Thursday, March 27, 2008

'Coolum image no.6', 1995 (30x45cm)

Colour pencil work.
Since 1994, I have been using the medium of colour pencil. As I like to create detail in my drawings, I find that colour pencils give me the ability to focus on fine and complex areas in a picture, or pull back to broader swathes of colour or tone. Their rich colours and mixes of transparent and opaque values, mean that I can treat them in a painterly, or a draughtsmanlike manner.

'Lobster with garlic & dill aioli', 2001 (80x60cm)

I use Prismacolor, Derwent Artists, Faber Castell Polychromos and Conte A Paris Couleur D'Art pencils. Each has their own qualities and takes on a particular colour. By far the biggest range I use are the Prismacolor pencils which are soft enough to blend and cover, but can still maintain a point if needed. They have a great colour range too, including clear blenders and percentage cool and warm grays.

'Fig. 2 Silk Roses', 2004 (50x69cm)

Paperwise, I'm currently using Waterfords, but I also use Magnani Paper's Litho 1350, and for basic practice, University Bond 300gsm. I find the paper needs to be smooth, but with a bit of tooth, and also sturdy in order to take the hammering I can dish out to it.

'Tell me where is fancy bred, or in the heart, or in the head?',
(detail) 2007 (57x76cm)

I am drawn to the ideas of composition and layout of the 19th and 20th century scientific illustrators, with their detailed noting of life and the sciences, usually on a white background, and in multiple and/or sectioned display. It seems to fit my compositional style to lay out my collections of plant matter, food ingredients or whatever it is that I'm working on, in this manner. I can position items to connect or associate with one another yet still be discrete objects in their own right. Smaller images showing sections, detail or tiny items have their place too, and they're often a great source of ironic counterpoint.

As I'm also a painter of trompe l'oeil images, I often lay drawings out in such a way that they appear to be real objects placed on a page. This illusionistic style can help support a playful edge I try to instil in the pieces; or bring attention to points I may be making via a 'technical' means.

Lastly, on this post, a couple of things. Buy the best pencils you can afford - the quality will pay off; and invest in a really good pencil sharpener - the sort with a handle that used to be on the teacher's desk.

I will post more images soon!

If you would like to contact me about my drawing and illustration, or about commissions, please email me at:

all images ©1995-2008 Cameron Lewcock