I was invited once again to create a coloured pencil tutorial for the American Colored pencil magazine workshop series. Past tutorials contributed to this series are the Blueberries (2018) and the Peacock Feather (2019). This year I chose the Hare, a very popular subject among artists. Click the image below, which links to the page where you can purchase a digital (or print) copy of the magazine. If you are in the UK, the digital copy costs less than £2.50 and you can download it in seconds. A great read at a cheap price.
What is included in this issue?
Spotlighting Art-n-Fly - Art-n-fly is an affordable oil-based coloured pencil which is covered in this edition. There is a link to a You Tube video demonstrating these pencils used with Art-n-fly alcohol markers.
Finding the Unique You - Alexandra Zeres showing her artwork framed in flowers, birds and butterflies
Creating Prints of Your Art - Learn how to navigate the options in order to get started printing and providing your followers and fans with gorgeous prints of your artwork.
Hare Tutorial - Workshop series by Karen M Berisford
Pairing with Pitt Pens - Sara Ostlund compares the pros and cons of using the Faber-Castell Pitt artist pens with your coloured pencils. Follow her demo to try it for yourself.
Creating a Beautiful Layout - Learn how to create beautiful layouts by Erin McManness in an excerpt from the book of the month.
Sketchbook - See what's new and in the news
Challenge Met Gallery - Artwork of 18 artists who undertook every monthly art challenge in 2020 and won themselves a free digital subscription.
plus Selfie challenge and December art challenge winners.
Featuring: Ambro Jordi
Ambro brings animals to life when he puts pencil to paper. Learn how he went from pursuing a career in animation to one in fine art. Read how he enjoys sharing his knowledge with others and offering words of encouragement.
FREE Art-n-Fly Oil-Based Colored Pencil inside the USA Print Issues only - While Supplies Last
Price: USA $3.99 UK £2.87* Euro €3.31*
*Price may vary due to exchange rate when you purchase.
Download the CPM app
You can also download the Colored pencil magazine app on your Android or Apple device and purchase this edition, although there are no discounts available. The price is $2.99 and £2.99
About the reference image
If you haven't read this magazine before, you may find it a valuable resource as not only does it provide plenty of data on coloured pencils, it occasionally covers other mediums like pastel pencils and marker pens. There is an abundance of articles offering hints and tips, tutorials like this Hare above, regular competitions, a peek into the lives and studios of other artists and even guidance on the art business. They also have Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages too so you can get involved in those competitions wherever you are in the world - I even had a go myself a few years ago!
I have used this product for many years to help seal my graphite and coloured pencil drawings as well as my pastel portraits too. I have tried some other fixatives, but I personally like this one due to the fact that it also includes a UV filter, which offers extra protection. Some fixative nozzles can become blocked which is when spitting happens and this can leave marks on your drawing, particularly noticeable if you use it for your pastel paintings. I have never had that problem with the Loxley one.
USING IT ON MY OWN DRAWINGS
When working on my coloured pencil portraits, I sometimes apply a fixative between the layers which helps to extend the working surface and minimise saturation if I have applied a large amount of layers to a particular piece. As the fixative secures previous layers, ensure you have finished blending as you may not be able to do this after sealing it with fixative. In the video above, you can see the Loxley fixative appear in the video showing you where I apply a spray of fixative. There are around 8 or 9 layers on this area alone and as I need to apply highlights to the dark fur, the fixative allows me to do this without muddying the colours. I can then continue with more layers. Once the portrait is complete, I treat it with two layers over the whole of the portrait to minimise smudging and to offer extra protection to the framed portrait, particularly as many people do not choose a UV or museum glass when framing.
USING IT ON PASTEL ART
If you work with pastels, you may wonder if you should use a fixative on your drawings. Take a look at the comparison photos below and see what may happen if you do. The one on the left is before applying fixative and the one on the right is after. See how the fixative has darkened the colours, creating a more translucent finish. The fixative has dampened the pastel application, causing the darkening of the pastels. This may depend on the pastels you use though as higher quality pastels may not react in the same way as cheaper brand ones due to their being more pigment in them. Many papers, particularly textured ones, do not require a fixative as they hold the pastel well with minimal pastel drop. At the end of the day, the final decision is yours alone.
DIRECTIONS FOR USE:
When spraying, hold the can about 12" away from your upright drawing and spray evenly from top to bottom. It has also been suggested to me that you can turn your drawing 45 degrees and respray, so you are applying a balanced amount over the whole of your drawing. Spray too close and you may create speckling from the aerosol.
WHAT ABOUT USING HAIRSPRAY AS A CHEAP ALTERNATIVE TO FIXATIVE?
Never use hairspray as a fixative. Manufacturers of hairspray make this product for use on hair, not artwork. As hairspray is not acid-free, should you spray it over your artwork, it could cause it to yellow over time. The acid in the hairspray can cause discolouration of the pigment and may also make the paper brittle too. If you have ever used hairspray, you'll note that some can leave a tacky residue behind, not good for your work. It really is better to buy a fixative made for art, which will help protect your work properly for many years.
If you wish to see the final portrait of the Boxer dog being created in the video above, click this link
For anyone who uses the Caran d'Ache Luminance pencils, the company has released 24 new colours! You can buy individual pencils or purchase 20 of the colours in a box set called the 'Portrait assortment'
These pencils have been available to 'pre-order' for a while, but online stores, are now receiving stock and getting them sent out to everyone. My set appeared on Saturday morning (18.07.20) and I have to admit to being very excited upon opening the box.
For me, the Luminance pencils are THE best pencils I have used and I really appreciate that Caran d'Ache have extended the colour palette from 76 to 100. I suspect this was a reaction to Derwent releasing their first, fully lightfast pencil range last summer, which had 100 colours. For anyone interested, I have both ranges. The Luminance pencils are my regular 'go to' pencils as they are a little firmer than the Derwent Lightfast, and I am able to create finer details with them, but both ranges offer different colour palettes and having a larger choice is always a bonus.
The two darker tones, Indanthrone Blue and Dark Indigo will make a more natural replacement for the black pencil, but as the majority of my own work includes pets and portraits, having additional browns and pinks added to the palette is excellent. My current favourite colours are Burnt Ochre 10% and Burnt Sienna 10%, which I use on almost every portrait, so the introduction of the Herculanum Red, Violet Pink and Dark Flesh 40% are most welcome!
Above are the four new colours not included in the Portrait set. Personally, I think that Caran Dache should have created the Portrait set and include all 24 colours as they are just as important as all the other colours. I also wish they had included an extra grey for the 'eye colour selection', but as I use the greys more than most other colours, I could never have enough choice!
Have you got yours yet? Do let me know what your favourite, or most used colours are, and which new colours you are most excited about!
You can view our Luminance article by clicking the link below.
Unfortunately, I have had to cancel my final art workshop of the year.
The two day, coloured pencil workshop that was booked to run over the weekend of 15th and the 16th of August has now been rolled over to next year.
The Coronavirus has turned many lives and businesses upside down this year, and although we are all trying to get back to normal, it's going to take some time adapting to the new normal. Government regulations offer advice for all businesses and event planners to follow so they can provide a service as safely as possible. For many, this is possible, for others, it isn't. This workshop comes under the latter, and unfortunately there are too many hurdles that I, as the art tutor, am unable to fulfil.
The room where the workshop is held, is simply too small for social distancing. The raison d'etre of my workshops is providing demonstrations and one to one help, any social distancing means the whole point of the workshop is lost. Other guidelines, understandably, cover strict sanitation and it would be almost impossible to follow all the requirements.
As many are still concerned about gathering in groups, the interest in this workshop has been low, meaning people are simply not booking and the workshop is not viable.
I have decided to roll all my 2020 art workshops over to 2021 whilst adding in a Coronavirus caveat which may affect a workshop depending on the situation at that time. Anyone who wanted to attend the workshops this year, can still attend next year if they are able. You can click on any of the images below to find out more information on each workshop. I will open up bookings in the new year.
I want to send out a big thank you to everyone who booked one of my art workshops this year. For those who have attended previous events, I have missed seeing you again and for those who booked for the first time, I will look forward to meeting you in the future.
Stay safe everyone,
Artist & art tutor of Step by Step Art
2020 Art Workshops
I am currently in the process of organising this years art workshops and will be included in the winter newsletter which will be Emailed out to subscribers hopefully by the end of this month. All details will be posted on the step by step art CHESTERFIELD WORKSHOP page once available and added to social media pages for this site & my KMB social media pages too, ensuring a larger audience reach.
Every year I choose 3 or 4 subjects for the Coloured pencil & Graphite pencil workshops which include varying techniques and surfaces to previous years, ensuring each workshop is different to another. Coloured pencil workshops using textured paper are somewhat easier for a complete beginner than the workshops working on smooth paper, however every workshop available can be attended by any artist regardless of their calibre, even if they have NEVER drawn anything since their time at school!
To find out more about our workshops, click any one of the following links to visit the page of interest:
Reviews & Tutorials
Here are the latest articles and mini tutorials that can be found on the Step by step art website. Included are a selection of independent reviews on multiple mediums and art products as well as the very latest tutorials - click on any of the images below to visit the page of interest. You can also find lots more reviews on art products on our 'ARTICLES' page with new ones added every 3 - 4 months.
Latest product reviews
New Mini Tutorials
You can always request a specific article or mini tutorial and if I am able to provide that information, it could be included in a future article. Please get in touch with your idea at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Finally, you can always SUBSCRIBE to our quarterly newsletter, ensuring you receive the very latest articles, delivered straight to your E-mail.
New to coloured pencils? Why not view our 'Starting out with coloured pencils' article with some great hints and tips on where to begin, with what to buy and how to use them to their best ability.
If you are a newbie to soft pastels, this simple step by step tutorial explains how to create a tonal sky with the smoothest transitions and may offer you some great pointers to get you started.
Looking for some top quality soft pastels and have your eye on the Unison range but want to know more about them before splashing out? This article may offer you some great information.
Would you like to give oils a try and unsure what you need to get going? This article written by Welsh oil painter Chris Chalk and gives some simple advice to those new to oils.
Why not subscribe to our newsletter
Thanks for looking!
View any current Workshops available HERE
Feel free to click the Facebook 'Like' button, 'tweet' on Twitter or post a comment below!
Hope to see you there!
Although I own 3 different blenders and a burnisher myself, I forgot I had them and it gave me a great opportunity to try them all out and compare them, sharing with everyone my thoughts and findings.
If you are looking to find out what blenders & burnishers can offer you as a coloured pencil artist, or are new to blenders/burnishers and would like to know what they can achieve and how best to use them, why not take a look at this article - I was surprised to learn you can actually use them with graphite pencils too, although have not tried it myself.
If you would like to request an article, please get in touch - it's always great to hear feedback too if you wish to share your own experience on using any of these products so feel free to comment below. If you know someone who may find this article interesting, feel free to 'like' on Facebook or 'tweet' on your Twitter page!
I hope you find this article very helpful!
Karen M Berisford
1 Day Art Workshop
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