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Study for Transfiguration in Colored Pencil



Study for Transfiguration, 2011


Last year I decided to do a study of Raphael's St. Andrew from the Transfiguration using coloured pencil for the first time. It's a highly underrated medium for drawing. Rich colours can be built up in layers yet with a softness of tone that doesn't smear like pastel, yet from a distance has the same qualities as a painting. I think if the Old Masters had coloured pencil in their day, they would have made use of it in their own studies. They made extensive use of red and black chalk...this would have given them full-colour without wasting a single drop of paint.

In this study I was less patient than typical color pencil artists. Normally, lights are built up slowly and then darks, but I decided to work from dark to light then erase my highlights to create them. Hey, it works. I used Prismacolor in this study but I found Faber-Castel's Polychromos set to be even more rich with pigment and better selection of colours. I buy my colours individually--box sets are too generic in the smaller variety, and the bigger ones are far too expensive. Another brand I've used that I like very much is the KOH-I-NOOR woodless colored pencils. They work great for larger works and sharpen to a very fine point.




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