Painting with Colored Pencils

The other day I was checking out electric erasers for the purpose of drawing. You can make little lines with it or other subtle marks with the eraser that you can’t with your pencils. Plus, you can erase with them. Handy, eh?

But I’m of topic here. When I was looking that device up I came across some info about using solvents on your pencils for blending. Now, I usually use a blender pencil which turns out to be just the binder (like wax) in a pencil form that you rub over your pigment and it helps to blend the colors together. The solvents are a chemical that you put on your work and move around with a brush. It’s like working with watercolor pencils, only you’re using a chemical. So there’s a bunch of different things you can use ranging from lighter fluid, mineral spirits (that be toxic fumes there), and Vodka. I hate Vodka so naturally I used the lighter fluid that has sat in my closet since my freshman year in collage. That’s about 9 years for those keeping track.

So I did some test samples this afternoon to compare how it looks to my normal technique.

Solvent Example -
this is the rough scribblings

Solvent Example -
the top section is with the blender pencil and the bottom is with the lighter fluid

Solvent Example -
close up

Solvent Example -
another close up

Solvent Example -
this is a smaller test to show the difference, note the specs on the left

You may notice the little specs of pigment in the sections done with the blender pencil. That’s one thing that’s always bugged me, the lighter fluid obviously doesn’t have that problem but don’t use that stuff on anything you want to keep details in. It also can work as a way to tone down an area if you’ve gotten it too bright, or too dark as I found out on my current drawing. It also basically eliminates the other specs where the paper shows through.

I’m pretty pleased with it and I think I’ll be using it quite a bit in future pieces.

– Kathryn Koozer

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