Adding Color Pencil to the Sketchbook

This month I am taking a dive into color pencils. I recently started a class with Cynthia Armstrong where we are learning the techniques of color pencil and the use of color pencil on various types of paper.

The art color pencil was invented in 1924 by Faber Castell and Caren d’Ache. It is known that the Greeks and the Romans used colored crayons based on wax … the art pencils of today are in pencil form made mainly from a formula of wax and oil and pigment. The various brands offer a variety of pencil formulas that achieve soft lines, hard lines and blending characteristics and each artist goes on to choose a variety of pencils to achieve a final work. My pencil choice is Faber Castell Polychromos with a few others thrown in.

In the simplest definition, Color pencils are used in two techniques, that of layering and that of burnishing.

Layering is the technique that’s usually used at the beginning of a drawing, simply applying colors in layers to get the different values.  This Kingfisher page shows color testing and layers. [This bird image is from a Cornell Lab Paint Along with Liz Clayton Fuller]

Burnishing is a final blending and finishing step and there are many types of blending tools to choose from. On this Ivy page the top color test shows the result of various burnishing techniques.

Here are a few Sketchbook pages with color pencil practice …

Yes, studies in perspective also continue…

How to measure gables and bump outs

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