Monday, August 26, 2013

Moores Art Gallery Watercolor Pencil Tips and Techniques

Colored Pencil Tips & Techniques:

Watercolor Pencil Tips & Techniques

It's All About Colored Pencils!

Watercolor pencils are very similar to colored pencils in that they allow you to have precise control, achieve great detail, are very flexible, portable, and inexpensive. The difference between regular colored pencils and water-soluble pencils is their leads. Colored pencil leads are either wax or oil-based, whereas watercolor pencil leads have a water soluble base.

When working with watercolor pencils, it is important to remember that the results will not be the same as if you were working with colored pencils. After you have layered several colors down and have applied water or a solvent of some type, you will notice that the colors will sometimes be darker, sometimes more vivid, or sometimes will become a color you were not trying to achieve at all. So experiment before you start layering colors to see if it is the color you want for your project or portrait. Also, try mixing your watercolor pencils with other mediums, such as Prismacolor colored pencilsOhuhu Gel inks or Derwent graphite pencils. You will be surprised with the results!

Tips and Techniques

  • Apply the watercolor pencil dry.
  • Wet the paper first to produce a bleeding type effect or to create soft lines.
  • Try using various tools, such as a sponge or toothbrush or shaking the watercolor pencil, to create different effects.
  • After your watercolor pencil wash has dried, apply dry layers of watercolor pencil for detail.
  • Create glazed watercolor pencil washes (transparent layers of color over another) by using either water or solvents.
  • Use a colorless blender marker, such as Tombow's Colorless Blender Pen, to blend the colors.
  • To achieve a thick opaque look, dip your pencil in water or in a solvent, such as Turpenoid Natural (this technique tends to eat the lead of the pencil up quickly) and then apply it to the surface of the paper.
  • To create detail using watercolor pencils, try using a small wet paint brush.
  • Try creating a graded wash, from dark to light with water or solvents.
  • Try a backwash technique by wetting your paper first then apply one color at one end, and then another color at the other end, watch the colors blend and bleed together.
  • To create a cool effect, try dipping a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol and then dot the wet colored surface of your paper with the cotton swab.
  • To create a sparkly effect, try applying salt to the wet surface of your paper and let it dry.

Best Papers

I have discovered the following papers work the best when combining watercolor pencils with colored pencils: Arches watercolor paper hot press, Strathmore watercolor pads cold press and Rising Stonehenge drawing paper. Rising Stonehenge works best with the dry technique, with colorless blender markers, or with minimal water. If you do use water, make sure to tape the paper down to the board to prevent buckling.

All three brands of paper are acid-free and Strathmore also has ATC/ACEO size watercolor paper.

Brands of Watercolor Pencils

The watercolor pencil 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.

In addition, I 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. However, from time to time, you can find them on Ebay.

Watercolor Pencil Example

Keep on Creating!

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

Colored Pencil Tips & Techniques:

Colored Pencil Tips

It's All About Colored Pencils!

    Some Tips When Working with Colored Pencils

    These are some tips I have learned over the years through books, magazines, articles and from other colored pencil artists. More tips will be added to this list as I learn and explore more.

    • To help your drawings stay crisp and clear, keep your pencil points sharp.
    • To add some interest, spark and life to your drawings, try layering several different colors together.
    • Beware of over saturating your paper's surface with too many layers of color. The color will start to no longer adhere to the paper's surface because the tooth of the paper has completely filled. As a result, the surface of the paper will start to wear down and possibly tear.
    • Always keep the surface of your paper clean by brushing debris away with a drafting brushmake-up brush or tissue. Be careful when applying heavy pressure, such as when you burnish, sometimes pencils tend to flake debris upon your paper.
    • To prevent wax bloom (a white film that builds up 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 3 layers of Krylon Workable Fixative Aerosol Spray. The workable fixative will protect your artwork while you continue to work on your artwork. Once you are done with your artwork you can spray 1-3 layers of a final fixative on your artwork to protect it and to prevent wax-bloom. In order to make sure there is not displeasing color changes to your artwork, make sure to test before you spray any fixatives. 
    • To create vivid intense colors, try applying a solvent to the layers of color such as Turpenoid Naturalliquincolorless blender markersbestinemineral spirits or 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 colored pencil artwork, try varying the color intensity, saturation and or hue in your artwork.
    • Try creating different moods by drawing on different colored papers, such as Canson Mi Tientes or Art Spectrum Colourfix.
    • When working on a tonal drawing, work from dark to light.
    • Keep your pencil strokes even, consistent in pressure and in the same direction, so the lines of your strokes will be less visible and will blend into the layers of color.
    • When adding layers of color, start off with light pressure 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 frisket filmliquid frisket or a frisket masque pen.
    • Keep a color key of your drawing for future reference in case you decide you need to take a break from your artwork.
    • For fine or small detail, try using Prismacolor VerithinsRex Art has an open stock of them available.
    • Practice using only a single color to help improve your blending, layering, and graduating skills.
    • Practice using different pressures (light, medium and heavy), to achieve different depths of color and tones of color.
    • Try using a light colored pencil to draw out your sketch and then blend the sketch into the layers of colors you apply.
    • When your pencils become too small to sharpen, try using a pencil extender for your pencil stubs, or try gluing pencil ends together with superglue.
    • To prevent smearing, smudging of debris and dark spots, wipe off the tips of pencils with a tissue or cloth before applying color.
    • When working with colorless blender markers you have to be careful to wipe off the nibs of the pencils after blending, or colors will mix.
    • Try purchasing several blender markers for each color, so there is not a constant need to wipe off colored areas on the nibs.
    • Be careful of over-blending and over-saturating your paper, you will not be able to add any more layers of colors or blend with a blender.
    • Allow your drawing to dry from the blender marker before adding any more layers of colors.
    • To create an illusion of depth, try using complementary colors in dark valued areas of your artwork.
    • To help hide a stain on your drawing: try using a color similar to the stain color or use an opaque medium such as white or cream to cover it.
    • Colored Pencil Artist, Barbara Newton, has a wonderful tip on how to conceal a scratch mark or indent on your drawing: first apply a little color over the area, then blend the color into the area with a clear colorless blender marker and then add some more color till the mark is no longer visible.
    • Try making your own colored pencil wheel using specific brands of colored pencils to use as a reference tool while creating your works of art. Two great tutorials on creating a colored pencil wheels are located at the Empty Easel and at Wetcanvas.
Keep on Creating!