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  • How long did that take you?
    This is one of the most frequently asked questions that I get! Most of my pencil work takes many hours, from 8-40+ depending on the size and complexity of the piece. I do not keep a log for each piece as I work on a few at a time and switch between them making it difficult to keep track of time spent. The point of a pencil is tiny and therefore takes hours to layer over and over to get the depth of values and colour to achieve the degree of realism that I like to achieve. I just keep working on the drawing until I am satisfied that it is of a high enough standard to be presented to the public.
  • What sharpener do you use?
    The sharpener that I use has been faultless for the many years I have used it and was reasonably priced, they can be purchased off Amazon (this is an Affiliate link) The brand is Life Color. The sharpener is a metal-cased hand rotary one that is gentle on the pencils, shaving rather than slicing the wood casing. Here is a short video on how to use the sharpener.
  • What brand of coloured pencils do you use?
    I mostly use Faber Castell Polychromos as they are a high quality, lightfast pencil that layer and blend beautifully. As they have a harder core than most other coloured pencils, they hold a sharp point for longer and are great for detail especially in wildlife portraiture. I also use Caran d'Ache Luminance coloured pencils and these are also fully lightfast, as quality of the products that I use is of utmost importance as my finished work must be archival.
  • What is pastelmat?
    Pastelmat is a unique surface and is only made by one company, Clairefontaine in France. Originally made for pastels it is also a superb surface for coloured pencils. The surface is slightly textured and grabs and holds the pigment which allows for multiple layers that help give depth to the drawing. As the surface was designed for pastels, either a light layer of these or pan pastels can be used as an under layer for the coloured pencil and to fill in a background. An added advantage is you can layer light colours over dark mostly, on this surface and there is a wonderful range of colours to choose from. This is an Amazon affiliate link for the sienna the colour that was the base for this drawing, 'Secret Refuge'.
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