Thursday, September 1, 2011

Colored Pencil Tutorial Part 1

Tutorial Part 2 (9/19/2011)
Prismacolor Charts (updated 12/16/2011) all on one page!
Updated links and videos (added 3/29/2012)
I've been reading and taking notes!  You know once a teacher..

Blending and Burnishing
Colorless blender pencil
Prismacolor Marker colorless blender
Derwent blending set at Dick Blick
OMS – odorless mineral spirits and stumps (tortillon)
  • A tortillon is sort of like a stump but is hollow and with a point on one end, unlike the stumps which are pointed on both ends and are solid. They are so small some people find they aren't very comfortable to hold and use. Because they have such a small blending surface that they aren't good for large spaces, but do work decently for tight spaces or when you want to blend just a tiny bit.
  • Many companies produce several different grades of Mineral Spirits. Depending on the way it is distilled, the evaporation rate will be different. The faster the evaporation rate, the more dangerous it is. Usually hardware store OMS has a fast evaporation rate as it's meant to be used in a well-ventilated area or outdoors. Artist grades evaporate much more slowly.
  • When using OMS, dip the stump into the liquid and gently rub over the previously colored area.
  • Many people use baby oil. You can put a small square of felt into a covered container and put a few drops of baby oil onto the felt. Then dab the stump onto the felt to pick up a little bit of baby oil and go over the area colored with pencils. You should also color your area thoroughly since OMS or baby oil does not spread the color like it does with watercolor pencils.
  • Gamsol is just a brand name for one of the many brands of OMS Odorless Mineral Spirit that you can get in art shops.
Ink Suggestions
  • Timber Brown Stazon
  • Versafine Sepia
  • Stamp in sepia and color with pastels
  • Ancient Page
  • Memento
  • Memories
  • I get mine from Gina K. I use Pure Luxury Card Stock Heavy Base Weight
  • Good Reviews: Neenah paper in solar white and natural white 
Broken Pencils
Anyone who has used artist grade colored pencils has experienced their pencils breaking off, or the leads falling out of the hole. The tips break because the lead is already broken inside the pencil from rough handling. Your package may have been dropped and the leads broken inside.
Ask twenty different people and you’ll likely get a dozen different opinions based on their individual experiences.
  • Many people swear by electric sharpeners, others insist all they got was chewed up pencils.
  • Some love the bullet shaped sharpener from Prismacolor.
  • Turn the sharpener instead of turning the pencil
  • I use a Alvin DUX Glass Inkwell sharpener  
  • Occasionally sharpen a graphite pencil too. The graphite helps keep the colored pencils from 'catching' on the blade.
  • Pencils seem to catch more when there is a build up of shavings caught in the cap between the casing and the blade, so keep that well cleaned out, too.
  • According to the Prismacolor video, after you have sharpened 2-3 pencils, the machine heats up to the point where it softens the lead on a wax pencil, causing it to break.
  • When sharpening by hand, you can twist too hard and torque the pencil to the degree where you shred the wood and break the lead.
  • Global Classic pencil cases I’m using one of these now, and I really like it. I got it from Dick Blick.

      Prices for Prismacolor Pencils, Tin Box Set of 132 
      Dick Blick $99.00
      Hobby Lobby $199.00 with 40% off coupon $119.40
      Jerry’s Artarama   $127.44 currently on sale for $105.99

      Coloring Tips
      • Color in circular motions 2-3 light layers of a color instead of one heavy layer
      • For the white light in eyes, dot with a white-out pen or white acrylic paint over the top of the pencil coloring.
      • An electric eraser can be used as a subtractive drawing tool making lines and dots, and lightening shaded areas. You can use it for sunlight showing through leaves in the trees and making textures in fabric as well as show highlights.  electric eraser
      • To color something realistically, find an image that has the animal in a similar position so you can mimic the shading, etc.
      • Light: Decide where your light is coming from and mark the point on the edge of your work area that won't show on the finished piece. That way you have a visual reference for shading and shadowing.
      • Many people find it helpful to keep track of color combos in a book or journal.
      • Skin colors:  Prismacolor has a portrait set so these colors would be good to use: Indigo Blue 901, Cream 914, Light Peach 927, Blush Pink 928, Pink 929, Tuscan Red 937, White 938, Peach 939, Sand 940, Light Umber 941, Yellow Ochre 942, Burnt Ochre 943, Terra Cotta 944, Sienna Brown 945, Dark Brown 946, Dark Umber 947, Beige 997, Salmon 1001, Jasmine 1012, Clay Rose 1017, Pink Rose 1018, Rosey Beige 1019, Henna 1031, Goldenrod 1034
      • Stray pencil marks and waxy pieces: A large soft mop brush is great for brushing off erasures and pencil dust. You can also use a large, clean cosmetic brush.
      New Charts: updated 11/15/2011