Michelle took us along her path of discovering and successfully mastering this technique. She started using graphite pencils initially but when faced with a commission to draw some beloved chooks, she decided that she had to put them in colour to do them justice and the rest is history. Michelle has won many awards over the last 5 or so years including a Highly Commended Award at the prestigious Camberwell Art Show.
Michelle brought in her favourite pencils (Prismacolor, Faber Castell Polychromos as well as her Derwent set) and all the tools to demonstrate her art. She favours smooth Cold pressed 300gsm watercolour paper to a rougher one as it is necessary to allow the pencils to glide easily.
Her tips for a successful painting are: -
- Use a ‘Colour Picker’ to isolate the different shades and hues of colour on your reference photo
- Make a Black and white copy of your reference to clearly see the light and shade
- Start with your lightest colours and build up your colour from that.
- Look closely at your reference photo and identify all the colours as you will find some unexpected colours.
- Use ‘back & forth’ strokes as well as the ‘scumbling’ motion to get an even result
- Use a solvent like Gum turpentine to even out the wax or oils in your drawing to give it a smoother look but only after you have done at least 4 layers.
- Use an indenting tool to preserve lighter colours or marks.
- Have fun!
Thank you so much Michelle for a very enjoyable evening with your pencils and your instructions.