View Full Version : Back to Basics - Practice Journal

Carole A
09-28-2010, 07:59 PM
It's been a long time since I've done any art so :I've decided that I need to get some practice in on shapes, values and perspective. Here's my first effort. The picture quality isn't great, I tried scanning on the office scanner and it just didn't work well, so I took digital photos and that's not really great either.

The book is a self-closing comb binder with several papers that I have punched so that I have whatever paper suits my mood du jour, 8 1/2 x 11. I like it because the cover is hard plastic that will travel well and I can open, remove completed pages and rebind them in groups.

Colored pencils baffle me, but it's my first attempt with them; they're Lyra Polycolors



Please feel free to critique.

Carole A

09-28-2010, 09:28 PM
Carole, this is gorgeous. I love your tulip demo. I read that article and think you really got it, that's a great lesson and your tulip came out beautiful. Well done!

09-28-2010, 10:48 PM
Great job on this.

For colored pencils, it depends. They can be layered (like glazing in painting) to create great depth to colors. Since they are primarily translucent, you see the layers underneath. The typical words of wisdom are, sharp (poke your eye out) points and a very light touch and lots of layers. However, it totally depends on what you are trying to achieve. Sometimes a dull point and only a few layers is all you need. Practice with them and see how you like to work with them. The color can be laid down with side by side strokes, cross-hatching, or tiny overlapping circles, or even scribbles. Again it depends on what you are trying to achieve and the way you work with dry media.

My biggest problem when I began was what color do I pick to get what I want. When I asked, I was told, it depends on what you want to see. Like that was a lot of help. What I've discovered is that by starting with light colors then working darker and darker in the same family of colors is acceptable to me and most of the time gets what I want. However, working with complimentary colors is also very helpful, particularly when creating shadows. So again, it depends. The best thing to do is to play with the pencils and to do so on different papers because the paper support is sometimes as important as the colors to get what you want.

Carole A
09-28-2010, 11:34 PM
Thanks Robert. The colored tulip looks much different here on my screen than it does on paper. I was more pleased with the graphite attempt.

Debby thank you for the CP advice. I just need to work with them some more. I've borrowed a book from the library and I will try some of the projects in it.

Ultimately I will move to watercolors. My Grandma sent me to semi-private watercolor classes when I was probably about eight years old. And I took some classes again seven years ago. I think the CPs will help me with values and the graphites with perspective. Pencils are easier to pack around than WCs for now.

Carole A

09-29-2010, 01:37 AM
Great start Carole! Have a play with your "tools" and then ask in the cp forum if you have any specific questions as there are loads of great artists hanging out there and there are always lots of articles to look at in the forum and on the net. I agree with Debbie though that keeping a sharp point is good start unless you want broad sweeping colour then a blunt point doesn't matter!

Look forward to seeing some of your experiments :)

Joan T
09-29-2010, 10:57 AM
Great start on the journal, Carole!!! I love that tulip!!

09-29-2010, 10:59 AM
Debby's right about the paper. Once I discovered working on Stonehenge it was wonderful, you can do so much more on Stonehenge. A good bridge between pencil and watercolor is using watercolor pencils. I recently bought a set of the new formula Derwent ones and love them, they're soft and intense.

Carole A
09-29-2010, 11:09 AM
Joan and Jackie, thanks for your encouragement. I am pleased to receive comments on my efforts.

Robert, I think I have some Stonehenge, a large sheet. I'll cut it up and see what I can do with it.

Carole A

09-29-2010, 08:21 PM
You are most welcome Carole, I love cp's and will always encourage others to give them a go. I love watercolours too (and the watercolour pencils are a must have for me!)

I just love seeing people having a "go". I am of the belief we can all create lovely works with perserverence and practise, and it is fun trying! :)

09-29-2010, 09:14 PM
Good job, Carole! When I started with colored pencils, I kind of bought them on a whim figuring I'd try them and probably hardly ever use them. Now they are one of my favorite media. Keep at it!

Carole A
09-29-2010, 10:56 PM
John ~
Thanks. If I can ever come close to what you and others here do with CPs, I'll be more than delighted with them. I'll keep trying. I have no idea why I began buying them, there must have been some attraction there. :) Robert has said that the Lyra's were a good choice, so that was a good decision, I guess on my part.

I appreciate the encouragement I've gotten here.

Carole A

10-01-2010, 05:55 AM
I like the Lyras I have too so I'd second that opinion - and Polychromos. The 2 work well together.

It's a really good idea to revisit basics from time to time