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Old 10-06-2002, 01:52 PM
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JamieWG JamieWG is offline
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Prismacolor Pencils and Solvents

Dear Jan and Angela and others who have expressed an interest in Prisamcolor and solvents,

Thank you for your comments about "Swan at Sunset". I don't claim to be an expert in this by any stretch, but here's how you can get started working with this technique:

Materials:
Prismacolor pencils (I'm sure it works with other waxy pencils too, but I haven't tried other brands)
Good rag paper (watercolor paper works great, also Strathmore 500 bristol)---of course you can experiment on anything!
Turpeniod
Q-tips (Rite Aid drug store sells pointed Q-tips that are awesome for detail work!)

Basically, you want to work dark to light. Once your basic colors are in, and are fairly deep, dip a Q-tip in turpenoid and start "painting" on top of the pencil work. Go over the light areas first, so you won't contaminate them with the dark colors. Try different strokes--little script Os and Ls work for me. You'll find this will cut your time enormously on filling in big sections, and works especially well with areas that really need to blend, like skies and water, animal fur, fields of grass, etc. For very small detail sections, you can use tortillions. For very large areas, tampons work well!

The color intensifies like it does in burnishing, but the tooth of the paper is unharmed, so you can still do more work on it! Even more important is the fact that the turpenoid strips off the wax from the color. This enables you to layer more colors and detail work on top of the turped layers. If the color isn't what you wanted, just add more of what you want and turp it again. It's so much fun! :-)

Because the wax is stripped, you can even use white over a darker background that's had turp applied. Try a little test area of deep blue, turp it, and put white on top. You'll be amazed. That's how I did the swan's reflection in the water.

Caution: This can spoil you forever, and you probably will not want to resume traditional CP work. ;-)

People have asked me why I don't use watercolor crayons and pencils instead if I want to "paint". Well, I do sometimes when I don't want to deal with the solvents. But the Prismacolor/turp gives richer color. The turp can also be used with waxy crayons like the Neocolor II, and it works great. I haven't tried it with the water-resistant crayons. Has anybody else out there done that?

I also find it helpful to keep a scrap of the same paper as the one I'm working on next to me to do tests of colors blended with turp before putting them on my piece.

Pieces done with this technique sometimes are ineligible for colored pencil shows, so be sure to take that into consideration. Some works I use turp for, and some I don't; it all depends on whether I feel it will save me significant time or add a special quality to the piece.

I hope this helps. Let me know how it goes. Have fun!

Best wishes,
Jamie
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Old 10-06-2002, 02:11 PM
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Thanks, Jamie. Can't wait to try it out!
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Old 10-06-2002, 04:53 PM
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Thanks Jamie! Hmmmmm......
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Old 10-06-2002, 05:28 PM
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Thanks for this piece of info. I'm VERY new working with CP...at least with the *good* CPs.

I've worked with pastel, conte crayon, charcoal...and I always "blended" things...I couldn't figure out how to do THAT with CP.

NOW I know!
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Old 10-06-2002, 07:57 PM
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turpenoid is allowed in the CPSA shows....I personally prefer the colorless blender marker which does the same thing...but it's all personal preference...btw both work well on stonehenge paper.
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Old 10-07-2002, 02:53 AM
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Plus... some places you can't easily get a colourless blender...like here!!!
I'm wondering is turpenoid different from tupentine???
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Old 10-07-2002, 05:51 AM
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Thanks for the instructions, Jamie!

Where do you get your turpenoid? Amazing that it doesn't eat the paper. I've seen warnings that the stuff is toxic...do you have to go outside and use it?

I can't wait to try this technique!!!

Thanks again! Jan
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Old 10-07-2002, 06:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by gnu
Plus... some places you can't easily get a colourless blender...like here!!!
I'm wondering is turpenoid different from tupentine???

Gnu,
You can get the colorless blenders online at most places that sell the individual Prismacolor pencils, like Dick Blick, ASW Express, etc.

The difference between turpenoid and turpentine is that terpenoid is odorless.

Jan, turpenoid can be purchased in any art store.

Yes, I've heard the fumes aren't good, even if they're odorless. But you really use very little of it. It dissipates quickly too. I open a window when I use it.

Jamie
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Old 10-07-2002, 08:02 AM
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TeAnne TeAnne is offline
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Thanks for this

I've used a similar technique with ink and bleach. It's fun watching the results.
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Old 10-07-2002, 08:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by gnu
Plus... some places you can't easily get a colourless blender...like here!!!
I'm wondering is turpenoid different from tupentine???

Gill, try White Spirit. I don't use Turps cos of the stink.
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Old 10-07-2002, 08:14 AM
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JamieWG JamieWG is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by TeAnne

I don't use Turps cos of the stink. [/b]

Dear TeAnne,

Terpenoid is the odorless form of turpentine.

Jamie
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Old 10-07-2002, 08:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by JamieWG


Dear TeAnne,

Terpenoid is the odorless form of turpentine.

Jamie
I know that. We don't get it in Australia. White Spirit is the next best thing.
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Old 10-07-2002, 08:24 AM
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Hey Jamie! Your giving away all my best secrets! LOL! Just kidding I've been using this technique for awhile now (and have made no secret of it) I love the results. However some big questions still remain...

One being the effect of turps on the actual structure (longevity) of the paper - I can't find anything in the way of information on this, other than the fact that most people I've asked think its a bad idea because the paper could break down or yellow over time (and yet they all use the colorless blender marker?) I plan to write emails to a few paper companys when I get time to see if I can find out more (meanwhile doing my own tests).

The other question is about shows, have you yourself entered a show and been denied because of this technique? I was just curious about this because the way I've read the rules in at least one show is that the requirement is that the piece be covered with at least 75% colored pencil pigment, and since the turps just dissolve the wax leaving the pigment behind I figured it would still qualify. So... if it doesn't qualify as a drawing - where do you enter it? 'cause its not a watercolor and its not an oil/acrylic which are always the other two catagories. (I'd hate to enter it in mixed media even if it was a catagory in most shows - which its not)

Just wondering if you knew any answers to the questions I've been asking.

ps= the swan pic is lovely!
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Old 10-08-2002, 01:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by TeAnne


Gill, try White Spirit. I don't use Turps cos of the stink.
Thanks Te, the exchange rate makes it out of the question to buy anything much online from here..so I'll try both oridnary turps and white spirit...(practice bits of course )
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Old 10-08-2002, 07:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Wingnut


The other question is about shows, have you yourself entered a show and been denied because of this technique?

Dear Wingnut,

The shows I've entered have not been specifically colored pencil shows, so I have not had a problem.....yet! Actually, the last CP piece I entered in a show was all traditional, with a colorless blender, and no turp. But it would take me ages to do a sky or water without the turp. It's such a serious time-saver when you need to move colors around and blend with adjacent areas. A colorless blender cannot do that. Also I do oil painting, etc., so I can always enter a different piece in a different medium, or one of the CP pieces I did without turp.

One of the CP teachers I studied with was a purist and I visualize him cringing whenever I take out the turpenoid. ;-) Another, who introduced me to this technique, was the person who warned me that if I did this on some of my pieces, those would be ineligible for some shows, and in some instances would be considered mixed media because it is a painting technique as soon as you use the solvent. Because he is an illustrator, he doesn't really care about that; he's more interested in the time-saving capabilities of the turp technique and the visual qualities of the final product. He teaches at the same school I do (I teach classical guitar there). Next time I see him, I'll ask him for more specifics about this and report back.

Jamie

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