Ox-Eye Daisies: Neocolor2 11×8″

With so much emphasis today on acrylics and oils, it’s easy to forget that the artist actually has a whole spread of different media available for picture-making. For various reasons, some of these media don’t seem to get a look-in. I can only assume that they are perceived as child’s tools or lacking in some kind of celebrity status.

Today’s piece was created last summer, directly from the subject (ok so it’s not a recent piece but there are very few daisies around in February to draw!). A combination of dry hatched lines and a few areas washed lightly with water (and I mean “lightly” because the Ingres paper it is created on can barely cope with anything damp).

Caran d’Ache’s range of watersoluble Neocolor 2 has the double advantage of wet and dry application possibilities. It seems to have been picked up by artists for journaling and craft-type work, but I don’t see it used that often in much else. The colour-range is wide and all are blendable. It is true that a certain number appear to be not fully lightfast but these could be worked around. I mentioned these in a blog post last year: https://christinederrick.com/news2/2018/09/04/experimenting-with-watermedia-1/.

I’ve tried them wet on white card, including PastelMat and also dry on coloured paper. Today’s main image is on blue Ingres paper, which I’m not overly fond of because of the pronounced horizontal lines. Some Neocolours can be a bit weak in their dry state (mostly the paler ones and white) but make up for that when water is added.

Most colours look more vivid when wet. They can be worked into while damp, but care needs to be taken when choosing mixes; I’ve found some combinations become a bit mucky, so it’s better to pre-test before committing on a piece of work that looks promising. The waxy binder can also build up on the paper, so keeping layers of paint to, maybe, no more than three is a good idea.

To me they are rather like pastels, because they are in stick form and immediately available to draw with. In my “playtime” I investigate their properties as line-drawing/sketching tools in conjunction with wet washes. When I have some new examples, I’ll do another Neocolor2 post.

Those potentially fugitive colours: to keep in mind if selling work;

One-star rating or “/” (fugitive or similar): Ochre, Raw Umber, Light Olive, Olive, Red Ruby, Saffron, Brown, Russett, Carmine, Pink, Periwinkle Blue, Dark Ultramarine. My tin of 30 contained Ochre, Olive,Brown, Russett, Carmine and Pink. Bit unfortunate, but something to remember when and if I buy any more.


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