12'x10' Coloured Pencil
Copyright Laura Hardie 2010
The portrait of Farley is now finished and has been for over a week but thanks to Blogger having a wobbly I couldn't upload any images at the time. And then of course it slipped my mind later!
I am currently trying out new papers for my coloured pencil drawings as, after years of using Fabriano Artistico hp watercolour paper (and shouting its praises to all who asked), I've decided it is too 'off white' and cream coloured for my liking - I want a paper that is a lot whiter. I probably would have quite happily carried on using the Artistico paper had it not been for my wanting to try Mellotex. Mike Sibley, who needs no introduction and whose work I greatly admire, uses this paper as do more and more pencil artists it seems.
Mellotex did take a bit of getting used to as it was so smooth but what I liked straight away was the whiteness of the paper and the fact that this in turn made getting prints of my drawings so much easier - made my Artistico look yellow in comparison! I encourage any artist who hasn't tried this paper to give it a go - you wont be disappointed. The range of darks you can achieve with this paper is reason alone - lots of lovely blacks:)
Unfortunately it is just too smooth for my coloured pencils hence my search. Farley has been drawn on Fabriano 5 described in Jacksons catalogue as 'a very white paper ideal for botanical work'. Sounded ideal, and still being a hp watercolour paper I knew it would have enough tooth to take all my many layers of pencil. But, for some reason or other, I didn't enjoy working on it and found it hard going. I still got the results I was after only I had to work harder to get them. I'm not an expert on papers but did wonder if the fact it was mould-made using 50% cotton rag as opposed to 100% in the Artistico could make a difference. I'm probably way out and clutching at straws but it is the only difference between the two papers, besides the colour, that I can see and it would be interesting to know. Maybe I got paper from a bad batch, who knows.
I will try it again but for my next portrait, which I'm currently working on, I'm back to the Artistico this time in extra white. No problems to report with this paper so far (still not as white as I'd ideally like but thats being picky) and there are a few more out there I'd like to try. Especially one from a fellow coloured pencil artist that I hadn't come across before and, thanks to him, have small samples of to scribble on and play around with.
I am working hard on my next portrait but unfortunately can't show you how this is progressing (yet) as it is going to be a present for somebody and it could ruin the surprise. I will of course post the stages as soon as I can.