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Saturday, March 7, 2020

Working on My Technique

I've done about 50 of these tinted pencil illustrations at this point, but I'm still working on my technique. As far as the pencil goes, I'm pretty happy and have only made one change along the way which is to used harder pencils. I started using HB, then 2B, but now I've dropped back to H and HB with 2B in only the very darkest parts. Seems to work better because it's not as easy to smudge.

An on-going problem for me is adding color in large areas. I find it impossible to get a smooth covering with transparent acrylic washes alone, especially since it have to paint around the objects in the foreground. From the beginning, I've tried using colored pencil for these areas but I wasn't happy with the grainy look. Then I tried smudging the colored pencil with q-tips, which is helping. The first time I tried, I added and smudged the colored pencil without fixing the graphite and got smudging on some of the graphite as q-tips are not detail 'tools." So now I do the pencil, fix it, do the colored pencil and smudge it, fix it again, add two layers of acrylic matte medium over the whole thing, then finish with the acrylic washes.

This is working better, but I'm always trying to think of something better. By the way, I've tried extender medium and glazing medium to try to make my acrylic washes smoother, but it still didn't do the trick.

This is the finished piece.

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