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Neither Fig nor Grape!

February 26, 2008

Ni figue, ni raisin is a French expression describing something that isn’t qite one thing nor another.. I’m using it here to describe the way watercolor pencils seem to me.

This medium is on the borderline between drawing and painting. In theory it should be right up my alley, because I love drawing, but it’s so hard for me! Once again, someone named Casey has been defeated in Mudsville!

These, believe it or not, are the best of the week’s production. We’re working on landscapes with rain (maybe that explains all the mud I’ve been making!), as well as still lifes with colrs in the reflection. these are all small formats, as it’s really hard to cover a lot of ground with wc pencils.

Some of the students in Kate’s class are doing incredible work. I think part of my problem is that I just hate planning ahead (audible sigh)

20 Comments leave one →
  1. February 26, 2008 4:24 pm

    I’m having trouble with wcp too, especially since my goal is to work looser and these pencils seem, well, fussy and tight to me. I’m two assignments behind! But I do like your rainy sky.

  2. February 26, 2008 4:25 pm

    The colors in the rocks, too, are very effective.

  3. February 26, 2008 4:50 pm

    I have the same problems with WC pencils. Your rain is done very beautifully though! Hang in there, your art is so beautiful, I’m sure you’ll master this medium too, shortly.

  4. February 26, 2008 4:55 pm

    you’ve done well – but I agree – I don’t like to use them alone, only as part of a mixed media work.

    Have you seen how Shirley Trevena uses them? she uses sandpaper to drop little flecks from them into a watercolour wash and the effect is absolutely beautiful – that’s one way I do use them

  5. February 26, 2008 6:20 pm

    We could start a club, there are so many of us who feel somewhat defeated by the watercolor pencils. I’m in the class too, and feel like I’m drawing like an 8 year old again. I really like your rain drawing, though, it has a lovely cool feel to it. Hang in there, Casey!

  6. February 26, 2008 6:42 pm

    Don’t be so hard on yourself. Your unique style is alive in these small paintings. I posted some harsher comments on flicker (hope you don’t mind) on each of the above paintings. I am enjoying keeping up with you in your class!

  7. February 26, 2008 7:37 pm

    Yes, those WC pencils are difficult especially for someone with your free-wheeling style-which I love.

  8. February 26, 2008 10:37 pm

    I agree: don’t be so hard on yourself! The first one has a great, brooding atmosphere, and I really like the Tabasco bottle too.

  9. February 27, 2008 12:26 am

    give it time, but yes…they are different. try the sandpaper technique, it’s lovely.

  10. February 27, 2008 12:29 am

    I think WCP are very difficult to work with, and am full of admiration for those of you who are giving them a try! Your landscapes are spot on, though — you should be really happy! Despite the rain, I don’t see a bit of mud, so am not sure what you’re worried about. Keep it up!

  11. February 27, 2008 4:24 pm

    I feel the same way you do about wc pencils. I use them or used to use them, but mostly dry, with just a touch of wet added for accent, and largely for sketching in the field when you can’t have your full wc palette with you. I love the rocks one and I agree that you are being way too hard on yourself. The other thing is this—there’s no law that says you have to like and be good at every medium! I doubt seriously that these pencils are any body’s first choice! Of course, taking ANY course with Kate is a good thing and will be beneficial beyond questions of medium, I’m sure.

  12. February 27, 2008 5:23 pm

    beautiful storm, and that tabasco is divine…

  13. February 27, 2008 5:46 pm

    I think these are terrific – the sense of rainy landscapes really comes across. And yes, they are still very much in your style.

    I can imagine why you might not like working with them, as they don’t give you the freedom of a nice loose watercolour wash. But they are great pictures!

  14. February 29, 2008 9:25 pm

    The coloured pencils I use are watercolour ones, but I hardly ever use them as such …. and when I do, I usually only wet bits of the drawing to soften and highlight, but keep the majority of the drawing looking like it was done n coloured pencil. Have you thought of that or anyone in your class doing it that way?

    I must say thought that I think you’re doing really well …. those clouds and grasses look amazing …

  15. February 29, 2008 10:27 pm

    I like your stormy one Mighty Casey! Keep going you never know where it will lead.
    Nice free figure drawings on your earlier post too.

  16. February 29, 2008 11:23 pm

    I definitely get the sense of rainy landscape, especially in the first one. Me too with the wc pencils. I like wc crayons much more. There’s lots more color and they’re looser too I think.

  17. joan sandford cook permalink
    March 2, 2008 3:57 pm

    I wonder if watercolour pencils were ever made to create a full painting when we have the wonderful media of watercolour paints. I think they are lovely to use in conjunction for adding highlight, detail, speckled scrapings etc or for a simple journal small sketch using a water brush to spread the pigment . I’d much rather spread a full brush of colour on a full landscape than play tightly with the pencils. I had a tutor who used them for closeup floral work, where wonderful detail showed and she used them in layers allowing colours below to show through which created a wonderful sheen to the work. Even so, I like what you produced.

  18. March 3, 2008 10:47 pm

    Personally, I think you are being very hard on yourself. I very much like what you have done. Infact I think they are all very lovely. I particularly like the top two “rain” pics. You’ve got some nice pencil-cum-watercolour effects, which I never manage to get with WC pencils.

  19. caseytoussaint permalink*
    March 4, 2008 3:40 pm

    Thanks for the encouragement everyone? I agree that this medium has its limits, but I think the only way to fid them is to try to do everything. And some people can really do a lot with wc pencils. I’ hoping tt find out what they can do for me, but it’s a rough road!

  20. March 6, 2008 6:37 pm

    Sorry, I’m a bit late, Casey but I think your rainy landscape is beautiful and I love the tabasco bottle! Is there anywhere we can see what everyone else is doing. I’m sure they are all thinking ‘That Casey is terrific’.

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