009 Using Solvents and Layering

Topic:  Blending with Solvents and Layering

John and Lisa discuss some of their experiences with using solvents and blending techniques.  

There are many different solvents that can be used with colored pencils.  It is good to know what is available and what tends to work with certain pencils.  As you test and experiment you will develop a preference to certain solvents and method for applying them.  

Is there a way to figure out what colors I’m going to use to layer?

How many layers will your paper hold?  

How do you go about creating the hue that you’re wanting to represent?  Are you choosing one pencil to represent that hue or many?

A lot of it will depend on your surface.  A smooth surface will not take many layers and one with a lot of tooth can take 10 or more layers - depending on how much pressure is used.


Some of the solvents used with colored pencils:

Paint thinner

OMS - Gamsol / Mona Lisa odorless paint thinner

Alcohol blender - usually comes in a marker line.  Markers do not last long.  A single “blender” marker may not allow you to finish an entire piece before running out.  Plus they are expensive for how little you get.

Baby Oil - or any other kind of oil.  Unless your surface is treated then this would not be an archival application because oils can cause untreated paper to start deteriorating more quickly than normal.

Water - some pencils blend with water nicely but some do not.  Oil based pencils like Polychromos are water resistant.  

Links mentioned in the show:

Lisa’s video on burnishing and using solvents