October 1, 2016

In the Studio: Sketch & Wash

I love these Sketch & Wash pencils! I’ve written before that kids often come to me for lessons because they like to draw and are pretty comfortable with their line drawing skills. It’s my job to start where they are comfortable and to bring their art skills to the next level. Gently.

I’ve been using Sketch & Wash pencils to gently ease some of my students into value drawing. The beauty is that you draw with these pencils just as you would with your familiar #2 pencil. But these are water soluble graphite, so when you run a brush loaded with water over top of the drawing you create a wash. Using the wet brush in combination with the pencil encourages making larger toned areas. And the weight of the line also determines the value of the wash so you end up with a nice range of values.


This was the terribly boring torturous observation drawing I made my brilliant student suffer through. We observed where the light was coming from, and tried to see how that created different values on the objects. Blah, blah, blah. This student has far too much panache and flair to suffer through much of that. I had to let it go. The point was made, luckily, and she hurried to apply the value lesson to her own art.  With the Sketch & Wash pencil, it looked extra awesome.