Colored Pencils versus Watercolor Pencils


Anybody who has met me in person knows I LOVE PURPLE! Even people who only know me from the internet know I LOVE PURPLE. I love flowering kale because of the purple, but also because of the soft green that comes with it. The shape of the leaves are big and bodacious. Even the veins are purple and the edges are frilly. The purple veins present a challenge to a botanical artist. I have found that when I put the veins on top of a painting, I often feel they just sit on top and are not integrated into the leaf, much like a tattoo sits on the skin. Most purple paints bleed when they are re-wet and once this happens it contaminates the green and then there is mud! I hate muddy purples! To keep the veins crisp and clear I started by using Faber Castel Polychromos colored pencils and drew the veins in with a mulberry purple. These pencils will resist water and do not bleed. I was then able to use my watercolor wet in wet technique to lay in the greens, purples and a hint of yellow ochre. Once I was done with the painting part I went into the painting with Staedtler watercolor pencils. The advantage to using watercolor pencils at this stage is water can be added in small increments to get a range of tones. I laid down a darker green by the purple vein and then with a small, damp brush gently created a gradated wash of color, working dark to light. The results are nice crisp, clean PURPLE veins. I using materials that make my work go smoother. I had so much fun on this piece that I have decided that when I am done with my leaf challenge I will revisit this plant and do a full painting. Stay tuned!

You can purchase this leaf in my Etsy Shop: BugsBeastsBotanicals