A sketch from a book on my drawing board.
And now we will talk about pencils. Or at least, I will.
About six years ago, the makers of Prismacolor pencils discontinued pencil no. 1015, Deco Blue. They discontinue and release colors all the time, so this wasn’t front-page news, not even in Colored Pencil Monthly. But Deco Blue was, in my opinion, a pretty important color; a cyan/robin’s-egg blue perfect for skies, water and, of course; robin’s eggs. So I missed it.
Like many other colored-pencil aficionados, I went searching for a replacement color, but found none – not in the Prismacolor rack, not in the cheapo kid’s pencil line – nowhere. It was like they took the C out of CMYK, and there I was, up a creek without the pencil needed to color it.
Flash forward to a couple weeks ago, when, as I’ve done occasionally since Death Of Deco Blue Day, I reached out to a fellow colored pencil illustrator to ask how they handle the absence of 1015 and if they’ve found a worthy replacement. They write back to tell me that just before DODB Day, they ordered a supply of them and that they would send me SIX Deco Blue no. 1015 pencils!!!!!! (one exclam for every pencil).
The pencils arrived on Monday and now hold a special place in my pencil rack, guarded by two of my most ferocious studio assistants, as shown here. Also shown is the collection of other lame-o faker medium blue pencils I’ve tried as replacements for 1015, alongside the stub of my previously last remaining Deco Blue pencil which I’ve been parsing out like gold for the past six years.
Now, thanks to the kindness of a stranger, I no longer have the Deco Blue blues.
While doing sketches for a new book idea, I discovered the joy of drawing polar bears. At first glance, a polar bear is a big, white lump. But a closer study reveals there’s a body under all that fur, and getting the shapes just right is a fun challenge. I don’t know if this idea will become a book, but I think polar bear drawings are in my future.
A tour of my studio, courtesy of Henry Holt’s blog.
I just finished illustrations for a new book. The last step is taking all the illustrations out to the back yard to see if any birds want to poop on them. Actually, I was spraying fixative before packing them up, but it was nerve-wracking to see five months of work exposed to the elements!