It’s a very exciting experience using the metallic pencils, and when working on a black background the colours really pop and shine. This drawing is of the front façade of The Duomo in Florence – a majestic and imposing structure. I wanted to use the metallic pencils to sketch it as I felt the surface quality of the medium reflected the integrity of the building – special pencils to draw a special building.
I began by outlining the shape of the building, using a variety of colours to establish the composition. Then I was able to begin blending in tone with the pencils to create a sense of depth. When working on black the normal shading process is in reverse, so I didn’t draw shadows, I drew the light and then blended it in to the shadow. The opaque quality of the pencils really enabled me to do this.
So when I had established the outline and tonal values I began to record the detail of the façade and the domed roof. I was really starting to look carefully at the shapes and patterns thrown up by the windows, arches, steps and doorway.
The metallic pencils are perfect for this as they kept their sharp point which enabled a fine mark making process. I was also able to overlay colours to create blends to match the local colour of the building. Also the sharpness of the line helped to determine the gaps – the black negative spaces which allowed the drawing to breathe.
Overall an exciting experience but also a rewarding one, as I find these metallic pencils do exactly what you want them to do. For an artist that’s all you want.
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