading etc.

- Keep the work down to manageable size to begin with, e.g A5 instead of A4

- Experiment with different papers and surfaces until you find the right one for

- There is no one brand or type of pencils which will do everything you want!
  Again, experiment until you find the brand/type which you are happy with their

- Invest in a good pencil sharpener

- Book yourself with one of the UKCPS artists who also teach

- Look at existing works done with coloured pencils, what do you find attracts
  you to them, how was the subject handled, what is the focus of the work

- Practice shading with your chosen pencils, this will help you also to get to
  know your pencils

- Practice laying down light/thin layers

 I am sure there are many other hints and tips, but the most important tip of all
 is to practice and practice, there are no short cuts!

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Does it really matter?

I was discussing with my students the other day classical drawing techniques and we were looking at drawings by Rubens, Raphael and others. Not surprisingly, we found they have all used different techniques to compose and layout their drawings and paintings. 

This led me to think about what we have today in terms of drawing aids and tools. take for example the Grid Technique. It has been used by Rubens, as evidenced in his drawings.

Scale Finder using the grid technique
But it doesn't stop there, Gray Value finder and the Proportional Dividers blow are just some of the tools

Proportional Dividers

All of the above tools help us with our drawing and painting. But these tools are not new, we are talking hundreds of years.

The romantic notion that true artists just sit there in a kind of trance and deliver outstanding drawing and paintings is just not true. Ask an artist! This perception by the general public makes many new comers and seasoned artists think that they are "cheating" if they use any kind of tool to help them with their artwork.

Creating art is not about the tools, but about what the artist is trying to communicate, their joy with the colours or form of a subject, texture etc.  If the tools exist which could help the artist in the process of their artwork, there should be no reason why they cannot be employed.

Don't be put off by what people might think about how you created you artwork. If you enjoyed creating it then the creation process has achieved its aim.

Enjoy your art however you do it because it doesn't matter how you create it!


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