Capturing Colour

showoffOne of the toughest things to do with colouring pencil is actually get a good colour match to whatever you are drawing. This is usually down to having limited pencils. You could have a set of eight or a set of twenty four, either way, your pencil will never truly match the colour you need. There are several tricks of the trade that could help you achieve better successes with you colouring… view and read on.

There are a few rules you should follow when working with Colour pencils:

  1. Work on a coloured paper, preferably a smooth thick card (brown, blue or green).
  2. Draw guide lines and lay out in white, while you’re doing that you should white in any highlights.
  3. Build your colour up in layers, always have at least three different colour pencils to hand. Swap and alternate between them.
  4. Try to avoid using black, darken reds with greens which gives a warm shaded tone and use brown on blues to get a natural grey.
  5. Work on the colour until it forms a marble-esque texture. It should be smooth to the touch and feel a little like a pebble.
  6. Tone is the key. Never just colour flat shapes. Pure coloured shapes will flatten your drawing.
  7. Spend time on it. Observe. Work on it until your finished. If you let it sit, you’ll never finish it.

Lights Alive


S4 are currently working towards a final piece for their design unit. Building models, maquettes and plans, they are slowly but surely finding the right materials and forms to get their ideas across.


Each based on a different animal, their lights must look suitable for use in an information room in Edinburgh Zoo. Not an easy task, especially when there are so many factors including lighting effects, daytime appearance, market, public use, cost and theme to think about. The tighter the design brief, the tougher the challenge.


She’s Been Framed


Emma from S1 (yes, that same Emma… I know…) has produced this amazing city collage with tonal frame. The image is made from layers of paper, sugar paper and tracing paper, the frame is sugar paper with pen detail and colouring pencil. A wonderful piece of work that not only deserves the title of ‘Artwork of the Week’, it is also featured on the S1 display board outside my room. Well done Emma, keep pushing forward.


Sports Mixture – An Intermediate Expressive Unit

Lesley from S4 had put an awful lot of hard work into achieving her three sheets for her Expressive unit/Intermediate 2. Having completed it in S3, it’s not her major focus right now as she is currently working on her Design unit. Though I’m sure she won’t mind us having a look at how her sheets have come together.


Her first sheet (investigation) contains 4 pieces, line pencil, tone colour pencil, white pencil on black and a red pen line drawing. Initially based around golfing, though opening up to involve other sporting activities such as cheerleading and dancing. These works are completed from August until Xmas.


Her second sheet, the development sheet, has a lot more going on. It contains a full colour pencil piece, a print, a collage, DIY scraper board and three compositional sketches. There is a focus on technique and colour and features a lot more sports equipment. These works are completed from January to Easter.


Her final solution, which she had decided to do in scraper board wasΒ  a magnificent feat. At any time she could have ruined the piece and would have had to have started it all from scratch (pardon the pun). It took around 12-14 hours to complete.

Holocaust Sculpture Open To The Public

Available until the end of March, ‘Hatred Destroys All’ – a scuplture by 2A from Gleniffer High School, is on show in Paisley Museum & Art Gallerys. It’s there as part of the ‘Testimony’ exhibition. Entered into the Holocaust competition, the piece did not win, but it is getting some attention from museum goers who are playing with and re-arranging the stones.




Mouth Watering


Teaching water colours is not an easy task. Water colour paint is really a personal preference when it comes to it’s application, some prefer to apply subtly with light hues of pastel colours, others like to use it like Gouache paints, painting it in blocks and applying it thickly.

I prefer to do it the way I taught myself to do it. To try and copy the effects of some of the old masters (Blake and Turner), as well as some of the new contemporary fine/comic artists, like Kent Williams and Jon T Muth. The method calls mainly for a thick application of paint in a dark area, then diluted out with water, spreading out the colour to fill out the object. I like to let the water take the paint pigment on a little journey and it’s usually the mistakes that are made that actually attract the viewer’s eye (and not in a bad way).

Marvellous Making Skills


I didn’t think there would be an Artwork of the Week this week. The week is a short one and there had been nothing that was completely wowing me. Then just at the last minute Rachel (S2) had finished off her Saddle-Back Caterpillar maquette and proceeded to work on her Insect Chair seat section. Rachel’s making skills are extremely strong, she is currently achieving results that I would be proud of coming from S4. The reason why she achieves such results is due to her strive for perfection. Things can always be better and by pushing further and focusing all her passion on the task at hand, she is making fantastic 3D forms. I also like the fact that Rachel does not like taking the easy path, she’s always trying to challenge herself and go for the tougher but better finished option.


More Emma



Although Emma (S1) has been featured before, she has been working extremely hard in her sketchbook, pushing her toning skills forward and experimenting with colour and style.


A great use of tone, colour and pattern makes Emma’s work look more professional. The piece above is unfinished, though I like the pattern of the symbols and the way they are bordered by nice colourful frames. It reminds me of the game ‘Bejewelled’, a similar game to Tetris.