For the last two months my main focus has been on watercolour – both the Live Version of my SketchingNow Watercolour course and the 30×30 Direct Watercolour Challenge in June. But, as regular readers will have realised, in my everyday sketching, I’ve been continuing to experiment with combining coloured pencils and watercolour. Note: I’m referring to wax or oil-based coloured pencils and not water-soluble ones.
Due to the watercolour emphasis, I haven’t been really in ‘full development mode’ but rather just playing in a casual way as I sketch my local area and Lane Cove National Park. And so in today’s article, I want to do a quick update.
When I started combining CPs and watercolours I was mainly using Derwent Coloursoft and Caran d’Ache Luminance but recently I’ve been trying to put together a collection of Faber Castell Polychromos. There is such a huge selection of colours in the Polychromos range that this is a bit of an overwhelming task!
This page was part of the process – aren’t the colours in this photo super yummy? 🙂
Getting the right combo is really tricky! To get the effect I’m after, I have to pair the right hue and intensity of CP applied at the right pressure with a watercolour wash containing lots of pigment party over the top! The CP creates a ‘resist’ so I have to apply the paint in a specific way as well. There are lots of different variables to balance! 🙂
The top swatch in this detail has a really interesting combo of CP and watercolour and you can see the areas of resist.
But as a general rule, it’s really hard to get consistent results when doing a swatch page like these. The only way to really know what combos are best is to do lots of sketches on location and then review what works.
BTW I bought a few Bryunzeel Design pencils from Adamstown Art when I was in Newcastle and loved them so much that I bought a full set. Their greens are crazy bright (colours I wouldn’t normally touch) but I’m loving the challenge of incorporating them into my sketches! 🙂
I’m still experimenting with different combinations… so nothing definitive to share yet. But here are some close-ups from recent sketches focusing on greens.
In summary, combining CPs and watercolour is adding a lot of ‘play’ to my work at the moment. I’m loving the additional colour and texture that they add to my everyday sketching. Multi-media is the best! 🙂