|1/11/17 Pablo colored pencils, Stillman & Birn Alpha|
Last month I started talking about the question of looseness and whether it can be achieved (at least in appearance, if not in execution) with colored pencils. One way I started experimenting with looseness is by using a limited palette, and lately I’ve been using the more severe restriction of a primary palette only.
Because my main objective in making these still life studies is to eventually apply what I learn to sketching on location, I’ve been trying to get away from the highly controlled, painterly look of my previous colored pencil works. I want to explore ways to make the still lifes look fresher and more spontaneous – which is how I want my urban sketches to look, too.
Decreasing the time it takes to make a sketch is not a primary objective, although it does seem to be one result of my quest for looseness (and in urban sketching, speed is almost always an advantage).
Shown above is a recent Envy apple (delicious, by the way – this season’s favorite at our house) sketched with a primary palette. I was being so loose (in this case, also known as careless) that I started coloring in some of the highlights I had taken the time to save out, so I had to use an eraser to get them back again. I was tempted to cover every speck of paper, which is part of the time-consuming aspect of using colored pencils, but I resisted. The apple took half the time I took for the pear (below) sketched back in September – I did a thorough job of covering every bit of paper surface that time. As is often advised by watercolor painters, I think allowing some of the paper to show through gives the sketch a bit of sparkle and, I hope, a bit more freshness. What do you think?
|9/6/16 Pablo, Polychromos colored pencils, Stillman & Birn Epsilon|