Pencil Drawing: Drawing executed with a pencil, an instrument made of graphite enclosed in a wood casing. Though graphite was mined in the 16th century, its use by artists is not known before the 17th century. In the 17th–18th century, graphite was used primarily to make preliminary sketches for more elaborate work in another medium, seldom for finished works. By the late 18th century, an ancestor of the modern pencil was constructed by inserting a rod of natural graphite into a hollow cylinder of wood. Pencil rods produced from mixtures of graphite and clays, true prototypes of the modern graphite pencil, were introduced in 1795. This improvement allowed for better control and encouraged wider use. The great masters of pencil drawing kept the elements of a simple linearism with limited shading, but many artists in the 18th–19th century created elaborate effects of light and shade by rubbing the soft graphite particles with a tightly rolled paper or chamois.

Cross Hatching: Cross hatching is a pencil stroke method used to create tonal variations. Cross hatching is done by drawing short lines horizontally, then repeating the process over the horizontal lines with vertical or angled strokes. Cross hatching is an effective way to create implied texture in sketches and finished drawings.

Pencil Hardness and Softness: The H means hard and B means black. H pencils, because they are hard, leave less graphite on the paper, so are lighter. B pencils are softer, so leave more graphite on the paper, and therefore are darker. F means Fine Point, and it is quite a hard pencil – easy to keep sharp, but generally a bit too hard for general drawing. The higher the number before the H, the harder it is (so a 4H is harder than a 2H) – HB is kind of in the middle, though for drawing, its still reasonably hard – and in turn, the more higher the number before the B, the softer it is – so the 7B is the softest. HB is equivalent to the standard American Number 2 pencil, B is Number 1.


Prismacolor Colored Pencils

Prismacolor colored pencils are colored pencils that have a soft core and are made of brilliant, light-resistant pigments and when applied to paper or board, are waterproof. They give the appearance of pastels, but have more saturation of color and are not chalky.


Watercolor Painting

A watercolor is the medium or the resulting artwork in which the paints are made of pigments suspended in a water-soluble vehicle. The traditional and most common support for watercolor paintings is paper; other supports include papyrus, bark papers, plastics, vellum or leather, fabric, wood, and canvas. Watercolors are usually transparent, and appear luminous because the pigments are laid down in a relatively pure form with few fillers obscuring the pigment colors. Watercolor can also be made opaque by adding Chinese white. Some watercolor techniques include a controlled wash, charging colors, softened edges, lifting, scrubbing, blotting, dry brush, wet-into-wet, sponge, graded wash, and splatter.

General Watercolor Techniques

Watercolor Flat Wash – A flat wash is one that is a solid color from the top to the bottom of the page or area in which you need a flat color.

Watercolor Graded Wash – Each stroke should be slightly lighter than the one before.

Wet-in-Wet Watercolor Technique – Applying color to a wet surface. The paper or surface is saturated first, and while it is still wet, the color is applied.

Dry Brush Watercolor Techniques  – This is a detail technique, when you do not use much water on the brush, but apply the color with a brush that is not dripping wet. You have quite a bit of control with this method, but it should be used for textures and detail. Dry brush technique takes much longer to finish a painting.

Lifting Wet Watercolor – When watercolor is still wet on the paper, it is easy to blot and lift. If it is so wet that it is still shiny, you will possibly lift all the color.

Painting With Salt for Texture – Salt can be painted or dropped into an area for interesting results. The salt will cause the wet area to push away so any color within the area will also push away.

Splattering Watercolor Tips – For texture in certain situations, watercolor techniques such as splattering paint can be quite effective. This can be done in several ways. One…with a toothbrush, dipped into paint, and using your thumb, scrape over the bristles to let the paint splatter over the painting (mask off the areas where you don’t want the splatter. Another way is to dip a damp (round) brush into a pool of color, and tap the brush over a finger of the opposite hand, allowing the paint to splatter on the page. For a heavier spatter, use a brush dipped in pigment. Tap it against a finger to release the pigment onto the paper. The spatter will be rather bold spots as shown. The more water in the brush, the larger the spatter.

Spraying Watercolor Techniques – A trigger type sprayer can be used to put droplets of water on the painting surface and then drop in color. The paint follows the droplets across the page, and since the droplets run into each other, the paint does not appear to be polka dots.

Back Wash Textures – Also called “Blooms”. They are caused when the paint on the paper is still quite damp, and a drop of water or pigment that is very wet, is dropped on the surface. The excess water makes the pigment float to the edge of the puddle, creating a dark, jagged line around it.

Alcohol Textures Watercolor Techniques – Of course, you know that alcohol and water don’t mix, therefore, alcohol, when sprinkled into a wet wash of color creates a texture. It repels the paint and pushes it aside. The effect is different if you sprinkle alcohol first, and then add the paint. When alcohol is sprayed onto the wet pigment, it causes a “foam” appearance. When it is applied to dry paper, and then the paint is applied, it seems to leave dark spots on the page.

Tissue Paper Texture – The paint on the surface should not be so wet that it is still shining or you would pick up all the paint with the tissue. Paint that has “lost its shine” is still damp enough to have textures created by the blotting of tissue.

Plastic Wrap Texture Watercolor Techniques – Plastic wrap can be applied when the paper is wet, but must stay on the surface until the paint is dry. First, create wrinkles in the plastic by wadding it up, and then flatten it out on the surface of the paper. It can be pulled and stretched in different directions to alter the texture.