I don’t know how you felt, when you held you colored Pencils for the first time, but I was really overwhelmed. You can read about it here: Polychromos – total Strangers. I have seen all this beautiful artwork done with colored pencils and wanted to try it myself, but I did not know HOW or WHERE to start.
There was my reference in front of me and this Box of 120 Pencils and I had no Idea how to get started.
Which colors should I choose? A color chart would be the answer! After Googling a little bit I did my own color chart by writing the name of the colors I had on a piece of paper and coloring in a small square next to the name. But this was not helpful! Not in my case! Not for a beginner! It was a nice overview over the pencils I had but I needed something better!
- I needed something to lay next to my reference to find the right color and the right pencil
- I wanted to know how the colors vary when applied with light or heavy pressure?
- How do they change when applied over a white underlayer, or darkened with a black overlayer?
I needed something to lay next to my reference and compare the Colors: a color Chart
After this Brainstorming I knew what I needed and started to create a color chart that would answer all of my questions. I drew a grid on my drawing paper and started to fill in the squares with color.
Each color has 2 sections:
- The upper section in for the pure color, applied from dark (heavy pressure) to light (light pressure).
- The lower section shows the color with a black overlayer and a white underlayer, again applied from dark to light. How did I do this? I filled the second half of the section with my white Polychromos Pencil, than colored the whole field from dark to light. Last I darkened the first half with Polychromos black (be careful when adding your black! You want to shade the color not have a black spot!) I found it easier to cut the paper once everything was colored in. I punched a hole at the top and fixed it with a clamp.
Why Should everyone create a color chart?
- you sit quite some time coloring in your chart, so you get a feeling for your pencils
- you will use each pencil with a variation of pressure and creating different shades of it. I was really surprised how much some colors changed only because they had a white underlayer
- you can further understand your pencils by creating a chart on different kind of papers. Some colors change depending on the surface they are drawn at ( and I am not talking about colored papers! Different tooth will change the reflection of the light on the pigments)
You can download the grid here Polychromos Color Chart by MaryJane Fine Art print it onto your drawing paper and Color it in. This will save you lots of work.
I would love to hear about your experience and see the Pictures of your Color Charts.