tie clip final resized
Colored Pencil and Gouache Gold, Onyx and Diamond Tie Clip by Joana Miranda

For today’s rendering, I went back to working with colored pencil on vellum.  This rendering practically flew off of my drafting table and was fun to do.  Here are some tips for working with vellum:

  • After drawing your design in graphite on the vellum, pick up any extra graphite with a kneaded eraser by pressing it over all of the graphite lines.
  • Place your vellum from this point on over a piece of brown mat board so that you can see the depth of the colors and highlights you will be adding.
  • Have a scratch piece of vellum on hand to test out the fineness of the points of your colored pencils.  (To that end, frequent resharpening of the colored pencils, as well as further sanding on sanding stick, will help you to achieve precise points.)
  • Color in the back of the rendering if you want the gold (or in this case, onyx as well) to really have a richness of color.
  • Use as fine a paintbrush as you can for working with the white gouache for the diamond or other gemstone highlights (I just bought some new 0, 00 and 3/0 watercolor paintbrushes to replace my old ones which were getting frayed.)
  • Fix any small errors (stray colored pencil lines) by very gently lifting off the color with an X-acto knife.  You want to be sure to use gentle sideways motion so that you only lift off the color and don’t gouge the paper.
  • Create a shadow under your finished design with an artist’s stump dipped in graphite shavings.  This will help make your design pop off the page.  The good thing with using graphite shavings for the shadow is that you can always erase and “re-smudge” if your shadow doesn’t look quite right!
  • Spray the finished design with a fixative.  I do this for all of my renderings, whether on vellum or Canson art paper.  (I use Utrecht’s “Workable Fixative” spray.)

Finally, do what you love to do.  I’ve found that the only way to get through the day-to-day difficulties of life, is to surround yourself with people you love and immerse yourself in something that totally absorbs you.


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