Karen Lockhart is always "playing" with new color pencil ideas and techniques. In one of our phone conversations just recently she began telling me about a couple of new color pencil techniques that she has been sharing with her students. This past week I needed to make an emergency trip to pick up stamps to fill orders and had the good fortune to spend a little time "catching up" with her. Karen showed me two different cards that she had used this technique on and so I snapped a picture of them so that I would have the time to study what it is that she had done. Below is my first attempt using this "White on Black" technique.
This technique intrigues me for a lot of different reasons, with one of them being it will add to the variety of looks we can achieve using the Black Inchie Squares. The texture of their surface will be appealing and different to work with, being the surface on the Licorice cardstock is extremely smooth, and the tooth of the paper does not grab the wax from the crayon in the same manner. I will also be experimenting with other black papers to determine which one I like the characteristics of the best.
To begin I stamped the pears in white pigment ink on the Licorice cardstock. I really should have tried taking a second picture before proceeding because the flash really bounced on this one. Be certain to allow the pigment ink a short time to dry.
I then proceeded to begin coloring using only my white Prismacolor color pencil. Be certain to have a nice sharp point on your pencil as you begin to color, but before setting your pencil to work on your project color the scratchy tip off on a piece of scratch paper.
Marianne of Copic Markers has done several wonderful posts regarding shadows and highlights, so rather than repeating her fantastic lessons here I am going to instead link you to her blog and would like to suggest that you read through her posts on shadowing.
To color this image I elected to chose an unusual light source. Pretend that my light is in the bottom left corner. I opted to do this because I felt that I needed to add highlights to the pedestal plate on which the pears are sitting so as to reveal the detail in the base. Even though I know the theory behind shadows I still have a hard time actually following them through to completion. In looking at this image in it's HUGE state on the screen I can immediately see where I would make changes. I believe that in studying what I have done in a larger scale it will truly help me become better at it in the long run, so perhaps it is something you may want to try on your own work as well. Take a picture or scan and then blow it up on your screen to see where you hit it and where you missed it.
A tip I would like to share that does help me in figuring out my high points is that I go to each individual element in the group and put a little color highlight (in this case I used my white pencil) where I would envision the light first settling on that item. I then color using that as my "hot spot" on each element. The difficult part for me when only using white is determining the edges of the item and being able to separate it from the next element. Practice, practice, practice - I hope to do more of these and share with you what it is that I learn as I make each new attempt.
My final element in this creation was determining a layout, papers, and embellishments. For some reason the orange Ambrosia paper just spoke to me - LOL! I could have done an entirely black and white card, but the warmth that this paper provided to the overall image made those pears just feel like they would taste "yummy". Ü
The layout was determined solely on inspiration, I wanted to show off a lot of the orange paper and the black and white element are fairly bold or strong and so the assymetrical balance I was able to achieve with this layout seemed to work. You will notice the unusual position along the right edge. The small Quince pattern hangs just off the edge of the Mandarin with the Licorice matting aligning on the very right edge. The Licorice of the focal image then aligns with the Mandarin edge. The black pearls where then placed at the 1/3 mark of the Mandarin paper.
As I work with this more I hope to then add colored pencils on top of the white being this creates a whole other look that I think that you will also find intriguing! One thing I have learned though is to stick with something until I have come close to mastering it before moving on to the next step. I would love to hear your thoughts on this technique. Have you tried this before? If so what has your experience been.