Coloured pencil time

Last year I bought a 7 colour pencil while I was travelling in Japan. I didn’t really use it until earlier this year. Of course it soon became such a favourite that I quickly used it up.

Unable to find this un-branded pencil locally I went back to using the other multi-coloured pencils in my stash. (I have previously discussed the Koh-i-Noor multicolour pencils). Here is a comparison.

Left to right are the 3 colour Koh-i-Noor Magic Pencil; the 4 colour Lyra ‘Super Ferby’ and last the remains of my 7 colour pencil next to it’s replacement. Yes! I found the ‘rainbow’ pencil online. Apart from the shape of the barrel, the original is round and the new one is a rounded triangle, there seems to be no difference between the two.

I also did a colour comparison so you can see the differences between the three.

I really enjoy using these colour pencils in my regular cafe sketches.

Here is a sketch with the 7 colour pencil. I find the intensity of these colours quite satisfying.

By comparison here is the 3 colour Koh-in-Noor in action.

The 4 and 7 colour pencils can be readily manipulated to select a preferred colour, while the 3 colour pencil is more difficult to control in terms of colour selection. Any of these pencils is worth trying in your sketches. They can also turn a simple line drawing into an interesting sketch.

Everyday practice

Here are some sketches from my current ‘handbag’ sketchbook. I am trying to use up one of the myriad sketchbooks that seem to spontaneously generate in my spare room. This book isn’t too good with wet media so I mainly try and sketch in pencil. The pencils I am using are a Palomino Blackwing 530 and my el cheapo multicolour pencil I got in Japan at Sekkaido.

In rough date order …

Trying to get some more interesting perspectives into these ‘regular’ events.

From the car in a roof top carpark.

Sketching graffiti from a roof top carpark.

This is a work in progress. I do a bit more every time I stop here to collect the mail.

Again, trying to enliven a cafe sketch. It gets very busy at our local cafe on Saturday morning. There are lots of parents and kids relaxing after the kids football matches.

Coffee, at last

It has been a long time between drinks, of coffee that is. In reality it’s been a while since I got my pencils out while sitting down with a cup of coffee.

Last Saturday’s offerings are as follows.

9July2016a

Red Glasses

Sadly just as I was getting stuck into capturing this striking older woman, there was a glitch in our coffee order. By the time it was sorted out she’d left.

9July2016b

Ghastly

Thankfully this man was in for the duration (of my attention at least).

Dr Sketchy and all that glitters

Last night my partner and I headed out to Dr Sketchy’s at the National Gallery of Australia. Like everyone at our table we were unsure whether there was a theme for the evening, until models in silver and gold paint appeared! Everything metallic and shiny was the story.

16June2016a

A model in gold, Posca acrylic markers

I decided to use my Posca markers for some of the sketches, particularly as they already had the seal of approval for use at the event. I liked using them, but realised I should have done some testing before I went. My yellow ochre marker, used above, just wasn’t flowing very well, so I ended up with a rather scratchy effect.

It was also a pleasure to see a male burlesque performer/model in the line-up. Sir Regal Shivers (and his dragon George) certainly got the audience shouting for more.

16June2016b

Knight, minus the shining armour, coloured pencil

We were also treated to performances from visiting interstate burlesque performers including the wild Zelia Rose, who was the 2014 Miss Burlesque Australia.

16June2016c

Zelia Rose, coloured pencil

The evening finished with the final group pose. I managed to only get two of the models into my sketch.

16June2016d

Final group sketch, coloured pencil

As always it was a tremendous evening. The output of all the participating sketchers was amazing and the performances particularly good. I’m looking forward to next time!

Coffee shots

So it’s not quite Wednesday,  but I took  my book to the coffee shop this morning. It was a bit quiet, but two people sitting in the  outside area caught my eye. Both were buffered against the arrival of winter temperatures.

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This man was rugged up in a large jacket which exaggerated the width of his shoulders,  particularly as he was sitting a bit low in his chair.

A few tables away sat a man in an interesting knitted cap.

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Once again I am using my Koh-i-noor Magic pencils and a white Prismacolour pencil on my toned brown Strathmore sketchbook.

Try again

It’s often a struggle to get the drawing you see out of your head and onto the page. Several weeks ago I had one of those days. We drove out to the country looking for a sketching spot and found a promising site down by the river.

As I looked up from the river bank I could see one of my favourite local shearing sheds higher up the hill. This is built in corrugated iron which has developed a lovely patina over the years. Behind it was a hill and the whole scene was enclosed below that skyline.

24Apr2016a

Shearing shed, watercolour

I did make some quick pencil sketches before I started, but even so I struggled to get the proportions of the shed to the skyline accurately represented. I had taken along my watercolours to use for the first time in ages. I tried, but I had forgotten ‘in my hands’ how to use the paint. So I was unhappy with my result.

Then I had another thought, to work back over one of my original thumbnails with the pencils I also took along. There was no pressure to get it ‘right’ I allowed myself to play with non-realistic colour and the drawing flowed!

24Apr2016b

Colour pencil over the top of one of my original sketches

Shades of grey

I’ve just finished working my way through my Strathmore Toned-Grey sketchbook, some 50 pages, most of which both back and front have been drawn on with coloured pencils. I’ve used coloured pencils since childhood, but as an adult I’m discovering these materials anew.

Unlike watercolours it’s hard to satisfactorily mix new colours using pencils. I wished I had a range of more subtle colours on many occasions. So my recent pencil buys have been of greys and neutrals, colours which are not strongly represented in the pencil box.

From left to right are: Green Ochre, Sandbar Brown, Slate Grey, 50% Cool Grey, 30% Cool Grey and 20% Cool Grey. On the right hand side of the pictures are the Sky Blue Light and White which I’ve been using for some time, but which fit also into this colour range.

New pencils, ohh goody!

New pencils, ohh goody!

I’ve drawn them onto Strathmore Toned Tan paper below. I had started using them in my previous sketchbook but I don’t have any spare pages to show them on the Toned Grey paper.

I already find these colours incredibly useful additions to my palette. Having now swapped to the Toned Tan sketchbook I’ll be interested to see how they go on the warmer background.

test colours on toned-tan paper, greys and neutrals

test colours on toned-tan paper, greys and neutrals

And just because I can , I’ve forced myself to buy even more watercolours that I’ve seen written about by several artists whose work inspires me. All the colours are from the Daniel Smith company.

These paints have been tried out on watercolour paper with a medium tooth. I love the granulation of the Lunar Black and I think the Buff Titanium is the sort of colour I’ve been after for some time. The Perylene green is for my partner who was after something dark for shadows in vegetation and the Mayan Blue is just because I like it.

Testing new watercolours

Testing new watercolours