What’s With Colored Pencils?

Cactus FlowerOnce upon a time, in the far off land of Yesterday, colored pencils were only found next to children’s crayons and coloring books. Youngsters enjoyed them but the colors were not as pretty as crayons! This meant that colored pencils were not taken seriously by artists or art collectors. Then a change occurred, unexpected by all, yet wonderful – quality colored pencils began to be produced using pigments that were not only vivid but they could endure the test of time and the even greater test of artists’ satisfaction.

Enter the land of Today, where colored pencil art now hangs in prestigious galleries, hobnobbing with oil paintings, acrylics, water colors, and pen & ink drawings.  I’m thankful to be an artist in these wonderful days. I love colored pencils and the processes that allow them to be called paintings in their own right. These include layering colors to take advantage of the translucent qualities of pencils, and burnishing to press color into paper until it takes on a solid, painted effect.

I subscribe to the principles that urge artists to use only the best pencils and papers of archival quality, so the art we love today can be admired for generations to come.      Jean Carr

Member of the San Pedro River Arts Council