Monochrome Techniques with Pitt Monochrome Sets

Monochrome Squirrel

The Faber Castell Pitt Monochrome sets provide both student and professional artists alike with the highest quality, exciting range of graphite, charcoal and pastel available for producing creative, expressive works of art.

Monochrome Squirrel

Monochrome artwork produced in charcoal, graphite and pastel (black, white and sanguine or sepia) have long been a tradition in figure drawing dating back to the Renaissance, and is still present in the life drawing classes of art schools today. While these materials were primarily used for figure drawing, they can also be a wonderful choice for producing a very pleasing aesthetic for sketching elements of the natural world. The dark expressive marks of charcoal with its ability to smudge, can produce a wide variety of line types, adding depth and contrast. The versatility of graphite offers strong lines, even laydown, blendability, and many degrees of hardness enabling a variety of different tonal values. The highly pigmented Pitt Pastels lend enormous versatility and creative expression due to their stick form, enabling the artist to draw exact lines with their edge, cover large areas with their flat sides and blend and layer colors. The Monochrome collections’ handsome color palette, exquisite range of tones and textural qualities offer powerful artistic expression for animal, botanical and landscape sketching.

These professional quality Pitt Monochrome pieces are sold individually or in sets including a 9-piece starter set, tins of 12, 21, and 33 assorted pieces, and a beautiful wooden case containing the full range of drawing products (85 pieces) including accessories. All collections provide the creative inspiration that artists seek for producing unique and impressive works of art, with much creative experimentation and many techniques possible.

Sets (depending on size) include an assortment of pieces:

Natural Charcoal sticks

Natural charcoal sticks are the oldest drawing material in the world. These willow twigs are easy to smudge, and produce shimmering grey lines that lend expressive character to drawings.

Pressed Charcoal sticks and pencils

The Pressed Charcoal in both stick and pencil form offer a color spectrum from light to dark black. By using the sticks edges and flat sides, a wide variety of line types and expression can be achieved. The pressed charcoal pencil can be used to add precise line drawings, and its strokes are easy to blend. Pressed Charcoal is easily smudged into exquisite gradients therefore lending itself to working with large areas.

Pitt Oil Base Pencils in black and sanguine

Oil-based pencils adhere firmly to the background and are smudge and waterproof, making them ideal for clean outlines and fine detail.

Castell 9000 and 9000 Jumbo Graphite Pencils

The Castell 9000 in its 16 degrees of hardness is ideal for scribbling, drawing sketching and making layouts. The Castell 9000 Jumbo with its 5.3 mm is optimal for large-area drawings.

Pitt Graphite Pure and Graphite Crayon

The Graphite Pure’s plastic-coated graphite lead allows you to work cleanly, with its range of hardness making it the ideal medium for sketching and graphic large-scale work. Varying the pressure allows for a wide variety of tones and contrasts, and can easily be blended.

The graphite crayons work especially well for very large-scale work and frontage techniques due to their rich, intense graphite laydown. A variety of line weights can be achieved using the tip, edges and flat surface of the graphite crayon. The many degrees of hardness also enable a variety of tonal values and contrasts.

Graphite Aquarelle water-soluble pencils

The range of these pencils (HB– 8B) offer unique watercolor effects to artwork, creating beautiful gradations and intense depth, and are brilliant for mixed media techniques using oil, acrylics and ink.

Pitt Pastels in white, bistre, sanguine burnt, sanguine raw, Roman sepia, Van Dyck brown, umber and black burnt

These highly light-resistant and vibrant artist’s pastels offer much versatility to drawing. Their square shape means the edges can be used to draw a variety of lines and the flat sides can be used for covering larger areas. A multitude of color blends with white, bistre, sanguine, sepia and black are possible by smudging and layering colours. Colour laydown and depth can be varied by applying different degrees of pressure.

Pitt Artists’ Pencils in white, sanguine walnut brown and black

Pitt Pastel Pencils are highly pigmented pencils perfectly suited for fine details in pastel. They are easily smudged to create fine color transitions, contours, studies and detail drawings, and are suitable for placing precise depths and shadows. Pitt Pastel pencils produce stunning work used alone or in combination with Pitt Pastels.

Kneadable Eraser

This eraser is best used for correcting and lightening charcoal and pastel work. It is extremely kneadable and absorptive, and leaves no residue behind. This eraser is also ideal for cleaning up final artwork.

Monochrome Squirrel Tail

How to:

Creating the texture in the squirrel’s tail

Begin by using the flat side of the Sanguine Soft Burnt pastel layered with a little Dark Sepia Soft pastel to loosely block in the basic shape of the squirrel’s tail.

Next, carefully paint a light wash of rubbing alcohol over the pastel. Immediately hold the paper upright to allow the alcohol to run down over the pastel. This liquefies the pastel turning it into paint that can be pushed around with the brush. Letting excess alcohol run down (within the tail) can also add interesting and unusual wet effects that add texture to the finished art. Let dry.

Add additional texture and interest to the tail (or anywhere else) by using a spattering technique. Mix a liquidy pool of Sanuine by adding a generous amount of rubbing alcohol to the pastel on a separate piece of scrap paper. Dip a stiff brush into the mixture and use your finger to flick the wet brush bristles onto the artwork. Let dry.

Finally, add sketchy detail with the Castell 9000 Graphite pencil, the Pitt Charcoal pencil and the White Pitt pastel pencil.

Download the entire tutorial, here


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