Peek Inside

‘Tis the season to go out and play, but no little elves are helping me in the studio. Even when not inspired, we are supposed to sit down and do the work or at least try. Double the challenge by trying to  do small pieces in the same spirit as much larger pieces. That is not as easy as it sounds.


Coloured pencil looks different in large masses versus small areas. Do you remember the scientific theory behind the work of the Impressionists and the Post-impressionists? The eye optically mixes colours that are near each other. With a large area, the eye does that and mixes colours as well as ignores the white spots of the painted ground or paper. In a smaller drawing, the exposed white spots that happen naturally when the waxy or greasy contents of the pencil clump together stand out much more than they do in a large drawing. Applied pigment bleeds, soaks into the ground, and mixes to create muddier tones. Lines need to be thinner to be in proportion with the drawing’s size, but thin lines bleed into the ground and fade away.

Maybe I have to save the smaller sizes for rougher sketches.

Care to come in from the outside for a nice chat?