As a child who mastered coloring applications with crayons, the next natural progression was to colored pencils. They were the sophisticated cousin to the ‘ol Crayola and were much more precise, easier to control and offered the same endless array of colors to choose from. To purchase a boxed set of these pencils, is an investment…but for something that lasts several decades, it’s worth the money. I can attest to the longevity of Prismacolor pencils because I recently invested in my second set, after thirty+ years! My local Blick Art Materials store was kind enough to put them on sale, so it didn’t even sting that much! The 48 pencil set is fine for my needs, but they come in several different-sized sets suitable for all levels of expertise.
I most often use these pencils to apply a smooth, rich layer of color to my drawings. (See mandala below.) I also like to use them on top of watercolor paintings, to add blending and detail to the finished piece.
There are numerous instructional books out there that cover this genre of the art world. I purchased The Colored Pencil by Bet Borgeson back in the early eighties and still use it as a reference guide today. In it, I discovered the single most impressive colored pencil illustration I’d ever seen. The title of the work is Chocolates III, 1974 by Esky Cook. I was simply blown away by the fact that an artist could render a drawing with such photographic accuracy , that it made me want to eat the page it was printed on! And yes, you guessed it…this box of chocolates was entirely made with Prismacolor pencils. Given the fact that we just celebrated Valentine’s Day, I felt it was only fitting to include it here. I certainly bow to this artist’s greater skill and humbly admire the piece, while catching rays of inspiration from it. And so explains my love affair with these pencils. Something tells me Forest Gump would also approve!