Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Instant Colored Pencil Gratification

Colored pencils give you, the artist, instant gratification. Not only do they come in hundreds of naturalistic colors, you can take 'em with you and use 'em without any sloppy water or solvents or palettes or nasty smelly paint residue. I have big cases in which hundreds of colored pencils are kept secure in elastic loops until I need them. All I have to do is open the case and sketchbook, select and sharpen the pencil, and draw away. I want to catch the specific light and forms of one moment, one cloud, one sunlit tree in the evening, and with the colored pencils I can do it quickly. Here are two scenes from my first evening out, in my favorite paradise-like bed and breakfast lodge, the "Inn on Poplar Hill." I sat at their back door and did these sketches, with an orange cat accompanying me. Each sketch is about four inches vertical.


Tristan Alexander said...

I so need to just do this and not worry about the outcome...but I am so used to every drawing being finished and "proper" that a sketch is so hard to do now! It would make me a better artist, I used to be able to do this but have lost the ability!

Pyracantha said...

Tristan, it's not that hard to sketch, especially in colored pencils which you already use in your work. You don't have to mess with watercolor or other hard-to-set-up stuff. Even just a regular #2 pencil will do if you don't want to use color. I always bring a sketchbook with me wherever I go.
I know what art fear is like. Imagine this, I feel that I am incapable of drawing or painting a human (or humanoid) figure. You do them so skillfully but no matter how much I try my people and especially faces are always so bad. I especially have trouble drawing pretty girls, which are so essential for any kind of successful art. If you try to sketch, I will try to depict a pretty girl.