Friday, January 11, 2019

Rainbow Pencils Make Me Happy

1/7/19 Koh-i-Noor Tri-Tone pencils in Stillman & Birn Alpha sketchbook

On these wet, dreary January days, the view out the window can be entirely colorless. Sometimes the fastest way to happiness is a rainbow pencil. I’m prepared – I have lots of them. Although all of them make me happy just to scribble with, some are better than others for sketching. These are my favorites:

Many rainbow pencils have cores with multiple colors that are marbled rather than striated. The Koh-i-Noor Tri-Tones are a good example. (I first reviewed them back in 2014.) The marbling can give you an overall multi-colored pencil stroke, but it’s impossible to isolate a single hue. They are excellent, however, if you want to use a range of similar tones in one convenient pencil. In this sketch of a satsuma, tomato and banana, I used one pencil with varying shades of yellow and orange for the satsuma (and a blue range for its shadow). If I were using traditional colored pencils, I would have chosen several pencils to achieve the same blend, but I did it all with one pencil. Similarly, I used one pencil with shades of red and orange for the tomato.

Koh-i-Noor Tri-Tone pencils have marbled cores.
12/28/18 Marco Tri-Jumbo pencil in S & B Epsilon sketchbook

The Marco Tri-Jumbo pencil has striated hues.

Last week I showed you my sketch of a swan gourd that I made with a Marco Tri-Jumbo rainbow pencil. Its large core and overall hefty girth make it easy to use and hold (for kids as well as myself). An added benefit is that its core is made of the three primaries plus green lying parallel to each other, which makes it easier to isolate hues if you want to. I used the warm red and yellow side of the pencil to bring the swan’s “head” forward, and I used the cool green and blue side to make the “body” recede in shadow behind the head.

Pencil strokes made by the three rainbow pencils reviewed here.

1/9/19 Camel pencil in S & B Alpha sketchbook
My favorite rainbow pencil is the Camel, which can be found on Amazon with a black body or a natural finish (the core seems to be the same in both). The standard-size pencil contains seven striated hues arranged in color wheel order! Although it’s difficult to isolate a single hue on that soft, skinny core, the arrangement means that you can easily use the warm side of the pencil (red, orange, yellow) for the lighted or foreground element in a sketch and achieve a nice analogous blend. Then twirl the core to the cool side (green, light blue, dark blue, violet) for shading and receding elements. Once I figured out how to do this, I had so much fun sketching the pear. The result looks like I spent a lot of time blending multiple pencils, but I did it all with one – and fairly quickly.

Camel pencil has 7 hues in rainbow order!

I hope your day is as colorful as mine is, and if it’s not, go get yourself a rainbow pencil. I guarantee instant happiness!

A bouquet of happiness!

1 comment:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...