Sunday, February 1, 2009


I'm so excited with all the new things I'm learning about colored pencils that I can't help but feel a great desire to share this knowledge with all my fellow artist friends. So, I created another tutorial for your enjoyment. This time I'm using a combination of solvent (Odorless Turpenoid) and the Embossing Heat Tool.

For this ACEO I used Stonehenge Cream Paper with Prismacolor Colored Pencils as well as a Prismacolor Colorless Blender. I also used a small flat brush - size 4 to blend with the solvent, a draftsman mini duster to keep my surface clean of small particles of wax and pigment and a piece of sandpaper to keep the tip of my colorless blender clean and sharp .

Step 1:

I start by filling the darkest parts of the tulip with Tuscan Red with light pressure and a very sharp point.

Step 2:

I added some Crimson Red + Crimson Lake to darken the darks. Still with a sharp point and light pressure. I'm being careful not to loose my lights by not going over it with the reds.

Step 3:

Now I went over the reds with Magenta, denser on the bottom of the tulip and Cream close to the stem. Always with a sharp point and light pressure.

Step 4:

I intensified the reds with a layer of Carmine Red followed by Poppy Red and more Tuscan Red on the darkest folds of the tulip and around the dew drops. I also added a little more Cream close to the stem.

Step 5:

I decided to start the background at this point. I wanted a dark green but not with just one colored pencil. To give the depth and richness I was looking for I layered several colors, with multi-directional strokes for each layer. This is the order of colors I used: Tuscan Red, Indigo Blue, Dark Green, Peacock Green and Marine Green.

Step 6:

Now comes the solvent part. I dipped my small flat brush on the turps, blotted the excess on a paper towel, then brushed gently over the entire background. Gentle is the key word. I was careful not to use too much turps or else the brush would remove the pigment instead of blend it.

Step 7:

Once the background had dried completely (it only took a few minutes) I used my heat gun to warm the surface of the tulip and with a combination of Crimson Red, Carmine Red, Poppy Red, Tuscan Red and Cream I blended the colors to a smooth finish. I then heated the surface again and used the colorless blender to smooth the tulip even further. I was careful to deepen the darks and enrich the midtones without fully saturating the tooth of the paper. I'll still need to layer some more. If by any chance my paper had gotten saturated I'd simply spray 2 or 3 thin coats of Workable Fixative, wait for it to dry completely then resume my layering.

At that point I also applied one more layer of Marine Green + one layer of Indigo Blue to the background and again blended with turps.

Step 8:

I was a little freaked out at this point because I lost my whites on the dew drops and on the highlight areas. I could just pray and hope that I'd be able to recover the whites with my X-Acto knife. Lucky me it worked. With a very gentle and and feather light touch I carefully scratched the surface to remove pigment and reveal the white of the paper. Once I got that done, I smoothed the edges by burnishing it with a white pencil after warming the area with the heat gun.

Step 9:

I refined the dew drops by darkening the dark side with Cool Grey 90% + Tuscan Red and I added a little more white to the area I scratched.

I deepened the dark folds one last time with Cool Grey 90% + Magenta + Carmine Lake and added a little more Cream + Olive Green + Dark Green to stem, blending all the layers after warming the surface with the heat gun.

Step 10:

Finally, I layed one final color to the background - Aquamarine and blended with the solvent.

Voila! My tulip is ready or at least as ready as it can be for now. If I look at it close enough, I'm sure there'll be things I still I want to tweak, but I shall leave it alone for now...before I ended up ruining it.

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial. If anyone has any question, don't hesitate to ask. I'll be more than happy to help with anything.

Many hugs,


Katerina Koukiotis said...

BEAUTIFUl that tulip and raindrops look so real!!! jade you are a pro with CP and have discoevered so many tricks and you're so sweet sharing all your tips with us *hugs*

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