Sunday, March 9, 2008

The Color of the Day is....Purple!

Well, all right then. I haven't been on the ball this week, for which I feel quite ashamed of myself. I can't get the word out about Etsy and its wonderful community of crafters if I don't make a more serious effort, can I?

Today, it's all about Purple! Lots of cool stuff out there comes in shades of purple...purple mountains majesty...purple people know, stuff like that :)

Here is a great purple and cream pair of leg warmers from LanaHandknitting's shop:

Here is a wonderful flannel lobster from sojournquilts' shop:

This is an exceptional lavender travel candle from GoodScents' shop:

This beautiful inspiration bracelet is from carolinesdesign's shop:

And last for today, but definitely not least, is a beautiful bracelet from struckmyfancy's shop:

I also intended at the start to give tips on drawing with colored pencils. There are so many styles and techniques that I feel a bit overwhelmed with this task. I do that more than I should...think too hard about something and make it larger than it should be. So I made myself rethink my original idea. Obviously, I can't teach anyone something that I don't know how to do, right? So here goes...

The very first thing one should do when they want to create a masterpiece is decide on the subject matter. To draw a realistic looking piece of art, you must have a very good reference, whether that means drawing it out on the spot, or using reference photos as I do. If you use reference photos, be sure that they are clean and crisp so you can see the details, or at least know your subject well enough to be able to make an educated guess on something that doesn't show up well in your photo. I take my digital camera with me everywhere...and I mean everywhere. I've got hundreds of reference pictures saved to disc that I print out on my inkjet printer.
Proportion is everything when it comes to realistic drawings. I prefer to sketch from the photo I've taken, but if I need to make my main subject larger or smaller, I'm not against graphing off my picture and my drawing surface. I'll get more into that in my next blog.

What kind of colored pencils to use? That one is easy! Whichever kind you want to use. Some are softer than others, and blend more easily, but because of that, it is more difficult to get a crisp, sharp edge. (I didn't say impossible, just more difficult) If you are on an unlimited budget and money is not a factor, buy the best you can. Prismacolor is just one of the many great, yet expensive, colored pencils out there. I happen to be a starving artist, so Crayola is my pencil of choice. They have harder leads, but with practice can be manipulated quite well. On the down side, they will accept fewer layers without getting 'muddy'.

Colored pencils need a surface with some tooth to it. Rough artist paper is a good choice. Rough illustration board is more costly, but well worth the investment. Pencils must be layered at times, and maneuvered in other ways, and while artist drawing paper is good for a few layers, it does flatten out and get a 'warp' to it's surface if you push it too far. Illustration board is more forgiving than a mother is to a wayward child. Again, that starving artist rears its ugly head, so I draw with acid free artist drawing paper.

When it comes to sharpening my pencils, I love my handy dandy electric pencil sharpener, but it doesn't play well with the softer leaded pencils such as I keep a good hand held pencil sharpener in my art bin as well. Mine has a removable stainless steel blade that I can remove and put an edge on if necessary. The cheaper plastic ones from the dime store are not recommended for quality pencils, as you have to twist the pencil to get them to sharpen, which will most likely break the lead inside the wood casing.

If you are outlining with your pencil, get as sharp of a point as you can, using care not to press too hard on your drawing surface at first. This also helps get that crisp edge. If you are laying down wide areas of color, use the side of the pencil, laying it more horizontal to the paper. (yeah, I know...everyone knows that, don't they?)

Well, that is going to have to do you for now. Stay tuned for my next exciting installment of 'How to Get Realistic Effects With Colored Pencils Without Losing Your Sanity'


Christie said...

Thanks so much for including me in your post!! Purple is a great color!!

dianeclancy said...

Lovely idea!! Great post!!

Feel free to include me and link to my blog too ... I have lots and lots of colors ... color is my thing.

~ Diane Clancy

pelecypods said...

I think all little girls love the color purple.
I am an old girl now and still love the color purple.
Great idea for a blog. Use any of my items on your site that you want.