My tips on using Faber-Castells and Caran d'Ache Colored Pencils

Well I'm back in my studio and I'm really happy to be working again. I've been having a bit of a battle with my back, but I've started to exercise and work out. It seems to be helping some.

This week I started some remakes of 3 aceo's I drew awhile back. I decided to try and use more lightfast colors, because about a month or so ago I noticed a drawing I did with prismacolor colored pencils had faded. Only certain colors had faded and all the other colors were still bright and rich. The colors that faded were pink and purple. So I took the drawing out of the frame and reworked the faded areas with Caran d'ache Luminance colored pencils and Faber-Castell Pencils.

So after that experience it really got me thinking. I have been cautious with my selections of colors the last 3 or 4 drawings. I'm making the decision to transition into more lightfast colors. I have a lot of prismacolor colored pencils. I'm talking about 800 to 1,000. I do have drawings I did years ago (like 25 years) where colors have never faded. So I'm only going to use my fugitive colors on sketches and very cheap art.

With that being said, I feel like I'm learning colored pencil all over again, because I'm going to use other brands such as Caran d'ache and Faber-Castell more than prismacolors. The drawing above I used mainly Faber-Castell, Luminance, and Supracolors. I selected colors that was rated 1 and 2. I also used a few prismacolors that were rated 1 and 2. Those prismacolors I have used over the years and they have never faded, so I felt safe about using them.

I wanted to talk a little about what I learned about Faber-Castell and Caran d'Ache brands. I like for my drawings to look more like a painting. I hate for the white of the paper to show thru. I originally owned a full set of Faber-Castells and hated them at the time. When using them alone, I couldn't get the whole tooth of the paper covered and the colors did not seem very vibrant and I didn't like using OMS. When I used them with prismacolor they were better. In the end I ended up selling the set and bought Liqutex acrylics. So this time around I got to thinking about it and I had a theory and my theory turned out to be right! I decided to use them this way. I start out with light pressure and built a layer with Faber-Castell. Then I go over it with a soft wax based colored pencil like Luminance or supracolor. Then another layer of faber-castells. then more waxy colored pencils. I noticed I have to be more careful about my pressure and shading. I can't be sloppy and fast like I am with prismacolors or press to hard to fast. if I keep doing this it build up really nice rich vibrant layers and it looks so close to how prismacolors look, it's crazy! This is the look I want with any of my colored pencils. Even though it takes more time to color a piece, I'm really happy with the end result!


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