View Full Version : Dazed and confused...

11-24-2002, 02:49 PM
Hello all,

I just recently joined the WC! community after trying my hand at drawing and deciding that I really liked it. Over the last couple of weeks, I have drifted between the drawing/colored pencil/pastels forums.

Here's the dilemma - I don't know where to go from here. I've only just started drawing with graphite but I would like to try both colored pencils and pastels. Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of money to spend so I can't just go out and buy every supply/book that there is on those subjects (ooooh, how I wish I could :) ) So what do I do? Do I stay with graphite drawings until I am more comfortable with my work? I'm a bit shaky on composition/realism and shading. Do I dabble a bit in cp and pastels to see which of the three I like best?

I'm trying to take a drawing course at my local community college in the spring so maybe that will help me decide? I just don't want to invest a lot of money in something that I don't really enjoy doing.

I hope this makes sense - I'm just looking for opinions on what other people may have done. I'm going to cross-post this to the three forums to get as many different opinions as I can.

Thank you in advance,


11-24-2002, 03:47 PM
Why not keep going with graphite, and get a fairly good set of either pastels or cps, and a cheap set of the other. Then play! Although they are nice to have, you hardly need the books at first if you are in here ; lots of good advice is available for free.
I enjoy both pastels and cp, and want to try more graphite but am a little timid about it (oh, and welcome, by the way!) :)

11-24-2002, 05:42 PM
Hi Ragy

I agree with Sundiver about sticking with the graphite as it teaches you light and shade, tone, patience etc. once you have these skills in graphite you will always have them. It is better to give a 100% of your attention to the medium that you are learning rather than 20% to 5 different mediums and confusing yourself.

If you are still restless.......I used to work in art supplies and I would tell customers who were undecided as to what medium they wanted work in, To pick out a subject, photo of a subject etc and then to only buy the materials that they needed to complete that painting. If they liked the medium they could gradually extend their materials over a period of time or as they could afford them, if they did not like the medium they had not wasted hundreds of dollars on a medium they hated and they then could afford to try another medium.

Only my opinion of course :D

Happy painting


11-24-2002, 05:42 PM
Hi Ragtym, and welcome,

This is sure a great place to learn. It is very tempting to go in many directions at once - especially when you see such fabulous inspiring work in all the forums.

I think drawing is a wonderful place to start - so important to all areas. Practice, practice, practice with just a sketchbook and pencil and you can't fail to improve.

Coloured pencils is probably the gentlest move into colour. If you like the effects of c p drawings/paintings, it may be a good next step. I worked with water soluble C Ps many years ago as an extension of my pencil work and learned a lot. I still use them for quick sketches when travelling - very compact and easy to carry.

CPs are probably a cheaper option for you too. One good big set should keep you going. (C P artists might disagree!)
As a "born again pastellist" I just never have enough colours and that can get very expensive. :D

Theres plenty of time to try other things in the future. Nothing you do ever goes to waste.


11-24-2002, 08:55 PM
So glad you posted:D:D:D

You could spend days in the forum threads and still not come close to finding an end. The best part......is that it keeps growing:D
Everyday you will find more info and tips that you will find of use!! The best place to start is reading the Articles, then on to the Sticky threads located at the beginning of each forum.

Along the lines of what everyone else has said...> Sketching a picture a day, keeping a journal sketchbook is the best teaching guide you could ever find. I draw everyday at least a sketch if not a painting. Another tip> never throw away a picture, you can always return back to see what not to do. And always date your sketches:D
There are many great artist that start here on WC, some may be artist in other mediums and decide to fan out their talents.
A great example of someone who sketches everyday and is "KICKING BUTT" in his artistic abilities is Zarathustra! He has basically self taught himself, and is expanding his talents more and more everyday!!!
There are HEAPS of talented artist on WC that are willing to guide and help you in anyway they can.
Good luck and cant wait to see your work!!!

Big Jack
11-24-2002, 09:26 PM
Ragtym- Have you tried your local library for Drawing/CP/pastel books? Even if your local library doesn't have any, they can get interlibrary loans from other libraries very cheaply. It's a good way to preview books before you purchase them too. Many libraries also have how to vidios.

As for cheap supplies, try e-bay www.ebay.com
You can do a search on a subject such as colored pencils and that will show you items that are currently for sale. If you then click on "completed items" that will show you what the sale price has been on items already sold, so you can get an idea of what things are selling for.

Hope this helps

p.s. WELCOME:clap:

11-25-2002, 08:44 AM
Hi Ragtym,

To stick with the graphite for a while is probably very wise, so do that if you have the discipline! But if you have an itch for color, I believe you should indulge it, making sure you keep having fun with your art. It can easily become just another chore if you are too rigid about your 'training program'.

Coloured pencils is probably the gentlest move into colour
This is good advice from Taminka. However, I would go the exact opposite way! Buy a small set of pastels and have fun exploring color with them, without bothering so much with detail. Keep working on your graphite sketching and drawing, and to take a drawing course if you find one. Pastels are a very fast medium, and could provide a playful outlet while you are devoting most of your time to drawing.

I had a look at your horse drawings and in my opinion you're handling tonal range well with the graphite, so you may be ready for the challenge of doing it in color ;). Try to look at lots and lots of pastels and cp art, here at WC!, at other websites, in books, and that will also help you decide which medium suits your goals.

But: I only started pastels three months ago, and I've never touched colored pencils, so my advice is not worth that much... :D

Good luck!


11-25-2002, 02:31 PM
Welcome to WC!

I agree mostly with the others. I think mastering drawing and learning values are the most important skills in art. I practice my drawing with pencil almost daily and have improved tremendously during this last year. Now I'm on to learning color. I cannot master colored pencils at all, pastels are much more my style I guess. But I did spend a lot of money trying to find my niche. Didn't know of any other way to find it :D.

You draw horses??!! Me too!!

Good luck and stick with it!!


11-27-2002, 09:46 AM
Hi Ragtym,

Welcome to WC. I started with art a few months ago and began purely in pencil, because it was cheap - I think this really helps drawing skills. However since I recently moved onto watercolour and pastel I've found my graphite drawings help my work in these mediums, but conversely these other mediums feed back into improving my sketching skills. I recommend you run the two in parallel, or do as I do and try every possible medium you can get your hands on - at this stage I wouldn't worry too much about using student grade materials.