I haven’t seriously worked with colored pencil in a very, very, very long time. If the dust on the canisters of pencils in my studio is any indication, it may have been decades since I last sharpened up a Prismacolor and put it to paper.
I used a lot of colored pencil when I was younger. I had a fantastic illustration professor (Kathleen O’Connell) who taught me how to use colored pencil for my illustration work. Her work in absolutely amazing in it’s detail. She was (and still is) a great inspiration for me as an artist, even through we have very different artistic styles. There are still pieces of advice that she gave me that I still follow to this day. (“Research. Have a library card. Use it.”)
I’ve been working a lot on drawings lately. Mostly because they’re easy to squeeze-in time for. I get resentful when I can’t sit down and work on something from start to finish (my doll making is a prime example of that), but the drawings I’ve been doing seem to work better when I can work on them for a while, then walk away for a while. I was getting a little bored only working with markers and pens and sometimes a little more than frustrated that I can’t achieve certain effects with markers and pens, so I decided to give colored pencils a try and see what I could come up with.
What I found out is that I am so rusty. Oh, so very, embarrassingly rusty when it comes to my colored pencil technique.
I’m using Prismacolor Pencils. I must admit, I really do enjoy using colored pencils, but I have a love-hate relationship with them. To get the color saturation I want, I have to use a softer leaded colored pencil like Prismacolors. The softer lead means that the leads will break easily, which means more sharpening and more sharpening and more sharpening. Couple that with my insanely rusty skills and you can see where I’m getting a little frustrated. Not frustrated enough to stop though. Like anything else, if you want to get better at something, you just need some practice, and that’s what I plan on doing.
At present, I’m applying the Bradbury Method to several ideas that I have regarding my recent drawings. In a nutshell, the method I call the Bradbury Method (named after Ray Bradbury and gleaned from his intro to his book Yestermorrow) is me purposefully ignoring an idea so that I ‘provoke the latent beast‘ until it’s raging to be born. It should be noted that this doesn’t always work, but it seems to be going according to plan for these drawings.
The above drawing was completed while I was watching a disc of Speed Racer cartoons. This afternoon, I have a disc of Star Trek the animated series to watch. I plan on getting a lot more practice with my colored pencils over the up-coming weeks.
(All proceeds from the sale of my artwork will be going towards getting myself and my husband to Finland where I will be beginning work on my Masters in Education at the University of Jyväskylä in September 2014.)