Category Archives for Art

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Best Colored Pencils 2017

January 18, 2017

Colored pencils are an amazing medium. Take a look around the net and you’d see amazing renderings by pretty talented folks. That said, if you’re a beginner, picking a set for yourself can be a pretty daunting task. Not all colored pencils are equal. That’s the truth. The hard way to find out would be to try out all the brands for yourself. That’s just not practical, obviously. Personally I stick to a few of my favorite brands. While they’re not the best per se, I know how to get predictable results from them – that the important thing.

If you’re not sure, try out the smallest set from a popular brand. They usually work well for beginners and offers good value for your money. However if you’re progressing along and you find them inadequate for your needs, I suggest you head to your local arts store and take a look at more expensive brands. Some of them come individually or as sets so you can try them out.


There are a few things artists look for in a set of colored pencils. Take note though the order of importance varies from artist to artist. This is what we came up with:

 

  1. Soft vs Hard/strong lead
  2. Pricing
  3. Vibrant and bright colors
  4. Smooth
  5. blendability
  6. Longetivity
  7. Wax based or oil based
  8. Color range
  9. Quality of outer case (helps with sharpening)
  10. Quality of lead

Think about how you draw. Do you have heavy strokes or light? What kind of paper do you use? What kind of techniques do you use when you draw? Remember, no one artist works the same way. What works for me may not work for you. There are no real manuals in art, just basic guidelines. For what its worth, these are my personal opinions when it comes to colored pencils, I hope it helps.

  1. Prismacolor Colored Pencils

I own a 24 set tin of Prismacolor myself (plus a few others I purchased throughout my career) These pencils are really wonderful. They feel amazing (smooth and not scratchy) their pigment is top notch and can easily be layered and blended. Plus some of their lines are lightfast (an ability to resist fading when exposed to light) They no longer mark which sets are have lightfastness so you can check on their lightfast color chart if you’re interested in that feature. While they have had negative reviews in the past about color quality, I personally haven’t found anything wrong with them. Again, that comes down to preference.


  1. Faber-Castell Polychromos

Faber-castell is one of the most popular colored pencil brands. However that doesn’t mean they skimp out on quality. I find them to be reliable with smooth lush pigments and easy handling. They just have the right softness that you can easily layer them – but they won’t crumble on you (leaving a terrible mess you have to clean up) The Polychromos can be a bit expensive but trust me, they’re pretty good and are great value for your money. You will not be disappointed.


  1. Faber-Castell Albrecht Dürer Watercolour Pencils

Alright, these are less colored pencils and more water color. They’re a bit harder to work with since these run at just a hint of moisture but in terms of color, handling, blending… these are amazing. I’ve been using with Albrecht Durer pencils for years and I’ve found them to be indispensable. If I were stuck in a desert island with only one set of colored pencils, the Albrecht durer are my first choice.


  1. Caran d’Ache Luminance Colored Pencils

If you’re looking for a colored pencil that can be layered similar to an oil pastel, the Caran d’Ache Luminance colored pencils is my first choice. It has a really waxy formulation that is pretty soft and crumbly on paper at times but if you use them in conjunction with another colored pencil (less waxy) you can get pretty amazing results. In fact, a lot of artists use this technique. Use a harder less waxy colored pencil for the under layers and using the Caran d’ache for finishing. You have to check with their color charts for lightfastess (if that matters to you)

 


  1. Derwent Studio Colored Pencils

The popular Derwent colored pencils has a few popular sets. One of their higher end ones is the Derwent studio (a cousin of the Derwent artist range) personally I don’t like it. It’s pretty hard so it can deliver fine crisp lines and requires more precise handling than the softer Derwent Artist rage. It’s actually pretty popular among newsagents and is often the first “upgrade” art students choose when they move from Crayola. As I said, I prefer softer pencils for my work and the Faber Castells are really great for that (good value too) but if you prefer a drier waxier colored pencil, the Derwents are for you.

 


  1. Staedtler Ergo soft colored pencils

Of all the brands I’ve reviewed these are one of my all-time favorites. Each set comes with a stand up easel case with an ergo soft grip. They just look premium. From the outer packaging to the actual quality of the pencils, no detail was spared into making one of the best sets out there. Each of the pencils comes with what staedler likes to call A.B.S. (anti break system) which protects the lead and prevents them from cracking. The pencils are triangular shaped similar to some faber-castell pencils. There are 12 piece sets available going up to 36 pieces in their largest set.

I’ve never tried this brand before so I was pretty excited to try it out. I walked away extremely impressed. The largest (and most expensive) set is the 36 piece one but man, are they worth it. They glided on the paper like it was coated in butter. The pigments were rich and they filled every nook and cranny of the paper surface. The colors are simply gorgeous on colorit paper. If you love to shade and blend, these are the perfect colored pencils for you. The downside is, the ergosoft grip was not the most comfortable thing in the world. I don’t know whether or not I was simply unused to the pencil but I was holding on pretty tight and had to take breaks as my fingers were starting to cramp. That aside, these pencils are ideal for anyone who takes art seriously. The high quality lead allows you to simply expand your techniques and the case makes it pretty easy to lug around should the inspiration to create hit you.

CONCLUSION

Ultimately, you decide what’s best for your art. Use the information we have provided and make the right choice for you. That said, remember that art is fun. Don’t take it too seriously. If you’ve got cheap supermarket colored pencils, well, you can make that work. Art is art. Technique is technique.

Watercolor Painting – Techniques and Tips

January 18, 2017

Watercolor painting may appear difficult for the beginner and some people even find it a daunting task.  However, just a little training will bring you right up to speed.  For the serious learner, painting can be learned through books and classes.  You will also find plenty of resources online to help you understand the various techniques associated with watercolor painting.

The phrase ‘practice makes perfect’ is a common one but a very true one.  The best tip of all is to practice and when you are done practicing, you need to practice some more.  You have to find the techniques that best suit your painting style and practicing with the different techniques is the best way to go about finding out.

Watercolor painting is an art that is enjoyed by kids and adults alike.  Children learn it in school, at summer camp and also at home.  Both adults and kids alike use painting as a form of expression of feelings and emotions.  You will find below some tips on watercolor painting to help you improve your painting skills.

  • Washing technique – use a cloth to wet the paper before you begin painting and paint beginning at the top of the paper and work your way downward.
  • For background areas use a wet in wet technique, which allows colors to bleed naturally into one another.
  • Lifting off is a real fun way to make use of watercolor painting – put the paint on the paper and use tissue to blot it.

Watercolor pencils as well as tips and tricks on how to use them.

January 18, 2017

If you are into art, then you will certainly find watercolor pencils an interesting medium to work with. Even though you do need some skill, watercolor pencils take out some difficult tasks (for example: water-to-paint ratio, color blending…) that usually only get better with experience. So if you don’t have experience, watercolor pencil is perfect for you – but don’t expect miracles, you will still need to practice to get the hang of.

You need to understand that you can’t simply draw a picture and then spray it down. That can be done only on simple drawings. For everything else, you need to know some tips and tricks.

If you think that by using watercolor pencils, you don’t have to use watercolor paper, then you are wrong. You do need to use it. Since normal regular papers aren’t made to be used for watercolor, they tend to fall apart. Besides, the color doesn’t spread the way it should and the way you want. That affects the overall quality of the picture and image.

Another great tip is to use watercolor pencils only on those places where you want to get the darker color. Simply draw a line in that area and after that use brush and water to pull the color out of it. That will give you image that classic watercolor look that you want.

If you want to get opposite effect of what I’ve wrote about above – achieve completely light color – then you need to do the following thing.  Lay down water in the area you need light color. But be careful (it comes with experience) not to overload it with water. If you overload it, it will be hard to control it and it will spread around even though you don’t want it. You need to lay down only small amount of water. After that lightly draw a line and use the brush to smooth out the lines. This technique is usually used for bigger areas. You can use it to paint for example sky or background.

Another useful trick is to draw detail lines with something else. By saying something else, I’m thinking of regular color pencil, pencil or maybe ink. Just bear in mind that you should use regular colored pencil before using watercolor pencil or water. If you don’t, the texture of the paper will change and it will be a lot harder to draw on it if it’s wet.

Those tips are all from my personal experience and they’ve come by using common sense. It’s expected that you should know all that if you’ve been using watercolor pencils (Prismacolor watercolor pencils) for some time. If you’ve haven’t then you

Featured Story

Best Prismacolor Colored Pencils 2017

January 18, 2017

These pencils are loved by many artists and students because of their high quality. They have soft leads made of brilliant pigments. They blend and shade better than other products. Prismacolor colored pencils are superior to other products on the market mainly because they are oil-based, compared to similar pencils that are chalk-based. Whether you are a professional artist, a graphic student who has an art project to work on, or a tattoo artist that is looking for color pencils to give you excellent results, you won’t be disappointed with Prismacolor. After you have purchased your prismacolor colored pencils, be very careful to not drop them and don’t ever use an ordinary sharpener on them!

There are different categories of prismacolor colored pencils and come in variety of sets. Listed below are the descriptions of some of the most popular pencils available for you to purchase on the internet at great prices:

Sanford Prismacolor Premier Colored pencils

these have high ratings by most people that have used them. They are water proof, easy to blend, and don’t wear easily. They have rich colors, and have smooth and creamy leads. They come in hundred and thirty two brilliant colors that you can purchase separately or in sets. The price depends on the set you purchase. The set of 72 costs hundred and thirteen dollars but can be purchased on sale for around $50.00. The set of 48 costs seventy-five dollars and can also be purchased on sale for $42.00.

 

Prismacolor Premier Lightfast Colored Pencils

come in forty-eight brilliant colors and can be purchased in set of twelve, twenty-four, and forty-eight. They are great for school art projects. The color pigments and rich saturation is high quality. They meet the highest standards of the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) D 6901 for light fastness. Some of them comes in collectible tins and include bonus products of similar brand. A pack of 24 cost around $45.00.

 

 

Prismacolor Verithin Colored Pencils

these pencils are ideal for outlining and perfect for intricate details and edges. They come unsharpened so you can sharpen its hard cores to a fine point of your choice. It is recommended that you use other prismacolor pencils for coloring large sections and use the Verthin colored pencils for the finishing touches and detailing. They blend beautifully, come in forty assorted colors, and perfectly match other Prismacolor colored pencils. You can buy these individually or by sets of 36, 24, or 12.

 

 

Prismacolor Watercolor Colored Pencils

Blends smoothly and work well in conjunction with the Premier Colored Pencil, the Art Stix, and the Verithin Colored Pencil. They are said to produce professional quality work, and are water soluble. To get the watercolor effects, simply add a dab of water and blend. They can be bought separately, or in set of 12, 24, and 36. A set of 36 cost about $70.00 and smaller sets cost less.

Other Categories of Prismacolor Colored Pencils are the Prismacolor Scholar which are intended for advanced artists, and the Prismacolor Art Stix which are excellent for coloring large areas.