Speed Drawing With Colored Pencil

Last Sunday I headed out to our museum.  We were in the midst of a blizzard and the snow was going sideways.  On a couple occasions wind gusts caused me to go sideways as well.  But I was walking through this mess because I’d told some friends I would meet them.  Later I found out that the only reason they didn’t cancel was because they’d promised me.  We humans are funny that way.

Previously I’ve expressed my boredom with drawing the heads of Olympus but there I was again, faced with numerous white, and now very familiar heads.  I decided to try something new.  I’d bought a Pentel 8-color mechanical pencil and decided to give it a try, using it while seeing how quickly I could grab a likeness of the heads.


It was a good plan with a couple flaws.  First, I have little ability to do this but on a more pragmatic level, my sketchbook has too much tooth for soft pencil and the points wear down very quickly and second, I couldn’t find my sharpener.  So a new experiment arose.  Could I draw with a dull pointy device.  The results are these 3″ heads drawn on Stillman & Birn Alpha paper.


Better drawings of marble heads have been drawn but I found this exercise fun and very helpful.  It was fun to work quickly and doing so with these subjects forced me to identify the big features, ignore the details, and to emphasize the dark/light relationships.  The dull point furthered that goal as it was impossible to get lost in detail when the drawing was 2″ square and the lead was rounded over 2mm colored pencil.  I will be repeating this experiment but hopefully on something other than Olympic gods.

2 thoughts on “Speed Drawing With Colored Pencil

  1. I have one of those Pentel 8-color pencils, too! It’s fun — changing the colors makes me feel like a kid. I’ll have to try your experiment (I wouldn’t mind having a few of those heads

    • Yeah…it’s cool having several colors. A buddy of mine, who likes 2mm red suggested filling all the tubes with red and I wouldn’t have to sharpen very often. That’s a neat idea as well. Wish I could trade some heads for some of your Burke Museum bones 🙂 Truth is, now I don’t even have the heads to draw as the exhibit has closed and the next one won’t be for a few weeks 🙁

      Cheers — Larry

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