Bob Hurford: Decorated Letters With Coloured Pencil

Decorated Letters With Coloured Pencil
Bob Hurford
Friday, July 17, 2015
All day

For 2015, we will be color-pencil painting decorated letters such as those found in engrossed documents as well as some found in Renaissance illuminated manuscripts.  This is going to be an enjoyable day.  If you took my colored pencil class in Indianapolis last year and bought the equipment list, you are already well on your way.  I have added two pencils:  PC 924 Crimson Red and PC 989 Chartreuse.

Pencils listed below are the soft, bright Prismacolors, my favorites.  There are other brands that will work.  Derwent Colorsoft; Tombow Irojiten; Lyra Rembrandt; Faber-Castell Polychromos to name but a few.  Avoid studio or student grade pencils.  They are not soft, the pigment is not bright, they cover poorly, and they will disappoint.  If you have a larger set of pencils, by all means bring them if you can.  I plan to bring all 150 Prismacolors. Though not evident in the black-and-white printing, I used 37 colors in the class sample.  We will examine color burnishing and blending for some great effects.

I will supply outline drawings of letters to be painted, but you are more than welcome to bring your own designs.  I do ask that you draw them on 140# Stonehenge or hot press watercolor before class to save time.  Color schemes will be suggestions only.  Everyone is free to use any color they want and experiment along the way.  I am also a great fan of underpainting with watercolor.  If you are using a set of watercolors in another class, bring them to this class.  Yellow is specified below, but bring all the colors you want.  You will not need many watercolors, but the effect of watercolor (or gouache) under colored pencil can be dramatic.  Watercolor pencils, tube colors, pan colors, all work fine. 


 Prismacolor Wax Pencils: PC916 Canary Yellow; PC918 Orange; PC937 Tuscan Red; PC922 Poppy Red; PC924 Crimson Red; PC908 Dark Green; PC913 Spring Green; PC 989 Chartreuse; PC901 Indigo Blue; PC919 Non-Photo Blue; PC1087 Powder Blue; PC 938 White;  PC1077 Colorless Blender.  Prismacolor Col-Erase Pencils (these are clay based instead of wax):  #20054 Tuscan Red; #20059 Light Gray.  Prismacolor Verithin Pencils (very hard pencils that have their use):  #734 White.  Watercolor Pencils:  Prismacolor WC2917 Sunburst Yellow; Derwent Inktense 0200 Sun Yellow.  Equivalent pencils or yellow tube watercolor will also work.  Even an inexpensive set of pan colors will do what you want.  Note:  Inktense pencils are ink based, not watercolor based.  The difference is that once Inktense dries, the color is permanent, unlike watercolor.

PAPER:  My favorite is 140# Stonehenge.  Four sheets, 7”x11” (cut 11”x14” sheets in half).  Watercolor paper, 140# hot press (cold press is very difficult to work with), is a fine alternative.  Make sure the sheet selected is at least 140#.  Thinner paper will not take multiple layers of color.  You will need at least one or two sheets as “guinea pig” pages to experiment with color combinations.  The time to experiment is not on the finished work!  (If you are interested in painting letters of your own design, bring the number of sheets of 140# paper in the size and quantity you will need.  It is suggested that you render the letters on the sheets before class to save time.) Tracing Paper: To transfer supplied designs to your paper. Two sheets, 8½” x 11” will do.

ADDITIONAL:  A soft camel-hair type brush.  Wax pencils can be “crumby” and need to be brushed off the paper.  A sheet or two of soft Kleenex tissue for polishing the pencil at the end. Paper towels are too abrasive.  A pencil sharpener.  It is vital to keep points sharp.  A small hand sharpener, preferably one with a reservoir for shavings, is good. A rubber eraser.  Kneaded erasers don’t work well with colored pencil.  Also bring a small roll of scotch tape.  Tape is actually a better eraser.  Loctite Super Glue Gel Control.  Glue?!?! While sharpening your pencils, it is inevitable that you will break a point.  I will show you how to repair the broken point.

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