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Why This Artist Prefers Prismacolor Watercolor Pencils

By admin | Sunday, April 25th, 2010 | Watercolor

I have been creating art all of my life, but when it comes to drawing, I prefer Prismacolor Watercolor Pencils to other brands. Based on my experience and the opinion of other artists and instructors, Sanford has consistently improved and expanded their line of Prismacolor pencils. I find Sanford pencils offers the consumer both superior quality and value for all of their art supplies. Secondly, they are continually trying to engage their customer base, and have recently expanded their online community of artists – even expanding their services to include the digital artist community. If you haven’t visited their site in a while, it is well worth the time. Recently added is a digital color coordinator that matches digital colors to their products. If you are involved with desktop publishing, digital color charts, and color printing, you will probably appreciate this digital chart. It is based on the two standard color printing processes – 4 color (CMYK) and 3 color (RGB). Furthermore, it also outputs the HEX code to any color or hue you produce. HEX code is a standard for digital colors, particularly used for the Internet.

Sanford takes this one step further. For the entire line of Prismacolor pencils, all sets are digitally assigned a color palette which digitally corresponds to CMYK and RGB color codes. For example, if you click on the Prismacolor Watercolor Pencils page, you can select from one of the three color sets of 12, 24, or 36 and a color palette will be displayed. From the interactive color palette, each colored pencil can be individually selected, displaying its unique digital color code. If you are shopping for only individual colors, rather than a complete set, the palette also displays the name of the color as well as the Prismacolor product code. For example, Cream is pencil number WC (watercolor) 2914, which also corresponds to RGB: 252,255,176 and CMYK: 1,0,31,0.

Conveniently, this tool will enable you to match-up digital colors of a favorite photograph with individual Prismacolor watercolor pencils. A trick that you might employ is to project the image of your photograph onto watercolor paper, and then simply trace it. While your pencils may not match the colors, hue, and value of your photo, blending with water using a damp brush and layering with other colors will fine tune your results. Remember when beginning your drawing, to first prepare your paper if you plan on applying water. If you do not do this, your paper will bubble and curl. For detailed instructions on how to prepare watercolor paper properly, please see my article entitled, “Prismacolor Pencils.” It is generally advised to apply your colors lightly onto your paper and gradually build-up the layers. You can do this with one color or more for color mixing purposes. Drawing and watercolor painting require the opposite technique than oil painting. Whereas when you paint in oils, you will want to start with a darker background and then blend lighter colors and thinner brush applications as you near the painting’s completion. With drawing and watercolor painting, however, there is no way to erase if you have oversaturated your paper with color. Therefore, drawing with water soluble pencils rather than regular pencils makes it easier to erase and tone down color saturation if over applied.

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