Above: If Cats Were Dogs and Dogs were Cats series by Ruthie Lafond.
Why do colored pencils get such a bum rap? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told something to the effect of: good stuff, but stay away from colored pencils.
It is those same people telling me that colored pencils can be hard to reproduce–but I love using them. As a kid I always drew with colored pencils, maybe because almost every year for Christmas I was given a new set.
By the time high school came around I was doing still lifes, mostly of apples! I was lucky enough to be in an after school program for art kids, we had a visiting colored pencil artist come and give us techniques. His pointers (importance of layering colors, how to properly apply pressure) changed my portrait of a llama that I had been working on and my use of the colored pencil forever.
I know many children’s book illustrators that work mostly in watercolor or gouache often use a touch of colored pencil for detailing. But what I’m thinking of are the full out amazingly soft illustrations, the result of tirelessly shading with colored pencils. Roslyn Schwartz‘s Mole Sisters could never be as tactile and warm had they been painted.
Can you think of other great illustrators who use colored pencils? Are you one of the people against colored pencils and if so, why?
I’ve used watercolor, gouache, acrylics, and digital, but nothing feels the same to me as colored pencil.