New for 2021 at Carrie L. Lewis

New for 2021 at Carrie L. Lewis

Welcome to a new year! My first post of the year is an announcement of something new for 2021.

And a thank you to everyone who submitted a question for Q&A December. I received so many great questions, that I was unable to answer all of them in December.

New for 2021

So I’m going to be answering them this month and for as long as they last. How?

Q&A Wednesday!

New for 2021

Beginning January 6 (the first Wednesday of the year,) I’ll answer a reader question every Wednesday. I’ll finish answering the questions received in response to my call for Q&A month questions back in November 2020.

I also received great questions in response to a recent newsletter survey, and will also answer those questions.

So I hope you’ll tune in on January 6 for the beginning of this new weekly post.

And if you have a question, I hope you’ll ask it! As always, if there’s a quick, brief answer to your question, I’ll answer it immediately by email.

But I’ll also answer it in greater depth with a Q&A Wednesday post.

So if you ask a question, you get two answers!

Do You Have a Question?

Ask it!

Never think your question is too basic. Every artist had to start somewhere and many of us had to figure things out on our own. That was certainly true for me because I started making art before Patreon, YouTube and even PCs! I know what it’s like to stumble through the learning process.

If I can make it easier for you by answering even the simplest question for you, I want to do that!

Questions can be about colored pencils, drawing paper, drawing methods, tools, materials, or anything related to creativity. I’m even happy to answer questions about starting, promoting, or maintaining an art-related business!

So if you have a question, ask it by clicking on this link or on the button below! I hope to hear from you soon.


  1. Kathy

    Happy New Year Carrie!

    I do not usually use a colored blended background, I leave the paper color. How can I keep the paper white? I’ve used white artist’s tape, in layers, but that’s a lot of tape for 9×10″ paper. I now use acetate, which causes another question. Do the pencil layers “cure” overnight? I seem to have some smudging if I’m working many layers on the same day.

    You have taught me so much! Thank you!!


      1. Kathy

        I use the acetate to protect the paper from my drawing hand and arm. I move it as I draw.

        Do you have an email address I can send a photo to? I’m having a hard time figuring out how to describe the tape usage method.


        1. Kathy,

          So you’re using the acetate as a cover sheet.

          I do have an email address. Use the contact page on the blog and it will come directly to me. If you can attach a photo that way, please do so. If not, I’ll reply as soon as I see your email and you can send me a photo directly.

        2. Kathy

          I just found your newsletter on Masking Film. This sounds like exactly what I need to protect my white background!

          There are many types and price ranges for masking film. What would you recommend?
          You said next time you would “Carefully cut away the parts I didn’t need.” If it’s already applied to the drawing, how would I cut it to not damage the paper? What would I need to do/use to make the cut edge as close as possible to my subject?
          Thank you, Carrie!

          1. Kathy,

            Masking film is an excellent tool.

            There are quite a few brands. I did a quick search on Dick Blick and they list several. My only recommendation is to buy one made for art uses. It’s more likely to be archival, though most masking films will do what I described in this post.

            Masking film is very thin. If you use a very sharp knife and very light pressure, you can cut away unwanted parts after applying it to your drawing. You don’t want to use heavy pressure or you could score the drawing paper.

            You also don’t want to press the drafting paper heavily onto your drawing paper or you could have difficulty removing after you’re finished with it. Lightly applied masking film is easier to cut and remove than masking film you’ve pressed hard against the paper.

            The best method (for me anyway) is to make short, precise cuts. They’re easier to control than longer cuts. I tend to increase pressure as a line lengthens, and you don’t want to do that with a knife!

            I hope that helps.

    1. Kathy,

      The main benefit to starting with the subject is that it allows you to draw in all the details that overlap the background first. You have to draw the background around all those details, but they usually turn out better that way than by doing the background first, then trying to draw over the background.

      However, there are some excellent solutions to this problem, so I’ll publish a detailed answer with samples and suggestions on an upcoming Q&A Wednesday.

      Thank you for the question!

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