Yesterday I was in Domburg in Zeeland (southwest coast of the Netherlands) at a polo match for the first time in ages. My boyfriend photographs there so whilst accompanying him, I brought my art kit along! Normally I paint with watercolours when on location but this time, I was in the mood to draw instead! And to sketch in coloured pencils. I dug through my bag and on the bottom lay a tin of Polycolor 12 pencils in Brown-line by Koh i Noor. And my mini sketchpad, Strathmore’s Mixed Media Art Journal in A5-ish size.
Such set, consisting of 12 coloured pencils, range from black-brown to reddish brown to yellow-brown. Given that brown is a composite colour produced by combining variations of red, yellow and black, the set does indeed introduce a wide spectrum of brown. So how to produce a drawing using just browns? Another challenge for me was not resorting to outlining with graphite pencil and then filling in with colour as I normally do. I was just to put the colours directly on the paper and scribble away. See where it all takes me. Don’t worry if it’s not perfect and just improvise. The only thing was to stick to the theme of ponies with kawaii characters.
As a bit of a warm up, I just doodled. A little creature with short legs and long face and torso, supposed to resemble a pony. I know it looks nothing like a pony but doesn’t matter. Just imagine it is one! The point is to see where my mind takes me and more importantly, to experiment the different browns. A warm shade of brown for the pony, a bit umber . And add Little One on top, in more a reddish-brown outfit (sienna) and black-brown hair. Oops, I did go a bit OTT with the hair and decided at the last minute to add a cap. Everything out of proportion but I was not stressing. I was having so much fun drawing like a child given some paper and crayons. I love my little chibi pony!
Just Horsing Around
This time, I decided to try sketching a proper pony. Starting with the underlying “two round circles and triangle” method and then transforming it into a proper horse. Not bad at all! This is just a simplified version which this time reasonably resembles pony. Once again, the focus was trying the different brown shades and combining them to make a brownscale picture. Little One is having so much fun riding her pony and brought her big teddy bear along! Pony is in a cooler tone of brown, more chocolate. Once again, Little One is in a reddish outfit (sienna) with teddy being more a chestnutty brown. I drew another pony treading behind (well just a little part of it) to help balance the composition of the drawing.
My last drawing, and I decided to do it different and focus on those riding the pony. Little One and Bunny! Here I definitely see an improvement in colouring techniques, getting more accustomed and relaxed about it. And being able to harmoniously combine the various browns better. Also the strokes look more flowing and less choppy as I began improving on the cross-hatch strokes. Before today, I was working the coloured pencils in circular movements to fill in colour but I realised the importance of this method and how much more texture it adds to the drawing. So I must say this is my best shot out of the three.
I definitely needed a change from painting especially with all the mixed media work and abstract art I have been doing lately. It’s not that I am fed up with it. All I needed was a change of pace and getting down to the basics again and just sketch. Yesterday was a good opportunity. Besides I was able to use my Polycolor 12 Brown Line again! It’s something rarely used, and I would like to develop on it further by working with various tones of the same colour. Furthermore, I feel that my drawing and colouring techniques with pencils could do with more practice. Great to get back on track!