working with colored pencil
I often feel like trying to get shows or sell my work is like selling crayon drawings. It always had this feel of not being real, lasting art like oils, or any painting for that matter. When I went to the hardware store to frame my recent series the man asked what it was for (I was requesting $500 worth of custom cut plexiglass and plywood). "Some colored pencil drawings," I said kind of awkwardly. He burst out laughing. Ok it's your money and through the whole process he had this smirk that I was wasting my money.
My boyfriend asked me why I said it like that, that they're colored pencil drawings. Well, they are, but anyone who sees them doesn't think colored pencil drawings- the basic, shotty, doodle that pops in your mind like something you did when you were a kid. They see vibrant, solid color, on sturdy illustration board. People often think I use guache (A type of opaque paint. I recently bought a set to experiment with!) I suppose what I'm getting at is if you like something do it, regardless of how "real" it is considered by societies standards. If you belive it's worth something and worth persuing than other people will come around.
I knew I wasn't wasting my money, I spent months on these pieces, I wanted them preserved and hang them. Preserving and hanging large colored pencil pieces became kind of a conundrum. I use prismacolors for their vibrancy and softness (blends better), but because they are wax based. Over time the wax separates from the color leaving a hazy film over your drawing called wax bloom. It can be wiped off but keeps coming back, the thicker the color the faster the wax bloom. There are fixatives you can spray on your drawing to prevent this but I have had no such luck. I've used cheap fixatives and the most expensive, workable and non-workable, nothing has really worked for me. The best thing to prevent wax bloom is press the piece up against a piece of glass or plastic. Well, getting a glass frame for a 40"x60" piece is out of the question. That's where the custom cut acrylic sheets and plywood came in. While still expensive on the whole, it is MUCH cheaper than a custom frame shop. Here's what I did:
YAY COLORED PENCILS ARE THE GREATEST!!!
9/7/2021 04:48:19 pm
What a great idea! Did you find that viewing your artwork isn't as clear with the plexiglass? Does it sometimes appear cloudy or grainy?
9/7/2021 05:20:37 pm
Hi Mia, the plexiglass is just as good as standard glass I think for clarity. I still use this technique to frame my work. The above photos might look a little cloudy because I hadn’t taken the plastic film off the plexiglass yet. I keep it on as long as possible to prevent scratches. If someone buys a piece I do recommend they get it framed with UV protected glass to protect the colors.
6/2/2022 01:53:00 pm
I hope that you have finished this art work.
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Hello! I'm Cascadian colored pencil artist extraodinaire.