Okay, I like pencils. Colored pencils, watercolor pencils, graphite, water soluble graphite, water soluble ink, water soluble graphite mixed with pigment pencils. Pencils from all over the world. Pencils from the U.S. Humble HB pencils. Super lightfast pencils. Pencils with caps with built-in sharpeners.
Ten months ago, my entire art pencil collection consisted of a set of twelve Prismacolors that were twenty years old and two sketching pencils. Now, I have a lot of pencils, maybe 300, and I’ve taken stock, created a swatch journal of each set, and put them into two cases.
Because if I tidy up, maybe there will be room for more.
I think you have to know horses to understand that Pete and his buddy are playing, not fighting. I drew these guys on Grafix drafting film using Caran d’Ache Neocolor II water soluble crayons. I tried using a little water on the first layer, but the color pretty much washed away. I may have to use fixative on this as I’m afraid of what would happen if a drop of water hit the surface. I’m considering buying the water resistant Neocolor I crayons just to use on this surface, which I love.
This one of our Pekingese is also on Grafix, but the Dura-Lar version. I used colored pencils with Pan Pastels.
For both drawings, I used the grid method to draw the initial image. It felt like cheating as I’ve never used a grid before. It helps tremendously with proportions, but adding everything else is up to you. Because drafting film is transparent, I created the grid on a separate sheet of paper and can reuse it.
This is my second completed drawing using drafting film. Gracie, our Cockatiel, is such a sweet bird, so I tried capturing her image. It’s difficult to obtain a likeness, but we share a space, so she’s always there if I need to take a closer look.
I used diluted Ampersand ink on the reverse side to create the sky and trees. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it’s permanent.
This drawing sped right along. I’m completing these drafting film drawings very quickly which isn’t a goal, just something I’ve noticed.
Where have I been? How have I missed out using drafting film?
It’s one of those smooth, unusual surfaces that I love. This one is 100% polyester, perhaps not as green of a product as mineral paper. Like mineral paper only a handful of layers of pencil can go down before the tooth is used up, but unlike mineral paper, drafting film is archival.
It’s also semi-opaque, which opens the experimenting door wide open. Because I purchased the two-sided variety (Grafix Duralar matte), I can draw on both sides, making darks darker, adding additional colors and details. If you can’t add more layers on the front, flip over the sheet and add them to the back. Adding different backings can add a totally new dimension to the final piece.
While I worked on this one, I put used a sheet of Bristol vellum underneath. The slight texture of the paper added a lot of detail when I was drawing the branches. When I didn’t want the paper surface to contribute, I slipped a smooth metal tin under the film.
I think the quality of this surface lends a dreamy look to the finished piece. The possibilities are pretty much endless with this discovery.