• Colored Pencils 16.02.2014 Comments Off on New Colored Pencil Tutorial

    This is a larger painting but the technique is the same.  It was fun to paint with brighter colors and use the value of the paper to control the intensity. Available from my website.

    11 pages; 15 color images, 1 line drawing.  The format of this tutorial is a little different as I have not done step-by-step images for each blossom. There are too many. Each blossom has a color photo with instructions written next to it so that you can work from  it.

    Blue Orchids

    Blue Orchids


    Paper: Black Stonehenge, un-textured side. I cut mine 16×20 to match the mat size, but a smaller size would also work.

    Prismacolor Wax Pencils used in this painting.

    Blue Violet Lake Indigo Blue
    Cerulean Blue Light Aquamarine
    Chartreuse Light Cerulean Blue
    China Blue Mediterranean Blue
    Cobalt Turquoise Muted Turquoise
    Cool Grey 10% Parrot Green
    Cool Grey 30% Peacock Blue
    Cool Grey 50% Periwinkle
    Cool Grey 70% Powder Blue
    Cool Grey 90% Prussian Green
    Copenhagen Blue Slate Blue
    Cream Sienna Brown * tiny amount
    Indanthrone Blue White



  • Colored Pencils 11.11.2013 Comments Off on Grey pencils

    I use the Griseille method of painting quite a bit, both in oils and colored pencils.  Griseille – a grey scale painting of your final image.  In the case of colored pencils, I use it to control the intensity of a color by laying down a first layer of grey.

    So, in Prismacolor, there are 3 greys. Cool Grey; Warm Grey and French Grey.  Choosing Cool or Warm seems to be self explanatory, but when would French Greys be used? To answer that question I had to make a color chart with all Greys.  It s shown below.

    When all 3 are side by side, it seems to me that Warm Greys are more neutral, and French Grey is warmer.  There are also strong value changes as the value gets darker in all 3.

    I am experimenting with Lyra Oil based pencils in an effort to avoid wax bloom, so I added the grey range in those pencils also. There are 3 black. You can see that they relate to the Prismacolor range in one or the other.

    I hope you find this interesting and will make your own charts as I do, in an effort to learn.  Here is the chart in PDF form for you to download, save and print off. Making the chart helps you learn the value scale also. Grey color chart PDF


  • Colored Pencils 05.07.2013 Comments Off on Using black paper

    I have a particular fondness for black paper.  Recently I have been using Black Stonehenge paper because it is lightfast.

    For this test I used a basic technique of basing in the petal with a single color and adding shading and highlights over that.  I do not use this technique often, preferring to lay my colors and values side-by-side, but this seemed like a good way to test.

    Prismacolor pencils. Prismacolor Pencils.

    I used a layer of Art Stix down first, then used a pencil of the same color for good edges and to refine. Shading and highlighting were added over the top of this base layer.

    Yellow on black does tend to display a bit on the greenish side, but with a good knowledge of color theory this is easily overcome by using a similar value of a red-orange pencil. I rather liked the temperature change from warm to cool.

    Prismacolor pencils with a white undercoat.I used an opaque Prismacolor White undercoat over the entire petal.

    When the yellow was added it was particularly bright. Shading and highlights are now being added on layer 4 and was a bit waxy as opposed to the feel of #1.

    The red turned pink over the white and required 2 good coats to cover. You can still see the white – at least I can, plus it changed the value.

    This was my least favorite of the techniques, so if I were going to use it, I would only add the white over the light area of the petal, and select different colors. The lack of intensity control bothered me but that might be personal preference. The petal is decidedly bright.

    Prismacolors with a Verithin White pencil undercoat on the light area of the petal only.I used a Verithin White undercoat only on the light area of the petal, leaving the black paper under the red.

    This gave a nice feel, very similar to using plain paper. When the yellow was applied, there was no waxy build up even though it was layer 2.  Shading and highlights went on nicely. The reds were true value on the black paper.

    In conclusion, while this worked very well, I saw little difference from the Art Stix + Pencil on plain paper in image 1.


  • Colored Pencils 02.07.2013 Comments Off on Student Artwork

    I always enjoy sharing photographs of student artwork.  I love the variations they achieve and I like seeing my designs painted by other people.  This is a class taught in May, 2013 by Sharon Shannon.  The students did a great job of the Yellow Day Lily. One of the students had also painted Julie’s Iris from my tutorials and brought that in for Show & Tell. They all did a great job.

    001jj 002jj 003jj 004jj 005jj 006jj

    If you have taught a class from my tutorials, I would love to see and share photos.

  • Colored Pencils 10.04.2013 Comments Off on Practice really works.

    My husband, John, attends most of my classes with me. He’s the tech guy who sets up my projector, screen, sound system, etc.  After a beginners class where I taught John’s Rose, he decided that he ‘could do that’.

    He did not want me to help him, he just wanted the instructions and a sample to study.  Ok, so I set him up and he went to work. Below, you will see his first attempt.  When it was done, he thought he could ‘do better’ so sat down and did it again the next day. Can you see the difference?  He has more contrast, he can ‘see’ the darks now, he can blend the highlights.I was very impressed. Remember, this was with no help from me whatsoever.  He did say that he hated the Raspberry pencil as it seemed to have a mind of its own so use a light touch when you get to that one.

    I hope this will inspire you to try colored pencils and to keep practicing. [Please forgive the quality of the photos, they were taken quickly with my phone while the camera charges.]

    This is his very first attempt at Colored Pencil painting.
    jjrose002This is his second attempt the next day. Can you see the difference?

  • Colored Pencils 05.10.2012 Comments Off on Sharp edges

    The way you hold the pencil and the position relative to the paper enables you to attain sharp edges – assuming, of course that you have a kept a sharp point on your pencil. That is of paramount importance.

    Hold the pencil so that you are using the point and it is leaning over the object you are painting, like this:

    Holding the pencil to give sharper edges

    …rather than like this where it leans over the background.

    Holding the pencil like this will not give sharp edges.

  • Colored Pencils 13.08.2012 Comments Off on New Epacket

    Yellow Daisy – painted with colored pencils

    Yellow Daisy is a detailed study of glass, paper values and using yellows.  Each petal is detailed and there are 2 large worksheets as well as the color step-by-step photos and the large photo.

    I taught this class at the Middletown Art Center and was blown away by the quality of the student paintings.

    I made this an oblong painting, roughly 8 x 14, and matted it with a 2″ mat and a silver toned frame.  I wanted something other than the 8 1/2 x 11 size that I had been doing.

    Purchase here  Please note that this is an epacket.  Downloadable instantly upon your return from PayPal.  It is not necessary to have an account at PayPal to make a purchase using a credit card.

  • Colored Pencils 24.06.2012 Comments Off on MAC Class photos

    The class held at MAC – Middletown Art Center was one of the best ever. The room was great, everyone had their own table to paint at, lunch and dessert were spectacular [ I won’t brown bag it again for sure!!] and the students worked hard with wonderful results. Thank you Patt Belisle, Executive Director of MAC, who also participated in the class.  A great time was had by all.

    Sign up for blog notifications of new classes or sign up for the newsletter on my website. I announce classes on both.

    Yellow Daisy Class, June 9, 2012

    Yellow Daisy Class, June 9, 2012

    Yellow Daisy class June 9, 2012