Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Don Colley Show

This is a guy that I've wanted to meet for at least the last four years.  To actually see his sketch books was amazing.  Even better was having the space to ask him any question.

Don Colley with his Sketchbooks spread out all around him.

The conversation was far ranging and fascinating.  Don was generous with his time and very knowledgeable.

What I wanted to find out was if using Faber Castell markers was a direction worth pursuing.  My history with tone starts with pencils.  I found laying in tones  using pencils to be slow and tedious and unsuited for Urban Sketching.  There were benefits including accuracy and erasability, but I was still drawn to the idea of finding a quicker way to block-in mass.

Watercolor provides a faster way to establish tones, but has it's own quirks.  I does unexpected things and requires great care.  It provides happy accidents, and also disappointing accidents.  Many of the colors are toxic which is something worth remembering.  It has some potential for erasability, but it's somewhat limited and requires high quality paper.  The last important thing for me is that to get rich darks requires work.   For me, it's rarely achieved in the first pass.  Going back to deepen the tones runs the risk of overworking the picture.  In other words watercolor is a good solution - but not an ideal solution.

Don Sketch at Lunch

Don made a great case for why the Faber Castelln - Pitt Brush Pens might be a very good alternative.  I could see the versatility Don got from the medium and loved the richness of the darks.  They are non-toxic and very portable.  There's no worry about cleaning brushes, carrying water, bringing water cups, cleaning your palette and trying to keep your water clean.  You can get a very fine point but can also cover broad areas very quickly.

I'm going to try to explore them more but I'd have to say my first attempts using the three samples we got, were very tentative and produced mixed results:

A Guy Sipping Soup at the Next Table

A Man Napping on one of the Last Warm Days of Autumn

Quicky People Sketches

Don as I'll Remember him Best -
Wearing his War Paint
to demo the planes of the human head and
the non-toxic properties of the Pitt Markers)

1 comment:

  1. Mark, it looks like those markers could be a great tool in your hands! Nice sketches putting his lessons into practice.


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