PDA

View Full Version : Faster CPs?


DrBrad
11-29-2005, 10:14 AM
I apologize if this question has been asked a zillion times but I couldn't find a thread on it just skimming.

A few years ago I tried CPs. I love them and their look but simply do not have the patience it seems. I like to work at least 9x12 and larger if possible-- and the one piece I did finish took me forever. I am more used to watercolor, and, more recently, pastels, and I rarely spend more than 3 days on one piece. Often much less.

My questions, are their any ways to speed up the layering process? I have tried underpainting in WC, which is nice, but not quite the CP look I was after.

Probably I'll just have to face the fact good CP technique and I don't mix but happy to get any thoughts! Love the look of them tho.

Thanks,
-Brad

graphicdiva
11-29-2005, 11:20 AM
hey Brad,
I've been wondering the same thing and have actually been wanting to try watercolours as an under wash. How did you like using water colours and coloured pencil together?
I have a book called coloured pencil explorations and it talks about using india ink underneath and for backgrounds etc...It also mentions using pastel(not oil)then spraying with workable fixative and using coloured pencil over top. I want to try pastels because I think it would look best with coloured pencil but I have never touched a pastel in my life...
Good luck to you!
Christina

bobcat79
11-29-2005, 12:11 PM
Good topic. I have also struggled with the layer issue. Not only the layers, but I can't get the exact look I'm wanting. I am getting a set of Watercolor Pencils for Christmas and am hoping that it bridges the gap. There are times I wish that CP's were not opaque, so that I could go in with my backgrounds and then put details right over the top of them like you can do with Acrylics or oils.

wet
11-29-2005, 12:22 PM
Welcome to the cp forum Brad. I find working with black paper cuts the time in half. Most of the time getting the darkest darks is what takes soooo long. With black paper you simple work the mid tones and high lights! It is great. :wave: Wanda

RobinZ
11-29-2005, 12:27 PM
Hi! I have used underlaying ink, pastels, watercolor. Watercolor, didn't like, it changed the texture of the paper and made my colors unpredictable.

Pastels I liked, but not mixed and matched too muchb/c the pastels are matt and the cps are glossier. Fixitive doesn't keep it from being messy and I was smearing it all over the place. I am doing mostly pastels now with little cp touches, like the effects I'm getting there.

Ink, I like for dark backgrounds, then go over with cps.

If you are entering a colored pencil competition, you can't mix media. Other than that, it doesn't matter, you can mix it up all you want.

I've speeded up quite a bit with art stix or a dull pencil "point" or side on a medium value background.

Pastels are a little scary, you can go almost TOO fast with them, lol! I am getting farther and farther away from trying for photorealism and those kinds of details, but I tell ya, nothing beats it for some things. For the show I'm in next month, everything I'm entering is cps.

Paapu
11-29-2005, 01:16 PM
Welcome to CP forum brad:D
Watercolor underwashes cuts some time, try using a toned paper.. it really helps in reducing some time.
As robinZ has pointed out, artstix can be used , I tried to mix acrylics too.. worked for me. :)

CAULFIELD
11-29-2005, 02:06 PM
I apologize if this question has been asked a zillion times but I couldn't find a thread on it just skimming.

A few years ago I tried CPs. I love them and their look but simply do not have the patience it seems. I like to work at least 9x12 and larger if possible-- and the one piece I did finish took me forever. I am more used to watercolor, and, more recently, pastels, and I rarely spend more than 3 days on one piece. Often much less.

My questions, are their any ways to speed up the layering process? I have tried underpainting in WC, which is nice, but not quite the CP look I was after.

Probably I'll just have to face the fact good CP technique and I don't mix but happy to get any thoughts! Love the look of them tho.

Thanks,
-Brad

Well that is a tricky question actually. I think the answer is yes and no. You can speed it up - but you most definately will get a different lok. You hae to decide if you are ok with that.

Another thing to experiment with would be your strokes. Anne Kullberg describes a technique in her book that she uses to speed up the process. She will lay down soft but quick long vertical strokes very close together. I tend to put down sloppier layers at first with dull pencils and then increasingly put sharper slower layers on top. I also tend to almost cros hatch - rotating which way I lay my strokes down instead of a crcular stroke.

Another way to speed things up - I think - would be what I think Gary Greene does (he has a book out too). Put down some layers of color - wash over with white - put colors on top. This is the way I learned it in school and you can get bright colors pretty fast that way.

If you want the exact same results you get with layers buit up slowly with small circular strokes until finally it is burnished - you might not be happy. You will get a different look with ay of these methods (underpainting, different papers, toned paper, different strokes) - but it might be an even better one for you. :)

Good luck!

Nicole

RobinZ
11-29-2005, 02:48 PM
Boy, so true, Nicole, thanks for pointing that out. Different methods make a differnt end result. CPs are so versitile!!

Scott Daryn Tillett
11-29-2005, 03:38 PM
I burnish alot. In case you don't know what burnishing is it is just simply pressing down harder with your pencil. I usually only have two or three colors down before I burnish over top of the two or three. This speed up the time considerably plus gives you a more painterly look to your art. I've attached one of my works so you can see the results I get from burnishing. Hope this helps.
Scott

ams
11-29-2005, 06:41 PM
I like working on mid-toned paper the best. I change the direction of my strokes like Nicole does when I don't want the strokes to show. I tend to not worry about keeping my pencil point sharp unless I am working on some fine details.

I tired w/c pencil but I felt it changed the feel of the paper so I don't use it very often.

Like others have said though, it does change the finished look. You have to experiment with technique and paper to see what you like.

Anne

DrBrad
11-29-2005, 06:42 PM
Thanks everyone!
I've not been really happy with underpainting either watercolor or pastel. Not bad but not the real CP look I am after. I really loved the Kuhlberg book when I read it a couple of years ago-- and the one half portrait I completed in 4 weeks really had started to look good! But those little circles just killed me. Maybe that's the price you have to pay for that style tho.
In any case, I'll play around with a duller pencil for the first few layers and more burnishing. I've always liked the burnished look (thanks Scott) but several of the books I have make it sound like if you burnish before putting down 15 layers of color or so you will go to artist Hell.
My problem is I am kind of a klutz. Good eye (part time professional photographer for 20 years and have sold quite a few 'art' photographs) but not the best hand/eye coordination. It is easier for me to manipulate CPs than say, pastels or watercolors, which run away on me-- although I occasionally produce something I like despite myself. (People who say art is all about seeing not motor skills haven't met me!)
Maybe I should try CP again but work smaller while learning.
Appreciate it!
-Brad

catchlight
11-29-2005, 06:59 PM
I think its technique. Most of mine are done inside of one day. I'm currently doing a double portrait with elaborate background and all up that will have taken maybe 20 hours solid work and it's a big piece, about half a sheet of arches hotpress sized. Most of my 9x12's would be done inside a day. Portraits take the longest but even then, I'd be annoyed if it took longer than a day for a 9x12.

I think it's just like oil painting. You can used a technique that'll take you months and months to get a similar result to one done inside a day or so, it's what suits you. I've never quite understood all the talk about CP being so slow, everything else but graphite takes me way longer.

The hints the other guys gave really help too. Use a GOOD quality support, that makes a huge difference. Use one thats mid toned / dark toned/ black for real speed (blacks the fastest I've found) or colorfix sanded pastel paper or similar - it's about the fastest of all.

Experiment and come up with your own technique. I've never done anything in little circles in my life...not to say that's not a great way of doing it, but I just mean that it's not necessary to be so fiddly. CP has a tendancy to encourage you to be very tight and you can get so wrapped up in detail you can make a painting last forever. Just remember, you can erase most of what you put on enough to cover most mistakes so just go for it a little faster, no need to be too precise :)

bobcat79
11-29-2005, 08:47 PM
Wendy, I sure with I knew someone here who works in your style, just so I could watch and learn how to do it. I've heard of the style you are talking about. I'm still stuck in the 20 whisper light layers. It takes me forever, and frankly, is starting to lose me. My last portrait took somewhere between 50 to 60 hours. Half of that was probably in making corrections.

catchlight
11-29-2005, 08:57 PM
What I'd recommend before you give up Greg, is give some colorfix a go. Get a good medium toned colour, transfer your drawing on to it and give it a try. There's just no way you can work in a lot of layers on colorfix, some but not huge amounts so it really encourages you to make bolder decisions and get busier with your technique :) I could try and do a quick WIP of exactly what I do in a few different situations if it helps? I'm not trying to sound like an expert or anything, because I'm utterly so completely not. I could maybe PM you a few examples if you wanted if you thought it'd help?

I just so hate the idea of people giving up on CP's because they think they're slow or too fussy. It so shouldn't be that way! I would hate to think of it as just a medium for the most meticulous or even just the hyper realists. Because you can be fast and real, it doesn't have to be mutually exclusive.

bobcat79
11-29-2005, 09:00 PM
Wendy I honestly appreciate any help. PMing is fine. You know, I used to use Bristol smooth until I caught so much grief about it, but the reason I did was because I could lay down color faster, get better saturation, and go to burnishing early.

bobcat79
11-29-2005, 09:03 PM
Brad, I certainly didn't mean to hi-jack your thread. I am just going thru some of the same feelings about CP art. That was why I did the Pressure thread a couple of weeks ago.

catchlight
11-29-2005, 09:04 PM
okey dokey, it might not be today (I'm recovering from a hospital test yesterday and I'm just a little wonky so what I did today may not be much help!) but I'll definitely do that for you :)

Also I think the most important thing too is confidence and you only get that with practice (or from being born cocky). I know I'm a hyperactive obsessive artist anyway so maybe what I do won't apply to anyone else, and I also don't want to undermine what experienced teachers have to say. But I just don't think it has to be as hard as it's made out sometimes.

DrBrad
11-29-2005, 11:21 PM
Greg-- no problem! Hijack alone. I'm glad I'm not alone in this.
Wendy, I'd LOVE to see a WIP demo posted here. Really enjoyed your web site. It's gratifying to know there may be hope to pick up the pace at least somewhat!
-Brad

catchlight
11-29-2005, 11:52 PM
Well if you think it'll be some use I'd be happy to do one for you tomorrow when I'm a bit more with it :D I don't really know anyone elses technique so I can't say for sure if it'll help, I'll just try and do something one step at a time and see if it helps :)

Amira
11-30-2005, 03:01 AM
Wendy - yesss, please, I'm all for a WIP! Me too would love to see how you work!

But take your time and rest and relax! - and then get up and do that demo :evil: !

Amira

beachwalker
11-30-2005, 06:16 AM
I want to try pastels because I think it would look best with coloured pencil but I have never touched a pastel in my life...
Christina

Hi Christina,

I've experimented with pastels as a base for colored pencil and found that if you apply a light coat, blend it smoothly with your fingers to eliminate most dust, then spray with workable fixative, you get a fairly decent base for cp work.

bobcat79
11-30-2005, 07:02 AM
Oh Cool. I'll look forward to your WIP as soon as you feel like it. I love that word "Wonky". :) I'm going to say it to someone today and see if they know what I mean.

wet
11-30-2005, 09:26 AM
I would love to see a wip too! I am very interested in how you transfer the image to color fix.
I thought of another thing Brad. Whenever I look at a ref photo I think which paper will give me the best results. For instance if it is some animal in dark shadows or a black animal I ask myself *do you want to spend hours getting that black or one or two hours on the hls.* If it is some animal basking in the sun I will go white. I am currently working on a flamingo in the sun and I have spent hours working on it. Now i am working on the blue sunny bg and IT is going to take hours. Compared to the great dane I did on black which took a total of six to eight hours. And it was an 11x14. It is a real struggle to finish something if it takes days to do. I just get plain sick of it and can't look at it objectively.
I need to do what Anne does and find a good mid tone paper. I tried mt and hated it. So I would love a wip on colorfix.:wave: Wanda

TessDB
11-30-2005, 12:10 PM
yes yes! A colorfix WIP please! A seriously nuts and bolts one would be great. Y'know along the lines of: Here's the blank paper. Here's how I transfer the image. Here's the first three strokes of pencil... well, maybe not *that* in-depth, lol... but a from the ground up view would be really nice. Colorfix is on my hot-list to try as soon as the holidays are over.

I'm wrestling with the speed issue, too. sigh.

Tess

CAULFIELD
11-30-2005, 12:14 PM
I would love to see a wip too! I am very interested in how you transfer the image to color fix.
I thought of another thing Brad. Whenever I look at a ref photo I think which paper will give me the best results. For instance if it is some animal in dark shadows or a black animal I ask myself *do you want to spend hours getting that black or one or two hours on the hls.* If it is some animal basking in the sun I will go white. I am currently working on a flamingo in the sun and I have spent hours working on it. Now i am working on the blue sunny bg and IT is going to take hours. Compared to the great dane I did on black which took a total of six to eight hours. And it was an 11x14. It is a real struggle to finish something if it takes days to do. I just get plain sick of it and can't look at it objectively.
I need to do what Anne does and find a good mid tone paper. I tried mt and hated it. So I would love a wip on colorfix.:wave: Wanda

You have to try it! Colourfix is an amazing surface! I've had luck using that white transfer paper - it just can rub off so you need to put the colored pencil down right away!

ams
11-30-2005, 12:31 PM
Can you sketch directly on Colorfix with graphite and erase mistakes?

Anne

boobookat
11-30-2005, 12:37 PM
Greg- you got grief for a particular paper? And you LISTENED??? Yeah, been there, done that. All done doing it now. Today I even told someone "no" when they asked me to go do something. I said I needed to stay home and work on art. YAY!

If you work happy and fast on that paper, then all other comments/concerns are... beneath you. Ignor them.

One excellent option too is to forsake the layers. Really. I know its a heresey in CP, generally, to say to heck with layers, but its true. Can your eyes actually see through 20 layers of semi-opaque medium to appreciate all that nuance? Really? If you want speed, I can not recommend enough Bet Borgeson's online lessons about color. http://www.borgesonstudio.com/

She's all class, and very knowledgable. You'll learn loads. And speed up.

Marci

RobinZ
11-30-2005, 01:40 PM
There's lots of great methods described here and elsewhere! I've seen some super cp over graphite, too, a whole different look, more subtle, but neat detailing. For heavens sake, we SURELY don't want all of our work to look like the same person did it! Half the fun in art is experimenting and finding out what works FOR ME! What gets me what I see in my eye onto the paper.

I appreciate all the great work, but not all the styles work for me.

I am a charter member of the Dull Point Club, but I had to find that method on my own. Hopefully, we can support one another's journeys.

I'm looking forward to Wendy's demo, there's also a ton of demos in the CP library, you have to go into the Index section and they are broken down there. We tried to include a variety of styles and methods.

boobookat
11-30-2005, 01:51 PM
Robin- CP over graphite? More please! Do you mean, somewhat like ink for details, washed in watercolor for color type combos? Or... ?

Marci

frida
11-30-2005, 02:15 PM
Welcome Brad! :wave:

More on the subject of pastel as an underpainting...

I used it on the BG and part of the subject on http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=165665 , without fixing it. Had problems with Bruynzeel pencils, but not with Prismas. Also keep in mind that pastel is water soluble, so fixing it with water may be an alternative. But dusting off with a soft brush helps greatly.

It's all open to experimenting, since fixative, water and solvents also affect the tooth of the paper, and until you try it you really don't know what final surface you have to apply CP to...

In the CP library there's a thread of mine listed where I used acrylic ink, WC and regular CP. It shortened the time considerably.

Like Wendy says, black paper shortens the time immensely. I just had that experience with the maple keys I finished. Amazing difference!

mauricar
11-30-2005, 02:31 PM
Raquel - I am new to acrylic, and wonder if I can use CP, India ink and arcylic to make one picture. Any comments? I am also looking forward to the WIP. It should be wonderful.

RobinZ
11-30-2005, 02:32 PM
Marci, yes, it's really neat. I'm trying to find out if I can post a link to the art forum where I saw it, not sure about the Wet Canvas rules on that.

CAULFIELD
11-30-2005, 02:44 PM
Can your eyes actually see through 20 layers of semi-opaque medium to appreciate all that nuance?

LOL!!!!!

That is so true! I think cp also has different levels of opaqueness (is that a word?) on different surfaces. It goes on much moe opaque (i think) on colourfix and even when I do layer a bunch - you really can't tell the difference between the parts that have a bunch of layers and the parts that don't. Usually if I have a lot of layers on coourfix it is because I'm having trouble mixing a certain color - not because I want people to feel the depth of a bunch of ayers - because they won't. :)

Marci - did ou tae that course online? It sounds like fun! Do you know what type of paper she uses?


-- I did a little step by step of a very simple skya while back using very few layers and colourfix. It isn't the way I always work - but it is one example of working on colourfix. The fun with using sanded paper is that you can go back and forth with light and dark pencils! Sorry - this is on my website blog - http://www.nicolecaulfield.com/wordpress/?p=5#comments

Wendy - I would love to see your demo too!

boobookat
11-30-2005, 03:08 PM
Ah, Nicole- thanks for the blog link. I'll be checking it out. I have a stack of Colorfix and no clue!

I've taken a few of Bet's online courses. Her gift of teaching is unsurpassed. I can't recommend them enough. I haven't yet taken the "better color, less layering" class yet, but I am going to when I finish the landscape courses. Judging from the captions in her books, she appears to mostly use Stonehenge, and various museum boards.

Marci

pinkrybns
11-30-2005, 03:22 PM
I know it's probably "dangerous" for me to be poking my nose in this thread because I am, more often than not, a 20 layers, nit-picky, anal-rententive, mind-numbingly slow sort, when it comes to the way I prefer to do my CP's....

BUT ...

I have also used, and enjoyed using, sanded papers such as Colorfix and Sennelier. They are both great stuff and yes, they do indeed cut the time spent in half (of course I can always managed to nit-pick away, because hey, that's me! :D and I'm proud to be a nit-picky, mind-numbingly slow sort! :D ).

If I do transfer drawings on the Colorfix or the Sennelier, I make my own transfer paper by going over the back of my intial drawing (on tracing paper)with one of my my Col-erase pencils (usually I use the gray one, but they do come in other colors). Col-erase are, like the name says, very erasable. After I tape down my transfer paper, along the top top edge of whatever paper I want to do a piece with, I start by transfering a section at a time - I lift up the transfer paper just a bit and make sure I can see my lines on my Colorfix or Sennelier (go lightly over what is there with the same Col-erase I used to make my transfer paper). Press somewhat lightly when you transfer, so as not to dent your paper beneath. Although the sanded papers are a lot tougher than other papers, you can occassionally dent them. This way of transfering does take a bit more time ( I warned you), but it does insure you get all the lines down that you intend to. On darker papers I do the same thing, but I use either a white pencil to make my transfer paper, or white pastel pencil which is much easier to remove in the end.

When I don't use the transfer method, (which I actually hate doing because I find that so time consuming and boring), I just draw directly, and lightly, right onto the Colorfix or the Sennelier with my Col-erase pencils or the white pastel pencil. I also always use white pastel pencil directly on any black paper I use when doing my intial outlines of a piece. Black paper, I find, is very forgiving or white outlines because you can usually erase the white pastel fairly well, or you can go over a stray line with a black pencil... cool stuff!

Here's my WIP where I used Sennelier sanded paper to do a piece of chocolate. I did use the homemade transfer paper on this one. You can see a slight edge of the gray Col-erase on the top edge of the chocolate. The white lines making up the pattern in the bg were done intially the same way, but then I lifted my transfer paper and used white pencil over the gray Col-erase transfers. Do you want chocolate? (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=293736)

The chocs in my banner were also done on the same Sennelier sanded paper, but I just drew them directly on the Sennelier. My background on the banner chocs was NOT colored in ( unlike the single choc above) - that is the color of the Sennelier sanded that I chose to do the chocs on- sort of a sand tan color. Besides saving me a vast amount of time, the un-cp'ed background gave me a nice contrast not only in color, but in texture...well at least I liked it. :D Choosing the right colored paper for your image is, like Wanda said, very important and maybe half the battle won!

The only other sanded paper I've tried was the Wallis, but I really hated that stuff.... ate my pencils BAD and just wasn't a pleasing experience ... overall. However, some other cp people love the Wallis... it just wasn't for me.

I believe that everyone should simply experiment with whatever you want to do/use/see when working in CP's, or any other art medium for that matter ... and experiment a lot! We don't all have to do it one way. How boring would the artworld be if all of us did work the same way, using only one method or one material... right? As someone who studies art history, I can tell you all beyond doubt that there is no one right way to express yourself, there ARE many ways, you just have to find which "art shoe" fits you best ... then wear it with pride!

Enjoy what you do and celebrate your differences! Everyone's/anyone's efforts are just as valuable as the next person's.

:wave: :)
Ducking back into my nit-picky, tight world now ... ha ha, very hard to believe that if you saw my messy studio!

catchlight
11-30-2005, 03:47 PM
Go Judy :D Totally agree with everything you said! Blimey I didn't know a WIP would be so popular! I'll make a start on one this afternoon, maybe with a colorfix one first since that's so popular?

And too right on the layering thing. When I do some things and I feel like being very particular I might put on 20 light layers but more often I zap through with maybe 1 layer then maybe high and low lights in lighter and darker colours. There's utterly NO need to layer it on, like Marci said, it all looks the same in the end anyway!

For transferring onto colorfix, I do what Nicole and Judy said, transferring my original drawing by covering the back of my drawing in a light layer of cp in a colour that will be used in the main drawing and tracing over the top of my drawing so it transfers it onto the paper. You can erase on colorfix but it's better if you can just transfer the drawing on there once it's perfect.

Promise I'll start something for you later :) I'll start with blank paper and a layer at a time instead of showing it all finished.

(ps, I think that because CP is relatively new, there's been a tendency for a few books to come out advocating different styles and methods and those have been followed and accepted as the main ways of doing things, which is great BUT I do think that it can be a mistake to think there are only 1 or 2 ways of doing anything. Don't go thinking my way is the right way either, I think take what you can from as many different methods as you can and adapt it for yourself and experiment to find what works for you)

pinkrybns
11-30-2005, 03:55 PM
ooh sorry ... I was a bit "soap-boxy", eh? I have my moments... :eek: :o :p :D

boobookat
11-30-2005, 03:55 PM
Well, before layer people get mad at me... I'm ducking in to say 20 layers is dandy, iffn you wanna. But for those who get frustrated by that amount of time, its not a "have to" method. Folk can get that idea installed, and have a hard time makin' it fit. Then they leave the medium, which is a shame.

Judy, man, can I relate! I don't do layers and layers, but nit picky? You betcha! HOURS on a square inch. Doesn't bother me to be that way, but do I ever get the "you're not done YET?" thing!

Marci

DrBrad
11-30-2005, 03:58 PM
I'm really glad I asked this question. Never expected so many great responses and discussion!
I am very pleased how open people are alternative approaches. Being anal and nitpicky is *terrific* if that's what works for you. And I love those results. It's just that I am patience-impaired!

-Brad

pinkrybns
11-30-2005, 04:05 PM
Well, I'm still waitng for my tv series to sart...

so... Marci, yes I do agree that people can read or hear that something just HAS to be done a certain way and no 'if and or buts about it'and then they get turned off because it doesn't suit them.and yes for SURE that is a shame. It's not mean't to be that way. art I mean.

So now whoever was told that, forget that! :D Find what works and do it.. like that tennis shoe ad. LOL

Brad....why don't you try experimenting with using solvents to move around the CP's or the acrylic or watercolor underpaintings with CP on top method.

Or invent a new way for the patience-impaired!
:)

Ok..... Me gone now.... Rome is on... .must watch :D

wet
11-30-2005, 04:21 PM
I think the most asked question in my class was *when do you know you are done.* I told them it was different for different ppl. Some love doing very high key work and some like very loose sketchy look and others want a very finished look. By finished I mean no paper showing thro. I would hate to think that the outside world thinks that all cp artists are alike. Can you imagine someone saying *oh.... you are one of those colored pencil people.*:D :D

RobinZ
11-30-2005, 04:22 PM
Marci, Val said it's okay to post a link to that graphite and cp piece I saw over at the Art and Artistry colored pencil forum, so here it 'tis:

http://artandartistry.com/index.php?showtopic=372

boobookat
11-30-2005, 04:37 PM
Thanks Robin!

wet
11-30-2005, 05:58 PM
Hey Greg go to the link Robin provided and see what paper was used. :D Beautiful piece. Wanda

pinkrybns
11-30-2005, 06:18 PM
Ok I'm back.... Rome is over till next week...so I just ordered a bunch of Bristol paper and it's on its way to me as I write....will I be drawn (pun intended) and quartered now for using it? heh heh like to see "them" try that! phooeey

beachwalker (Cindy) uses Bristol paper ... with outstanding results!

lynn1
11-30-2005, 06:19 PM
Here's a beautiful graphite and CP piece by Gayle.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=185687

When I first came here, someone told me that Stonehenge was the only paper to use for CP's.

I bought a bunch of it and now it will be a long time before I can experiment with other brands...:( (I know better now)

I have tried a few shortcuts..like baby wipes and ink for large dark areas.

CAULFIELD
11-30-2005, 07:00 PM
Wow - so much info in this thread!

I just want to say that when I said I can't see the layers of colors showing through - I meant on colourfix because it seems to make the pencils more opaque. At the CPSA show in Seattle - I was amzed at the depth of some of the pieces - Cecille Baird and Linda Lucas Hardy's work comes to mind. You can see the pieces I'm talking about here: http://www.cpsa.org/GALLERY/WINNERS2005/AG2005.html

nicole

wet
11-30-2005, 08:41 PM
I could look at the fruit one all day! I remember that piece from Gayle. That was a great wip. Wanda

graphicdiva
11-30-2005, 08:49 PM
Hi Christina,

I've experimented with pastels as a base for colored pencil and found that if you apply a light coat, blend it smoothly with your fingers to eliminate most dust, then spray with workable fixative, you get a fairly decent base for cp work.

thanks Cindy I appreciate you telling me:) !
Christina

bobcat79
11-30-2005, 10:56 PM
I just have to say that this has turned into a hot thread. Very informative. And for me, probably kept me in the colored pencil medium.

catchlight
11-30-2005, 11:33 PM
Rofl look as all the free spirits break loose :D

bobcat79
11-30-2005, 11:40 PM
Rofl look as all the free spirits break loose :D

Yep, very inspiring. I'm ready to start a beach scene with surfboards, waves, rocks, and a lighthouse. Well, on second thought......... :rolleyes:

Amira
12-01-2005, 04:09 AM
Just wanted to thank everybody for the great info in this thread - and rate it! It should definitely go into the Library!

Amira

ams
12-01-2005, 06:19 AM
I agree, this has turned into a wonderful thread. It has encouraged me to keep going at developing my own style and not worrying about whether my work looks the same as someone else's.

I am a member of the "dull-pencil club" using only a few layers and usually complete my 8 x 10 drawings in 6 - 8 hours. I kept quiet about my techniques for a while because I thought they were "wrong" but the "right" way didn't work for me.

I have rated this thread. Hope some others do too so it can go into the library.

Anne

catchlight
12-01-2005, 06:31 AM
Wow it's kinda amazing isn't it! Here we are, artists, who are supposed to be the trail blazers, the ones that try new things and yet we're worried about doing the wrong thing with our art. I say, what works for YOU is the best possible technique, what you enjoy and what makes you get your pencils out and create something new is the right way. Heck even those who were the first to start using CP as a serious art form had to try things their own way to come up with their techniques. If they hadn't, we wouldn't have the wonderful medium where it is today. And if we don't follow suit, then right where it is now is as far as it'll ever get :)

How exciting and interesting that we got this discussion going!

pinkrybns
12-01-2005, 06:58 AM
Sadly, it only takes a few words written, spoken, or read to turn someone off a technique ... that just is unfair.

Go forth people and be creative!
:)

catchlight
12-01-2005, 07:33 AM
Judy's right and I want to make it clear too...I'm not saying that ANY technique is bad at all. Every single one has merits and works for different people. I'm also not saying that my way is the best at ALL. I'm just learning the same as everyone else. All I'm saying is no one person has all the answers and we all have to find our own way, that doesn't mean abandoning things that others have found it just means finding what works for us and developing that.

RobinZ
12-01-2005, 08:55 AM
Ah, Wendy, it's not amazing if you look at the threads in this forum before you got here...:( We're still recovering... :)

wet
12-01-2005, 09:07 AM
You all are right.:D I told my class the first night that I was going to show them how I do it but that there are many, many ways of working with this medium. Just like there are in other mediums. What is great is the questions they would ask. I could always answer them my using one of the artists here as an example. From how the color can be layed down to different papers and mixed media. If I had not had exposure to WC my information for them would have been limited to just my experience. I also got alot of them to sign on here so they could SEE other ways of doing things.
Don't give up Greg! :D Wanda

Rosa Weitzel
12-01-2005, 10:54 AM
Such wonderful sugestions and information. I have read many threads that say the only way to do color pencil is this or that way. Poppycock, you can do it any way you want. That is what the artist in you is, you create your work how you get there really does not matter. I love colorfix because it goes so fast it makes you feel like your not done but you are.

I have done CP with india ink, watercolor, pastel,and acrylic. Its fun to experiment and try new things. I have worked in many layers, circles, straight line and now have come to a style of pencil work that I like.

Greg if you have a paper you love to work on, work on it, dont let any mode of thinking that one type of paper is the one you have to work on, use what you like. Many times I have been here and some one gets the idea that there way is the only way and if you wait long enough thay fade away.

I hope that no one gives up CP because they get tired of one piece I have five or six brewing at the moment. It keeps me invigorated and keeps the juices flowing.

Rosa

bobcat79
12-01-2005, 11:05 AM
I do have to admit that I do like Stonehenge paper the best. Bristol smooth is my next favorite. But, I wanna try some of those colored papers. Can you imagine how much easier a seascape would be on blue paper???? Where can I buy Colorfix?

boobookat
12-01-2005, 11:12 AM
Greg, Dick Blick is a great place for paper. Right to your door! 'Nother option with better packaging and only a slight price difference is Daniel Smith. Both have colorfix. I tend to order all paper from Daniel. Their packaging can't be beat. I've had to complain with Dick Blick over paper packaging. In fact, all their packaging has gone downhill this year. But their service is still top notch.

Warning about Colorfix- its dandy, but it feels really REALLY weird the first time you put pencil to it. Its fun though!

Marci

(edit to change what I named you! With Bobcat as your screen name, I tend to call you that too- SORRY!)

graphicdiva
12-01-2005, 04:54 PM
Ah, Wendy, it's not amazing if you look at the threads in this forum before you got here...:( We're still recovering... :)

wow robyn I was thinking the exact same thing:)
It took me about a year to get up the courage to start posting here again...

I am wanting to try colorfix too but I don't know where to look for it. I can't really buy from American companies either because by the time i pay the difference in money plus pay duty fees it just isn't worth it.
Hmmm...where to look...

frida
12-01-2005, 07:45 PM
There's a wonderful freedom floating in the air...! :D

However... We agree on the basics, right? Using artist quality pencils and other mediums, as well as good acid-free paper, preferably with some weight, so it stands better to abuse and lasts longer.

Another point I learned that comes from the Masters applies to CP as well: Use fat over lean - that means that we'll probably fare better using soft pencils on top of hard, rather than the other way around, even though it may seem OK at the time of doing it. There's probably an adhesion (or lack of) potential problem there... Maybe still open to experimentation?

Strokes are a very personal choice, just between us and ourselves. Also doing what we do better, from light to dark or the other way around. It's a question of trying everything and deciding what we want, and that will build our particular style.

****** As for ordering supplies from the USA to Canada or Europe, I will mention again my experience. The first time I ordered it was a 120 set of Polychromos, which at $100 US was a great price. I almost fainted when I was expected to pay $60 CDN at the door as a Brockerage Fee :eek: Now I know better. DickBlick doesn't ship international orders before agreeing with the client on the shipping method. What makes a difference is requesting shipment via regular post, either to Cda or Europe! Even with other companies it is a question of contacting them before hand to ensure that's the way your order is going to go...

bobcat79
12-01-2005, 11:46 PM
Greg, Dick Blick is a great place for paper. Right to your door! 'Nother option with better packaging and only a slight price difference is Daniel Smith. Both have colorfix. I tend to order all paper from Daniel. Their packaging can't be beat. I've had to complain with Dick Blick over paper packaging. In fact, all their packaging has gone downhill this year. But their service is still top notch.

Warning about Colorfix- its dandy, but it feels really REALLY weird the first time you put pencil to it. Its fun though!

Marci

(edit to change what I named you! With Bobcat as your screen name, I tend to call you that too- SORRY!)

Thanks Marci. I've ordered from Dick Blick's three times and have been happy everytime. I guess the only complaint I would have would be the shipping charges seem kind of high. If I can buy a product locally I will, just to save time and to be able to look at what I'm buying.

Gotta try some of that Colorfix. Thanks

Don't worry about the name thing. I've been called Bob, Bobcat, and Greg.

arlejerlutos
12-02-2005, 04:49 AM
Although solvents like water and denatured alcohol tend to make CP look duller, an alternative is using marker ink as a "solvent".

I can't stand working on one piece for more than a month (coloring takes at most a few weeks) , so I prefer mixing alcohol-based markers with watercolor pencils (Caran d'Ache). The markers I use usually produce rather bright colors, and since they contain alcohol , and some are are relatively lightfast and waterproof when dry, they can blend and add some color to my CP work at the same time.

Warning: Using markers can stain/"disfigure" the nibs, especially if they're brush markers. Expensive ones, too.

To speed up my work, I seldom fill in areas completely. Instead, I use scumbling - coloring in big circles, mind you- for larger areas. An example is the large petal on the right : http://ic1.deviantart.com/fs8/i/2005/300/1/f/ESCAPE_10_by_arlejerlutos.jpg . Here, I used a thick base layer of white (CP) , then Copic marker (purple - darker area) before going over with orange (CP) for the highlights. Additional highlights are added with white pen, which I smudged a bit with tissue paper. Used a bit of denatured alcohol for the blending.

For a "smooth" look, I've also tried using smooth paper (don't know the brand, though). I applied a thick layer of white (CP) on the areas I want to color, and more layers of CP. Markers are used to "move" the colors around and add a smooth finish.
Here are some of my colored work:
http://ic1.deviantart.com/fs7/i/2005/249/f/4/ESCAPE_01___WIP002_by_arlejerlutos.jpg
http://ic1.deviantart.com/fs7/i/2005/165/f/c/Elemental__Air_v02_by_arlejerlutos.jpg

When I use markers on top of CP, I can also lift some of the color easily with a swipe of my tissue paper, overlap, lift color, overlap with more color, etc.. it's faster than trying to squeeze as much color pencil as you could into a "valley" of toothed paper, since the markers are able cover those areas easily.

The amount of CP and marker ink used usually differs, depending on how much details you want, the kind of "finish", etc. I use a thick base layer of white CP to make the mixture more pasty after marker ink is added,because I like the paint-like feel to it and it also lessens the chances of the paper warping .

Besides using solvents, another method I use to speed up the process is to shade the "dark" regions lightly with pencil before coloring because I'm terrible at lighting. :p

catchlight
12-02-2005, 05:42 AM
Ah, Wendy, it's not amazing if you look at the threads in this forum before you got here...:( We're still recovering... :)

Aww geez! Crikey I didn't quite expect to even be noticed :o I guess I post like a talk....alot and fast :p

ams
12-02-2005, 07:41 AM
We agree on the basics, right? Using artist quality pencils and other mediums, as well as good acid-free paper, preferably with some weight, so it stands better to abuse and lasts longer.

Another point I learned that comes from the Masters applies to CP as well: Use fat over lean - that means that we'll probably fare better using soft pencils on top of hard, rather than the other way around, even though it may seem OK at the time of doing it. There's probably an adhesion (or lack of) potential problem there... Maybe still open to experimentation?

Strokes are a very personal choice, just between us and ourselves. Also doing what we do better, from light to dark or the other way around. It's a question of trying everything and deciding what we want, and that will build our particular style.

Raquel, I think you summarized it all very well. You separated practical tips vs. personal style.

Anne

frida
12-02-2005, 12:33 PM
Anne - I appreciate your comment very much...! :)

Nicole - Your CP methods are quite intriguing. I couldn't use the links you provided, so couldn't get a specific idea about what effects you get with them. Thank you for sharing!

I checked your Deviant pages. Your drawing skills are terrific, and your work has a very ethereal, appealing feeling...

When you say '... to speed up the process is to shade the "dark" regions lightly with pencil before coloring...' I assume you mean graphite? Have you tried using a complementary CP colour underneath, or a dark related colour such as Black cherry, Black grape, Indigo, etc?

arlejerlutos
12-03-2005, 10:07 AM
frida: Thanks, I'm glad you like my work. :D

Sorry about the links! Here are the thumbnail versions:

1)
http://img455.imageshack.us/img455/6314/10wip14oh.th.jpg (http://img455.imageshack.us/my.php?image=10wip14oh.jpg)
2) http://img526.imageshack.us/img526/8633/escape01wip001cc2fq.th.jpg (http://img526.imageshack.us/my.php?image=escape01wip001cc2fq.jpg)
3)
http://img526.imageshack.us/img526/2406/elementalairv02a1ee.th.jpg (http://img526.imageshack.us/my.php?image=elementalairv02a1ee.jpg)

When you say '... to speed up the process is to shade the "dark" regions lightly with pencil before coloring...' I assume you mean graphite? Have you tried using a complementary CP colour underneath, or a dark related colour such as Black cherry, Black grape, Indigo, etc?

Hmm, I was actually referring to pencils but you can use graphite or markers(*lighter colors). Graphite can be messy sometimes, so I won't recommend it.

I have tried using a complementary CP color as a base after white, mainly yellow , red or purple before adding a dark related color for the shadows. Personally, I think that this produce richer colors compared to using only either one of them. For me, it's easier to make changes compared to using a dark related colour first because I use markers to do the darker areas to speed up the process, especially if it is a larger piece.

It cut down on a lot of time when I was coloring a A3 sketch for work. Took about 6 hours (within one day) compared to 20 hours plus a numb hand if I were to use numberous light pencil layers. I admit that it might not look as good as using 100% CP sometimes.

DrBrad
12-08-2005, 06:30 PM
I thought I'd bump this back to the top to see if I could nudge Wendy (Catchlight) into that demo she mentioned ;-) Or did I miss it somewhere? I'm sure you have a lot of things keeping you very busy but I'd really love to see a step by step since your results are so amazing.
Thanks!
-Brad

frida
12-08-2005, 07:07 PM
It cut down on a lot of time when I was coloring a A3 sketch for work. Took about 6 hours (within one day) compared to 20 hours plus a numb hand if I were to use numberous light pencil layers. I admit that it might not look as good as using 100% CP sometimes.
I wouldn't say it doesn't look "as good" as 100% CP. It looks different, and excellent on its own merit, and it defines your style... Be proud! And if on top of that it's faster, what's the problem? :clap:

ams
12-08-2005, 07:34 PM
I wouldn't say it doesn't look "as good" as 100% CP. It looks different, and excellent on its own merit, and it defines your style... Be proud!

Well said. Different styles are what make this forum interesting. :D

Anne

catchlight
12-08-2005, 10:11 PM
Sorry DrBrad I'll definitely give it a go as soon as I have time. I've got a PILE of commissions and whatnot to do before Christmas, had no idea how busy it could get.

I also have to admit, when I said I'd do a demo I was erm a little the worse for wear having just had a little hospital procedure with drugs that confused my little brain a bit at the time :D Now in the cold hard light of day I'm a little unsure as to how to do a demo into speed! Not that I'm chickening out or anything :)

I was thinking of starting a post so that everyone can contribute or even a project where you show what you can do in 10 hours afterward or something.

I've got a few hints I thought of.
-What speed comes down to first and foremost is practise practise practise.
-Having your own method helps. This is the steps YOU use to do an eye for instance that works for you, it'll change as you progress. Before I started doing whole works, I would get a photo of an eye and then draw and draw and draw til I got eyes perfect and had a method that worked for me. Then noses, then eyebrows all the little elements of a portrait. Then the same for trees, skies, fur, skin whatever. Once I had all the elements I wanted, I started to put those into whole paintings. It makes it much faster if you know HOW you're going to do something.
-Preparation is important before you start, especially when you're new. Work out what you're wanting to achieve, how you think you'll go about it and then get stuck in.
-Be bold - take a few risks and don't be too fussy. Remember that you learn as much from your mistakes as your successes.

Those would be my main hints. I'll try and think up how we can do a thread to encourage a bit of speed and experimentation. I'm really wary of saying "this is how you do it" because I think there are different ways of doing things for every person. I think that spending too much time following a "method" set up by someone else will limit what you can do for yourself. Much better to learn the basics from the experts (have a really good look through the library here, we have tutorials on EVERYTHING you can think of to help you learn everything from eyes to water to grass) and then work out how you want to achieve that.

My more sober and more inhibited self is wondering what on earth she thought she was offering! :D

DrBrad
12-08-2005, 11:17 PM
Not to worry-- I understand how busy you are. Maybe you'd be more comfortable if you thought of it not as a "this is how you do it" but as a simple "this is how I do it (or at least one way)". You have some great work-in-progress demos on your home page-- but just a few more words on how you do each step would be much appreciated. The more options I see for doing things the more I can pick and choose. Plus I just really like your work (love those dogs!) and curious to learn more about your approach. But don't strain yourself :-) Wait until you have the time and inclination of course!
Thanks!
-Brad

ams
12-09-2005, 06:45 AM
Wendy, your pointers were good ones.

Perhaps what might help in a "Here is how I do it thread" would be to scan a few times along the way and briefly explain what you did since the last scan and tell roughly how long you spent on each stage. I agree that you can't really demonstrate speed. It might help people to compare how you do things with how they do things. (And wait until after Christmas when you have a little more time.)

Anne

catchlight
12-09-2005, 07:49 AM
Thanks Brad and Ann :D I definitely will do a good wip for you soon as I can. I want to save it and do a proper one if I'm going to show things clearly. It takes a bit of time to do because of stopping to scan and whatnot and actual organisation to write down the colours I used etc hehe. But I will get to it asap after christmas :) Right now I've got one little project I'm working on for me in between all the commissions but it's going to be very slow so probably not the one to demonstrate with :)

DrBrad
12-09-2005, 09:33 AM
Thanks! I don't mean to sound like I'm pushing you-- I'm just eager! :-)

gnu
12-09-2005, 01:53 PM
Hiya! :wave: :wave:
Just popping in to read this thread; working on a couple of flowers and shadows, so just been thinking about such things as soft edges, dull points(which I am using to start with), I have got a lot of Ann Kullberg's stuff as a pressie to myself, and although I still like the sharp point for main subject I always have tended to do fuzzy abstract BG's so I an going to try washes of CP with dull pencil and alcohol for blending between a few layers. I've used solvent in the past and I love it. If doing reflective glass I will still do a lot of layering and shap points because high detail is needed.
For those who haven't worked in pastel before, don't forget pastel pencils, not too different to work with and no messy fingers.
I'd love to see someone talk about CP on canvas, I've seen it briefly touched on in the recent past.
enuff rambling, you'll see me round a little, esp if working on a CP piece.

frida
12-09-2005, 03:08 PM
Hi legendary Gill...! :wave: It's a pleasure when you drop in from time to time... :)

Would you please post, if you have them on hand, some of those alcohol blended CP BGs for us to see? Thanks!!!

Hope to see you more often...

gnu
12-09-2005, 03:27 PM
Hi Raquel! :wave: don't worry I've got about 300 Prismas now, so I'll be round..
Here are 2 I could find to hand, both blended with solvent(though not alcohol as such), I'm trying out the alcohol, it is much cheaper, but got to be aware of health dangers, when I'm blending I keep my head well back from work and don't do too much at once. I use a Q-tip to blend, still the best but tricky for little areas, have to make my own tiny ones for that..
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/09-Dec-2005/7242-IMG_4103_CP_roo.jpg
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/09-Dec-2005/7242-IMG_4337_CP_PINK_ROSE_BEST.jpg
For the 'Roo I also overlaid a scribble abstract pattern and blended again..often I'll use a crosshatched-abstract-scribble!! :D :D

RobinZ
12-09-2005, 04:16 PM
Hi, Gil, glad you found this!! And welcome to the Dull Point Club!!

I tried out BABY OIL to blend the background, it works GREAT and none of that whitish residue! BUT, that was that, couldn't put any pencil on top. I have it sitting here to see what effects, if any, time has on it.

I got the idea from my kid...he uses baby oil to clean his hands and brushes and I thought...hmmm...if it cuts oil paints, and so does turnpenoid....maybe it would work?