Saturday, March 11, 2017

The Fun of New Adventures!

The delight in my Bible Journaling has led me to a better understanding of how coloured pencils can be utilized within a fine art endeavour.  As you may recall, I previously shared some of my testings and one painting I'd done - since then, I've delved into this process more fully and with gusto -- I'm enthralled!

My self-education of crash coursing has been so fun as I've experimented with an assortment of surfaces including a variety of papers designed for pencil work, textured surfaces for pastel work and also my beloved Ampersand Pastelbords (which you may recall I used for my oil pastels and pastel pencil work).  I've also been testing a wide variety of coloured pencil brands to see which work best on which surface and how the different brands can or cannot work together. I've also tested using water solubles as underpaintings - a technique which makes the pencil work go much more quickly.

Coloured Pencils with
Derwent Inktense Underpainting
Watercolour Cold Press Paper 140# 5x7
Photo Reference of Steven Meister from Paint My Photo
Along the process, I've learned which of these surfaces and pencils are light fast ... a subject that is critical for my work as its my only legacy to my children and grandchildren and the generations to come as well as my extended family members.

The Cardinal
Coloured Pencil with
Odorless Mineral Spirits Blending
Ampersand Pastelbord 5x7
Photo Reference of Rodney Campbell at Paint My Photo
This was gifted to my nephew Joshua and his family as a belated baby/family gift.
I had already had the set of FC Polychromos pencils which I had innocently purchased, thinking they would work for fine detailing in my oil pastel work because the Polychromos brand of pencils is considered as oil based. **blush**  Ahhh the ignorance of beginnership.  LOL   Luckily, these pencils are considered one of the finest brands to have for the fine art endeavour as they are well made and light fast.
The Rose
Coloured Pencil
Watercolour Cold Press Paper 140# 5x7
Photo Reference of Suzanne Wallick at Paint My Photo

I had the Prismacolour Premieres as well as some of their Verithin pencils which I've been using within my Journaling Bible.  These are a lovely pencil and used by many fine art pencil artists, but one must be careful in selection as approximately 1/3 of their pencils are below the mark for good light fast rankings.  Since it would be rare for any of my Bible Journaling pages to be exposed to direct sunlight, these are perfectly safe for use within my Bible. <3
I had already had a 36 set of the Lyra Rembrandt pencils, which David had purchased for me way back in the oil pastel adventures as this brand was also labeled "oil based" by the vendors.  They are very similar to the Polychromos and brought some lovely pigment additions that I felt were missing from the Polychromos line.   I had purchased a resource book that indicated these pencils were very well ranked in light fastness, so I purchased more of their colour lines to complement my Polychromos.  Unfortunately, I have since learned that that resource was invalid and this brand is not well ranked in light fast.

Coloured Pencil
Art Spectrum ColourFix Coated Pastel Paper 9x12 Photo Reference of Suzanne Wallick at Paint My Photo
I bought an assortment of colours within the Caran d' Ache lines of their Luminance (wax based) and their Pablo (less wax based) line of pencils. These are classified as the best made pencil on the market and cost a pretty penny, I might add, but are well worth it.  The Luminance especially work well with the Polychromos and brought some of the colours I felt were sadly lacking in the Polychromos line - tan browns (for natural Caucasian skin tones) along with varying ranges in Ochres and Siennas plus a range of Paynes Grey which I've always loved with my Genesis Oil Paintings.  The Pablos brought some very light pigment colours that I especially appreciated as well.

So, I have had a lot of pencils to enjoy!

"Aubrey's Rose"
Coloured Pencil
Paper: Stonehenge Warm White 90# Cotton 5x7
Photo Reference courtesy of: Aubrey Campbell at Paint My Photo
I've also discovered that pencils need fixatives now and again, and have been delighted with Brush and Pencil's line of product.  Their Texture Touch up offers the opportunity to use the glazing techniques I've loved with oil paints and can now do with coloured pencils - a process unheard of before with pencils!  As well, all of their fixatives are non-toxic and I can use indoors, without harm to David or the animals.  I SO appreciate that!

"Coloured Pencil Glazing Technique"
Enabled by using this Brush & Pencil Texture Touch-Up product!
I straight-lined the sand pencil colour to the blue water, then ran
a 1" of the touch-up product, covering 1/2" on sand and 1/2" on the water.
Once that was fully dry, I pencil painted those colours plus white atop
the colours beneath.  This process allowed for the colour beneath to show
through the colour above.  Its a brilliant techinque used in other mediums
that the Coloured Pencil Teachers and Experts had told me was not do-able in pencil.
Never tell me its impossible!
I've recently joined the Color Pencil Society of America (CPSA) and am eagerly and no-so-patiently :D waiting for my copy of their light fast testings guide which includes all of my pencil brands, in addition to gobs and bunches of others, up to and including watercolor pencils!  They've put all of these pencils through rigourous and extensive light fast testings and I'm well assured their results will be of great benefit to my endeavours.

"Thoughts of Diane"
Coloured Pencil
Ampersand Pastelbord 5x7
A birthday gift for my sister, who's large dairy farmyard has many little vignettes like this. <3

And so, the testing and creative fun continues with the pursuit of fine art in coloured pencil.  With each piece I do, I learn more skills and become more refined in my techniques.  I've learned that foam board 1/8" works well to tape my surfaces to - its lightweight means my strength issues aren't impacted at all and 1 sheet got me two sets of foam boards to accommodate each of the size surfaces I most use.  I've found pencil cases that afford a small footprint, open like a book and flip pages of elastic loops which hold  the pencils firmly in place yet are easily removed - and it all rests naturally on the arm of my bedchair.

"The Tulips"
Coloured Pencil
Art Spectrum ColourFix Coated Pastel Paper 9x12
Photo Reference by Pezibear at Pixabay
I've found more free photo reference sites through an assortment of Coloured Pencil Groups to which I belong, so there's no end of creative days ahead of me.  Its truly captured my heart and even on bad health days, its easy for me to work on small pieces.

That's not to say I'm not still working in my Journaling Bible. ;) 

"Look! Seek! Find!"
Jeremiah 29:13
"When you look for me, you will find me.  Yes, when you seek me with all your heart."

I am so truly and abundantly blessed!  

Thank you for sharing my adventures. <3


  1. Beautiful work my dear friend. Miss you and your wonderful smiles. Hope you and David are well. Take care.

  2. Oh how wonderful to hear from you Tricia!! (((warm fuzzy hugs))) I hope all is well with you and yours?!? Let's get connected and catch up soon honey! ❤️

  3. Your work is very impressive, Von! I have seen most of these, but loved seeing them again. You take something flat (the photo) and create something dimensional! So very talented!

    1. Thank you Kay!! I so appreciate your kind comments! God bless you and Russ! <3


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