Monday, January 14, 2008

Watercolour pencils

I bought a couple of Derwent Aquatone pencils in my continuing quest for the best drawing experience. Aquatone pencils are solid sticks of colour that can be sharpened like a pencil. They don't have a wood casing, but simply paper. It lays down well as dry media, but isn't eraseable. It behaves very similarly to other watercolour pencils, but I found that the washes are smoother and more like traditional watercolour. Watercolour pencils can be a bit grainy at times and difficult to manipulate into a smooth wash.

I chose burnt umber to do these sketches of a kitten (no Tripod doesn't have a new friend) and a study of an Embden goose. Seeing as these sketches were done at 5am, they are at least recognizable as animals. The kitten reference was foreshortened, giving it that wide eyed, slightly bemused expression.

My electric sharpener won't take the thicker Derwent pencils, and my hand sharpener wasn't cooperating (or was it the early hour?) so I couldn't get a decent point to the pencils and found that a little clumsy when trying to draw with the Aquatone. I think they're better for filling in with colour, however in small spaces you do need that sharp point, so its work experiementing the sharpeners to get one that works well with these pencils.


Mary said...

Jeanette, these are so cute and I like the beautiful wash you are able to achieve with those pencils. I have one and have never used it. After seeing this I will give it a try.

Jeanette said...

Thanks Mary, the sketches were fun to do and I liked experimenting with these pencils. They give quite an intense wash of colour and I liked using them. I think you'd enjoy them.