Welcome to the third installment on the series featuring an older colored pencil drawing. If you missed the first two posts, you can read them here and here.

As you may recall, in the previous installment I began working on the horse after a long period of idleness. When I started work again, I began with the eye. At the end of that post, the eye was complete.

Once I was happy with the eye, I started working on the neck and shoulder with Prismacolors. I applied color with medium pressure (normal handwriting pressure). Other than saving the highlights, which is always a concern, work was geared more toward building color than detail.

aeropostale-drawing-in-colored-pencilI used burnt ochre, grass green, and dark brown. The first round of color was applied in that order. For subsequent layers, I applied color in random order and worked toward creating the deep, red-brown color of the horse’s coat.

The brown mat board I’d chosen for this drawing was helpful as a base for the coat color, but in retrospect, a darker brown would have been more useful. I have several photos of Aeropostale, so I may try another drawing on a darker support. But that’s a project for another day.

For this project, I continued layering color, working further into the head and face with each layer.

I added black grape to the palette and layered it into all the darks and mid-tones in the shoulder and neck, the darker areas under the near side ear, the deep shadows of the forelock and mane, and the shadows under his chin.

That was followed by crimson red in all the same areas. I used this combination to create a richer, darker brown than any of the browns in my collection. Blending these two colors also produced a brown that worked better with the background.

By the time I finished, the mat board had enough color and wax buildup that it was getting pretty slick. Adding more color was going to be problematic if I didn’t do something to knock down the slickness.

Aeropostale Drawing in Colored PencilSo when I finished adding color, I used a large, flat Golden Taklon brush to blend color with rubbing alcohol. The alcohol breaks down the wax binder enough to allow the colors to blend almost like watercolors. The more fluid consistency of the pigment also fills in a lot of those ‘paper holes’ and evens out the color film.

A secondary–but no less important benefit–is that wax buildup is reduced or eliminated. The paper tooth isn’t completely restored, but it is restored enough to make further work possible and productive.

Whenever I use a solvent of any kind to blend colored pencil, I generally let the drawing dry overnight.

Also, if you use solvents to blend, make sure to work in a well-ventilated area, since prolonged exposure to fumes may be harmful.

It took two applications of alcohol to get the look I was after, with appropriate drying time in between. But by the time the drawing dried the second time, it was ready for more work, which I’ll detail next time.

Subscribe for free by clicking here and receive notification of new content in your email inbox.