More bits.

Anyone who knows me can tell you that I like to travel light to comic shows. I’m always trying to find a way to get the look I want, with less gear to carry. Recently, I cracked and bought some water soluble pencils from Viarco Art-Graf that I kept eyeing at the art store. I’m not endorsing these, they’re just the first ones I saw, mainly because they had a big display. Derwent, Faber-Castell, and Koh-i-Noor all make some (as I found in a quick search). I’ll probably try those out at some point, as I’m sure some are better than others. The nice thing about the others is they seem to have a wider range of degrees from HB-8B, where the Viarco ones only came in this 2B, 6B set.

Viarco ArtGraf Water Soluble Pencils

The following are some images from a recent drawing session. The first one is how I’ve been working, using 3 levels of marker (cool gray 1,3, & 5), with a pencil under drawing, and Prismacolor white. This was a 10 min. pose.


Another 10 min. sketch, with the 2B soluble pencil wash plus white. I didn’t get very far, because I’m still learning how much pencil to put down. It doesn’t seem to take much, but the pencil dries lighter than one thinks initially after adding water. That’s mainly because the water darkens the paper, and the immediate fear is there’s too much pencil. Hopefully I’ll learn to deal with that miscue properly over time.


Then this 20 min., which I got to go back and add more pencil shading where I wanted, then kept working it. The one problem is the paper will start to wrinkle and although you can erase the pencil off (to a point), if the paper is even damp, you tear it. Waiting is not something you care to do when working with a model and a time limit. To make the figure pop a bit more, I went back in with the dark marker on the outside of the figure.


Lastly, this is a 30 min. sketch. The pencils were sold as a set of two, one a 2B, the other a 6B; up to this point I had only used the 2B. In this last one, I decided to play with everything, 6B-WS, 2B-WS, white, and 3 levels of markers.


I changed from the white chalk I had been using to the Prismacolor white, since my scanner loved to read the chalk as a soft blue, but it must just a quirk of the scanner. Oh well. The model had beautiful hair, but her poses were a bit repetitive. No worries, it helped to make the product comparisons a bit more of a controlled test.