View Full Version : Trials and errors with color pencils

10-25-2006, 09:33 AM
I am giving Diana's creation of color pencil on white clayboard a try. I likghtly sanded the piece first, but still not a lot of tooth (it is clayboard smooth).

I am having a bit of a hard time getting blacks to look really black and it can only take a couple of layers of color.

Diana what brand color pencils do you use for this? I am using prismacolors, which are wax based and feel like I am getting instant wax bloom! The blacks are more like a dark gray and I can't get the contrast I desire. Any tips. I am thinking about trying some workable fixative and going back over some areas to see if they will darken.

Here is the little German Shep. Puppy I am working on. It is 8"x10" and maybe 4 hours so far. The scan looks a little too red in the lighter areas.


And my reference photo, though I will be changing the background.

10-25-2006, 10:44 AM
I had some of the same problems in my experimentation with CP on Smooth Claybord.Of course all I did was a mini portrait and forgot to sand the surface.
I have to try it again to come anywhere close to Diana's excellence with CP/scratch etc.
Your German Shep. puppy is developing a really nice look!:clap:

Mary Woodul
10-25-2006, 03:50 PM
Cathy it is coming along nicely and I am always stunned by your photography.

Diana Lee
10-26-2006, 02:08 AM

I use Prisma colors. Getting a black black is really difficult, though it looks like you are doing it. It is hard to use the crosshatching technique when doing fur or hair because you need to go in a specific direction. However, you can vary that direction ever so slightly. Keeping a sharp point is important. Don't go back and forth with your pencils, but stroke in one direction (I don't know why this makes a difference, but it does). It is ok in the beginning to over work your piece with the color pencils. You need to give yourself something to scratch off. I sometimes throw in a layer of Indigo Blue to help the black. Also putting black over another color almost never works to make a dark color. You might want to play with these tips on a spare piece of scratchboard before trying them on your dog. If you decide to spray I suggest you also try that on a spare board before committing it to your dog.

I really like what you have here. I am most eager to see your progress.


11-01-2006, 10:40 PM
I am not too excited about the way this piece is turning out, I just really can't get the colors to look rich at all... everything looks washed out and dull. So anyways I think I may put it in the closet for a while and come back to it later (or not). I think I will stick to paper for my color pencils ;) It was an interesting learning experience though.

BTW this is a more accurate portrayal of the true colors.



Diana Lee
11-02-2006, 10:56 AM
It's such a sweet image. Have you thought about making it a mixed media and adding ink? You could touch up the darks with micron pens. I should say, however, that I have only use micron pens with scratchboard ink so I don't know how they would work with color pencil.

I don't even want to tell you how many paintings I have sitting, half finished, in a closet. I know how you feel. I guess sometimes it is best to take the experience you got from half a piece and move on.