I don’t know how you ‘met’ colored pencils for the first time, or how you were introduced to them. I feel confident to say that we all started really really early in our life using them. But when did you discover them as an art medium? I mean for ‘real’ fine art? 2013 was the year I have seen them for the first time as an art medium when some artists posted their masterpieces on Instagram. WOW was I impressed, and I wanted to do the same.
I know it is not all about the tools (as I also point out in this article: How to improve your drawing skills?) but if you want to have good results, you have to have the proper equipment. Using student grade pencils is like learning how-to motorcycle on your bicycle. You can learn some simple basics, but not the whole depth of what is involved.
Google knows everything (and depending on how you ask the result will be the total opposite), and this is where I started my research. Artist grade pencils are not that cheap, so I wanted to buy the right ones. After some days of research, (you have it easier today with so many Facebook groups and much more blog posts around this topic) I narrowed it down to 2 brands: Polychromos by Faber-Castell and Prismacolors. Living in Europe the Polychromos were easier to buy, and many artists were complaining about some quality issues on the Prismacolors, so I made my choice!
1 week later:
My Polychromos have arrived. I am so excited! Here they are in front of me, still in the Amazon box. My heart is beating a little bit faster, and the smile on my face is revealing my excitement and joy. I try to savor every moment while I slowly unpack them. First the packaging, then the wrapping and last the Faber-Castell box.
As I open the tin, I see them for the first time. All in the same length with the same sharp point. And OHHHH how they smell. I am in artist heaven.
BUT WAIT: they are not perfect! The labels are all up and down and not aligned. I touch them gently – a little bit scared that my fingers will destroy this perfect moment. I take another start and roll them until all the names face up. HAHA, I have to laugh. I touch them as if they were soap bubbles which would scatter into million pieces. They don’t!
Now everything is perfect!
I am overwhelmed. I don’t know where to start. No, the problem is not that I have no ideas for drawings. I have plenty of them, but these colored sticks in front of me are total strangers. I don’t know how they behave. I don’t know how they work. I don’t know what the colors are like. I don’t know which paper they prefer. I don’t know their favorite technique. Like I already mentioned: total strangers.
It is up to me changing that. But how?
Should I just start with one of my ideas? No, since we are strangers, I am not sure if the result would be good. What if it doesn’t work out? Will I be discouraged? There has to be a way to get to know each other! Now I know, I will start with a color chart. Again Google is my friend, but nothing that comes up seems to do the proper job. Read my next post about ‘The Perfect Colored Pencil Color Chart‘.
How did you feel, holding/seeing your pencils for the first time? Tell me in the comments: