I was up late last night (until around 1:30 AM), doing color charts in my Art Journal. I think I’ve reached a breakthrough point, but I won’t be able to really tell until I work some more.
In the meantime, I made a bunch of color wheels.
The little circles on the outside are colors I had which were saturated, but not as clearly one thing or another as the ones in the basic center circle.
This one on the left, I made with my Stabilo 68 Mini set. (I did a number of these until I got them presentable). The 68 Minis are a good size for travel…the ones I have came in a plastic wallet, which isn’t as great. 😉 The only drawback to these that I can see are a lack of ready-mixed muted colors (though this may be actually a strength if you’re working Fauvist, as I’ll try and get to in the below), and the fact that one of my markers seems really overfilled with ink. It gets on my hands every time I use these, and sometimes creates feathering or a watercolor-wash effect (you can see it there at 7 o’clock).
As I wrote before, these are water-soluble, but I haven’t tried mixing them, yet. As I was making this color wheel, I realized that I didn’t have to work as tightly as I had been doing, and things can still come out working all right. I did the basic outlines in a light grey Staedtler fineliner, then colored, then went back over these with a black fineliner. It works much better this way, if you want to avoid picking up the black by touching the outline, and you don’t have (or don’t want to use) a waterproof liner, like a Micron.
The little guys on the right are fineliners! These are relatively inexpensive…for art materials. At Blick, they range between $1-2 each. I have been thinking of utilizing these for multicolored linework and fine washes. Because they’re thinner, they don’t lay down as much ink at once, and that can be a very good thing.
Up next are the Faber-Castell Pitt brush pens, which are waterproof. I did not mark down any greys or any black on this page, because I feel like I have been depending on them too much. Plus — I really, really want to break out of monochrome.
One of the effects of getting these new colors is that I — unexpectedly — began to see the interactions between the colors, and this has been part of what led me toward what I consider a breakthrough, last night.
That is: I don’t have to color things realistically. I don’t even have to draw realistically. I don’t have to color inside the lines. Color can be a major component of the drawing, and can speak on its own, even taking more of a leading role than anything representational.
These pens are really great for markmaking, and remind me of quill drawings from a long time ago. (I used these when copying a sketched Picasso hand for class, which had been drawn in sepia ink with quill pen. The ink flow is not there — he used a wash on the surface of the paper along with marks made in pen. This caused the ink to pool nicely — which is not something you would get from these markers.)
The Pitt pens’ strength isn’t really in coloring without leaving marker lines — though aside from the Chartpaks (when they were fresh, at least) and intense black inks, I’ve never seen a marker which doesn’t leave marker lines — but as regards linework and just putting little bits of color on the page, they’re great. I did get one in a “Big Brush” because I didn’t recall that maybe all of the thin Crimsons may have been crammed into the Middle Purple Pink slot at my store: this is #134 on the top row. You can see that there is much less of a problem of marker lines, because of the higher ink flow.
But look at the gorgeous layering going on over in the right side of that last photo! I realized last night that this may be why there are so many fine divisions of yellow sold…
It came to me sometime last week that the majority of what I was going to have a hard time working with was going to be color, and color interactions. Right now, I’m thinking of having my pieces for this assignment circle around color interactions, with representation not being as important. The Pitt pens should help with color harmony; Faber-Castell does a good job of creating color lines with colors that enhance each other. (Not every company does this).
As I wrote in my journal last night, just looking at these colors brings to mind the many ways they can be combined; and the possibilities are (for me) mind-boggling. It’s hard to settle on which combination to use first, though maybe I should just experiment.
The scary part is going to see if these will actually work on my drawings!
Or, the other part: the other part, is abandoning those drawings and working with a different mode of image-making than that which I had planned to use. It will definitely be faster and more spontaneous; I just don’t know how I’d do it, without having done it yet… My modus operandi would likely be to do a light pencil drawing, then go over it with the Pitt pens (keeping in mind that those pens make graphite indelible), then with the water-soluble pens (or watercolor), then maybe with colored pencil…
Gah. One step at a time, right?