Thursday, June 1, 2017

Progress and Colored Pencils

I leave on Tuesday. It's Thursday now, so Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday and then I hit the door running (or driving, in this case). I actually did get my suitcases up from storage yesterday, so that's one step in the right direction. I looked for and gathered together a few of my more esoteric class supplies like my Prismacolor© pencils which I need for one specific class. I also grabbed my folder for this year's classes to double-check the class requirements. I can't get out there and not have an important item available at hand.

I've always been a bit jealous of plein-air painters - those who pick up
their easels and supplies, walk out into the wilderness or to the nearest
street corner, and paint what they are viewing - rain or shine. I'm not that
bold (or talented)  as to allow my art's creation to be a secondary exhibition. 

I always travel with art supplies of some sort - usually a travel set of watercolors, but at least a carryall of pencils and a small sketch pad. The Prismacolor© pencils are actually going to be used in one of my classes, and having done the technique before (more than ten years ago), that particular brand is actually very important.

The Crayola Crayons 64 box with the built-in sharpener was the
holy grail of art supplies while I was growing up. It was one of the
best gifts I could receive and I used some of the colors up until
they were small nubbins. 

Colored pencils are not all created equally. There are the little pencils you might have used when you were a kid. The basic colored pencils didn't come in a lot of colors, didn't have much coverage, and frankly, when compared to a box of 64 Crayola© crayons, they really lacked the fun factor. As I grew older, I used blue and red colored pencils for editing and for work. I was proofreading papers and larger documents as well as working for accountants where red and blue were key for communicating. Those pencils had better coverage, but were really limiting.

Prismacolor 24's aren't super expensive, they are mid-range,
but when you get into the full sets of 150 colors, then
you're talking money. I don't keep the little inserts that
keep the pencils organized. I have more than 24
pencils in my box along with blenders, erasers, and
other basic supplies. 

I'm trying to remember when I got my first set of really good colored pencils, but it's more than twenty years back, so a long time ago. I don't think they were Prismacolor©, but they weren't bad. I kept picking the more expensive brands up and looking at them, but I didn't cave ... yet. When I did, though, I found out the difference a fine pencil can make.

For this particular project, I'll be using Prismacolor© pencils in very light layers, then adding a chemical to melt and bind the layers together. It will be rinse and repeat and rinse and repeat again and again to build up a strong, highly colored image on metal which will then be framed with decorative wire work and turned into a suspended pendant. In other words, it'll be a lot of fun. I'm looking forward to taking my well-worn box of colored pencils on a journey.

Have a great Thursday, all. I'll start to hone my list for packing and making sure my clothing is clean. It looks like I'll have all sorts of weather - hot and sunny to cooler and rainy - so a more diverse wardrobe will be called for. Hmmm ....

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