Light My Way

Light My Way

Tutorial: Light My Way

Instructor: Patsy Deal

Instruction Type: Step by Step Video

Courseware: Colored Pencil Club 3
https://coloredpencilsclub.com/

Medium: Prismacolor Premier

Surface: Stonehenge Cream

Size: 17x22cm

Hours: Approximately 50 hours

Level: Beginner to Intermediate

This is the first tutorial I ever finished. I found it a lot of fun and because you use the texture of the paper to make the image look rougher and older, it took the pressure off and was so much fun to work with.

Patsy Deal does an extremely good job of teaching her way through this 34 video tutorial. In the beginning she gives you the option of doing the globes in two different ways which was really good to see. Along the way you get to see her adjust things and change things and this was much better than seeing the “perfect” tutorial. You learn so much more from seeing how to fix things or adjust things as you go along.

This tutorial is part of a collection of 23 tutorials that are available for 12 months – October 2016 to October 2017. Based on this first one they are definitely worth the cost. I am looking forward to completing my next project with this team of wonderful artists.

Things I discovered:

Stonehenge spots - Light My Way

Stonehenge Paper: I don’t think I like Stonehenge paper, unless it works better with an OMS. The blue lantern I attacked with a heavy hand, probably too heavy for the “oldness” of the piece, and expected the lantern to stay beautifully rich and shiny. Instead after a day or so, I found pieces of the Stonehenge paper showing through…. Great for this project, but not for anything you want to be pristine metallic. Its something I will be considering before choosing this paper again.

Magic Tape: Scotch Magic Tape is supposed to be easy removal tape, however, because this project took me quite a few weeks to complete, it pulled up pieces of the paper as it was removed. Luckily it did not pull anything from the image itself, but it definitely shredded  the paper around the edges (where it wouldn’t be seen if you framed it). This could possibly be a fault of the stonehenge paper rather than the tape also, but only time and experimentation will tell.

Provided Line Drawings: Always, Always check the provided line drawings against the finished image of the project you are going to be completing. Things are not always the same, and this can become frustrating during the learning process. In this case, the shoe is different, and several other bits and pieces needed adjusting along the way also.

What do I think of my final image? This is my 5th coloured pencil piece, but the first one I have completely finished (others coming soon).  I am happy with the outcome, though I know there is so much more I could improve. I am pretty heavy handed with the pencils, but adjusting to suit a lighter hand I think is not going to happen for me no matter how hard I try (I think I’m too impatient). So instead I try to adjust the outcome to suit my hand. My final piece is different in a lot of areas from the original, but I still like it.

Would I recommend this tutorial to absolute beginners? Yes, though you might want to complete some basic tutorials first on blending and the use of colored pencils. The videos turn this intermediate project into something a beginner can follow quit easily. The tutorial contains lots of tiny areas, lots of details and lots of blending, but being able to see it done makes it so much easier.

Light My Way Video Tutorial by Patsy Deal, Colored Pencils Club - completed by Kim Holden

Light My Way Video Tutorial by Patsy Deal, Colored Pencils Club – completed by Kim Holden

Caran D’Ache Luminance

Caran D’Ache Luminance

I have to be honest here, I have not played with my Luminance pencils enough to give a proper opinion. I bought them solely for a specific project I have in mind that I want to last for forever and a day if I ever get good enough to complete it. The lightfast qualities of these pencils is exceptional and the colours are perfect for the project I have in mind.

  • Wax Based, Round, 3.8mm
  • Known as the best of the best quality
  • Very high lightfast ratings on almost all pencils
  • Lots of natural browns and greys
  • http://www.carandache.com/en/colour

I have only used them to create my colour cards and found that some of them were very scratchy. I must admit I wasn’t overly taken with them, BUT I have not used them properly yet and I have noted that others swear by them, they just feel very chalky to me, and that could be a really good thing. I have recently purchase a few spare whites because they are highly recommended for covering darker colours. I will see how those go.

In the meantime, this is what the Caran D’Ache website has to say:

Highly sought after by drawing masters from every creative sector, the subtle velvety effect of the new permanent pencil stems from two years of technical research conducted in complete secrecy at the heart of the Maison’s workshops. Its delicate texture, along with the vibrancy of the many recently developed shades, open up exciting new vistas in the realms of overlaying, mixed techniques and gradation. Its extreme lightfastness is confirmed by the most rigorous tests, earning Luminance 6901 top results and international ASTM D-6901 certification. With Luminance 6901, Caran d’Ache has achieved the feat of creating quite simply the most lightfast colour pencil ever designed.

So we will see whether they live up to their hype in the future 🙂

Caran D'Ache Luminance

Caran D’Ache Luminance

 

The Luminance pencils are the top of the top. They come in 72 really pretty shades and include lots of natural browns, ochres and greys. If you are looking for the normal bright colours that come with Prismacolor, Polychromos and Pablos, then these might not be for you. They seem to be more muted in their shades, but that doesn’t make them any less appealing. They are beautiful colours.

 

 

 

Please feel free to leave your own opinion about the Caran D’Ache Luminance pencils below in the comments. I would love to hear what you all think of them.

 

Caran D’Ache Pablo

Caran D’Ache Pablo

Moving up the scale a little more from the Prismacolor and Polychromos, we come to the Caran D’Ache Pablo pencils, Wow what beautiful pencils. I have had the Polychromos, Luminance and Prismacolor pencils for quite a while, and I recently purchased the Pablos to see what they were like, and I have fallen in love.

These pencils come in 120 beautiful highly pigmented colours and they lay down nearly as buttery as the Prismacolors but with the firmness of the Polychromos. The pencils themselves are much thinner than any of the other lines and they are of hexagonal shape so they don’t roll off your table.

Caran D'ache Pablos

Caran D’ache Pablos

Their big sister, the Luminance, in comparison feel very scratchy to me (or at least some of them do). I can see these Pablos becoming my absolute favourite go to pencils very quickly. The next positive to these pencils is no wax bloom. I believe they are a mix of oil and wax, and because of this, they don’t seem to have the same issues as wax based pencils.

On the downside (or upside considering the low number), they do have 6 pencils out of the 120 that are not considered high lightfastness, however, you can get around that by using similar colours from other brands mixed in. I am really looking forward to completing my first piece with these pencils to see how they really lay down and blend.

The Caran D’ache website has this to say about the Pablo Pencils:

The covering power of Pablo colour pencils enables easy usage on a large number of backgrounds, ranging from variously textured paper and cardboard to wooden panels. Shaded, mixed and layered colours express themselves through the thick, velvety matter of permanent pencils.

 

 

 

 

Please feel free to leave your own opinion about the Caran D’Ache Pablo pencils below in the comments. I would love to hear what you all think of them also.

Faber Castell Polychromos

Faber Castell Polychromos

The Faber Castell statement on their website pretty much says it all…

The name POLYCHROMOS®, meaning “many colors” was born in 1908 and became known across several continents. Today, the name still stands for best of class quality including: unsurpassed lightfast pigments, 120 vibrant colors, break resistant tips, waterproof, non-smudge, and color matched to all other Faber-Castell color lines.

 

The Polychromos pencils are a pleasure to use. They hold a sharp point for quite a while which means you are not constantly having to sharpen them. The sharp point also means that you can get fine details very easily. The Polychromos pencils also match the Albrecht Durer watercolor pencil line. This means that you have the best of both worlds in the same color range. Both the Polychromos Pencils and the Albrecht Durer Watercolor Pencils are known as very high quality pencils.

Albrecht Durer 120

Albrecht Durer 120

Polychromos 120

Polychromos 120

Besides the price which is a little more expensive than the Prismacolors, I don’t believe I have heard anyone say anything bad about these pencils so far. The Polychromos pencils are oil based rather than wax based so they do not succumb to “wax bloom” however they can still get a shiny look to them and you can see the pencil marks in the shiny spots when burnishing.

Overall they blend beautifully by layering, they lay down wonderfully filling in all the little paper grooves due to their sharp points, and they are a full rich pigment pencil.

Using the Prismacolors and the Polychromos pencils together gives you the best of both worlds. If you can afford both sets, I highly recommend getting them both.

PS Both the Polychromos and the Albrecht Durer can be purchased in that gorgeous box at the top of the screen 🙂

 

 

 

Please feel free to leave your own opinion about the Faber Castell Polychromos pencils below in the comments. I would love to hear what you all think of them also.

Prismacolor Premier

Prismacolor Premier

One of the hardest things to decide is which brand of pencil is right for you. There are so many different brands and types of pencils within those brands for you to choose from. I suggest you purchase a few single pencils to try from each branch to test before you make your choice if you can only afford one type of pencil. Below is a short description of the Prismacolor Premier Pencils, the ones I would recommend if you are just starting out because most tutorials are completed using this brand.

These are the most popular pencils in America and they come in a range of 150 beautiful colours. Apparently they used to be very high quality, but nowadays they are made in Mexico which means that you are better off buying them in person pencil by pencil rather than online. There seems to be no quality control at all. Some of the pencils do not have their leads centred so when you sharpen them you end up with mostly wood exposed and pencil only showing on one side. The other issue that people have had is with breakage, but I have to say I have not had that issue at all. I believe if you use a good quality sharpener that has rotary blades rather than just a single blade, then you will have no issues.

The two sharpeners I own and have had no issues with any pencils with are the following:

IMG_2005

Ledah 11333 Electric Sharpener

 

IMG_2006

Swordfish Ikon Manual Sharpener

 

Prismacolor Premier Pencils are beautiful to use. They are soft and buttery and blend easily. The core is wax based and if you burnish (press really hard to get full coverage) you can sometimes end up with what is called wax bloom – a white filmy sheen over your colours. To fix this issue you can wipe over your image with a soft cloth and then spray a fixative (either workable or final) over the top to stop the bloom from coming back again.

Prismacolor also have a blender pencil which works great with all coloured pencils. Unfortunately there are quality issues with this pencil also, so when you are buying one, make sure it is white not grey. The grey ones don’t work the way they are supposed to, the white ones work great!

Prismacolor Blender Comparison

Prismacolor Blender Comparison

Even given their issues, these pencils are definitely worth the purchase price, especially since most tutorials are completed in Prismacolor pencils. They are really lovely to use and most issues aren’t an issue if you are aware of them first 🙂

 

 

 

 

Please feel free to leave your own opinion about the Prismacolor Premier pencils below in the comments. I would love to hear what you all think of them also.