Monday, May 9, 2016

Avoid being a crumby artist

Practicing your art is key to becoming a better artist, but this simple tip will instantly keep you from being a "crumby" artist. This will not be a newsflash to anyone who did any drafting in the Pleistocene pre-AutoCAD era, but it may be news to some of you just picking up that nice new set of colored pencils to work in your new adult coloring book.

This is the way the cookie crumbles.
Your color blending technique may be spot on. Maybe you use a burnisher or a colorless blender pencil to smooth out the area so no white spots show through. But, invariably, these little crumbs of color appear. Some combinations of pencil brand and paper brand will make it worse, some less so.

STOP. Do NOT blow them off.

Your breath has tiny moisture particles (remember, if you are reading this, you can "fog a mirror".) This can be disastrous, especially if you are using water soluble color pencils (unless you are going for some pointillism effect.)

STOP. Do NOT wipe them off with your arm or sleeve.

The slight downward pressure may (Murphy says "WILL") be enough to make them leave little colored comet trail streaks.

You need one of these: Drafter's Brush

Tool from back when drafters had to touch things other than their computer.
Simple, elegant, and designed for the exact purpose of removing pencil crumbles and eraser stubble. Draftsmen figured this out decades ago. Horsehair drafting brushes are cheap and easy to find now that you know what to look for. Find them in the art department of stores like Hobby Lobby or grab one here on Amazon with about 3 clicks. They come in different sizes, and unless you are a power-crumbler, the smallest size 10" (pictured) is all the brush you need.

Happy coloring, and may your white areas stay ever white.

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