In the world of art, colored pencils as a medium continue to be regarded as the new kids on the block. They’ve got the attention of a lot of people but still sit alone at at the drawing table waiting to be joined.
Colored Pencils for art were introduced in 1924 by Faber-Castelland Caran d’Ache.
The second type are thin, non crumbling, lead pencils. They are are waterproof and great for detail, but come in limited colors. They do not smudge or erase easily but can be removed with a blade. (Verithin/Venus. The Venus brand can be erased).
The third are the water soluble leads.These can be used in combination with water to produce washes of color (cross between colored pencils and watercolors. The most common colored pencils are wax based because they are easily accessible, offer a large color selection and are easier to erase. They have a tendency to bloom (get a milky appearance) if they have not been sealed with a fixative.
Oil based colored pencils generally have a lighter appearance and can require the artist to repeat applications many times to get the richness he desires. They also can smear but a fixative usually is not required.
Colored pencil artists layer 3, 5, up to 20 layers of pencil to layer and mix colors. In addition to using crosshatching or other techniques to get the pencil into all of the nooks and crannies of textured papers, finishing techniques often include using solvents to blend the colors further.
People who can’t draw have not learned to see what they are looking at. Drawing is a skill set that can be taught. It is not so much about what you do with your hands as it is what you see when you look at something.
In art school many drawing exercises quickly revealed to each of us how the mind lies. Our drawing materials were in one room and the model was in another. We were allowed only 5 minutes to look and remember as much as possible before returning to our easel and draw for ten minutes. After each quarter hour journey we learned quickly what our minds had shut out.
Nobel Prize winning author, William Faulkner, added his version with “Immature artists copy, great artists steal”.
Stealing in each of these cases refers to not copying someone else’s work, but taking it in what you love about it and making it a part of your self. It does not mean copying.
Someone who copies is confusing mental ideas with creativity. It is coming from fear, not creativity.
Competitive people believe only a few good ideas exist and there is not enough to go around. Competition is the opposite of creativity.Creativity manifests itself uniquely to every individual. It is unlimited.
Schools began to focus on test results through memorization. Although it technically included the arts, they were not tested for Title I funding. If the students did not pass rigorous tests, schools lost their funding and teachers lost their jobs. Teaching kids to think or to create was no longer financially worth it.
Drawing with computers does not train the eye in the same way we learn with paper and pencil. Digital manipulation does not replace the skill of learning to draw anymore that cut and pasting from what is online is writing a novel.
When drawing was initially required to be taught in our schools we had to use Britain’s school system to know where to begin. Art Master Walter Smith was hired and brought to the USA as the Art Education Supervisor Of Massachusettes.Walter Smith wanted to teach children how to draw, not make drawings. He wanted to give them an understanding of technical drawing that could be brought into design of products, incorporate science, and an understanding of how to see.
“Smith separated the public into three sections:Children,skilled artisans,and general public. Children would be taught drawing in schools as part of their general education, artisans would be taught in night schools, and the general public would be able to have lectures in museums if they wished.
Smith educated teachers who had previous knowledge of drawing. He did this so in turn they became knowledgeable enough to teach normal teachers how to incorporate art in the classroom.
Smith devised a plan for incorporating drawing skills in grade schools. For younger students, they would be taught, “free-hand outline drawing” and when they were old enough they would eventually learn “model drawing”. “Memory Drawing” and flash cards were also included in his method (used in all grades).”
I post a figurative art stream on Twitter featuring contemporary artists. The gratitude I receive from artists and art lovers is my reward. So many people do not realize we are living in a renaissance of classically trained artists. If you would like to visit it please go to Twitter.com/Uridev.
Artists Work by order of appearance
Camie Salaz (b.1977, American) drawing for the painting of “Orion”