As I come to the end of my Donkey and Lion projects, there is now an opportunity to reflect on what I have achieved over the past year. Last year, I started out as mainly a graphite artist with a bit of charcoal thrown in. Now I do more works in color.
I have enjoyed exploring what can be achieved with color pencils but as illustrated below, they do wear down quickly making them expensive.
This is not helped by the surface that I use to draw on which is pastel mat. This just eats pencils. But, I love this surface and compared to other surfaces it does allow plenty of layers to be added giving a greater depth of color.
Thankfully through the incorporation of watercolor pencils and pan pastels into my art, the burden on my pencils is greatly reduced. Both these approaches in my view enhance the depth of color in the underpainting making all the experimentation worthwhile.
The Donkey which incorporated watercolor pencils is now complete and has lovely maroons and purples, while the Lion using pan pastels has a lot of yellows, oranges, and russets within it.
I had another go at using pan pastels with this drawing of a Robin. I chose the Robin as there were three distinct areas in the Robin that I wanted to see how well I could add depth to. These were the different reds and oranges within its breast, the browns on its back and the fluffy greys and whites on its underside.
Which do I prefer … pan pastels or watercolor pencils for the underpainting?
I have no preference. The choice of which to use will be determined by how I feel about the subject.
So what is next…
I am going to continue experimenting with color and contrast and in particular look at the concept of value. This is the relative lightness and darkness of a color that helps define form and contributes to that sense of spatial illusion that I strive to achieve in the drawings that I do.
Image Sources: Donkey: Lisa Ann Watkins at Art by Law, Lion: From Jason Morgan Robin: My own image