Sunday, 8 February 2009


At our last meeting members asked to have a session with watercolour pencils, so I took along a variety of subjects to inspire creative works and you may remember from a previous post that I practiced various techniques myself with artichokes just to remind myself of their versatility.

In the morning we worked together trying out different techniques with these wonderful tools. We worked with dry pencil, layering to achieve gloss, variety of colours laid dry on each other to create a mix directly on the paper . Then wet our paper before adding colour, wet the tip of the pencil to create strong tones on dry paper or previously dried washes, created tonal washes by dragging out the dry colour with a damp brush. Finally talked about spraying water on already laid down colour with a fine bottle spray and scraped colour off the pencil tip with a scapel to achieve texture over a previous wet layer.
When members felt comfortable with the pencil and waterbrush methods we had tried , they chose a small object to practice these techniques, which I felt worked really well, ie

We had a new member this month, who worked in the morning with geometric shapes using graphite pencils learning about proportions, negative space, relationships, perspective and used for the first time the thumb/pencil method of measuring. We did not have time to explore tone together, but for the afternoon he worked with watercolour paints using some of the fruit I had taken as his subject matter, as although he has worked for a number of years with oils is attending our group to learn more about how to use watercolour.

After a lunch break, a major piece was created from the various objects I set up, ie.

Philippa used a set of graphitint pencils to create the porcelain Chinese/Japanese (?) Fisherman
and Helen used a new set of full colour watercolour pencils she had for Christmas from her son, searching out colour within the dried artichokes.
My only feeling at the end of the day was that I had not steered them away from using too much brush and water with their main piece of artwork of the day. It was almost as if they were trying to create a typical watercolour work from the pencils instead of seeing them as a completely different and versatile media to work with. Naughty tutor.!


Anita said...

I have graphitints, unused in their box. I never thought of dipping pencil in water. Will have to try them out.

Joan Sandford-Cook said...

Hi Anita - you can get a softer effect by touching the tip of the pencil with a wet brush and I dont think it wears the pencil down so quickly. Graphitints are wonderful for tonal studies - get them out and have a go . When used dry they are very subtle.

caseytoussaint said...

It looks to me like there were some really good results with this very difficult medium!

Margaret Ann said...

These ideas are great...Funny...I also have a box of graphitints that need to be cracked open and put to use!!! Thanks! :)

Anita Davies said...

Wonderful colour use which I am sure was inspired by their tutor ;)