Part of the learning process is trial and error. I think that the best tool for teaching is just to get in there and TRY! I find though that my problem is that when I get some really slick new supplies, I hate to 'mess them up' by trying and possibly failing when using them. I have done this for years, and I still have many painting surfaces that are beautiful but remain unpainted for this very reason – I don't want to mess them up.
But lately, I have wanted to try new things. After stumbling across some videos on YouTube of the possibilities of other media such as colored pencils, I have wanted to try some pencil work and I have jumped on that bandwagon with both feet. Last October I attempted my first 'realistic' drawing using my Prismacolor colored pencils. It was of a bee, and I was pretty pleased with how this turned out:
For a first effort, I was pleased, and it encouraged me to get more supplies. (As if I needed any encouragement!)
So in the next couple of months I purchased some different types of pencils. I think I also showed you all my Inktense pencil set by Derwent:
There are 72 colors that are made, the the Inktense pencils are unique in that you can draw with them and then brush them with water to liquefy the colors and they turn into permanent ink. (I also purchased the set of Inktense color blocks for backgrounds, etc.) What is unique about them is that once they are liquefied and dried, they are permanent, meaning that you can draw or paint over them and they will NOT reconstitute and the colors will stay true and not get muddy. I think that is a really neat property. The colors are very vivid and intense (as the name implies) and I can think of many uses for them in both painting and woodworking. They are usually available 'open stock' too, so you don't have to invest in full sets (but you all know that I had to do so!)
The other beautiful set of pencils that I invested in is the full set of Faber Castell Polychromo pencils. While I had the wax based Prismacolors (those are what I drew the bee in) I had heard that the Polychromos were more light fast and they were oil based, which made them 'creamier' to work with and blend. They were made differently as well, as the cores of the pencils (the lead, if you will) were perfectly centered and were glued to the wood casing throughout the length of the pencil, which meant they are less prone to breaking. They were a bit of a higher quality and those of you who know me know that if I am doing something, I usually don't go half-way (especially when it comes to art supplies!) So I took the plunge and purchased the full set of 120 in the beautiful, heirloom quality box:
It is a beautiful site to behold. I hate to even begin to use them!
But I realize how ridiculous that is, and my goal for this year is to dive in and explore these new products with my heart full! My friend Kim stated that her word for 2016 is "CREATE" and I think that I may have to try to share it with her! I am so excited about the possibilities that await me! (And you all as well!)
So I finally got caught up with my work and my orders and I decided to try something small using these two types of pencils – just to play. What I chose was one of my own designs – my SLDP231 Romantic Masquerade - Red Passion mask. I had created it using DecoArt Acrylic paints;
and wanted to try it with the two types of pencils as well.
Below are the results:
The lower left mask was created using the Polychromos on Strathmore 400 Series Coal Black 60 lb Artagain paper. The upper right mask was created on the 1/8" wood blank that I used for the acrylic mask, using the Inktense pencils.
I think they both look cool, although they are definitely different.
I don't know what I am going to do with these, but it was a great chance to 'get to know' these two types of pencils. I probably completed both of them in a couple of hours and it helped introduce me to the properties and how these two different pencils reacted with different applications. It was fun and I feel a good way to get my feet wet and start my new journeys.
I don't think I will ever give up painting with my DecoArt paints, but I am thrilled and excited at the possibility of these new (to me) mediums that I can also use to create with. I am looking more into using the Inktense to color some of my scroll saw work, as the pencils may be an easier and less intimidating medium for my woodworking followers to try. I will just have to see how things go. :)
I plan on having a wonderful weekend. I have to pack away the few Christmas decorations that I have out yet and I may just take the weekend to 'experiment' and get things organized. I was in the middle of some new designs, both for the scroll saw and painting when I had all my orders come in so I want to get back to that as well.
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend too! Find something that you enjoy doing and take the time to try new things. You may surprise yourself.
Happy Friday to you all!
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"