Prisma Colored Pencils

I love the Prismacolor Premier Soft Core Colored Pencils. They work perfectly for me in my mixed media projects. They are available in 150 colors and come in sets of 12, 24, 36, 48, 72, 132 & 150. You can also buy them individually when you just need to replace a color or two, which is always a plus!

They are very soft which makes them blend so easily, this makes combining them with other mediums works so well for me personally. You do need to be careful & avoid dropping them as the core is very soft and therefore can break easily. For me this is a small price to pay to get the effects I can achieve. If they do break a little trick is to put them in direct sunlight for a few hours. Some say to use a microwave, but I personally do not recommend doing that, as microwaves use too much heat.

I also recommend buying the Prismacolor pencil sharpener to use on these. They are specifically designed for the soft-core pencils and I find the lead breaks less when I use mine. Another tip is to use a nail file instead of a sharpener. Simply twist the pencil while filing to get your fine point.

To make your blends you can use a blender pencil or stub to blend your colors smoothly. If you do not have a blender pencil, that’s ok just use a lighter colored Prisma pencil instead. I also at time use  Gamsol mineral spirits sometime. However, I recommend only using that when you know you are not wanting to layer more color on top. Trying to add more color over top after using mineral spirits sometimes doesn’t work very well as the spirits tend to create a layer that is too smooth for the new color to adhere too.

Also, when you use these use a piece of paper to rest your hand on to prevent the oils, dirt & sweat from smearing the color. Your hand can also leave a thin layer of oils that may make it harder to get the color to adhere properly to your paper.

These can be bought easily online at a variety of places. I bought mine from Amazon. Hopefully these tips will encourage you try them out for yourself if you haven’t already.

Hugs & Love from Ranae’

NeoColor II

One of my favorite products to use are the NeoColor II Artist Crayons by Caran d'Ache. They have a very high pigment and can be used on so many of my mixed media projects. They can be bought in sets of sets of 10, 15, 30, 40 or 84. You can also buy just one at a time, which is perfect when you find you use up your favorite colors.

I use them on almost all of my art projects. I find the ease of use and the wide variety of colors often works better for me than using one of my regular watercolor sets. Plus they are perfect to use when you want to carry them with you, just grab a few colors, put them in a little bag with an aqua brush and your ready to go.

There are various ways that I apply the color to my projects, so I thought I would share those with you. Most times I apply them with an aqua brush, which is basically a brush with a barrel that holds water, but I also use them with my regular water color brushes also.

The way I apply them when I want less pigment, or I am working on smaller areas where I don't need a lot of pigment, is to scribble the color onto another piece of paper and then use the wet brush to pull some color off the paper. I enjoy the control I get when doing it this way, unfortunately you do waste some of the color this way.

Another way I use mine is to color with them right onto the project I am working on and then use a wet brush to dissolve the crayon marks. I personally don't use this method often as I have found I have less control this way. Also it can sometimes leave traces of hard lines on the paper or doesn't smooth out as well as I would like.

 My favorite way to use them is to pull the color right off of the crayon itself using a wet brush. This is great for projects that are larger and you need more pigment to spread around or if you want it to be bolder in color. It does tend to make your crayons odd in shape but that doesn't bother me since I get the results I want.

A little tip when using them right off the crayon, you may need to scrape a bit of the top layer off to get to the full pigment. The outer layer seems to be a bit more waxy and often doesn't pull the color unless you do that. You don't need to scrape too much though just a very thin layer.

You can also just use them as you would a crayon or regular pastel without using water at all. This is nice when you want a bit of texture from a rougher type of paper or if you want a pastel look and they blend very easy this way also. You can blend them with your finger or with a blending stub. I personally do not use them in this way, but have seen some wonderful pieces by other artist's done in this manner.

You can find these in a wide variety of places, just type the name into Google and you will find them easily. I hope you found some helpful tips and will try this great product.

Hugs & Love from Ranae'