Monday, July 30, 2012

Fun with pencils

Since the beginning of the year I have been playing with some new stuff, new to me anyway. I have some definite goals in mind for this stuff, but I had to start somewhere.

We were so poor growing up that we girls were only allowed one positive attribute each. I was the smart one. (The day I taped my first Simply Quilts episode I would have given anything to be the pretty one.) It seemed like grown ups were constantly taking the crayons out of my hands and substituting an abacus. (That's how old I am.) I did excell in the sciences and math, but always yearned to be an artist.

By the time I was an adult I was throroughly convinced that I had no artistic talent. I thought it was something magical that one was born with already built in. I now understand that with training and practice and passion, we can be what ever we want to be. Sure, each of us is born with strengths and weaknesses, but my life philosophy has always been anything worth doing is worth doing badly for as long as it takes to master it.

Before I could put these tools to task on my ideas I needed to figure out how they work. I started with these water color pencils from Derwent. They color on fabric very nicely, and then bloom like watercolors when water is painted on.

I loved how the colors brightened and deepened with the water, but I didn't like the wicking out around the design. After rooting around in my art supply stash (I thought that owning art supplies would make me an artist, which is just silly, but I sure am glad that I bought them on speculation!), I found matte fabric medium. It worked just like the water on the pencils, but no wicking! The colors blended beautifully without running all over the place. That's just what I wanted.

Now that I understand how the pencils work, I'm off to play with my second new-to-me tool. Wanna guess?


  1. Phyllis8:31 PM

    I'm curious. How did you apply the matte medium, with a brush or something else? And was it full-strength or diluted with something? I want to try this!

  2. Instead of Derwent's watercolor, try Derwent's Inktense. The colors are more vibrant. Once you color your design, put little dabs of water on it and take a tissue and soak up the water so it doesn't spread. The ink is now embedded/permanent and you don't have to put any medium on it. I prefer this method much more.