I’m crazy. A few weeks ago, I indulged in a set of 100 Holbein coloured pencils! They’re made in Japan, and I know, I could have waited till I got there and bought them but Amazon was doing a good offer I just couldn’t resist. Shipping costs to the Netherlands were nil too even though am not even Prime member. Besides, I didn’t fancy lugging the heavy thing in my suitcase from Japan. So I thought what the heck.
And now the other day whilst driving, I spotted a cute neighbourhood cat crossing my path. So kawaii, I thought. Typical cat. Instead of leaping across quickly when a car comes by, she just fearlessly and even proudly teetered across like she owned the road. I love how their short legs just go “pit pat pit pat…”. And of course I wanted to draw about it! Here is when I thought I’d put my new coloured pencils to the test.
I just used a plain 2B graphite pencil to sketch. As for paper, I used Strathmore’s Color Pencil Paper (163 gsm) at a larger size than the A4 size I normally use. The sketch is supposed to be from my point of view as driver of the car. I played a bit with the perspectives although I know it’s not looking realistic which makes it all the more interesting. Even more interesting is the cat being proportionately huge. I like being surreal. The point is to make the cat centre of focus.
I was impressed how the paper had good tooth to help provide an even coverage. By the same token, the surface was also quite smooth with even a vellum feel to it. And the pencils! I was quite impressed about how well pigmented they are with a good waxy consistency. You just need a light hand with the pencils and do not need to press too hard to get the colours on the paper. I firstly filled in the background by briskly making straight lines to get an idea of colour scheme.
Getting it All Right
However, I did not really like how the pencils left streaks. It had nothing to do with the pencils but the way I was applying the colours. When I was advised to go for small circular motions, it made more sense, but still, am not completely perfect right yet. I also used Derwent”s Blender “pencil” which did help a bit but I think I need more practice. While everything looks fine, especially the cat, the area on the dashboard still looks a bit streaky even when blended. On the positive note, I am happy with the colour scheme, using warm colours for the cat and for the rest, cooler shades to add contrast. I also had a go with shading and shadows to add some dimension to the work. So here it is!
Though not one of my best work to date, I have to admit this is the first real attempt at a proper colour pencil drawing. I normally use coloured pencils in mixed media work or when colouring something in that is already outlined with a pen. As such, I won’t be too hard on myself this time! I’ll just continue practicing more, especially as I am satisfied with the quality of the paper and pencils. And anyway, I am happy I was able to capture the “cute cat crossing the road” experience on paper!