Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Watercolor Pencil Test

My friend, Deb Ward, is doing a blog lesson on watercolor pencils. It has been fun to watch the steps and learn as Deb shows the how to's of watercolor pencils. I had bought a new set of Faber-Castell recently and I already have a set of Derwent watercolor pencils. So, I thought I would play along but compare the two sets and two different papers.

I went to Wet Canvas and retrieved an image of a lighthouse because Deb was using a lighthouse in her lesson. Deb is on lesson #9 and as you can see I am finished with my 7"x10" paintings.

The first painting was done on 140lb paper. Not sure of the brand, however I am sure it is student grade. On the student grade paper I used the Derwent pencils. I sketched out the painting with the WC pencils then began adding water. I found on this paper that it took a few layers before I could get some areas dark enough. I did like the results of the ground and lighthouse. The blues of the sky and water were hard for me.

In the second painting I used 300lb Kilamanjaro archival paper and the Faber-Castell Aquarelle WC pencils. I got the hang of it and did a better job on the clouds. Note that the colors are slightly different because each set is a little different. Again, I seemed to have had a hard time with the blues. However, I like the second painting better, simply because I learned from the mistakes of the first painting.

In both sets I found the blending to go smoothly in some spots and not so much in others. They were grainy and a fight to blend sometimes. I did find using them a lot of fun. They were a quick way to get a painting down. They would be great for a location sketch or a sketch trying to work values out. I will probably work with them again and try to paint loose and flowing next time.

Cathy Johnson has an article in the April 2011 issue of Watercolor magazine on using WC pencils. Cathy talks about the versatility of WC pencils and crayons. She also gives tips on how to use the pencils/crayons and how they compare brand to brand. Cathy's favorite is Faber-Castell Albrecht Durer WC pencils because she feels they are highly saturated and buttery soft.

Which painting do you like?  I usually paint on the 300lb. paper because I like the texture. Do you paint with 140lb. or 300lb. paper? Click below on viewers commented to weigh in

Don't forget to check out Deb's blog class.


PS The onion painting is done. I am giving it a few days before I sign it and post.


debwardart said...

Glad you enjoyed the lessons and did one of your own - looks better than mine!

Gaylynn said...

Deb, Thanks dear mentor, however your painting is not complete, so it cannot look better. :-)

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