You will have to forgive me I’m on a colored pencil kick. I’ve been oil painting for over two years straight and ignoring my pencil work. Well, I have these projects I’m working on at the moment for family Christmas gifts and really enjoying getting back into the pencil work again. Colored pencils are so lovely to work with especially when you have premium tools. Like I say consistently, to me Prismacolor Premium colored pencils are the best by far. Such creamy application and easy blend able qualities. The best. Today I would like to get more into the papers used for these drawings, the options pluses and minuses of all of them.
All of us have our preferences for brands to use, especially when working on the upper end of the scale for quality. We want tools that work and work to the maximum for control, color quality, and consistency. Those of us who work consistently with this medium agree about what brands those are. As mentioned, Prismacolor Premium is about the best colored pencil available for the price. In fact, the price will tell you a lot, if the pencil is inexpensive that is what you can expect performance wise. Little pigment lots of wax. In this line of work, you want the maximum pigment. Likewise, with the paper, you want the best paper available so the performance of your pencils stays top notch. Strathmore is a good brand of paper to use. Strathmore 400 Series Medium Surface, Strathmore 300 Series Bristol pad either smooth or vellum finish. The Bristol pad is finished acid-free surface both sides so you can choose the variation of texture. Bristol also works very well with markers. I use colored pencil a lot with markers for shading and texturing. Bristol is my choice for this.
If you prefer not to use a white sheet of paper Strathmore makes a plethora of choice colors from tans, grays, creams, blacks, and a variety of soft colors to work on. In choosing your color consider your subject and the tonal values of that subject may have a direct effect on the paper you use. Consider the tonal value changes of your subject, especially if a portrait. Find that middle tone to match to the paper you have chosen. When using the toned papers let that paper work for you as you render whether it is a medium tonal range or black for the darkest of shadows. The colors of your pencils will vary on the different tones of the paper. Its best to keep a scrap of this paper available to color test your pencil before actually applying it to your work. Toned paper is an awesome paper to use.
Get excited about drawing with colored pencils. It is also possible to make incredible value drawings with either white or black, again depending on your paper choice. Colored pencils are such a different way to sketch and draw with beautiful and stunning effects for your end product.