It’s Warming Up!

Today I’m sharing with you a colored pencil sketch I made the other day! Calling it “It’s Warming Up”. And why? Firstly, temperatures here in the Netherlands have suddenly soared from being a snowy frozen two weeks ago to an almost Spring-like 16°C. And now Little One is getting her Spring clothes out preparing for the warmer months ahead because coming Monday will be March already! And another reason for a warm up is because it has been a while since drawing with colored pencils. If I am not painting I would be drawing but even then it would be with graphite pencil or markers. Perhaps it’s a good time to get the colored pencils out and start sketching something cute again. And today’s warm up with these pencils is about Little One dressed in her Springtime pink dress!

I won’t go into the details or explain the process this time, but I started with a light and brief sketch on Strathmore A4 Drawing Paper (163 gsm) with whatever colored pencils I can find. Over the years, I have been trying to see what pencils I like best so accumulated a variety as seen above. I still can’t figure out what is the best as they all are as fine quality as the other in different ways. For one, I find wax-based Derwent’s Colorsoft quite good in terms of color intensity. Staedler’s Ergosoft come a close second in that category. Holbein’s Artists’ Colored Pencil are wonderful in terms of the range of available colors, and I love the fact that they do a good variety of pastel shades. However, I am not too sure about the color intensity, as I noticed I have to layer over and over to get what I like. Caran d’Ache’s Pablo, in comparison, is known to be entirely oil-based so lay down a lot of color on paper. Instead of sticking to one brand, then, I just mixed and matched according to what worked best where! It’s a bit like painting; I mean, would you just stick to one range?

Like we do with painting, I also blended the colors. After drawing the hair and eyes with a random variety of browns, I then took a violet color I had used for shading the pink dress and integrated it into the hair and eyes. This makes the drawing more pulled-together as the colors bind together. Another important thing I have been picking up with drawing with pencils is the stroke and positioning of the pencil, something I had picked up from my Japanese art classes (which unfortunately is temporarily suspended till further notice due to COVID). Rather than point the pencil tip down, you hold it sideways and lightly but briskly slide it on paper. That way, you get an even stroke and also you don’t run the lead down. Like graphite drawing, strokes are also important. I’ve done this on the hair and the dress for instance. And here is my kawaii Little One at last, looking so sweet in her pink frock!

I went for a simple drawing today. The past few days I’ve been on mixed media painting or digital art which, though very enjoyable, could be quite intense at times. I like to do simple sketches or drawings on my sketchbook from time to time using pencils or markers and getting back to the basics. Besides, it has been some time since I last used my colored pencils. Change is always good, and it is always fun to rediscover where you’ve left off. I’ll definitely be back with some colored pencil drawing especially as the weather warms up and then I can start exploring more with vivid colors!

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