Sketching with Pencil Colors

For someone who likes traditional media as much as I seem to, I don't really use pencil colors for much more than detailing on marker or watercolor pieces.  I sketch with a black Blick pencil color fairly often, but it rarely progresses farther than messy noodling.  I used Prismacolors fairly often during undergrad, but I was never really proficient with them.

I've upgraded to Caran d'Ache Pablo pencil colors since undergrad- they're clay based, not waxed based, and melt slightly when water is applied to them (really useful for watercolor).

I set up my Christmas tree yesterday, and thought a white Christmas tree on black paper might be easy enough to sketch with little underdrawing.

So I started with a very loose sketch, and began filling out the branches.

 Next came the star.  It's a tinsel light up star in turquoise.

 It has silvery tinsel on the outside.  After the star, I started sketching in the ornaments.  I sorta lamented how sparsely I decorated the three this year, since there wasn't a lot of variety in my ornaments.

Several steps get combined for this photo.  First I drew in my pom-pom garland--tiny little balls of color.  Then I added details to my ornaments- shadows and highlights.  Then I added the lights- first little spirals of yellow, then a dot of white in the middle.

Noodling with pencil colors was a lot of fun, and the darkness of the paper really makes the pigments pop.

In case I forget to tell you guys, I hope you all enjoy your wintery holidays!


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