Saturday, May 2, 2009
Coloured Pencil-Start to Finish Part 4
Burnishing or the Point of No Return
At the beginning, when your pencilling passes lightly over the paper, there are things you can do if you wish to change something. With tape, cello or masking, you can 'lift' colour. Just place tape over the area, and lightly go over the offending spot with the back end of a pencil, chopstick, etc. . Experiment a bit first, as you can literally rip a layer off the paper if you are overzealous (been there, done that, yep). I actually did a little lifting with cello tape on the lily, as I wasn't sure I wanted such a strong yellow (and later put the yellow back in again). Bristol is tough paper, so it had no effect on the surface.
In the beginning, except for some strong lines, I worked delicately, trying to feel my way through the piece, but without strong areas of colour I was beginning to lose my way with all the lines, so here I am filling in with strong colour and the paper is getting burnished. This is the point were your work develops a waxy sheen as the pencil is laid on so thick that no paper shows through and the texture of the paper gets flattened. Once this happens, there's no going back as the paper surface has irrevocably been changed (although I did once find instructions on how to almost seamlessly cut out an error and paste a new piece in--not tried by me). Burnishing can happen by accident (you're hamfisted and pushed too hard), by process (you apply the colour deliberately thickly) or by design--you layer up your dark colours and then when ready, you go over it with a lighter colour or even a clear wax stick called a colourless blender. Any of these methods with mash the paper texture flat and blend the pigment together. The skinks (lizards outside of Canada) are very burnished with lemon yellow being thickly applied over red orange and orange. The blues in the corner oval are burnished being ultramarine and plum below, with an over-layer of electric blue. Prismacolors are very waxy, and when burnished develop a jewel-like sheen that catches the light. It's beautiful up close, difficult to photograph (flash will show as a white flare) and scanning doesn't do it justice. Did I say I love pencil crayon?
I still have a long way to go, but at least now I have a few small finished/and burnished areas to use as benchmark for further fill ins.