Thursday, March 5, 2015

Colored Pencil Geek-dom

OK.....I admit it.....I'm an artist geek! I luv figuring out ways to make my art work “work” better. Recently I was going thru some old International Artist mags, and my eye lit upon a ten year old article about colour. The part that caught my eye was about the importance of value (lights and darks) in colour work.

I've been experimenting with colored pencils over watercolour washes. I've enjoyed using colored pencil marks to join together disparate washes, while providing “grace notes” of color for highlights.

I've noticed that when I go to my colored pencil holders I more often than not, go for colours associated by lights/darks. Instead of worrying as much about the hue (color) or local color of an object I look for values. My pencils had been arranged loosely by hue or color (i.e. reds, blues, greens, purples etc)

After reading this article, I rearranged my colored pencils by value....lights, brights,medium and dark values....irregardless of colour.

When I tried this system out, it made it SO much easier when I reached for a pencil for a highlight.....or to blend in a face shadow......or wanted to wake up a dull patch on cloth. It had the added advantage of forcing me to remember about temperature of colours......and consider reflected lights.

There is an old adage: “You are what you eat”. Well in my case, “I am (in colored pencil work) how I “organize” my colours.”


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