People are often surprised when they learn that coloured pencil is my medium of choice. A few have even tried to convince me to take up painting instead. Why on earth would I want to do that? I LOVE coloured pencil and here are just some of the reasons why…
10 REASONS WHY I LOVE COLOURED PENCIL!
1. IT’S A CLEAN MEDIUM TO WORK IN!
I hate mess which is probably why I hate cooking so much! I’m not your typical artist who wouldn’t dream of letting something as trivial as “mess” get in the way of creativity. In fact, I am the complete opposite as I struggle to be creative in an unorganised or messy space (yip I’m a weirdo). Imagine my joy then at finding a medium that creates NO mess!! No messy paint mixing or having to wash brushes! And best of all – NO accidental paint or water spills!
2. YOU CAN PICK-UP WHERE YOU LEFT OFF!
If I could earn a dollar for every time I get called away from my drawing board to deal with stuff that takes way more time than it should (mom of two boys) I would be a multi-millionaire by now! The beauty of coloured pencil however is that I can quite easily walk away without worrying about my paint drying out or ruining my paintbrushes because I never got the chance to clean them. And of course then there are those days where I literally only have about 20-30 minutes to draw so being able to just grab my pencils and get stuck in is brilliant!
3. PRECISE DETAILING!
Probably my biggest love of coloured pencil is the fact that you can render gorgeous crisp details. Every little marking which makes each subject unique can be easily (albeit very slowly) captured, something I thoroughly enjoy doing! Rendering hair/fur is a dream so long as your pencils are nice and sharp.
4. THEY TAKE UP VERY LITTLE SPACE!
I have over 350 coloured pencils which fit beautifully into six wooden pastel drawers on top of my desk. My blending brushes, sharpeners, erasers and other tools all fit into little jars that sit on top of my pencil drawers – everything I need is at arm’s length.
5. THEY ARE COST EFFECTIVE
Whilst they certainly aren’t cheap, professional grade coloured pencils range from NZ$3.50 to NZ$7.50 per pencil; a huge piece of archival paper (which can be cut down into about 4-5 pieces) costs about NZ$15. Compared to the cost of professional grade paints, canvases, brushes & special painting mediums you will quickly realise that it’s much cheaper to set yourself up as a coloured pencil artist as opposed to a painter.
6. NO DRYING TIME BETWEEN LAYERS!
I am not a very patient person so having to wait hours on end for paint to dry before you can apply more layers is annoying especially if you’re in the “creative zone”. Even though I use a solvent to blend the coloured pencil, drying time between layers is a max of 20 minutes, even in cold weather!
7. THEY’RE NON-TOXIC!
Sadly a lot of paint brands contain heavy metals or emit harmful fumes whilst using them so special precautions like using gloves or working in a ventilated area becomes necessary. With coloured pencil however (besides not drinking or inhaling your blending solution if you use any) you don’t have to take any special precautions which is great for parents with young children and pet owners.
8. THEY FEEL “NATURAL”
Most of us have used pencils throughout our lives unlike a paintbrush where unless you set out to learn how to paint it’s not something that feels comfortable and familiar in your hand.
9. THEY ARE VERY VERSATILE!
I often hear “wow, that looks just like a painting!” This is attributed to the creamy blending ability of coloured pencil and depending on how you use them you can simulate the effects of other mediums. And there are MANY ways you can use coloured pencils! I have seen amazing works done on wood, resin and even used to make beautiful Christmas ornaments – the possibilities are endless!
10. YOU CAN TAKE THEM ANYWHERE!
Going on holiday? No problem take your work with you! There are a number of great pencil carriers which can hold up to 120 pencils and are padded so your pencils can travel safely. Use a protective portfolio type bag/folder for your drawing and you’re good to go! You can even work on your lap while watching a marathon session of your favourite TV show – it doesn’t get more perfect than that!
And like I said, these are just a few of the reasons why I love them and although I may take up painting or experiment with other mediums in the future, for now my love affair with coloured pencil remains rock solid and I have no desire to change things!