Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Polychromos Pencils - First Impressions (with Technique Tuesday Greenhouse Society)

Hello everyone! Welcome back.

If you've hung around on my Instagram recently, you may be aware that I purchased some new fancy pencils and I've been dying to try them out!
I took the opportunity to create a design inspired by a card I saw from Martin Stone, a very popular crafter on Instagram. He also created interesting backgrounds using stencils, shapes and lines. I decided to have a closer look and try it out myself!

I have some points to go over in regards to these pencils, my thoughts and first impressions on them.

First bit of advice: if you're looking to purchase these pens, wait until a good sale. I did lots of research as to where I could purchase these pencils in Australia, and Amazon was the cheapest option (don't worry, it's the official selling platform of Faber-Castell). I waited for Black Friday sales to see if I could get them cheaper, but there was no sale for the set. I waited longer, and finally got a great deal on Cyber Monday. These pencils are great but very expensive, so it's definitely worth the extra delay to save some money. 

These pencils produce a really vibrant, strong colour which I love! It's so bright and as you can see, you can have a great impact without using heaps of the pencil up in one go. (A low-quality pencil will not give you this colour and depth.) There is huge potential for layering and creating more colours and I haven't even scratched the surface!
I'm fairly careful in how I colour, but sometimes you can't help but accidentally smudge your work! These pencils don't smudge much at all, and erasers easily fix the problem. Your project will not be ruined by an accident like this. 
These pencils work really well under pressure, I haven't had a single tip snap yet while I'm working (and trust me, they were very sharp). 
I love how the pencils are packaged. I got the package of 120 and they come arranged in colour stories. Lots of people take the pencils out and re-store them, but I've decided to leave them as they are. It's very easy for me to see exactly where the different colours are, and what ones will fit together. The tin also came with a quick quide on different colouring techniques, how to layer and create more shades, and a list of all the pencils in order. If I take the pencils out and forget where they came from (very easy when you're using much of the same colour!) I just refer back to the brochure.

In general I love these pencils. They're great quality and will do a fantastic job. The price is a bit much but just keep saving and waiting - something good will come soon.

I'm now sharing the cards I've made while experimenting with these pencils. They are all made in fairly the same way, and it's a fairly simple design to replicate.
I liked the way that the floral stamps from Technique Tuesday lent themselves to this design. I used three releases - the Blooming Branch, Lotus flower and Hello Hollyhock.

I first stamped the image with Memento Jet Black ink on cardstock, and then I used some die-cut circles as my stencils for the backgrounds! Using both those die-cut sizes and a ruler for the lines, I sketched out an outline I thought would compliment the flower, and then used a Copic Liner to mark them down. Because this is all free-hand and not based on any specific image, if you make a mistake it's easy to cover up and change around!

Once the background was done, I went ahead and started colouring the images.
For the Blooming Branches I love a strong blue (I've done this before in Nuvo Markers and loved it) so I did it again, learning how the pencils work and the different shades of blue (would you prefer cool blues or warm tones? There's lots of choice!). I always tested out the colours in a scrap piece of paper to see how they looked before using them.

I always end up making my colours bright and strong, so I also wanted to test out how these pencils work when coloured lightly.
The Lotus flower typically has light petals so it was the perfect one to try replicate the traditional light yellow and pink colours. I think the colour shows through very well in the card even when the colouring isn't strong. The leaves accompanying the lotus flower are always dark green so I included some lightness at the curve of the leaf and made it quite strong to add some contrast. Cute!

Lastly, the colouring for the Hollyhock is always fun, as the petals range in colour and are typically dark in the centre and light on the edges. I worked with reds and yellows, checking out the blending and colour change capabilities. I love moving inbetween these colours, so it was very nice to see them work so well.

Finally, I embossed a sentiment from Technique Tuesday's You Aren't Normal set and placed them each on a card.

That's it! The cards are fairly simple and the most time consuming part is the colouring. Spend some time and you'll learn to love these pencils!
Do you use the Polychromos pencils, or do you prefer the Prisma Color, or another type? What are your impressions?

Until next time,
Shana xx

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