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Saturday, February 6, 2016

Materials for Colored Pencil

For those that enjoy coloring with colored pencils and either attended or want to attend another session for colored pencils at the Kirk-Bear Canyon Library, a bit of information on colored pencils and the materials list.
Colored Pencils are great, portable and now are enjoying more popularity due to the trend of adult coloring books. There are many brands and versions of colored pencils and products out there. I like to combine several to get the effects I want.

Here is a list of materials recommended for awesome coloring - Happy Coloring!
Colored Pencil Session at the Kirk-Bear Canyon Library February 20 10 am - noon
Quality colored pencils. Artist quality pencils Do make a big difference. They have more pigment (hence the price difference). You will not have to press hard on the paper when coloring, which flattens the tooth of the paper. Feather touches will produce rich vibrant colors - you will Love them.
Artist quality paper. Acid free, PH neutral paper means your art will last forever with proper care. Many of the adult coloring books are printed on acid free paper. Select ones with heavier paper.
Kneaded eraser. Looks like gray putty and can be used to lift color.
 Clear tape. To remove color in addition to the kneaded eraser.
Good pencil sharpener. I like the Faber Castell brand or Kum brand. The blades last longer and depending on the pencils, you will be sharpening to keep the point. More on that below.
Sanding paper. The sanding paper is another way to keep your pencil points sharp. Little artist pads are available from an art store or make your own with 220 grit wood sandpaper.
Small artist sketchbook. To make your color charts of your pencils, record the colors. I like to make a small color dot of each color to see how they shade.
Pencil. To make notes for colors etc. I like mechanical ones - no sharpening :)

Some materials will be provided for the students to try out at the library sessions. For some resources to get these materials, I have listed them in this POST.

Below I have listed some materials I like for colored pencil artwork. Try some and find what you like best. Curiosity and experimenting with different materials is how you will learn and form your own favorites list of art toys.
I like using a variety of brands, each has their own qualities.

Faber Castell Polychromos Colored Pencils.
Rich in pigment, they go on smoothly with the lightest touch. Most of the colors are very lightfast.
As an oil based pencil, the lead is slightly harder than a wax based pencil. They hold a sharp point longer, last longer, have high quality wood casings. My favorites.

Prismacolor Verithin Colored Pencils.
They are the fine lead version of the regular Prismacolor Colored Pencils. I often use them for fine line work. They hold their point longer than the softer regular Prismacolor. Wax based.

Prismacolor Colored Pencils
I started out with these wax based colored pencils and still have quite a few of them as well as the Verithins. Richly colored, buttery soft wax based lead lays down smooth color, but constantly needs resharpening to hold a fine point. They also get a waxy bloom after a few layers that needs a fixative. Although I still use them sometimes, it's mostly the PC Verithins I use from this brand. Wax based.

Derwent Inktense Pencils
They go on like watercolor pencils but what I really like is they behave like acrylics. Meaning, once they are dry they are permanent. This means that multiple glazes can be applied. It also means you can't go back to remove or lighten the color once it has been laid down with water. Colors are lovely, rich. A set of inexpensive small to medium brushes is recommended. Very little water needed.

Mona Lisa Odorless Mineral Spirits
Solvent blending liquid. One of my methods of blending colored pencils for a base. Dries fast, Very little is needed. If you are coloring in one of the coloring books, do a test first on similar paper and use inexpensive small brushes.

Kum and Faber Castell Pencil Sharpeners
There are Many sharpeners out there. I like these german products because of the quality blades that last longer. Since I mostly use the small hole of the two holed sharpeners, I just switch out the blades when one gets dull. The small two hole sharpener is about 2.60 at Sarnoffs in Tucson :) Great value.

*A last note on artist grade colored pencils.
Besides being wonderful to work with, artist quality brands also sell the pencils Open Stock.
This means that you can buy the colors individually to either add to the set or replace when you need more of certain colors - instead of having to buy a whole set for one or two colors.

Go to your local art store and get one color to try out the brand. Choose a color that doesn't come in the smaller sets and you will have an additional color when you Do get that set :)

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