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Backgrounds and What Goes on Top


Left: A mixed-media page spread (the journal is turned so the head and tail of the book are at the right and left, making the image 8 x 13 inches). Read below for more details about this spread. Click on the image to view an enlargement. When you do you'll also be able to see the lovely texture of the Gutenberg paper.

I’ve been showing you backgrounds I’ve made while I’ve been recovering from a nasty summer cold. Today I’ve posted a spread with background decoration that was actually used for journaling already. It represents the return of my ability to concentrate, a happy day.

Here’s a Breakdown of What I Did
1. I started this page spread with flat brush strokes of Turquoise FW Acrylic ink around all the edges. Then I took a soft sumi brush and trailed Indigo FW Acrylic ink through the still wet strokes. And while things were still wet I spritzed everything with clean water to spread color even more. I let it sit for a couple weeks because I had a cold and because I wasn’t on this page spread yet.


A Bit on Selecting Colored Pencils and Luminance 6901 Colored Pencils From Caran d’Ache

Left: lightfast test on Luminance 6901 Colored Pencils. Yep, since they are already tested it’s sort of a moot point, but I wanted to try it out. Left is the control and right is the exposed sheet. No visible fading. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

People just starting to work in colored pencils can easily be overwhelmed with the choice in brands. Limiting yourself to artist quality pencils (and you really do need avoid all student grade pencils) alone will give you more than a handful of great choices.

My advice to people is to go to a store that sells open stock and test a few pencils in the same colors in different lines. By comparing similar reds across 3 or 4 lines of pencils you’ll begin to see differences that will matter to you: how waxy or dry does the pencil feel upon application; how hard or soft does the pencil feel when you work it across the paper; does it hold a nice point; does the lead tip crack as you are working; how easy is it to blend two different colors; how much does the line you draw smudge when you rub it with your finger; and on and on—all the questions that mean something to you about how you already work or how you would like to work with colored pencils. (Take a piece of your favorite drawing paper with you to conduct your test on a familiar surface.)

With that information you’re able to purchase pencils and begin your drawing adventure.

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