Monday, March 30, 2015

Pelican Encounter-Final

Well, after 10 days and many, many hours and many, many layers, it is done. I started this on March 11 and today is the first day of spring, March 21. But it takes as long as it takes. I am still not totally sure I am done.

Turned out pretty good, even Hubby, (surprise!) said so.

Now, the Verdict on the Colourfix.

I like it.

Pelican at Juno Beach
Susan Tschantz
c. 2015

It does have a lot of tooth, and you will find it eats the pencils. This is understandable, as it is designed for heavy use with charcoals and pastels. I suspect it leans heavily towards soft pastels.

I did enjoy finding a board that was already tinted and already had the marble dust(?) (I am not sure what they use for the tooth. I have used marble dust and gesso with acrylic paint to tint myself).

So in addition to the cost of the board, you will use your pencils rather quickly and will sharpen a lot! Really a lot!

I only have the final burnishing to do. I did use a stump to blend, which proved really useful. I did not find the use of a medium, like mineral spirits as useful on this board as on some surfaces. Wax bloom was not as evident either. and I might revisit the feet tomorrow when it has had time to set up a little.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Pelican Update

Spent an enjoyable half hour working on small details and blending the colored pencil on the Pelican painting.

It is starting to look like a pelican!

Unlike with liquid paint, when using colored pencils you must manually blend your pigments on the support. One reason a good strong support is necessary, and why standard drawing paper simply is not heavy enough for colored pencil.

Day three of the Pelican Project.
Working on the Colourfix is proving to be a mixed blessing. While the support is plenty strong enough for colored pencil, getting used to the strong tooth is a new experience. Not a bad one, just new.

Strangely, a tortillons work better than the harder stumps. Go figure? Maybe because the tortillon is softer than the stumps, better able to work on the sandy surface.

Getting that tint of salmon coloring over the white took some thought. Finally I did use a soft application of Terricota and Indian Red, both colors smear well when covered with a layer of the Prisma White. I find that the soft Prismacolor white blends and aids bleeding best. It is exactly what I needed in this instance.

I also used a rough, cheap bristle brush with a small amount of mineral spirits. After dipping the brush in mineral spirits, I wiped it off with a paper towel, so it was more of a dry brush effect.  This helped to simply tint the belly feathers, rather than color them with lines.

I am finished for the day, letting the painting dry completely before adding any more layers.

I have found that I need different techniques with this surface. The sandy tooth grabs the pigment more than I had been used to, so you do not need to work as hard to put down layers of pigment.

I also have not had any problems with wax bloom so far, which I do with the mat board I customarily use in my work. Doing the final polish on mat board takes time. We will see if it becomes a problem with this board. So far, not.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Pelican Encounter

Spent a relaxing 10 days snowed-in in Florida this winter. Another story.  

It was fabulous. While our home was pummeled with ice, rain, wind and snow we relaxed by a pool and took walks by the ocean.


Which leads to my new project, a striking portrait of Mr. Pelican. Actually, I have no idea of the sex. It might well be Ms. Pelican for all I know. I do know this bird-person took no guff from anyone. Stood its ground and proclaimed its independence.   

So Mr. or Ms. as the case may be, will become my next art project. 

My preference for tinted paper has lead me to explore many supports, and today I am trying a new one.  

Start of the drawing,
Image transferred and first layers of white and black
Colourfix Plein Air Painting Board made by Art Spectrum in Australia. I choose the blue haze tint, because it closely matches the sky in my reference photo. It is a heavily textured board, feeling like fine sandpaper. I have noticed already that it has a tendency to be smeary, which makes sense as it is designed for dry media like pastels and charcoal. Having the ability to smear and blend are important for these media. How it will respond to colored pencil is another matter.  

The support I am using is the 12” x 16” size. Matted to 16 x 20 it should make a good presentation.


As usual with Colored Pencil I did my first drawing on tracing paper, making what adjustments and corrections I needed, then using graphite waxless transfer paper, I transferred my Pelican to the Colorfix board. I traced lightly so I had very faint lines. This is necessary because I could already tell erasing was not an option on this board. 

You can see the tint of the board here and how it will serve as the background.

As I said, this board has the texture of fine sandpaper, and it does have plenty of tooth to hold many layers of colored pencil, which is good because it will need it! 

This time I did not start with a layer of watercolor pencil or graphtint, or ink tense. I usually to this, especially if I am working on a dark support. But I decided to see how colored pencil will perform on this surface.
So here it is so far:




Friday, March 13, 2015

Drawing Company Coming!

Need to clean the house, expecting company,


Have to pick up and dust and clean the floor, mean to bake cookies, so I am welcoming.


Ok, oven is on. Dishwasher going..


Dirty clothes picked up. Oh yes, the guest bath. Need to check it! So far so good.


I have so much to do! Dust everywhere, dishes in the sink…


I got the table out and set up…..


Oh, no! colored pencils,


Must resist…..

            Must resist……………

really I must resist! I have 6 people coming! Got too much to do!



Colored pencils won!