Saturday, February 11, 2017

Pencil ponies

As I was entering participant information onto the NaMaPaiMo spreadsheet, I couldn't help but notice that a lot of people listed colored pencils as part of their painting plan.
photo by Lynette Sayers
This got me wondering, so I asked the group to teach me about colored pencils.
As I suspected, a lot of people were using them in combination with other media.
photo by Oksana Kuks
Russian artist, Oksana Kuks, is creating these dapples with a combination of pencils and pastels.
photo by Oksana Kuks
Australian artist, Tanya French, painted these dapples with oils and used colored pencils to create extra hair detail.
photo by Tanya French
Karen Beeson also uses pencil to create hair details, as well as highlights, shadows and fleabites.
photo by Karen Beeson
Jennifer Kroll is a big fan of colored pencils. She has colored entire horses with them...
photo by Jennifer Kroll
as well as using them to highlight veins and detail eyes.
photo by Jennifer Kroll
Like others, she also uses them for roaning. She says: It's hard to see in the photo, but this guy is a baby grey.
photo by Jennifer Kroll
His entire body has four layers of colored pencil roaning.
photo by Jennifer Kroll
Lesli Kathman has also used colored pencils as to shade entire horses. This saddlebred has an acrylic base coat, white markings, hooves and eyes. Otherwise, he is all colored pencil.
photo by Lesli Kathman
She says: Most of the pencils used on this particular horse are Prismacolors. That was my go-to brand for greys or silver dapples because they had such a wide range of grey tones. I also used Derwents. If it was a wax-based (ie., not watercolor) pencil and it was the right color, I used it
photo by Lesli Kathman
Lest you think all pencil ponies are grey, check out this little cutie by Franceyn Dare. He was created almost entirely with pencils. The only exception is his eyes, which were painted with acrylics.
photo by Franceyn Dare
Heidi Reaves is another pencil devotee. She uses pencils for roaning, flea-bites, hooves, eyes, dappling, hair details in manes and tails and other things, such as pangere around the muzzle.  She offers this advice in regards to brands and technique: I started with Derwent and still use them, but love Faber-Castell just as much. Lyra, by Rembrandt are also good. After spraying my horse with sealer, I wait several days, until I know it's completely dry. Dull Cote and fixative make the surface workable, but so does drying time. It's possible to scratch the surface if you don't wait long enough. It just requires patience, and so it's good to have more than one project going at a time.
photo by Heidi Reaves
While most of the uses discussed so far are visible on the finished model, some artists use colored pencils underneath the surface. Jen Johnson is using pencils on her NaMoPaiMo model to map out his Appaloosa pattern. She credits Kimberley Smith with teaching her this method.
photo by Jen Johnson
She writes:  I do this when I am undecided or just want to make sure it looks the way I want it to. It's easy to erase and redo the marking if you don't like it. I also color in the first round of white with pencil. When I'm done, I brush off the noogies and seal with Dullcote. Then I can continue on with acrylics. 
photo by Jen Johnson
The last and most unexpected use of pencils comes from Tiffany Purdy. I've always known her models are mixed media, but I never, ever would have guess that her dappling technique starts with colored pencils. She writes: I do all of my dapples in pencil first. I shade over them with layers of paint, then go back and add some details back in with pencil at the end. I prefer this method to the typical outline airbrush dapple look. Horses like BFF take ten to twenty layers going back and forth over dapples, but the results are really worth it. I use my micro airbrush for this part.
BRR, Tumlinson Scarlett resin customized and painted by Tiffany Purdy
Thank you so much to everyone who took the time to share their pencil ponies and knowledge with me. I never would have guessed that colored pencils were such a versatile art medium. I guess I know what I'll be shopping for the next time I buy art supplies.

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