August 05, 2020Sparks and Experiments

I love my pencils!

I have family, friends, and business associates who roll their eyes every time they hear that. Because they hear it way too often.

Sorry, guys ... can't help it ... it just kind of comes out ... like a sneeze you can't stifle ... I'm gonna' bust if I don't just say it ... AGAIN!!

Remember little Agnes from the Despicable Me movies? Remember when she told us how she really feels about unicorns? Yeah ... that's exactly how I feel about my colored pencils! I love my pencils! Specifically, I love the COLOR!

So it was a real treat this month to finally write some articles about that.

I write all kinds of articles and blogs for the website, hoping to inspire and help other artists and writers. I've written about printing and publishing and writing and drawing. Sometimes I just have fun and I write about monsters and ponies and flat earthers. Can't be serious all the time! The best part of having a site about story telling ... no subject is off limits! And the best part of being the boss of your own site ... nobody to say: NO! You can't write about THAT!

It's so much fun being the boss!

So this month the fun got kicked into high gear when I finally got to write about color. And I finally got to give a little demo of a drawing coming to life.

It was so much fun writing about that ... and the one article turned into two, because sometimes you just can't get it all said in one article. Like a carbonated drink you pour too fast, the ideas and thoughts were just bubbling out all over the place and I was having trouble getting it all said, and organized so it'd be readable, and trying to be coherent and concise and clear all at the same time is not an easy feat when the emotions are running at full throttle and thoughts are flowing faster than I can type them out ...

And, of course, I didn't get it all said. So there will be more coming ... so stay tuned ...

Some people need pills and booze to feel some exhilaration. Just give me a keyboard and my pencils and I'm flying high!

In his song, The Circle of Life, Elton John's lyrics, talking about our lives on the planet, say: There's more to be seen than can ever be seen, More to do than can ever be done. That's exactly how I feel about my pencils and that keyboard. There's still so much I need to learn.

I know enough about what I do, that it works for me on a day to day basis. Even so, I mostly feel like a such novice ... so I'm always poking around on the internet to see what others are doing and how they work.

When I found out that my beloved color wheel is based on a lie, I went poking around and found out about another color theory, the Munsell Color system. I've been studying that, though I'm still not ready to ditch my beloved standard color wheel!

I learned that some colored pencil artists work on heated tablets, where the wax in the pencil actually melts and the fluid color gives them beautiful, solid fills. Others get similar effects using solvents like alcohol or mineral spirits.

One artist I found, Suellen Ross, combines mediums ... she lays down a layer of india ink, then watercolor, then pencil. Especially if you are a cat or dog lover, you will love her work! Check out her book, Radiant Realism

Some of the different ideas I run across are interesting to me and I try them out. Others, not so much. But whether I do or don't, I always gain something by watching others ply their craft.

The most intriguing advice I ever ran across is putting Prismacolors in the oven or microwave! Yes ... baking your pencils! I haven't mustered up enough nerve yet, but I really want to try this ... the waxy lead in Prismacolors is notorious for breaking inside the shaft when they get dropped or banged up. Then it breaks or falls apart when you sharpen it, or as you draw down to the broken area. Then somebody got a brain storm and figured out that you could put them in an oven hot enough for just long enough to melt the wax. When they cool back to room temperature the breaks will fuse back together!

What's for dinner, honey?

Oh, some Scarlet Lake, Light Umber, a side of Indigo Blue, and, for dessert, some Deco Pink!

I don't think that's gonna' be such a hit at our house ... just guessin' ...

I can't decide if baking my pencils is the stupidest thing I ever heard, or the most brilliant thing I ever heard ... thus my relunctance to try it. Prismacolors aren't cheap! Still ... I may have a go at it ... I will keep you posted ...

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  • Dixie says:
    2020-08-07, 08:13:12
    Thank you for introducing me to the soft leaded pencils, they are great to work with.
    You are so welcome, Dixie! I'm having so much fun drawing with you and seeing what you do!- Sherry A Mitcham
  • BILL says:
    2020-08-05, 09:59:50
    Yeah ... that's what I thought!- Sherry A Mitcham