Wednesday, June 28, 2006
Watercolour pencils are specifically manufactured with a binder that dissolves in water. They look the same as 'normal' pencils, but if you check the lettering stamped on them you'll see a little symbol to show they're water soluble, such as a water droplet or a small brush, or the word 'watercolour'.
One of my more recent acquisitions was a 24 set of Derwent Graphitint pencils. These are watersoluble pencils that may be used either wet or dry. The colours of the set are soft and muted, well suited for landscape or portrait use.
I have a number of brands of watercolour pencils, ranging from some basic pencils that I inherited from the kids offcasts years ago, to others that I have picked up in travels and some Faber Castell pencils that I rediscovered lurking in the bottom of a drawer that are 20 years old!
To be honest I don't see a huge difference in the watercolour effects of the brands, but then again, I'm not a purist and unless I'm after a particular effect or colour, I do tend to mix colours and brands without ill effects. The difference in using them as main drawing instruments, similar to coloured pencils seems more apparent to me.
Some of the brands that I use:
My new Niji Waterbrush turned up in the mail yesterday and I had fun experimenting with it. This will be a big help to me when I go out sketching. It saves hauling pots of water with me. The brush can just pop into my pencil case with the watercolour pencils.
The drawing is the result of my experimentation. A pen and ink base drawing, graphitint colour and then a wash with the waterbrush.
In May, I spent some time in Saskatchewan in Regina and Moose Jaw, where I experienced the wonderful Temple Gardens Mineral Spa. While there I searched for grain elevators and found four or five that I could photograph for later reference. I had planned on spending time sketching in the open landscape or the prairies, but it didn't seem to happen. Here is one of my favourite elevators at Stony Beach. I always think the name a bit amusing considering that I was on a flat,dry field with never ending sky. I'm sure someone will let me know the origins of the 'beach' ending to a number of places in Saskatchewan.
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