Watercolour is still my favourite medium (by far!) but it’s been really great to have a significant break from it.
I’ve absolutely loved using coloured pencils (CPs) during the past month and plan to continue to use them in my everyday sketching. There are still some CP techniques that I haven’t fully explored!
Going forward I think that I’ll continue to use them for complex scenes when I don’t feel like getting my paints out, or when the drying time of the paint might be an issue. I’m also looking forward to combining them with watercolour for details and texture (both on top of washes and also underneath them!). See here for some experiments last year using CP as a resist under watercolour.
In the last two weeks…
I’ve been trying to do more sketches without ink during the past two weeks. Not all of them have been totally successful but I know that it’s only a matter of time until I develop an approach which will produce more consistent results.
And I have been using lots of layers. On this occasion, I started with a background of pale yellow but wasn’t happy with the sketch until I added a layer of Ultramarine blue lines over the finished sketch. Those final blue lines certainly add something special and I want to explore further this concept (of using contrasting coloured outlines).
These three sketches were definitely quicker to do in CPs but in general, I think that CP is slower than ink and wash.
However, because it’s so easy to come back to a CP sketch at a later time and add layers to it, I’ve been finding that I’m doing more work back home. As a result, I’m not spending significantly longer periods of time sketching on location – it’s just that my sketches are less complete.
For example, this sketch done at Lane Cove National Park took about 25 minutes (very comparable to a similar ink and wash sketch). I knew that the composition wasn’t quite right – the space wasn’t reading properly.
So later that evening I extended the dark areas and added a little more detail to the right side of the page so that the road and the background bush (forest) highlights the picnic area in the foreground.
I have lots more thoughts floating in my head about my CP adventure, but I’ll leave these for another occasion. It will be interesting to see what happens in the next two weeks as I move back to watercolour!
Okay… so here are all the double-spreads from the last two weeks… and you will notice a lot of ‘contained compositions’ as I continue to revisit through the concepts from my Sketchbook Design course.
And finally this afternoon….
Thanks so much for coming on this CP adventure with me!