Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Product Review: Koh-I-Noor Tri-Tone Pencils

3/12/14 Koh-I-Noor Tri-Tone colored pencils, Stillman &
Birn Alpha sketchbook
This sketch was done from a photo of myself at the only time in my life that my hair was shorter than it is now.

I’m experimenting with Koh-I-Noor Tri-Tone colored pencils – three colors together in one lead – which I first learned about from Roz Stendahl’s blog. The queen of experimentation, Roz has done gazillions of remarkable drawings in just about every medium in existence. I got the pencils several months ago, thinking they would be interesting to try at life drawing sessions, then promptly forgot about them. As often happens, I was digging around for something else when I found the Tri-Tone pencils.

Before I forgot about them again, I quickly pulled up an old black-and-white photo, circa 1959, that unfortunately is very washed out and has little contrast or tone. I used the same tactic I tried at last week’s life drawing session: Instead of drawing a contour line first, I shaded in dark areas with the side of the pencil, then used the point later to shape details afterwards. I used the “Rainforest” pencil first, in tones of green. Since the dress is so white and washed out, I decided to darken up the background using the complementary “Sunset” pencil, which has tones of red and yellow.

The pencils are fun. Like sketching with brightly colored gel pens, which helped me see that emulating realistic colors is over-rated, using Tri-Tone pencils keeps me focused on tone and value instead of hue (which is hard to speculate when sketching from a black-and-white photo anyway). I’m definitely taking them to life drawing – and maybe I’ll even take them out in the field for urban sketching, too.

1 comment:

  1. Good idea for focusing on tone and value instead of hue. I know at one time the local arts & craft store here sold "funny pencils" that had several colors in the lead of the pencil. I wonder if they are the same. Nice baby photo sketch.


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