New Experiments

For a while I’ve been wondering about watercolour pencils. It seems like a great way of carrying around some strong colour that can be applied in a simple way and not too messily while out and about.

You’ve seen me quickly splash colour onto a line sketch digitally, by scanning (on on the road, photographing) the result and pulling it into the iPad and using Brushes, (see e.g., here, and here) but that’s… something else.

Also, even at home/work, if I want to do a quick colour study before doing a whole page for The Project, it is nice to be able to play with colours I can apply in a more tactile way, and step back from the result and see how it looks. So, I got a set of watercolour pencils (made by Derwent) and a portable water-fillable brush (made by pentel) and grabbed a ball point pen and looked around for something to experiment with. I settled on an issue of Vogue Patterns Magazine (I get it for the craaaaazy weird poses of the models… well, really I get it for my sister) and did a quick series. Line drawings of a model, then apply pencils (mixing experimentally to get something that resembles skin tones from a set of pencils that don’t come close), then brush with water in various ways to get some rough colour, and highlights.

The results were fun! I made some mistakes at the start since I did not know just how strongly the pigments would shine through when you wet them… so note the too much yellow on the first one’s skin (left) . I pulled back for something even quicker and lighter for the second one (middle one above), with pleasing results. Frankly, it is interesting to see how one can make a poor or mediocre drawing jump to life by splashing some colour in the right places. I then went back to a more careful sketch (though still quick) and played with some colour on it with what I learned from the other two (top). Of course, I caught a bit of dark pigment on the brush and messed up a highlight area a bit, but overall this was a fun and successful experiment. (I also experimented with the InkTense colour pencils, which are amazing… You add water to your drawing with them and they produce a permanent ink!)

Now I have another powerful tool in my kit.


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