Amethyst coloured pencil drawing on Velin BFK Rives paper 290 x 395 mm. July 2015

coloured pencil drawing on Velin BFK Rives paper
290 x 395 mm.
July 2015

Did I say I was going to draw this twice?  I promised I would draw it on two different papers in my last post Spot the Difference.

The idea was to draw the image once on Magnani Pescia and once on Velin BFK Rives so that I could compare results on each.

The idea was to draw the image once on Magnani Pescia (left) and once on Velin BFK Rives (right) so that I could compare results on each.

What came to pass was that I finished the drawing on the Velin BFK Rives.  It was perfect to me; dramatic and full of light.  I loved it – but I couldn’t bear the boredom of completing another version of it on a different kind of paper.  When I had initially written that I was going to do this exercise, one of my friends from Pencil Art Society (Canada), Erica Lindsay Walker, made the following comment, “Doing the same piece twice is something I have never done.  I think I would find it incredibly hard to do as when I finish a piece I am generally drained and have said all I want to say about it”.  Erica’s comment could not have summed up more perfectly my own experience.  I found myself rushing the second version, full of impatience.  That was no way to be so I decided to stop.

There isn’t much point showing you the half-completed work on the Pescia.  I won’t throw it away.  I will put it in a folder and perhaps return to it some time in the future.  In my last post I wrote that I have drawn this piece already, back in 2005.  Here is an image of that decade-old drawing which I called “Lilac Geisha”.

Lilac Geisha Pencils on Magnani Pescia. 2005

Lilac Geisha
Pencils on Magnani Pescia.

The difference in the colours is mostly because I drew this before I had digital photography equipment.  Therefore the image you see here is from a scan of a photo of the drawing.

The exercise was completely successful even though I didn’t finish it.  What did I learn?  I learned that Velin BFK Rives produces dramatic results.  I do not have to be afraid of this new paper.  I also learned that my own attitude is far more important than which paper I am using.  What I mean is, even though I had my old favourite Pescia paper in front of me, I knew I would not be able to get a good result because I wasn’t having fun any more.  I have to delight in the drawing process, not rush while constantly checking the time.

Artists using coloured pencils who want a sharply photo-realistic finish (and there are many of you) will not want a bar of this paper.  The pencil marks are noticeably more expressive than marks made on a smooth paper.    If you are not after a perfect airbrushed end result and you don’t mind the paper’s tooth showing through, you might want to give it a try.    In using Velin BFK Rives you will go against the coloured pencil fashion of hyper-realism.

Afterword: September 2015.  I DID finally finish the second version on Pescia paper.  Here it is.

Version 2 of "Amethyst" on Magnani Pescia.  September 2015.

Version 2 of “Amethyst” on Magnani Pescia. September 2015.

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About juliepodstolski

I am a realist artist who works in coloured pencils.
Image | This entry was posted in art, coloured pencils, geisha, Japan and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Amethyst

  1. Success, success! Such a good result, and worth starting the two together, even if they didn’t finish together – the exercise has weaned you off Pescia and given you the courage to enjoy the Rives, in fact it sounds as though you are more than just enjoying it. I love the textural quality of it, it adds warmth and humanity.

  2. Tina Walsh says:

    Absolutely stunning Julie. x Tina Walsh.

  3. kathleen campisano says:

    I have struggled choosing the best technique for my colored pencil art. I have just recently realized that I like and prefer seeing pencil strokes, some tooth of the paper to achieve a more expressive statement. So based on your conclusion I must try this paper. Thank you for your posts, you have helped me a lot in many areas.

    • Kathleen, Hallelujah to that! I’m so glad that I could have been of some help. I hope you will let me know your conclusions if/when you try it. I still feel very much a newbie with Rives; feeling my way. And the type of marks which are made with the pencils – I am still getting used to them. Thanks so much for your feedback – it is a big help to me.

  4. Sue Donze says:

    Your work is lovely, as always, and comments on paper exploration helpful. Thank you!

  5. “Velin BFK Rives you will go against the coloured pencil fashion of hyper-realism.” really need to get some of this paper to try, roll on students loans :p this is what I want, not everything to look like a photo when done

    glad you found this paper does suit you and what you want in your work. not a failed experiment at all!! you found something you like 🙂 when ever I draw the same thing more than once, I usually don’t work any bigger than ATC size lol

    • Jennifer – yes – hyper-realism. I guess what I mean is, I am happy to ‘suggest’ many things in my drawings. For instance in this drawing I am suggesting wooden posts and slats. Not every grain of wood is showing – in fact not ANY grain. I feel that if I make the suggestion, the viewer’s mind does the rest – joins the dots so to speak.

  6. John Z says:

    Hi Julie – a bit behind here in my correspondence/comments as I am in the midst of digging and dividing my irises. I raise them for show and grow 200 varieties. Nevertheless, GREAT JOB on Amethyst! I am glad you are not going to finish the work on Pescia – better left alone where you’ve moved on. In switching products in the past (wherein it was thrust upon me as I was with you and Pescia) I have gone kicking and screaming but in the end, I relented and was grateful for the new adventure. Why are we humans like that? 🙂

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