When I was younger I remember using colored pencils and being annoyed. The color wasn’t vibrant enough and I had to press really hard to get colors to even show up. I tried using Prismacolor pencils a few years ago and loved them. They have more pigment in them than cheap or kid colored pencils and nice vibrant colors. You can get them in sets or individually at art or craft stores or online at Dick Blick or Mister Art or other retailers.
I took one drawing class in college and was very challenged because everyone in the class was a freshman art major except for me. It was just an elective class I took as a senior. I didn’t enjoy it very much because I always felt like I was being graded. I was! The final was graded and I worked and worked for my C. I drew green peppers for my final. I think I recycled them a few years ago! That was my first and last art class but I did manage to use photography in my job and then in my art journals and scrapbooks of course. Slowly I started to draw again when I knew that no one was looking.
My point is that drawing is supposed to be fun and expressive and make you feel relaxed. I don’t keep an art journal in the general term anymore but keep sketchbooks. One sketchbook is for ideas it seems and the other one is a lot of daily sketches of people and things and objects from books. I read several books on using pencils or colored pencils from the library. The two things I learned were to get quality colored pencils and to use an electric sharpener. These are great tips and really make it easy to enjoy using colored pencils.
The colored pencils that I use in my Moleskine sketchbook or in my Cachet sketchbook are the Prismacolor pencils. I first lightly sketch with a drawing pencil and keep a kneaded eraser handy. Then I lightly erase here and there before layering colored pencil in. The eraser is only used for the graphite pencil. I like the kneaded erasers because they are fun to pull and knead and very effective to use. You can smoosh them into tiny points to erase on areas you want highlighting on.
I sharpen the pencils with the X-acto electric sharpener. It is also a fun distraction for children if you are looking for one. They can’t fit their finger in it and they can sharpen their own pencils nonstop without getting bored. Meanwhile you can draw!
The more you sketch and draw the faster you get and the better you get. I made the mistake, if you consider it one, of painting over some of the drawings I did last year. I looked at them and laughed! They were awful! So I sketched on top of the paint and re-did several pages in my Moleskine. Then I stopped and realized I need to keep them so I can look and see that I have in fact improved. If you start drawing you will improve too I promise.
The Moleskine sketchbooks are really nice. They seem better for gouache, acrylic and some pencil and pen work I find. The coating on the pages makes it difficult to blend colors smoothly for me. If I do colored pencil and then paint over it with acrylic it will peel off if I try to go back in with pencil. Acryclics are plasticy sort of and can peel off. I have a Moleskine that I use for acrylic, collaged pages and pen and pencil. The Cachet sketchbooks I have used and like a lot for colored pencils. They have plain white paper, black coil binding and hard covers. They are more affordable also. I believe I have seen them in the art section at Barnes and Noble too.
I will do some other posts here about pencils and photocopying and transferring soon.