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Archive for June 5th, 2009

I came home from a big box office supply store the other day with a few goodies. The most exciting was a huge set of 120 colored pencils by Prismacolor. I had not used this brand of colored pencils before and they were on clearance, so needless to say I had to have them.

I’ve been inspired by my dog Frosti lately, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity to do a quick sketch of him using my new colored pencils. I am in the process of finishing a mini album of him using a Moleskine Japanese Album, so this is where I would do my first drawing with the Prismacolor pencils. I won’t do a full review in this post, but will do one sometime in the near future using a few different notebooks with the pencils.

Frosti rendered in Prismacolor colored pencils in a Moleskine Japanese Album

Frosti rendered in Prismacolor colored pencils in a Moleskine Japanese Album

The Japanese album has a smooth, thick paper, not ideal for colored pencils, but acceptable. Paper with a bit more tooth would be preferable because the pencils are somewhat waxy and would blend better on a paper with more texture. The areas where I used a lot of pressure ended up appearing somewhat shiny and have a burnished look. This is not usually how I like my pencils drawings to look, but it could be interesting in the right situation. I also noticed some tiny off-white specks, similar to the ones I discovered on the paper in the Moleskine Sketchbook. These specks do not take color very well and I am assuming that they are the result of a coating on the paper and have nothing to do with the pencils.

I was pleased with the selection of grays in the set. A good variety of both warm and cool grays in both light and dark tones would be perfect to render my furry, white dog.  There were a lot of interesting colors in the set including some metallics and fluorescent colors. While not much use for this illustration I can see using them in some other illustrations down the line. I found myself using the darker pencils first, getting lighter as I went along. I was able to blend the darker colors and smooth them out by using pressure with a light gray or white pencil. This created a nice softening effect and was easy to do with the smooth surface of the paper. Maybe this smooth paper wasn’t so bad after all.

If you look closely in the dark area of the eyes, you can see small specks of off-white where the color was not accepted. This is something in the paper and is not a problem with the colored pencils.

If you look closely in the dark area of the eyes, you can see small specks of off-white where the color was not accepted. This is something in the paper and is not a problem with the colored pencils.

By the time I had finsihed the illustration, I was comfortable using this combination. I can’t wait to do a few more of these in some other notebooks.

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