And then there was media study 5!

So I was thinking last night about this set of verithin pencils I've had on my shelf since before I had that shelf.  These are like regular colored pencils, except that their cores are much harder---akin to a 2 or 3H pencil---and so they can be sharpened to a point to help clean up lines or details normal colored pencils are too soft for.  In the past I haven't found them to be very helpful with normal colored pencil work, but it occurred to me that might be just the thing to look like pencil-style rendering with added color.

For this composition I laid down some basic tones with watercolor and then went to work with black, grey, and umber pencils to render this unfortunate reprobate and his charming hat.  The pencils do a good job of getting that scratchy pencil look, but they are woefully transparent, even after many layers.  Still I liked the drawing I came up with, and decided to add some additional tone to the background with a few more watercolor washes.  After the washes though, the background grew so dark it was overpowering the light pencil-work, so I came back in with a normal black colored pencil and punched up some of the shadows.  I also added some texture to the background areas with the verithin pencils to tie things together a bit more.  This is the drawing paper I use with pencils, and it took quite a beating with all the watercolor washes.

I also took another approach to sketching this composition out.  Rather than working on another piece of scratch paper and then transferring a final drawing I just went strait ahead and did the sketch, such as it was, on the final piece of drawing paper.  I think not worrying about the sketch so much will be helpful, especially with techniques like this week's paintings where it's impossible to maintain a sketch after initial coats of paint.  I'm pretty happy with this one, although it took until just this minute to realize that I intended to give this man glasses, and completely forgot.