Thursday, February 16, 2012

Candy Apples, Pencil Sharpener & New Prismacolor Colors

I found this little battery operated pencil sharpener at the Office Max store. My previous battery operated sharpeners were both Panasonic and have worn out from lots of use by my students and me. I believe Panasonic isn't manufacturing pencil sharpeners anymore, so I've been searching for a new one to try. This brand is Westcott and the sharpener is called the iPoint. It cost less than $15 and seems to work well, I get a good point and it doesn't seem to eat up the pencil so I thought I'd write about it in case anyone else is looking for a new sharpener. Plus I like color ... red!


I have sold a few more of my candy apple pieces, so it's time to start another one. I'm working on my usual favorite surface for candy apples; cradled Ampersand Gessobord coated with Terra Cotta Colourfix pastel primer. In the first photo I've worked the apples and some of the shadows in just colored pencil, only one or two layers of color. If you look close, I think you can see the texture of the surface through the apples. It's not giving the shiny appearance of candy apples with the textured board showing through. Colourfix is meant for pastels so it is quite textured. In the second photo, I have added solvent (odorless mineral spirits) with a brush and more pencil on top to achieve a paint-like quality to the pencil applied so none of the texture shows through and the apples look shiny. It takes some manipulating of the pencil and solvent to create this effect. If I add too much solvent, the pencil runs and won't apply evenly. Or if I try to brush out the solvent and pencil, sometimes the brush lifts the pencil right off. One of the most effective ways of moving the pencil around while it is wet is with my fingers so I'm actually doing some fingerpainting to mix and blend colors on the surface.

I'm staying in Florida right now and took a drive to the local art store which is quite large compared to the stores in Rhode Island, for me it is like being a kid in a candy store. I realize the 18 new colors of Prismacolor Pencils have been out since last fall but I have just seen them for the first time in the store. For my apples, I purchased Permanent Red (replaces Poppy Red) and Pomegranate (which replaces the Lightfast Thio Violet) as well as the Neon Pink for some exciting hot-pink highlights where the light hits the apples. I'm also using Cobalt Blue Hue in the shadows and reflections and am happy that Prismacolor has come back with Indanthrone Blue to replace the Lightfast version as that is one of my standards I use for darks, it's not quite as harsh as the Indigo Blue.

I will post the finished piece in a few days I hope because I'm competing with beautiful Florida weather which keeps pulling me outside!

10 comments:

Teresa Mallen said...

Love your candy apples - glad to see a new one and yippee for finger painting. LOL Now get off the computer and go back outside!!! :-)

Ester Roi said...

I'm glad you are drawing candy apples again, Kendra! You're making them appear so finger-licking good I want to run out and get me some.

Barbara Ann Goodsitt said...

Beautiful drawings. I agree with Ester, they look good enough to eat off the paper!
Thanks for the sharpener information. My Panasonics are hanging in there, but they cannot last forever.

Sarah Melling said...

Just found your blog...love your work! I'm inspired to try some new drawing surfaces and techniques!

Kendra said...

Thank you Teresa, Ester, Barbara and Sarah. I just love drawing candy apples and the more I draw the easier it seems to get! Same colors, etc. I guess.

Sarah, glad you found my blog are going to try new techniques and surfaces. Let me know if you have any questions.

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