|Another grisaille experiment|
In Part 1 of my experiments with a grisaille, I followed Wendy Hollender’s technique as described in her book, The Joy of Botanical Drawing. Unhappy with those results and not enjoying the watercolor-based technique, I decided to make it easier on myself. Like my green mug effort, I used Caran d’Ache Museum Aquarelles for the grisaille and Prismacolors for the dry pencil work afterwards. This time, however, I used a Stillman & Birn Zeta sketchbook, which has a smoother surface better suited to soft Prismacolors.
Keeping her basic grisaille concept in mind, I applied dry watercolor pencils directly to the sketchbook paper – first for tones and then for the overall local color (sorry – I forgot to photograph this step). After each application, I activated the layer and waited for it to dry completely. The drying time was still tedious, but at least I was taking better advantage of a unique property of water-soluble colored pencils, which is that they can be applied easily dry and activated later. For a penciler (not painter) like me, this is far easier than making small puddles of paint and applying them wet.
|Grisaille made with dry watercolor pencils applied directly to paper, then activated.|
Unfortunately, I made the same mistake of not having enough patience to keep applying stronger grisaille layers, so as before, the dry pencils did most of the work.
|4/10/21 Museum Aquarelles and Prismacolors in Stillman & Birn Zeta sketchbook|
As I worked on this tomato sketch with Prismacolors, I had the same thoughts I had during the previous exercises with Hollender’s technique: Although I enjoy the slow, meditative process of applying multiple layers of dry colored pencils, I don’t enjoy waiting for paint to dry. Heck, if I enjoyed that, I might as well be a watercolor painter!
What I do enjoy is taking advantage of the unique properties of watercolor pencils – that they can be wet or dry as needed. They can do so much more work in a sketch than serving as only the grisaille. And yet the grisaille concept is worth pursuing! Onward to Part 3.