I love this medium, it requires little or no set up, can be done on your lap with a cuppa and a movie or at the drawing board like a pro!
But what do you need to know? Well, first off don’t skimp on the pencils. One of the reasons kids pencil work never looks like it could be used for a more mature looking art is down to the cheapness. Because we know that the kids will use their pencils for far more than just colouring in we will tend to get them from the pound shop. So honestly don’t hold back on your budget, get a recognised ‘art’ brand not ‘high street’ name, my personal choice is Faber Castells’ Polychromos range but Derwent and Caran d’ache amongst others will be perfect for the job.
You will probably be aware that Polychromos is an oil based pencil whereas most others are wax based, I wouldn’t worry about this as I have never had any problems using them with each other. There are some specific techniques that certainly require a need to know but these are few and far between.
Paper stock is your next big consideration, I am still on the hunt for what suits me best but then there are always new products and surfaces to try! The simplest choice is a good heavy weight cartridge paper, my preference is a fine tooth watercolour paper although i have been recommended a brand called Pastelmatt which is my next surface to try out. Bristol board was the first surface that I tried and although it is very good ultimately it was a little too smooth for my style choices, however there are those in my class who still prefer it.
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