My birthday is coming up and one of the gifts I got early are these amazing and renowned coloured pencils - none other than Faber-Castell Polychromos.
Unlike my former pencils (Faber-Castell Ecopencils), which were quite hard and almost impossible to use due to leads being broken inside, Polychromos are simply perfect. I've used Faber-Castell graphite products and despite being disappointed with their student-grade pencils, I can definitely say you get what you pay for - and more - with Polychromos. Even if you get a smaller set, the range of colours you can get with blending or applying pressure differently is simply amazing.
I'm a complete beginner when it comes to coloured pencils, have never drawn anything realistic with them (at least not successfully) but with the help of tutorials I gained some theoretical knowledge on how to use them.
It was a fun and encouraging test, though if I'd have to point out one thing to watch out for, it would be the paper. I use a rather toothy paper which is double-sided (one is rough and wavy-like in texture, the other is smoother but still rather rough), and while it is good when you're using solvent, it will leave a grainy texture which is hard to get rid if you don't know how (I didn't manage to get rid of it completely).
I want to thank Susannehs
for providing this wonderful cherry photo stock, which I used as a reference for this test drawing.
Link to the reference: www.deviantart.com/susannehs/a…
A couple of tips I can give after this test:
If you use Tombow Mono Eraser, which is my absolute favourite, you can use it to lift a lot
of pigment. I thought it would only magically lift up a lot of graphite/charcoal layers, but it works great with Polychromos as well.
If you're like me and live in a country where ethanol is everywhere, isopropyl is hard to get and you don't want to use paint thinners, you can use ethanol as a solvent for blending. It might not work as well as the other alternatives, but it will get the job done, is much safer than the things I listed and will evaporate quickly, not leaving a trace. I think it's good to begin with; I used it to blend colours on this cherry and am quite satisfied with the result.
Time required: cca. 5 hours
Media: coloured pencils (oil-based)
Paper: Edition Dürer A5 paper from Formatwerk
Erasers: Tombow Mono Eraser
Blending tools: ethanol (solvent), cotton swabs, small paintbrush
Other: Castell 9000 H pencil (for sketching the outline)