From The Sketch Book

May 6, 2009

Colored Pencil vs. Watercolor

Filed under: Uncategorized — scottnelson @ 6:16 pm


My best work is usually my rough pencil sketches.   By the time I take those sketches to finished art though, I occasionally  lose the spontaneity in the line quality.  So  to me, certain  jobs are a struggle of producing a final image that the customer wants and what is pleasing creatively. 

Often I use watercolors in my finished pieces but when it comes to doing realistic portraits (not caricatures)  I tend to frighten of their quick drying time. Basically because the art might  look “overworked.”  That’s why colored pencils are a bit more in my comfort zone during serious commisioned portaits.  You can still overwork them but it happens more gradual and you can catch it. The problem though is something I do within an hour with watercolors might take me a full day when it comes to layering  the multiple colored pencil tones.    The attached images show a dog in watercolor (which took me about 2 hours) and a little girl portrait in colored pencils (which took me about 6.)  Maybe I should start doing 3 or 4 watercolors of the same subject instead of doing one colored pencil drawing.  It’ll take the same amount of time– the customer will get extra art and it’ll force me to get better at watercolor portraits.  I’m kidding of course because I  know that each medium offers a different finished look and has a subsequent different appeal to each customer’s individual taste.  Plus, I also like working with different material.  Except papier-mache.  That stuff is NASTY!!!


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