Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Coloured Pencils: acquisition and disposition

Two things that coloured pencil artists concern themselves with - when not drawing - is acquisition ('Do I have enough pencils?') and disposition ('What do I do with all those short stubby ones?')


The answer to the first question is an unequivocal "No". You can never have 'enough' pencils - unless you truly believe that you can produce everything you have ever wanted to draw with one red, one blue and one yellow pencil! Even when you settle on your brand of preference you can still get the heebies jeebies when you think you might not have enough stock of unused pencils in your favourite colours. Do I have tins containing stocks of unused pencils? Of course I have - with an elastic band round them to stop them from rolling around and getting damaged if the tin is handled! (Actually I have more than one tin....) I won't even refer to what happens when a favourite brand or colour is discontinued - it's too painful!

In my experience, the dedicated coloured pencil artist always wants to know more about what's available where, who's stocking what, which stores have open stock as opposed to just sets, who delivers well packaged goods and who's offering the best price.

You can find links to various brands of coloured pencils on my squidoo lens "Coloured Pencils - resources for Artists". The first module covers coloured pencil brands and manufacturers. I'm starting two new lens modules for on-line suppliers of coloured pencils - one for those based in the USA and one for those based in the UK and Europe. I'm very keen to hear from people as to who they've had a good service from in terms of prompt and reliable supply of their new pencils. Please leave a comment on this thread if you'd like to recommend a particular supplier.

One of the suppliers I'll be listing is Ann Kullberg. Check out her half yearly 6 day sale with some spectacular savings of up to 40% which starts today and finishes on May 15th. Products included in the sale include sets of Prismacolor pencils and Ann's portrait tools.

Disposition (of the 'shorties')

I keep all my shorties in small glasses (see top) or in my sketching kits and try and make myself use them up before I more on to the unadulterated joy of a brand new pencil. But there comes a point when they are too short to sharpen anymore.

Jennifer Maestre is a sculptor who has found a lot of innovative things to do with a big supply of short pencils.

She started by producing prickly pencil scultures (the example on the left is one of her very simple ones). This is her explanation of how and why she produces them. However, she's now moved on to produce smaller articles and I'm totally in love with her art cards and pencil pins and pendants.

Her current art cards are made from pencil shavings but in the past they have comprised slivers of shortie pencils similar to the pins. You can see more of these in her etsy store.

The one thing I'm puzzled about is where on earth does she get all those short pencils from? Does she get donations? Who from?

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  1. LOL You really made me laugh with this post Katherine! I seem to spend my day's with permanent heebies from thinking I don't have enough pencils or that I might be running out of them...or worse still, that I might run out and so might my art store! It gets to be an obsession.

    You especially got me with the "unadulterated joy" of using a new pencil. I always put it off as long as I can because it feels like christmas to use that brand new pencil for the very first time.

    I'm glad you're as mad as me Katherine!

  2. Ah supplies, I love them all and keep old dried up and useless stuff as well. I do like these coloured pencil reencarnations.

  3. I hate to shock you, Katherine, knowing how you feel but she probably murders new pencils and cuts them up. Too awful to think about isn't it? lol

  4. Before I found other coloured pencil artists to talk to I thought I was the only one that bought dozens of different pencils to use. Now I know better :p I have tins and jars full of pencils I haven't used (and they look so pretty all brand new in the jars)

    The cards are a really neat idea, would be a good job using unusable stubs, but if she does just cut them down, it seems like such a waste.

  5. Is it more wasteful to use pencils to make a sculpture or a piece of jewellery than it is to use them to make a drawing or painting? Discuss :-D What she does is so original ... I've never seen anything like it before ... It might just be genius!


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