For my most recent submission to the SCBWI Illustrator’s gallery and competition; prompt words “Two Truths and a Lie”, I did a drawing using colored pencils. How to illustrate this abstract concept in a three paneled piece without using words? My mind went immediately to the Lies told by fishermen. The only truths are: that the fisherman left to go fishing, and the reality of what’s in their fish basket when they return. What is expounded upon by the fisherman about the events of their adventure can only be deciphered by the reactions of the companions who accompanied them on the adventure. There’s usually a lie in there somewhere.
I wanted to push myself further in my use of colored pencils for this project. Most of my past colored pencil pieces have been of a pastel/softer nature in terms of texture. I also wanted to use a limited palette.
I’d listened in on conversations between other colored pencil artists and had tried some of their thoughts on blending, including using crumbs of a gum eraser to rub into and blend colors. It did blend nicely, but also lifted more color out than I had desired. I’ve also tried using paper blending sticks but was not satisfied with the results I was getting, so I fell back on my favorite blending utensil, the side of my finger.
But a big ol’ finger is not advantageous in getting into small narrow areas. I’ve not found anything with the similar grabbing and blending feel/power of skin. The closest I’ve come is an eye makeup blending wand. It could still be more rubbery and soft. I’ll keep looking, but for now, skin is ‘in’.
What’s NOT in is heading down to the river for a warm sunny afternoon of fishing and catching the one that was “THAT BIG!” It is, after all, the middle of October in Wisconsin.
Sitting down in my warm house to write this post I thought I’d look into who’s doing what in colored pencils. I came upon a site touting 25 Colored Pencil Artists Worth A Follow On Instagram. I didn’t dig further into individual artist’s websites, but thought the samplings of their choices were interesting. You can check them out for yourself.