Using colored pencils with an unpig-mented art marker is unlike any other technique used with this medium. It otters an opportunity to manipulate a painting surface in a particularly gestural and energetic way. There are usually three basic steps in the process.
1. For this quick study of a few tangelos on a patterned field, artist Bet Borgeson used Prismacolor pencils to rough in the elements on a sheet of regular drawing paper. (Art-quality pencils blend smoothly with colorless markers, and paper buckling is not a problem.) In addition to establishing the relative positioning of the tangelos. the pencil pigments served as colors for the unpigmented art marker.
Layering of different colors at this stage is apparent, but it was done loosely and gesturally. She used 949 silver with some cooler 903 true blue toward the rear for the checkered pattern. The tangelos were established with two basic colors—923 scarlet lake and 918 orange—but she also used 916 canary and 922 scarlet red for the tangelo in the foreground. For additional dark values, a 903 true blue was used on the single fruit at the rear, a 911 olive green on the middle row (as well as for the stems and leaves), and a 949 silver on the front tangelo.
2. With an Eberhard Faber #311 colorless blender, and using a gestural stroke, the artist blended the previously applied colors. She left plenty of white paper because once it is covered it cannot be recreated. As the colorless marker was moved from one colored element to another, its felt tip was 'runout" on a sheet of scratch paper to restore the felt tip to unpigmented solvent. Sometimes, however, a picked up color in the felt tip can first be applied someplace where a light valued wash is needed. The artist added some additional checkered squares in this way.
Arrangement of Five Tangelos, 6%" x 6-%" (16.8 x 16.8 cm.), by Bet Borgeson
3. It was in this third step of using colored pencils and colorless blender that the character of this techniques work was defined—whether it was to be a study or a finished expression. This depends in large part on how far a drawing's refinement can be carried with dry pencils.
Without having to wait for the surface to dry. more pencil color was now worked into the painted areas. The original pencils were used again, this time to soften and integrate values that model forms of the fruit. Also, some outside contour edges were crisped and texture added. A 916 canary yellow was added to the small center tangelo and to the forward one. Some 931 purple and 956 light violet were also added to the forward one, and some 948 sepia was toned into its stem and leaf as added dark value. Although there was now less white paper showing through, it still played an important part in achieving sparkle on the fruit surfaces.
Finally, the artist developed cast shadows by both dry and wet toning beneath and around the fruit with a combination of 949 silver and 903 true blue. A stripe was suggested in the pattern by drawing it in with a 956 light violet pencil, softening it with the blender.
Detail. A close-up view of the front tangelo's shaded side clearly shows some of the results of this technique's basic steps. The yellowish hue is 918 orange combined with 916 canary yellow that has been liquified and manipulated with the colorless blender. The colors of the 922 scarlet red, 931 purple, and 956 light violet pencils are those applied dry over the painted area. The firm contour line of 922 scarlet red was added last and not modified with solvent. Bits of white among the colors remain as the sparkle of bare paper
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