Tuesday, October 26, 2010

New Tutorial: How to Draw Grass & Weeds

New Tutorial: How to draw Grass and Weeds

I am pleased announce that my newest tutorial is now available on my website - "How to Draw Grass and Weeds". For your convenience, a downloadable .pdf is available at the bottom of the page.

A Blackwing Monday

The Blackwing Pencil is starting to make it's name amongst the graphite artists. Here is another fun story!

A Blackwing Monday
Woke up yesterday-very early which always makes me grumpy. There was messy white stuff - SNOW- on the lawn. Certainly not a mood enhancer! BUT things improved , the mail came early for a change bringing with it only 1 bill & (drumroll please!) my package of Palamino Blackwings. Oh, the joy, oh the anticipation, oh the sleek black box ! I sharpened just one. By the way the Palomino Long Point Pencil sharpener is great.

I'm not on the marketing committee for the company, I've just been strangely influenced by the rest of you- scary, but it is Halloween week.
So far, I've just gone back over some old sketches with the Blackwings. One insipid tree really came alive. I may even have the courage to post it when I get my new printer-scanner set up. My old one went to electronic heaven last week.

Do you understand why the simplicity of a 'pencil' brings such joy? Aren't we blessed by our craft? Treat yourselves- these pencils are worth it.

Linda Fode
graphite artist

I think Linda has it right.  There is something special about the simplicity of a pencil and to a graphite artist, it's pure joy!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

First Impressions - Palomino Blackwing

It's good to know I'm not the only pencil fanatic!

Here are two wonderful first impressions of the new Palomino Blackwing pencils by two great artist friends.  Be careful graphite artists....the Blackwings are addictive. 

Stranded at home while my car is in the shop this morning, I opened the package that came in yesterday. I saved it for this morning, knowing that I'd be cranky.

My roommate was unsympathetic. She knows I went to Goodwill yesterday to find a raincoat and paid $10 for it. So she pokes at me for spending twice that on a dozen Palomino Blackwing pencils.

"It's a pencil." she says, after I let her pick one up.

Granted, she hasn't finished her coffee yet. And she was waiting with irritation for her laptop to come up so she could read the news. But she accused me of 'fondling' my new pencils and said it was 'disturbing'.

I poked at the pencil, discovered that the eraser can be removed. Sharpened it. And picked up a rough sketch of a fallen sycamore on the lake shore that I had started a few days ago. I filled in an area blocked off in the shape of a pine tree, using my new pencil. It took me about 2 minutes to achieve a lovely, dark pseudo-realism.

I held it up and she blinked. "Wow. Cool. It builds up shadows fast, doesn't it?" She said. Sipping her hot coffee with a slurp. Then she turned to her e-news. "But it's still just a pencil."


Planning to go to DC this afternoon, if my car gets done, and I'm taking pad and Palominos with me.

Here's my opinion after a weekend of experiments: As dark as Ebony drawing pencils, but with thinner and dryer lead. Sketches lightly, with good control and produces dark lines quickly and easily with less shine than 4-5B lead. Not as covering as higher 8-9B leads, but much nicer for sketching.

Karen J. Newhouse
CapallGlas Studio

Karen - LOL! That's a cute write up of the pencils.

I got mine as well. They are not just a pencil. No, no no...They are magical pencils, that take you to places that only your imagination can conjure up. They are special pencils.

I quickly got the box open, grabbed a pencil & sharpened the wood off.  I just couldn't make myself to cut the lead yet. I went to work & just wrote with it. Wonderful, exquisite, smooth, dark.

Toby Levin
moleskin sketching artist
Toby - I think you might have said it all when you called the Blackwing a magical pencil. On different paper surfaces, it becomes a whole different experience!

Karen is such a creative writer as well as an excellent artist.  I can't wait to see what she creates using the Blackwings on gesso panels! 
Here are a couple of sketches using the Blackwing on Bristol Board Vellum. The Vellum has a rougher texture and the graphite slides on creating a beautiful texture and with a few layers, a rich black. I'm loving this pencil more and more....

Thursday, October 07, 2010

The Palomino Blackwing

I received my box of Palomino Blackwings in mail today.  That was quick delivery and wow...what a nice packaging!

I would love to hear from all my graphite artist friends who have purchased the Palomino Blackwing pencils.  I'd like to know what you think of them....both the good and the bad.

Be sure to give it a good work out!  If you remember reading my assessment of the  pencil, I initially did not give it very high marks.  But since then, I've given it a full workout on a couple of drawings, and it has proven to be an excellent tool for building beautiful mid-value graphite tones.

In the drawing "Agnew Meadows", I used the Blackwing in the darker trees in the foreground.  By applying initial graphite layers by the Blackwing and then applying 2B over this, I created a beautiful rich dark tone.  In the past, I frequently would end up with an uneven tone with spots of the "dreaded" graphite shine.  But the Blackwing seems to have a nice matte finish providing a wonderful base.

As with any technique, your approach, type of paper or unique style may provide different results.  I'd love to hear what you think of these unique pencils!!


Monday, October 04, 2010

Blackwing UTube Advertisement

I have the honor of being featured in a Blackwing UTube advertisement.  Perhaps in the next generation, I will be considered one of the Famous Blackwing users and listed along side, John Steinbeck.

To view the full article visit: