Imagine. Create. Enjoy.
Today I’m playing around with the Faber-Castell graphite aquarelle pencils. They’re like watercolor pencils, but in greyscale and better for creating different values than colors. They’re really fun to use!
I used them to draw a few faces just 'cause faces are my favorite thing to draw. I first wanted to make a quick sketch to test them out on thinner paper but I got really carried away and it turned into a full drawing… here’s the steps I like to take with pencil sketching.
First, I do a loose sketch in a light pencil, like HB. (Remember the H is harder and lighter, then B’s are softer and darker, and the higher the number in front of the H/B is, the softer/harder or darker/lighter the pencil is.)
After that I went in with 4B to define everything. This set has HB, 2B, 4B, 6B, and 8B if you want to use every one for really even shading.
I used an 8B then to make really deep shadows. I think that these pencils make really nice sketch pencils on their own without the water, they get really nice and dark and feel a bit more like colored pencils.
Then I went in with water. I used a normal brush like the kind that comes with the pack, but I think a water brush would be great to use too. If you’re really into watercolor, you’d be great at this step, the pencils act a lot like watercolor does.
The darker pencils create a darker black once you wet them, which is why it’s good to use the different pencils rather than to use one pencil with different pressure. I tried to push the water along with the lines I made to control the shading, it's hard to make it look neat! Putting one big wash over it keeps the darker lines and creates an even gray layer, which I used more around the outsides and on the hair. I think these pencils would also look great and be easier to use with a more loose style.
Since the paper got a little bubbly, I tried another drawing on watercolor paper and repeated the same steps for shading as before.
The watercolor paper definitely worked better with the water. You can also go back and add in more details with dry pencil again on top.
I experimented with colors after that… I tried alcohol markers on one, and just put a layer of even color on top since the pencils already create the value. I think it would work better if I had less aquarelle pencil underneath because it came out a little muddy. Or maybe even a marker base and the pencils on top?
I also added colored pencils to the other one. I bet that using watercolor pencils on top or even also as a base layer would be a cool look.
I liked playing with these pencils and there’s so many ways you could use them! I’d love to see even more combinations with other mediums and styles. Overall they’re pretty great pencils and lots of fun to use.
You may not know this about me, but I am a huge book arts fan. I love artists’ books, handmade journals, and the like. Today I am going to share an easy way to make your own mixed papers, single signature, art journal.
Here are the supplies you’ll need to gather:
The Cover and Inside Pages
I love hot press (smooth) watercolor paper. When Fabriano came out with this pad a year or so ago, I was thrilled! It works great for a sturdy cover.
Fold one sheet of 11x14 hot press watercolor paper in half, with the grain of the paper. In this case, the grain runs short, so make a “hamburger fold”. (See below)
Once your cover paper is folded, it’s time to get out those stencils and paints!
Scrape a few colors of paint on the outside of the cover.
As you work on the cover, have extra copy paper underneath your painting spot. Use this extra paper for the inside pages of your journal. You can even stencil on them as you give your cover a chance to dry!
Work back and forth between the cover (both inside and outside) and the loose sheets of paper for the inside pages. Pictured below is the second layer on the front cover.
Scrape paint on the inside cover, over the drips and stencil work. Doodle on the outside of the cover with the Faber-Castel Graphite Aquarelle pencil. Then add a third layer of paint to the cover using a stencil and white acrylic paint.
Sewing the Signature To bind your single signature book, you will need a ruler, or a paper slicer that has a ruler on its surface. We are going to be doing a 5-hole pamphlet stitch.
First, you need to make a hole-punching guide, using a piece of cardstock, a ruler, and a pencil.
Fold the piece of cardstock in half lengthwise, or a “hotdog fold”.
Measure one inch from the bottom and one inch from the top, and place a pencil dot. Put a dot at the center of the punching guide. Put two more dots in between the dots you already have. (See below).
Label your marks from top to bottom, 1 -2- 3- 4- 5.
Reverse the fold of the punching guide, so the numbers are now on the inside of the fold.
Gather 5-7 pieces of artsy paper to be the inside pages of your journal. Fold them, and place the punching guide at the center of your papers.
Place the folded papers and the punching guide inside an open phone book or on a thick piece of foam.
Use an awl to punch the holes for sewing.
Thread a bookbinding needle with waxed linen thread. The thread should be about 2x the length of your journal. Be sure to tie a loose knot about two inches up from the end of your thread and also near the head of the needle.
Important Note: If you want the loose threads to be on the outside of your journal, start sewing on the outside in hole 3. If you want to tie off your sewing on the inside of your book, begin on the inside in hole 3.
Use your hand or clips to hold your pages in line with the sewing holes once everything is punched. The pattern for sewing is:
You will be making an inside to outside, outside to inside, weaving pattern as you sew. For simplicity, write the sewing pattern on your punching guide as: 3-4- 5-4- 2-1- 2-3 Choose to start from the inside or the outside of hole 3, depending upon where you want your final tied threads to reside.
TA DA! You bound a book! Congratulations!!!
For more art ideas and mixed media inspiration, be sure to stop by OrangeSpiralArts.com
Blessings to YOU!