February 15, 2013

Media Sampler

I recently learned about a pencil crayon technique for blending that I wanted to try.  I also wanted to see how it compared with other techniques, so I've done a sampler.

For the sake of easy comparison, I'm putting the images together with explanations below.  I've uploaded the pictures to Picasa, if you want to see them larger.

Crayola (water based) Markers
Pencil Crayons
Pencil Crayons with Gamsol for blending

Water Colours (pencils + water brush)
Gelatos - dry
Gelatos - wet
1. Markers:  I don't own enough Copics (or other alcohol based markers) to do a good test with them, so this is with Crayola markers.  It's more to show the depth of colour of markers vs the other media than a sample of marker blending, as water based markers don't blend the way alcohol ones do.  Please keep that in mind when you look at this picture.  I'd intended to do some minor blending, but the second blue I chose turned out to be too dark for the technique I was thinking about and so I didn't end up doing that.

2. Pencil Crayons: You can blend pencil crayons by pressing harder or lighter, or by layering one colour over another.  I just did basic colouring, so it would be easier to compare with the other images.

3. Pencil Crayons + Gamsol.  This is the original technique I was testing.  I saw this video explaining the process and wanted to try it.  Gamsol is an alcohol that removes the wax from pencil crayons, allowing you to blend the colour with a blending stump.  If you buy Gamsol from an art store you have to buy a lot (I got 16 oz), which will last ages as long as it doesn't evaporate on you.  Apparently some craft stores sell it in smaller (2 oz) quantities.  I poured a small amount in a tiny bottle for use, dipped in a blending stump, and blended the picture.  I loved the soft, almost water colour look it gave.  And as the alcohol evaporates, there's no warping the paper.  I thought belatedly I should try drawing the veins on the leaves and blend the colour out, so I tried that with my next media below.

4. Water colour: I have a set of pencils/crayons with a water brush, so that's what I used here. With the flowers I coloured the outlines and drew the colour to the center with the water brush.  For the leaves, I drew veins and tried to draw the colour out.  I didn't like the effect as much, and would have preferred an outline in look instead.  The paper warped a bit, but not too much.

My gelatos finally arrived, so I decided to extend this test with a few more media, including chalk, which I have - and don't use as much as I'd like.

5. Chalk: For the flowers I did a heavier chalk outline and pulled the colour in, adding more if needed.  For the leaves, I tried another technique of drawing lines with a Versamarker and applying the chalk to it.  The Versamarker gives the chalk something to stick to and seemed to deepen the colour on my other  projects, though I didn't notice that effect here.

6. Gelatos - dry: The gelatos are nice and creamy, going on like a cross between crayons and pastels.  I did an outside layer and tried to draw the colour in using first my finger and then a tissue.  The colour didn't want to go far, but rubbing it acted like burnishing, making it shiny (these are the metallics) and more stable (I gather once it's been rubbed in it won't come off as easily (ie, you can rub chalk off, or smear pastels).

7. Gelatos - wet: Once again I did my outline, but this time I spritzed the page with water and used a wet brush to pull the colours.  In retrospect, the spritzing probably wasn't necessary and robbed me of control (as well as saturating my paper, making it warp).  I think the brush on its own would have been fine, and the water allowed the colour to spread much better than rubbing it with a dry media did.  As with the dry gelato image, this one has a beautiful shimmer to it.  This was pretty messy, and any image done this way (with the spritz, but perhaps not just a brush) would need to be cut out rather than used as is.  I'd also highly recommend using water colour paper for this.

I think my favourite effect by far is the pencil crayons with gamsol.  I've always been a fan of pencil crayons, and I think the soft effect looks beautiful.  But there are so many fun things to play with...


patty said...

That was my favorite, too, looking at the effect. :) Fun!

Karin said...

I like the chalk one and the one done with gamsol.