Monday, August 26, 2013

Moores Art Gallery Watercolor Pencil Tips and Techniques

Watercolor Pencils

Water color pencils are very similar to color pencils in that, they allow you to have precise control, achieve great detail, they are very flexible, very portable and inexpensive. The difference between regular color pencils and water-soluble pencils are their leads. Color pencil leads are either wax or oil based, whereas watercolor pencil leads have a water soluble base.
One thing to remember, when working with water color pencils, is after you have layered several layers of color, and begin to apply water, a solvent or use a blender, the results will not be the same, as if you were using color pencil. The colors will be darker, sometimes more vivid, and they can change to a color you were not trying to achieve. So experiment before you start layering, to see if it is actually the color you want for your project or portrait. Try mixing watercolor pencil with other mediums, such as color pencil, ink or graphite. You will be surprised with the results!

Watercolor Pencil Tips and Techniques

  • Apply the color dry.

  • Wet the paper first to produce a bleeding type effect and/or soft lines.

  • Use various tools, such as a sponge or toothbrush or shaking the pencil, to create different effects.

  • After your wash has dried, apply dry layers of color for detail.

  • Create glazed washes (transparent layers of color over another) with either water or solvents.

  • Use a colorless blender marker, such as Tombo's, to blend the colors.

  • To achieve a thick opaque look, dip pencil in water or solvent first (eats the lead of the pencil up quickly).

  • For detail, try using a small wet paint brush.

  • Try breaking a small piece of lead off into a palette and add couple drops of water.

  • Try creating a graded wash, from dark to light with water or solvents.

  • Try back wash technique by wetting your paper, apply one color at one end, and then another color at the other end, watch the colors blend and bleed together.

  • If you are going to be using a wet technique, tape down your paper to a board, to prevent buckling of paper.

  • Try dipping a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol and dot the wet colored surface of the paper, creates a cool effect.

  • Try applying salt to wet area, can create sparkly and different effects.

Best Watercolor Pencil Paper

If you mix watercolor pencil with color pencil the best papers I have discovered the following papers work best: Arches watercolor paper, Strathmore watercolor pads and Rising Stonehenge drawing paper. All three brands are acid free and Strathmore also has ATC/ACEO size watercolor paper. Stonehenge, out of all the drawing papers, it is the most durable and holds up well to watercolor pencil applications.


Brands of Watercolor Pencils

The brand that I work with the most is Derwent Watercolor Pencils. They are super creamy like Prismas color pencils and they have a wonderful selection of colors. They are fine art quality water-soluble pencil. They are non-toxic with lightfast pigment. They are available in packaged tins or open stock at most art stores.
I also like to use Stabilo Aquacolor Watercolor Pencils to work on skies and small details. They have leads similar to Prismacolor Verathins but unfortunately they have been discontinued but you can find them on Ebay.


Watercolor Pencil Example

New Graphite Autumn Fairy and New Colored Pencil/Graphite Artwork The Avengers Assassin

Hi Everyone!
We just got back from our vacation last week and it was so awesome to see the coast. It has been a long time since we had been down on the Oregon Coast. I miss it so much. These are some shots taken with my cell phone (since my camera is not working) down near Winchester Bay, Oregon.

New Graphite and Color Pencil Artwork
This past weekend was EMG Sketchfest
I didn't get a chance to participate a whole lot as my mother-in-law was admitted to the hospital and we visited her on Friday and Saturday evening.
Here are two graphite sketches up for sale there

Autumn Fae
Graphite, ink, color pencil and watercolor pencil
Reference photo by Janna Prosvirina

Mermaid with Pearl Earring
Reference photo by Jessica - Faestock

My newest color pencil and graphite piece "The Assassin" now up for sale at my Etsy Store

Resource of the Week
Hope kits
"Creating Hope is a 501(C)3 non-profit organization founded in 2000 by 36-year-old Jeanette Gianfagna Shamblen who was a breast cancer patient. She founded Creating Hope to help people cope with cancer through self-expression and creativity…inspiring them to find their way through each day toward survival. Creating Hope provides art materials and art events at no cost to cancer patients. The HOPE Kit contains art materials and instructions for painting watercolor bookmarks." You can sponsor a hope kit and send it to someone you know or for a cancer patient.

I hope you all have a blessed week!
Take Care!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Moores Art Gallery Colored Pencil Tips

Color Pencil Tips

These are some tips I have learned over the years through books, magazines, articles and other artists. More tips will be added to this list as I learn and read from other artists.
  • Remember to keep your pencil points sharp it will help keep your drawing crisp and clear. 

  • Explore by using more than one color pencil for a colored area in your drawing. Try using several layers of different colors together, to add some spark and life to your drawings.

  • Beware of over saturating your paper's surface with too much color, the color will start to no longer adhere to the paper's surface. It will also start to wear and possibly tear the surface of the paper or board.

  • Be careful when applying heavy pressure, such as when you burnish, sometimes pencils tend to flake. To remove the flakes, I use a drafting or make- up brush and/or tissue. 

  • To remove and prevent wax bloom (a build-up of wax on the surface of the paper), wipe the surface of the paper with a soft tissue and then lightly spray the drawing with 1 to 5 layers with Krylon Workable Fixatif Aerosol Spray. The fixative will prevent wax bloom and also protect your color pencil painting.

  • To create vivid intense colors, try using a solvent (turpenoid natural, liquin, Berol Prisma colorless blender markers, bistine, mineral spirits, baby wipes.

  • It is important to add a good range of values throughout your drawing. Remember the more layers of color and the heavier the pressure, the darker the colored area on your drawing will become.

  • To add life to your work, try varying the color intensity, saturation and hue in your artwork. Check out this link for an interactive color wheel

  • Try creating different moods, by drawing on different colored papers, such as Canson Mi Tientes.

  • When working on a tonal drawing, work from dark to light.

  • Keep pencil strokes even, and consistent in pressure and in direction, the lines of the strokes will be less visible and will blend into the layers of color.

  • Start off with light pressure when adding layers of color and gradually increase your pressure.

  • To create, a rich dark black, try layering Prismacolors indigo blue, crimson, sepia and black grape.

  • To keep areas on the surface of your paper white, try using a frisket film, liquid, frisket or frisket masque pen.

  • Keep a color key of your drawing, for future reference, in case you decide to take a break from your artwork.

  • For fine or small detail, try using Prismacolor Verithins. Rex Art has an open stock of them available

  • Practice using only a single color to help improve your blending, layering and graduating skills.

  • Try using different pressures (light, medium and heavy), to achieve different depths of color and tones of color.

  • Try using a light colored pencil, from your color palette, to draw out your sketch. 

  • Try using a pencil extension for your pencil stubs, or try gluing pencil ends together with superglue when your pencils become to small to sharpen.

  • Always keep the surface of your paper clean, brush away debris with drafting or makeup brush.

  • Remember to wipe tips of pencils off, before applying color to lighter areas to prevent smearing and smudging of debris and dark spots.

  • Try using complimentary colors in shaded or dark value areas to give an illusion of depth.