Here is a photo essay showing the progress of my latest Botanical Illustration:
Things I learned on this drawing:
- Polychromos pencils smear like mad, leaving a green haze over the white areas of the drawing. This necessitates new strategies to protect the paper, including wiping newly sharpened pencils with a cloth, stabbing the points in to a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser pad, using an artist bridge and blowing fine particles off the drawing with a Giotto’s Rocket Air Blaster rather than brushing with a soft brush as I have long done with Prismacolors.
- It’s probably best to do a few small studies after a long dry spell before jumping in to a complex composition with a deadline.
- Using Prismacolor Black Grape in shadows on botanicals is not for the faint of heart. Best to stay with the Polychromos Indigo. Changing mid-drawing is a really bad idea.
- Irojiten Mulberry has potential as a replacement for Black Grape, needs further investigation and sampling. Save this for a few of the deepest darks. Nasco sells Irojitens open stock. Update, 2020: Nasco might still sell Irojiten pencils open stock but they have closed their retail outlet in Modesto and as a result I usually order things from Dick Blick instead.
- The adult coloring book craze has decimated the colored pencil market and replacements from open stock are going to be hard to get until the fad runs its course. Further 2020 update: now it’s elastic, fabric and sewing machines that are in short supply due to the Covid 19 pandemic and the need for facemasks. Pencils are mostly available again but some art supplies are also hard to get as people shelter in place. Adult coloring books are still out there, but not as popular. What goes around comes around.