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Daily Doodle again

Today has not been great for either word count or serious detailed colored pencil painting, but I did get back to doing a Daily Doodle: ACEO Stag Doodle is another 99 cent June Doodle Challenge entry up on eBay. It was fun. I haven't done deer very often, and I'd like to do another more serious one for Nibblefest on the 20th.
Explore-Oil-Pastels-With-Robert-Sloan.com Articles at eHow.com, ETSY shop, My Bonanzle Booth, deviantART gallery, SFFmuse and look for art by robertsloan2art on eBay. Listed on Art Blogs 4 U
Proud member of the Oil Pastel Society
Interesting art blog: Patrick's Art Blog focused on realism!
New Topical Blog: www.robs-art-supply-reviews.blogspot.com for all the cool art stuff that isn't oil pastels!


( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 14th, 2008 03:41 pm (UTC)
Hi! I found you online by doing a search on Spectracolor pencils. I saw that you were able to get a set! I have not been drawing as often(doing metal stuff), but I still hold on to all my spectracolor stubs. I was glad to see someone still appreciates the pencils and was compelled to say hello. :)
Jun. 14th, 2008 05:32 pm (UTC)
Hi! Oh yes, I love the Spectracolor pencils set that I got. Check out eBay constantly. I got my set from an ebay seller. They are magnificent and they are a bit richer than Prismacolor Premier. I love doing colored pencil painting. What are your favorite subjects for colored pencils? I'd love to see your art.

I bought three of the Koh-I-Noor pencil extenders for using stubs, but happily none of my Spectracolors needs it yet. What's occupying one of them is a pathetic quarter-inch long Prismacolor Indigo Blue, because I use up that color like it was strawberry licorice.

Have you tried Caran d'Ache Pablo? Those are expensive, but they are the closest comparison to Design Spectracolor that I've found in pencils that haven't been discontinued. A friend gave me an assortment of stubs and then I bought a set of 12 -- the twelver has a good color range for a twelver too, with a fuchsia that can give cold pinks mixed with white, a white pencil, a gray pencil and black. Ludicrously expensive compared to other brands but actually worth the price.
Jun. 14th, 2008 06:31 pm (UTC)
The color that I used to the most in Spectracolors was tuscan red. ^_^ That's obviously one of my smallest stubs. he he he

I have always been brand-loyal and just resigned myself to use Prismacolor after DS got discontinued. I find Prismas are a bit too "pasty"? for me. Specially here where it's hot, you know? And no, I have not tried Caran d'Ache Pablo :(

My last drawing is actually from 10 days ago, I think. I'll post them here, if you don't mind:

This one is a bit older:

And last night I found scans of 10 year old drawings of mine made with Spectracolor(hence the search):

Please click for larger images.

What a change in palette and technique in 10 years, huh? :)

Jun. 14th, 2008 07:35 pm (UTC)
Wow! Your current art is gorgeous! I love it. I couldn't see your earlier pieces because the website requires you to log in or something, and the images are broken. I tried clicking on them to see them large but didn't even get the URL to know where to log in to see them. Could you repost them onto LJ so that I can see them?

Pablos are super soft but heavily pigment rich like Design Spectracolor. They have a slightly different texture, being oil-based, but that also means they don't get wax bloom. Two other brands that you might try are Faber-Castell Polychromos and Lyra Rembrandt.

Lyra Rembrandt are also oil-based and have a more slippery feel than the Pablos or Design Spectracolors, also seem to be more transparent even if they are very pigment rich -- like the pigment's ground finer or something, those are good for layering. I like them. I've been experimenting with many different artist grade brands of colored pencils ever since a Gary Greene colored pencils book where he suggested getting master sets of all the brands and mixing them on the same artworks, to extend the range. I tried this and wow, discovered that all the good brands have proprietary colors and so I could go up from 120 colors (my vintage Prismacolors set) to several hundred colors if I got all the brands. Maintaining them would be cheaper, but if a set got ground down I could always get another set cheaper than a lot of replacement pencils.

I first tried Design Spectracolor in 2004, when my ex-housemate Starweaver Blue inherited a sixty color set from his mom, who didn't use them much. His set was all long and beautiful. I remembered seeing that big set everywhere in the 80s and not buying it because I already had a big set of Prismacolors. Boy was that dumb. If I'd known both how much I'd use them and how fast they'd be discontinued, I'd have bought several 96 color sets and stockpiled, or gotten dozen-boxes in all the colors. I was earning a lot of money in those days and wasted so much of it on dumb things like eating out or getting trendy kitchen and apartment stuff while living with my ex. It would've taken some fights, but it would've rocked. I was so tempted by their classy black barrels and bright color-tips, but I thought they'd be just like Prismacolors.

They're richer and better.

Jun. 14th, 2008 07:36 pm (UTC)
Blick Studio Artist is more like Prismacolor but has a harder lead. Faber-Castell Polychromos is stiffer than Design Spectracolor, but has strong pigment saturation and a good feel. Out of all the ones I've tried, Pablo comes closest to the feel, softness and opacity of Design Spectracolor.

There is one major brand mentioned in all the books that I haven't tried yet, but intend to get in a few months -- Design Bruynzeel, from Holland. A number of the colored pencil book authors swear by those and will use colors from them for their projects in the books, but I have never handled one and don't know their texture or pigment saturation or softness. Watch my LJ for the review when I finally get those.

And watch eBay to get more Design Spectracolors. There are some sellers who put together big batches of random colored pencils that include some Design Spectracolors, but a friend bought some of those large lots and they had only maybe three or four DS pencils and tons of student grade ones and Prismacolor irregulars, also would tend to have things like 40 white Prismacolor Watercolor irregulars and a relatively short color selection for being hundreds of pencils. It's better to search on Colored Pencils and go patiently through all the listings till you find a set, because every now and then someone clears an attic or gets them in an estate sale or got them and didn't like doing colored pencil art... and then they get listed at auction.

Sanford bought the company that made them and discontinued them, but I wish they would actually bring them out again even if they priced them higher and called it a special line or something. I wouldn't mind paying more, up to the prices they charge for Pablos, if I could get them steadily. They rock.

Both of your current pieces are spectacular, very surreal and realistic at the same time. Lobsterclaw Pliers is so cool. The snail with a key on its back seems to mean something, and I can't place what but it's beautifully rendered. I love nature drawing and I wind up using different colored pencils in different ways.

Derwents are nothing like them. Derwent Coloursoft may interest you -- they are a bit more opaque than Design Spectracolor but do have that softness. They don't layer as well but they have good laydown, and you can try them for cheap because the smallest set is only six well chosen colors.

Tuscan Red and Indigo Blue are two of my favorites too, and I'd dearly love to find a box of a dozen Tuscan Red DS pencils. I've considered getting that in Prismacolors anyway.

I'm currently writing a Colored Pencil Realism Workbook, and will be using a different brand for each of the projects in it so that readers can find at least one that uses the set they have. I probably won't include DS though, much as I love them, because it'd drive readers nuts that they can't get them any more. Damn I wish Sanford would put them back in production though. I wonder if there's some sort of way to pressure them to do it?
Jun. 14th, 2008 07:52 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for your words. The snail does have a meaning; he keeps the key to my secrets ;) The pliers are an idea for a tattoo I would like to get. I did it in colored pencils just to indulge myself he he he, because I know with my dark skin, only b&w would be sensible, we'll see.

I fixed the images for my 2 older ones. Can you check again, please? I think they were set to "friends only".
Jun. 14th, 2008 11:19 pm (UTC)
Oh wow! They are so beautiful. Yes, I'll look at the whole thread to see them, would love to see your older ones!
Jun. 14th, 2008 07:39 pm (UTC)
Why I am doing different brands per project in the workbook is that I found that each brand has its own best techniques. DS works well for just about every technique, which is why it's sad they're gone. But others have different applications.

Derwent Artist/Studio totally rock for a heavily textured "dry" pencil-drawing look, and get a lot of precision a lot like Verithin.

Koh-I-Noor Progresso Woodless rock in all ways except one -- a very short range. They're inexpensive, artist grade and handy for large areas, they also last forever because they're woodless. Those might blend well with the DS to help stretch them even though they aren't that soft. Unfortunately no Tuscan Red in the range.
Jun. 14th, 2008 08:04 pm (UTC)
I am really LOVING these comments filled with all the suggestions. I can't find anybody to talk to about this or to this extent. Thanks so much. I am always looking for ways to inspire myself to draw more and now, with all these brands to go and try out, I feel like I wanna buy them all.

I'd like to add you as a friend, but I'm afraid the filter where I put my art is a little bit too crazy/moody/rated R. I'm not sure you'd like that or would be comfortable with it.
Jun. 14th, 2008 11:24 pm (UTC)
Well, I could say the same, let's dare it. I'll accept everything about you as you are and ask the same. There are some things under my friendslist filter that I don't generally talk about in open posts too. But I've written erotica, used to be a leatherman in my wild youth, am open to every alternative alternativeness and I'm a pagan man. That about covers most of it, you'll see the rest. Trust me, I have something to be somewhat (only somewhat) discreet about too but nothing shocks me.
Jun. 15th, 2008 12:18 am (UTC)
Alrighty! There's a lot of chaos going on in my life right now, though.
Jun. 15th, 2008 12:21 am (UTC)
I feel for you, most of my life there was a lot of chaos in mine. But tonight it was just the Evening of Tantrums, as my granddaughter pushed boundaries and got herself sent to bed about ten minutes early. Oh the horror. Oh the angst. Oh the humanity...
Jun. 15th, 2008 12:38 am (UTC)
You have a granddaughter?! How old?
Jun. 15th, 2008 12:44 am (UTC)
Nothing shocking or surprising, but I feel for you. Good luck with it, this is a hard time in life but it won't last forever. There is a life on the other side of it, a good life without constant stress. Left me feeling grateful for my present sane good living situation all over again. My cat is sleeping on top of the books like a fuzzy lump with one ear sticking out, backlit by the sun, and my daughter and son in law are hanging out in the dining room talking, my four year old granddaughter is now having her tantrum in her room where it's quieter.
Jun. 14th, 2008 11:22 pm (UTC)
Wow! Yes, that is a big difference in palette and techniques -- and they are both good styles. I like your older jazzy loose ones too, and their deep blue backgrounds are striking. Very cool stuff, very surreal. There's that connection between your old stuff and new, a dreamlike juxtaposition of different things. The snail is beautiful.

It's too bad they don't have opaque tattoo inks though to get colors lighter than the person's skin. I thought they did have white tattoo ink that can come up lighter, can that get mixed with colors to make them more opaque? You probably know more about how that works though.
Jun. 15th, 2008 12:33 am (UTC)
Thanks. I'm glad you like them. Ultramarine blue for the backgrounds...one of my most "abused" pencils :) It makes me happy to know you enjoy the snail.

They do have white ink, but unfortunately it just makes things look pastel rather than opaque. :(
Jun. 15th, 2008 12:46 am (UTC)
Ahhh yeah, I can see if you couldn't get a good white on the white edges it'd be hard to do that one. It's beautiful though! The snail is gorgeous too.

Ultramarine is one of my favorite colors too. I love shading up with a dark blue that has a long value range and getting it to fade almost to white!
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )


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