Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Colored Pencil on Wood

I was walking through our local Michael's craft store when I spotted the Artist's Loft (brand) Unprimed Wooden 1" Cradled boards. While at the CPSA exhibition and convention in Dallas this past summer, one or more manufacturers gave similar cradled boards as door prizes. I've seen some colored pencil work done on wood, so when I passed the display at Michael's, I decided to take a 9x12" board home with me to try. I need a slight break from my Angel's Trumpet piece and all those flowers and leaves so I was excited about trying a simple composition on the wood. I looked up "colored pencil on wood" on the internet and found a few ideas. One person said to lay down a very thin coat of gesso on the wood before using pencil and another person said the wood won't take many layers of pencil because it is so smooth. I decided to work directly on the wood with my colored pencils. I began with light layers of pencil knowing the pigment could build up too fast and then I wouldn't be able to apply more layers. I crosshatched in different several directions because the wood grain would show through the pencil, by crosshatching I could cover the grain pattern. I used Prismacolor and Derwent Coloursoft pencils which both applied nicely. My finished piece was nice but subtle and I couldn't get the pears to stand out from the background with just colored pencil. I remembered that someone had written about using Derwent Inktense pencils and water as an underpainting when working with colored pencil on wood so I decided to apply the Inktense pencils on top with water. I wet a small area with a brush, applied some of the Inktense pencil, then moved the pigment around with the brush. As a result, I achieved richer colors in my pears. I'm wondering about other brands of the wood and if they differ. I will have to try it again. This is a quick and fun way of drawing!

13 comments:

sue said...

They look good enough to eat! Did you/will you varnish the finished work?

Have you seen the beautiful cp work on wood done by Karen Hull (Blog: Miniature art by Karen Hull). About 4 months ago she posted a few done on breadboards featuring mice etc.

Kendra said...

Thank you Sue and thanks for the link. I'm going to look up her work.

Katherine Thomas said...

It's gorgeous! And how creative theway you developed this process. You should take it on the road and do workshops. I will be the first to sign up! Really beautiful, vibrant piece. Wow!

Kendra said...

Thank you Katherine! I would love to do workshops on this technique ... if I could find venues or art groups that would like to have a workshop!

Anonymous said...

Kendra, I am a total newbie. Wanted a sailing hobby so I bought colored pencils and started to paint. I became obsessed with this clean , portable media. We had lots of wood scraps of all sizes in our basement. I have painted with many brands of pencil, gessoed some wood, acyrlic basepainted others and painted on just clean sanded wood. All seem to work. I have read Gary Greenes books and Anya Nicholson and get the colored pencil magazine. My skills are rapidly improving. Wood of all kinds seems to work. If I want more intensity a coat of varnish really makes the colors shine.

Kendra said...

You don't sound like a total newbie, you sound like you know what you're doing! As a boater myself, I like the way the pencils are so easily portable. It is always fun to try new surfaces and I am really enjoying the wood. I'll have to try your recommendations of gesso and acrylic for the base.

rozm!chelle said...

This is great stuff! I just bought the same exact wood canvas yesterday at Michael's and came across your blog because I'd like to try watercolor pencils and colored pencils on the wood I'm not too sure how the watercolor will stick, and I may need to prime the wood first, but I'm a newbie so I'm still doing research. Have you tried using watercolors on the wood before, other than as a wash?

Thanks!

Kendra said...

No, I haven't used watercolors on wood before, this was my first experiment. I don't think you need to prime the wood first, I think watercolors would apply just fine but careful how much water you use because it can "bloom" or spread out. I wasn't too worried about the watercolor because I knew I could cover it up with the pencil and if I really botched it up, the wood wasn't that expensive.

Eleanore Alter said...

adMY name is Eleanore. I am the boater who paints on wood. I use all kinds of pencils,all kinds of wood and almost always varnish afterwards. The varnish makes the piece look like an oil painting. It is important that you try your pencils on the wood of your choice first. You can use eraseable colored pencils just to see how the wood takes the color. I like the texture better than paper I wish I knew how to show interested people my stuff. My husbands portrait really looks like him. El;eanore

Eleanore Alter said...

chi

Kendra said...

Hi Eleanor, I'd like to see your work on wood. Hopefully you can find a way to show it on the computer! I really like working on the wood and my students like it also.

ole Glory said...

Greetings all,

First time trying color. I tried Derwent Watercolour pencils on wood. Looks good, but I am afraid that the color will bleed when varnished. Any input?

Kendra said...

I haven't used the Derwent Watercolor pencils on wood so I am unsure what would happen with varnish on top. You could try it on a scrap piece of wood first. I would use a fixative over the watercolor pencils before applying a spray varnish to stop any possible bleed, I like Lascaux Fixativ but it is quite a bit more expensive than other brands.