Monday, August 13, 2012

Colored Pencil on Smooth Paper

After the colored pencil comparison in the previous lesson, I settled on smooth paper for this lesson.  It's just one of several techniques that could be used for colored pencil.

Materials List:

Prismacolor Pencils
Verithin pencils
Pencil sharpener
Pencil & eraser
Tortillion blender
Colorless blending pencil
Colorless blending marker
Masking Tape
Archival Pens

I didn't end up using all of the materials pictured.  For this example, I used the Prismacolor pencils and tortillion blender primarily.

To get started, trace your doll and outfit templates onto your final paper.  I used a lightbox but the transfer method doesn't really matter.  Try to draw lightly -- too dark a line will leave a line etched into the paper.  My picture of the pencil lines makes the lines look a little more faint than they actually are.

I tried using just colored pencils without outlining my images in pen.  It was pretty awful… So I recommend outlining your images with an archival pen before coloring them in.  Also wait for the pen to completely dry before trying to erase the pencil lines.  It's important to erase as much of the pencil lines  as possible.  If you color over them with the colored pencils, the pencil lead may bleed into your color.

As a general rule, I try to put one color down at a time.  This is especially important when blending colors together to make a unique color.  It's more crucial with paints -- and we'll discuss it again there -- but I wanted to mention it here are well.

With this paper, I found that coloring a layer of pencil and then blending it with a tortillion blender left a subtle, almost textureless color.  In the picture above, the unblended pencil is on the left with the blended color on the right.  I tried to use one tortillion per color, which was fine here since I had a limited amount of colors to work with.  Also, tortillions are super cheap at art stores, or can be easily made at home.

The smooth paper & tortillion blending combination worked fairly well.  It seems to work best with color straight from the pencil.  This method makes it almost impossible to build layers and results in a fairly flat color.  Some of the colors in my scan ended up a little washed out but still fairly true to the light tones in the final image.

Next up, we'll talk about using colored pencil on a rougher paper and discuss other methods of blending color.

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