Jan 11, 2018

Want to make that Pencil REALLY Sing? Painting and Drawing Tips


Isn't she a Beauty?  
PRETTY LADY - Graphite 5 x 6.5 - $130 Matted Unframed
I know, it is just another Stellar Jay, there is probably one squawking at your bird feeder looking for a treat right now . . .
But I loved the lines of this little one.  It must be a Lady.

You are probably saying what's different?  Isn't this my usual graphite drawing?  Actually it has quite a different twist.  Take a closer look.  It is very soft and blended but not in the usual way.  PRETTY LADY is done with washable graphite pencils on Illustration Board.  Neat eh?!

I tried the washable graphite pencils on Illustration Board as I wanted a very smooth surface and I knew I wouldn't be using much water.  I had also read that the colours would be more intense.  They are certainly that.  The darks are darker and very easy to get.  Now the lights, that is a different story.  Things can get away on you very easily.

But First - Here's the materials.

Derwent Sketching Wash Pencils, a brush, bit of water and Arches 140lb paper Cold Press
Not much eh?  You can probably see this as being another one of my small packs to take on sketching trip.

How to work with the pencils

You can draw with the pencils as you normally would do, lay out with the light wash pencil.  However when it comes time to shade that is where the fun starts.
Sample of each pencil with a portion activated with water.

I have laid out an area with each of the pencils, from Dark Wash 8B, Medium Wash 4 B and Light Wash HB.  Then I took a brush and water, and activated a portion of each.

Things to note: 
- graphite floats on the surface and can be dragged beyond the shaded area
- the more graphite you put down with any of the pencils the darker it will be
- the Dark Wash 8B can get very dark
- the texture of the paper shows through after it has been washed with water

Practice Drawing - left half has been brushed with water and the right has not
A close-up of my little drawing. 
As you can see the part on the left has been activated with water and the part on the right has not. Don't you just love the roughness on the post from the texture of the paper.  I couldn't do that with Illustration Board. I love the smearing of gray tones that can be done with the brush.  Similar to smearing charcoal to get different tones.

Other things to note:
- the graphite can be lifted if you wet and pat it with a cloth
- the graphite can be dragged across the paper (this can be good and bad)
- your brush picks up the graphite so make sure you want it in that spot when you put your brush down
- another layer can be put on top and activated once the first layer is dry
- graphite can be left dry, no water to activate it, for a nice contrast of texture
- your other pencils can be used for different effects but of course they will not change with a wash put on them.

Lots of Possibilities, Eh?!

I am definitely going to play around a bit more with these pencils and I can see ways I would want to mix them with my other pencils. A nice softly blended bird on a rough post, the mixed textures would be very neat. 
Have you tried working with these pencils? Any secrets to share?  I think everyone would like to hear your experiences.  There seems to be very little out there with washable graphite.

Special Note: 
February is Marketing Month for Artists.  This is when we have the time to plan our marketing strategies for all those January Resolutions.  For the last 8 years I have been running this full day workshop, it is an awesome way to get your Marketing Skills up to Speed and Focused for Success.  Come Join me.

1 -Day Marketing Workshop for Artist - Let's Get Your Art Out There! with Wendy Mould, AFCA 

Sunday, Feb. 25, & Sunday, March 4, 2018 10-3pm $84(Tax Incd)

During the day you will learn what the main focus of your marketing materials should be, see  effective ways to promote your work and find a path that is right for you.  It is a full day and the synergy generated from the experience will keep you on track for 2018. Turn your Art Making into a Business. Maximum 8 people so register early. 
I look forward to working with you.  
 REGISTER  Contact Wendy               Gift Certificates Available

Good Follow-Up Session to the Marketing Workshop: 
April 9 - Building Your Online Presence 6-8pm. Federation Gallery, Vancouver, BC. $20 nonmembers $15 members.

Looking for more Drawing Tips, check out my previous posts in this latest Drawing Series.  
How to Find Your Starting Point in a Drawing - here
4 Ways to Grow the Sketchbook Habit - here
Time to Meet Your Drawing Friends - here
Ready to Start Drawing - Get Your Materials Together - here
Get Those Values Working for you - here
Blenders the Secret to the Soft Touch of Graphite - here 
Values and Colours in Action - here

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 Have a great artful day,

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