Sunday, September 13, 2015

Penciling in Fall

9/10/15 colored pencils, inks
Despite my reluctance to see summer end, I always welcome one thing about autumn: all the colors in the trees. When I see a pair of maples going red (below) or an aspen turning gold (at left), it’s natural to pull out my watercolors, and the past couple years, that’s usually what I did.

This season, though, I’ve been experimenting more with colored pencils – both my favorite water-soluble Caran d’Ache Museum pencils as well as the crazy, variegated Koh-i-Noor Tri-Tone pencils that I’ve lately been hooked on. With pencils, it takes a bit longer to build up rich color compared to watercolors. But one thing I like about pencils is that I can get more texture in trees. Another thing is the physical ease and simplicity: When I’m walking through my neighborhood and stop for a sketch, I have to stand, so pulling out a few pencils is much easier than painting. (If you’re wondering about the sky behind the aspen, that’s not watercolor, either – it’s ink applied with a waterbrush! My middle name is “shortcut”). Overall, these sketches took the same amount of time as when I use watercolor.

By the way, the aspen above is one you’ve seen me sketch in previous years (in September almost exactly a year ago and October 2013). I love the way it adds a brilliant spark of yellow to that intersection.

9/8/15 colored pencils, ink


  1. Love the texture you were able to get in the trees!!!

  2. These are wonderful, Tina, though the thought of trees reporting a descent into winter is depressing. None of the trees here have gotten that memo, yet. On a couple occasions I've said, "Why don't I put blue ink in a waterbrush so I can do quick skies. You've done it. The color seems right; what is it? --- Larry

    1. Thanks, Larry! I like to use Pilot Iroshizuku Tsuyu-kusa for sky.

  3. Great, a new excuse to buy some ink :-) --- Larry


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