|4/24/19 Wedgwood neighborhood|
As you’ve probably noticed, I’m always looking for ways to minimize my sketch kit, even if my attempts are more hypothetical than real. Both last winter and this year, I included a red/blue editing pencil in my minimal kit simply because it conveniently enabled me to carry two colors in the space of one stick. But I had it all wrong.
I’m starting to learn that the real talent of a red/blue editing pencil is that it may be the ultimate minimal sketch kit. I’ve been using bicolors to help me see and interpret values more accurately, and the red/blue pencil is proving to be an excellent tool for that. While a single graphite pencil could be used to study values (Eduardo Bajzek’s workshop was all about that), it takes me a long time to express a full range of values that way. Using red and blue together, on the other hand, works like a shortcut in getting that job done. I’m diggin’ it!
The house below in the Green Lake neighborhood (which you saw a while back in ballpoint from a different angle) was actually yellow (another mind-bender for literal me), and the roof was dark gray. Since both the front and the rooftop were in sunlight, I could have made the roof red also, but it was still darker than the yellow siding, so I made it blue. I also liked the contrast between the red and blue, which was in keeping with the warm yellow front and the cool gray roof.
course, the red/blue concept as I’ve been using it – with red representing warm/lighter
values and blue representing cool/darker ones – works best when both light and
dark are easily apparent. In the sketch below (which you saw a few days ago), I realized after I began that the composition
I chose was all in shade, so it ended up a mostly monochrome sketch. In fact, I
pulled out my much darker Prussian blue Caran d’Ache Museum Aquarelle pencil to give the paler bicolor blue a hand with the
darks. Ironically, the green grassy field
between the machinery and the Space Needle was in full light – so I had to color it red!
|4/27/19 Green Lake neighborhood|
|4/26/19 Seattle Center|
One more irony: Although I worked as an editor for more than 30 years, I never used these red/blue pencils for editing. It’s never too late to find the right tool for the job.