The past several weeks have been filled with a tumultuous upheaval of our society. Black Lives Matter! I can’t fathom what it’s like to grow up black in America. All I can say is I’m listening and trying to learn more. I’m still shocked at the lack of movement forward in the past 100+ years. If you’re able, please watch John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight that aired on June 7, 2020. He touches on one fragment of the police and what’s currently happening.Please click John Oliver
So, as I continue to watch news stories reel in from the protests, I off-set it by watching YouTube videos on improving my art. I started looking into how to use colored pencils to achieve a more realistic look. There’s plenty out there to comb through and one thing I found was solvents for blending colors.
Time for a little Testing!
Materials used: paper- Aquarelle Arches (don’t know the weight since it was in the scrap paper pile), Prismacolor pencils, Isopropyl Alcohol, Odorless Mineral Spirits, paint brush.
I laid down a few rows of Prismacolor pencils in light to a bit heavier concentration. Then I found odorless Mineral Spirits stashed in the garage and 70% Isopropyl Alcohol to test as solvents. The isopropyl was used on the far left stripe. The mineral spirits was used on the next vertical stripe and for the remainder of the tests. The top band has two doodle eyes that used the mineral spirits to blend colors. No additional colors were added to those bits. The bottom bird head/eye used a stronger concentration of color.
Below is the blended mix of colors that resembles a bird head with eye. Looks awful but smoother! This is just a doodle bird. I have no idea what it was trying to become.
The solvent does pass through the paper but seems to evaporate after time.
Below: after waiting 15 to 20 min I added more colored pencils. It’s true that light colors can be added over dark and they stand out! I think I’ll keep messing around with this technique and try an actual bird drawing for round #2.
The search has started for a subject to be rendered as a drawing/print. Two different organizations are requesting something from my studio and I’m more than happy to help them both out. So far revisiting Africa photos seem to be the smart choice. Maybe this technique will jump into the mix of ideas. Time will tell more.
Back to practicing!