For those of you who have attended my sessions in the past you will know that I love to splash the paint on in a seemingly chaotic manner and then pull what I need from that chaos with subsequent marks. I honestly do love all of the paint mediums universally for this one fact common to all of them… so why then does colour pencil appeal so much to me over these last few months, well I will tell you!

Please Note: If you intend joining January’s course you will need to download the pdf file at the bottom of this page.

Coloured pencils are easy to use

Open the box, sharpen the pencils (if necessary), grab a piece of paper, and start drawing. You don’t need to prepare a painting surface, mix a palette, or wear protective clothing. There is chaos but it is controlled exactly the way you need it. You also don’t need to be able to draw to get a great deal of pleasure out of this medium.

Coloured pencils are clean

You don’t have to worry about getting them on your hands, clothing, or the things around you. You won’t find traces of them in some unexpected place in the house because you brushed against wet paint without knowing it and transferred that colour to other parts of the house. You may however find the occasional stray :D.

No drying time

One of my chief complaints about oil painting is waiting for paint to dry. That’s not a concern with coloured pencil drawing, not to mention that coloured pencil competes admirably with oils for those sumptuous soft blends and depth of colour.

All those luscious colours!

What artist doesn’t love colour? And there are so many! Every brand has at least one colour you have just got to have, it’s actually quite addictive.

Coloured pencils go everywhere

Coloured pencils are easily transportable. Throw a few supplies into your field kit and you’re ready to go anywhere and everywhere and this has to be one of the most significant reasons overall! I once had a real issue at airport security because of my tubes of watercolour paint!

No smelly solvents (unless I want them)

I can make a beautiful drawing without having to breathe solvent fumes. Now don’t get me wrong I love the smell of oil painting, mixing various concoctions for the perfect medium to use, just like an alchemist, but not everyone loves these odours, and this is not even mentioning some of the associated health risks concerning spirit based solvents.

I can create a range of affects from soft focus to tight detail

Fine art coloured pencils are much more versatile than the coloured pencils we used as kids. Almost everything that could be done with brush and paint can be done with coloured pencils. In fact you can even transform your pencil piece to look just like a painting if you use specifically soluble pencils but ultimately all pencils are soluble with the right medium.

Coloured pencils look—and work—great on so many different surfaces

Paper and matt boards are easy choices, I am currently very much into Langton Prestige board which is a hot pressed watercolour paper sandwiched onto a stiff board. But there are sanded art papers, wood, canvas, Mylar and a recent go on PastelMat. Coloured pencils work on all of them and produce unique and interesting affects on each type of surface.

Nothing else captures ‘found’ texture quite as well as coloured pencils

I have recently played around with adding interesting and unique textures simply by laying the paper on a textured surface and lightly—or maybe not so lightly—shading over the paper. What a great way to add visual interest quickly and easily.

Coloured pencils are perfect for making small format and miniature art

The vast body of work in the projected schedule of my World War Fae project has a number of years in its completion, who knows how many. One of the benefits of coloured pencil is the incredible versatility down there at the fine end of the scale, it really is perfect for doing highly detailed work on a smaller scale which means that some of the fairytale pieces I have planned can be done smaller yet hold a lot of detail.

Bonus: You don’t need special tools…except for maybe a magnifying glass.

Coloured pencils are perfect for drawing hair

If any of you have ever attended my hair drawing demo it has always been a great success and coloured pencil makes easy work of hair, no matter the style or the colour!

Don’t throw the cat out!

Now I don’t have cats and dogs though I have done in the past, nowadays any pets that I have are largely restricted to being behind glass. But I teach a great many people who have told stories of their dogs getting a lot of fun out of a tube of oil paint, and cats, well they are just downright inquisitive! Despite any of these qualities in our much loved friends, coloured pencil will never (probably) be a sufferance to them, or you… or your upholstery!

So there you go, that is why coloured pencils are persuading me to use them almost exclusively in my own work, or at the very least be a significant part of the process. In fact if there is just one point I could make that isn’t a benefit (for some) is they do have an investment in time, that is they are not the quickest medium to use, however, for many, that is one of the greatest qualities for those that just want to be lost quietly in the process of their art for a few hours.

So do you enjoy using coloured pencils? Would you like to learn? Come along to my monthly class and join in with our next project, or just bring along what you are working on and enjoy a sociable friendly session.

Colour Pencil : Jan 11th, Feb 8th, March 14th 2020
Sign up here

You will need the pdf file below if you intend joining the course

4 thoughts on “The Great Pencil Persuasion”

  1. I have recently returned to my artistic roots after 20 year absence and I just love colored pencils for every reason you listed. Also I have zero painting experience as I have always been a sketch artist. Truly enjoy your site and your talent.

    1. Thank you for your kind words Lori and glad to hear that you are returning to your art… you can’t go wrong with coloured pencil!

  2. I love all the artists I see.I think god for the wonderful paintings and drawings y’all doing. I have an amazing pencil sharpening poetry that everybody will love and will benefit all schools and will boost the economy

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