Sunday, 27 August 2017

Mulling over the advice that Malcolm gave us in the last blog entry, I have been wondering what advice I would give to newcomers to colour pencil. I think the advice I would give would be to invest in a sketch book. Your sketchbook becomes your best friend as an artist. You hang out together and play with new media and different ideas, try markmaking and colour mixing, experiment with approaches to different textures . Like your best friend, it also helps you solve problems you come across.

 As Malcolm pointed out, it needs to have good quality paper. My most recent one was a Daler Rowney and the paper was 150g/m. It is a very smooth paper, lovely for graphite and ok with Polychromos pencils, but easily clogged when layering with wax based pencils. I got around the problem by using off- cuts of other papers and sticking them in my sketch book. This time around I have upgraded to a Strathmore journal, more expensive but better paper. As you will already know, colour pencils take time and patience, as a result, you don't need a large sketchbook as you will be probably trying things out on a small scale. An A5 book is probably plenty big enough and easy to carry around with you when you want to go out drawing. Your sketchbook is the perfect place to put into practice the advice and ideas you find along the way. It's private and nowhere near as intimidating as that new sheet of expensive paper waiting for your next drawing!

Remember too, that those colour pencil artist you admire did not achieve those results over night. There was a lot of learning, playing and mistake making going on, and a lot of that happened, and no doubt still happens, in the privacy of their sketchbook.


An example from my own sketchbook showing experiments with colour mixing, graphite and colour pencil drawing from life.


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