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Coloured pencil on drafting film

Four years ago I purchased some drafting film, it was Grafix .003 double sided, keen to try it as a different surface for coloured pencils and after a small test drawing and not being overly impressed with it, I put the film away in a drawer and there it stayed. I guess it's the same with a few products that are so different to the norm that it is easier to put them in 'the too hard basket' than to persevere.

Earlier this year my right shoulder became very painful and I was diagnosed with shoulder calcific tendonitis... ouch! A small amount of drawing aggravated it with the repetitive action of stroke work so rest was in order. I did not slouch though and developed my online course instead that you can see here: katejenvey/courses which is now growing at a good rate.

After rest, exercises and anti-inflammatories I began to slowly increase my drawing time but I found that working on textured surfaces like pastelmat caused my shoulder to become aggravated quickly. The drafting film with its slick surface came to mind and so I gave it another try, this time with more determination. I chose an animal that had light and dark fur and also short to longer fur to test out my ability with the surface. This handsome and captivating African Wild Dog was a perfect and inspiring subject for my trial.

The film is very different to work on but perseverance was key as I remodelled the way I applied the pencil. It has positive attributes in that its durable, archival, forgiving with erasing and the best thing for me was that it was easy to work on and required less layers... perfect!

The down side is the surface has a limit to layering so planning of your colours is essential. I found you need to treat it with care too as I had a bit of grubby transfer initially. Application is quite different to watercolour paper.

I played around with a pan pastel background on some sketch paper as an unlay and decided it worked so I used a piece of hot pressed watercolour paper as the final underlay, pushing the colours a bit stronger so they showed through the semi-transparent film.

The final piece which I was pretty happy with considering it was my first try and happy that I completed a drawing relatively quickly.

'On Watch', Polychromos with pan pastel underlay on A4 Grafix drafting film from my own reference.


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