Thursday, February 8, 2018

Hard and Soft, Continued

2/5/18 Polychromos pencils on Stillman & Birn Alpha (in progress)
My experiment a few days ago using both hard and soft colored pencils piqued my interest in exploring the technique further. Last time I started the sketch using vintage pencils I was unfamiliar with, and it turned out that they were low in pigment content as well as having very firm cores. Using softer pencils with more pigment afterwards really helped to deepen the hues quickly.

2/6/18 Pablo colored pencils applied after Polychromos
For this oddball mix of heirloom tomato, apple and banana – chosen specifically for their wide range of hues – I started with Faber-Castell Polychromos pencils, which are both relatively hard and high in pigment content. The hard core made it easier to fill the textured Stillman & Birn Alpha paper, though this first phase of this small sketch (about 4-by-5 inches) still took an hour (partly because I had a wide palette to choose). At this point, I could have kept going with the Polychromos to finish the sketch, but it would have taken quite a few more layers that were getting more difficult to apply.

Instead, I switched to much softer Caran d’Ache Pablos. Since the harder Polychromos had done the work of filling the tooth, I could apply more layers with the Pablos relatively quickly and without as much care. In 20 more minutes I was happy with the richer colors, and I decided the sketch was done. (Hmm, this is interesting . . . further explorations coming soon.)

And now, some gratuitous eye candy – just because colored pencils make me happy. 

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