A little background on Alyona . . .
She is first a gifted artist with a high attention to detail, bringing the style of a classic oil painter to her portraits.

Second, she is the author of the #1 best-selling book of all time, for colored pencil artists, titled “Colored Pencil Painting Bible” and now has a brand new book out, that is already a hot seller, titled “Colored Pencil Painting Portraits”.

Thirdly, she is an inventor! This is not listed last because it is least significant, only because this is her latest contribution to the colored pencil world! Her products have revolutionized how artists are using this medium. One of the fast favorites being her titanium white – something that has challenged colored pencil artists since inception.

Books & Products can be found on her BrushAndPencil.com website www.brushandpencil.com . Books are in stock on Amazon, products in stock at Blick Art Materials. You can also check your local art supply & bookstores.

Also, look for her brand new article in the November issue, Sunset Roses: A study in size, perspective, and value. www.coloredpencilmag.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE LIVE EVENT ON FACEBOOK 1/11/17

Frances McKeever How do you make colored pencil look smooth and uniform for skin tones in portraits without using blenders? Basically, just using pencil only. I use Prismacolor, and I always have issues trying to layer and give a smooth finish to such, but it looks grainy. Is there a paper that works best with that?

Alyona Nickelsen It is a more time and effort consuming process if you work on regular cotton-based papers. If you look at layered colored pencil under a microscope you will see that every layer “sits” on top of another one like a sandwich. Strokes created with darker colors will look more prominent layered on top of the lighter ones. This creates contrasting pattern of darks and lights, i.e. graininess. Therefore, you must introduce darker colors very carefully applying them with a needle-sharp point and placing your strokes tightly together, so your strokes create optical blending and generated pattern of darks and lights is not prominent. This process takes time.

Here is an example of creating skin tones just with pencils:

Blending each layer with OMS speeds up this process.

Blending with powder blender makes layering much faster, but you have to use abrasive surfaces and less waxy pencils for the first layers.

 

 

 

 

 

Frances McKeever Thank you for the information! What paper do you recommend? 🙂

Alyona Nickelsen It depends on the techniques you will be using. For a traditional colored pencil application, I usually work on Stonehenge paper, as described in my first book, “Colored Pencil Painting Bible”. For my latest techniques using Powder Blender and ACP Textured fixative I prefer Fisher400 sanded paper or UArt 500 sanded paper. You can read all about it in my second book, “Colored Pencil Painting Portraits”.

 

Deedy Earl Gregg I have one other question Alyona……when you have time. I have, on occasion, had the textured fixative spray spit out a droplet or two on my work. I’ve brushed them off with a tissue before they dry and everything looks fine, but it scares me when that happens. Is there a secret to keeping the nozzle clean and spraying a fine mist instead of droplets from time to time? I shake it for a full two minutes before using. My husband suggested that I turn the can upside down and spray it until it clears the nozzle. Is this a good idea? Thanks so much for your help.

Alyona Nickelsen Yes, your hubby suggested the right thing – it is called “priming the nozzle” (letting out some propellant to clear the nozzle). You can also remove the nozzle and rinse it under warm running water, then wipe it with a paper towel and replace it onto the can. This way you are getting rid of any blockage that might have accumulated. By the way, any aerosol can (including your hairspray) is susceptible to this situation.

 

Michelle Gelderman Martin I have been using mineral spirits to blend on top of the first base layers that were blended with powder blender and sealed with fixative. I like the smooth look it adds on top. Can this cause too much thickness and build up and not mix well with the layers of fixatives? Or cause it to flake? Will the fixatives and final sealers control my layers even with OMS?

Alyona Nickelsen Our fixatives become resistant to OMS with time. So, if you let fixatives dry properly, application of OMS is not a problem. And yes, you can work this way practically indefinitely. Just make sure every fixative layer is completely dry.

 

Karen Higgins Peters Alyona Nickelsen The powder blender has to dry?

Alyona Nickelsen Karen nop, just fixative layers. Powder Blender is already dry powder.

 

Michelle Gelderman Martin I am blowing through Soft sponge tips now like there is no tomorrow. Any other recommended blending stumps for sandpaper? Do you wash yours? (I have been buying makeup dollar store ones to save money)

Alyona Nickelsen I don’t wash my sponges. I wipe them off on a paper towel. Also, make sure that you don’t press hard during blending. This will help the sponges to last longer. A good test how much pressure to apply when blending is to rub a clean sponge against your cheek. You should feel it on your skin, but without rubbing too hard. This is how much pressure is necessary to effectively blend colored pencil with sponges and Powder Blender on sanded surfaces.

 

Sandra Gilvear Alyona Nickelsen Do you use the powder blender over the (your) entire piece, and throughout each layering process, or do you sometimes finish some areas with burnishing? I found the powder blender gives a very matt finish to the art. In my last piece I commenced with powder blender for background for a few layers but ended up moving onto OMS, then burnishing, but I am unsure if this is the right thing to have done.

Alyona Nickelsen No, I use Powder Blender and OMS when it is necessary for the effect I am after. For example, Powder Blender is superb for blending very quickly large areas without generating any edges. Check this post on FB https://www.facebook.com/alyona.nickelsen/posts/10211296819036098?pnref=story and my latest article in the November issue of Colored Pencil Magazine.

 

Deedy Earl Gregg What an awesome opportunity for me. Hi Alyona…..I’m Deedy Gregg and I have a question about your powdered blender. After using mine a few times, it becomes real gray looking…..no longer white. Does this hurt the product or the use of it in any way? How can I keep it nice and white?

Alyona Nickelsen Hi Deedy! Glad to see you here.
Powder Blender is not affected by colored pencil. The coloration you see is just some particles of colored pencil mixed with blender. I typically use a tiny amount that is deposited on top of the sifter after shaking it a bit. You can also use a separate small container to keep the rest of the Powder Blender clean.

 

Jodeen Lowrie I think if I hadn’t discovered your Titanium White, I wouldn’t have ended up falling in love with colored pencils, now I’m working on my first piece with Powdered Blender. My Texture Fixative can keeps spitting. Is there a way to avoid that?

Alyona Nickelsen Yes, like any aerosol can, the nozzle can become clogged with hardened particles from the previous use. Please before using our fixative take the nozzle off the can and rinse it under running water, wipe it with a paper towel and replace. Shake the can well and apply fixative. This should help.

 

Sandra Gilvear I recently completed a piece on Uart sanded paper using the powder blender and textured fixative and only secured my paper on the sides with tape. The top and bottom edges have curled. Should I have mounted my paper to a rigid surface and how is this done? I.e. do you mount your paper with a fixative over the entire surface?

Alyona Nickelsen I usually mount my paper on a rigid surface using doubletack mounting film (https://www.dickblick.com/…/grafix-double-tack…/) prior to the actual work.

Sandra Gilvear If anyone else wants to respond to a further question that would be great as Alyona must be madly typing and re-typing with the FB glitch: Q As I didn’t mount my picture first (sanded paper) and it has curled on the top and bottom edges, is it salvageable and still mountable using something like the graffix mounting film that Alyona uses? I really don’t want to trim it down…

Alyona Nickelsen I think you can still mount it, but you have to proceeded very carefully, since your paper might be stretched in the areas of curling. You can try repositionable mounting sprays that allow you to move your artwork as needed before it will be affixed permanently. Just make sure that sprays are acid-free.

 

Peggy Osborne I just placed an order for some sanded paper and powder blender, etc. I have never used sanded paper so wasn’t sure which size to get. So I chose the 400 size. I draw pets and wasn’t sure if this or the 500 size was the best fit for me. Hope it works…

Alyona Nickelsen I personally prefer Fisher400 since it has the most beautiful and even surface with no pattern made during manufacturing. I also use UART500 or 600. It works great and allows me to apply many layers.

Peggy Osborne I ordered Uart 400. Should I change it to 500? What is the difference?

Alyona Nickelsen Peggy Uart400 is rougher than 500. YOu will have to apply more colored pencil layers to create a smooth finish.

 

Michelle Gelderman Martin If the sanded paper is tan, but the background is snow and you need to keep it white. When you seal it with fixative, what other suggestions do you have to keep the white from getting contaminated with the powder from any darks blended on top of it? Do any mask products work with the fixatives?

Alyona Nickelsen Working vertically and from the top to bottom helps to protect white background from being soiled with colored pencil particles. You can also re-touch it at the end of the rendering when necessary. And yes, you can mask the background with masking film and work on the foreground. However, I personally work from the farthest plane toward the viewer.

 

Jeff Langston Hey Alyona! Great to see this. I have a couple of rather large pieces to start on soon, will the powder blender and fixative work with the large wax based sticks from Caran D’Ache?

Alyona Nickelsen As I mentioned somewhere else, I would suggest that you create your first couple of layers with less waxy pencils, such as Pablos, Lyras, Procolor or Soho pencils. They will be very easy to blend with Powder Blender and large sponges. Secure the applied layers with Textured fixative and then you can work with waxier types of colored pencils.

 

Linda Chambers Hi Alyona. I am looking for a high quality pencil sharpener for my colored pencils. In your book , Colored Pencil Painting Bible you mention an electric sharpener. Is this still the best option for getting the sharpest point?

Alyona Nickelsen Since I switched to abrasive surfaces I don’t sharpen my pencils very often. Typically, I expose the core with an x-acto knife and allow the tooth of sanded paper to do the sharpening. However, when I do need a sharp point I use IPoint sharpener that I found in Costco. It is pretty inexpensive and works fine so far.

 

Sherry Jacks I’m in the process of reading your latest book on portraits. How do you determine whether to blend the colored pencil powder blender with a brush or sponge? Does it matter which you use?

Alyona Nickelsen Glad to hear you are reading my book.:-) It should explain many “how’s” and “why’s”. Sponges spread the applied pencil more evenly on the surface. Brushes create some marks that could be utilized for textural effects, for example for rendering hair.

 

Kathy Halik-Herdzina If you use pastel board what color would you rec…I see it comes in green,gray, white…what color underpainting would you choose and why

Alyona Nickelsen In my perfect world all boards and sanded papers would be pure white. The reason is because it allows me to have the widest range of values. It also allows me to create a sense of depth in the composition. I wrote about it extensively in my second book, Colored Pencil Painting Portraits. Please check Chapter 2 “The Rules of the Game”. Often, I create my own white surface using acrylic gesso. However, when I use manufactured sanded papers I choose the lightest that I can find such as tan, beige or light yellow. My underpainting is typically done with various browns, since they are the easiest to incorporate into color layers that will follow.

 

Cheryl Wiltshire Hi Alyona, excited to be here! I would like to know how you came up with the idea of powder blender? It really is a genius invention!

Alyona Nickelsen I had to work on numerous pieces of art of a larger size and just a thought of filling those backgrounds with a point of a pencil made me think harder 🙂

 

Lorrie Sudoski Is the powdered blender and fixative good for graphite pencil as well ?

Alyona Nickelsen Yes, we have lots of reports from our customers that have great success using our products with graphite and charcoal. I personally used charcoal with them and I am pretty happy with the results.

 

Alona V Baxter You usually recommend Uart 400 sanded paper for portraits, what about 600 or 800?

Alyona Nickelsen I recommend Fisher400, Uart500 or 600. Uart400 would be a bit more rough, so you have to apply more layers to create smooth finish.

 

Lorrie Sudoski Hello Alyona, I am still unsure of the paper does it have a long learning curve

Alyona Nickelsen Which paper do you use?

Lorrie Sudoski I have the sanded I also have Stonehenge and a few others

Alyona Nickelsen You have to think about working with pencils just like you would work with paint but with no liquid. When I apply colored pencil on sanded paper I do not draw, I just apply the medium and spread it with sponges, then adjust it, correct it and secure it. it is more like a painting process without drying time. The act of drawing comes at the very end when I work on the details and edges.

 

Kathy Halik-Herdzina What colors do you use to get realistic skin tones

Alyona Nickelsen It will depend on the lighting and surrounding colors which will affect the skin tones greatly. Typically I begin with my darkest darks and create underpainting with various browns. Then I indicate the lights. Then I follow with warm colors, cool them down with white and incorporate the colors of the background or surrounding objects. I wrote about it in detail in my book Colored Pencil Painting Portraits. Please check Chapter 4 Controlling Color and Chapter 6 Practicing the Essentials. There is lots and lots of information about rendering skin tones.

 

Judith Dodds what is the best paper for colored pencils?

Alyona Nickelsen I just answered it somewhere else It depends on the techniques you will be using. For a traditional colored pencil application, I usually work on Stonehenge paper, as described in my first book, “Colored Pencil Painting Bible”. For my latest techniques using Powder Blender and ACP Textured fixative I prefer Fisher400 sanded paper or UArt 500 sanded paper. You can read all about it in my second book, “Colored Pencil Painting Portraits”.

 

Cebi Shoy Hi Alyona Nickelsen am new to the art world . What are the best advice you can give to a novice . I have never completed a piece as yet.

Alyona Nickelsen Just do it!  No, really, just start working on some small project, finish it best you can, then don’t look at it for a while. Come back to it in about a week and see what you like about it and what you don’t like. Then remember what you like and incorporate it in your next piece. And find a solution to what you don’t like by asking questions.

 

Bernice DuGuay Boudreau Colored Pencil Magazine , I just went to buy direct from the brush and pencil site and they won’t ship to Canada?

Peggy Osborne Bernice DuGuay Boudreau , I buy from Delta Art in Edmonton, they carry Alyonas products.

Alyona Nickelsen Yes, thank you, Delta Art carries our product line.

 

Michelle Lutes Hi Sally and Alyona Nickelsen. Is there a best type of paper to use? I’ve been buying a sheet at a time of different papers but I havent found anything i’m super in love with/works super well for colored pencil. Any suggestions of favorites?

Alyona Nickelsen Here is the list of papers that work the best with our Colored Pencil Powder Blender:
• Fisher 400
• UArt 500, 600, 800 grit
• Ampersand Museum Series Panel Pastelbord
• Canson Mi-Teintes Touch Sanded Paper
• Richerson’s Premium Pastel Surface
• Art Spectrum Colourfix Supertooth
• Pastel Premier Sanded Paper

 

Markjohn Glass Hi Alyona! First I’d like to thank you for your books, I loved reading them and have found them so helpful (which is why my copies are so dog-eared!) I could ask a thousand questions, but I’ll limit myself to two:

What is the single most useful habit to encourage in the studio?

What is the best method to get overworked areas to take more layers? Is there a limit to how much you can do?

Thank you!

Alyona Nickelsen I would say the best habit is to identify a goal, make a plan and stick to it no matter what.

Our Textured fixative should help with practically indefinite layering of colored pencil.

 

ViaVon Alyona, no queries, but I had to tell you again how much I just love your Fixatives – thank you!! ❤️😍❣️

Alyona Nickelsen Honey to my ears!

 

Diana Hudson Hi, Not sure if I’m too late here in the UK. Had difficulty finding this. Do you have any tips when using white pencil? On whatever surface or colour it just seems to soak in and look dull.

Alyona Nickelsen Typically white pencils do not contain mush of pigment in their core, have translucent binder and provide very little opacity when it is needed the most. White colored pencil will show up better over sprayed Textured fixative since it will have enough fiction to deposit its particles on the surface and place them closely together. That is why I personally use our Titanium White in its powder form and in a combination with Touch-Up Texture for the most opaque application. Again, I wrote a lot about it my book Colored Pencil Painting Portraits. Please read about colored pencil translucency/opacity in Chapter 4 Controlling Color.

 

Jemma Jason In your “Colored Pencil Painting Bible”, you reference blending with OMS. Do you now use powder blender instead of OMS? Is it necessary to apply a fixative when using powder blender?

Alyona Nickelsen I use Powder Blender and OMS when needed for different effects. Powder Blender is great for stroke free transitions and OMS is great for quick color saturation.

Yes, you need to secure applied colored pencil and blended with Powder Blender using our Textured or Final fixatives, since Powder Blender makes colored pencils act like pastels and they will be smearable unless fixed.

 

Athina Soultani Hi Alyona i am from Greece i am very glad to meet you here i loved your book Colored pencil painting bible i bought this recently and it is fantastic.Congratulations!!!I want to ask you and i want to respond me if you want what kind of paper and what brand of paper you use to make so realistic your artwork? I know that the quality of paper and the others materials like the brand of colored pencils have big meaning for the final result.Thank you!!!

Alyona Nickelsen Thank you so much, Athina!

Here is the list of papers that work the best with our Colored Pencil Powder Blender:

  • Fisher 400
  • UArt 500, 600, 800 grit
  • Ampersand Museum Series Panel Pastelbord
  • Canson Mi-Teintes Touch Sanded Paper
  • Richerson’s Premium Pastel Surface
  • Art Spectrum Colourfix Supertooth
  • Pastel Premier Sanded Paper

For the first few layers I would recommend that you use colored pencil brands with a lesser content of wax in their core. Faber-Castell Polychromos works beautifully with my technique.  The other lines that I suggest are: Lyra, Caran d’Ache Pablo, Derwent Procolor and Soho. For sharp edges and fine details you can use a waxier type of colored pencils, such as Prismacolor Premier, Caran d’Ache Luminance, Derwent Colorsoft.

 

Judy Seamons Hi Alyona. Thanks for doing this. Does the powder blender work best with oil-based or wax-based pencils? Or does it matter? Also, Caitlyn talked about using one type of pencil and then spraying it before going to the other type (i.e. oil-based, spray, wax-based) do you need to spray between types of pencils and what is the spray we should use?

Alyona Nickelsen Not sure if I responded to this one somewhere else. But for the first few layers I would recommend that you use colored pencil brands with a lesser content of wax in their core. Faber-Castell Polychromos works beautifully with my technique. The other lines that I suggest are: Lyra, Caran d’Ache Pablo, Derwent Procolor and Soho. They will blend effortlessly with Powder Blender. Then for sharp edges and fine details you can use a waxier type of colored pencils, such as Prismacolor Premier, Caran d’Ache Luminance, Derwent Colorsoft.

I spray the layers either to secure applied pencil or to isolate the layer. For example, if I don’t want the underpaintng colors to be mixed with the following color layer I have to isolate these two layers with our ACP Textured fixative. So, the spraying part is not for isolating types of pencils, it is for isolating applied colors.

 

Philip Davis Hello . I’ve read about artists applying powder blender first then their first layer of colored pencil. Your article indicated that you apply the colored pencil first , then the powder blender. Is my understanding of your technique correct?

Alyona Nickelsen It depends. Powder Blender is a dry lubricant for colored pencil. If colored pencil contains less wax in its core and you are working on a surface such as sanded paper, you don’t have to pretreat the surface with powder blender. If the surface is less aggressive or pencil contains a bit more wax in its core, pretreating with Powder Blender helps the blending.

 

Mark Thompson Hello ladies, I’m from Florida and wanted to know what “titanium white” is. Is that a color of a colored pencil?? The reason I ask is I draw LOGO’S and often need a very bright- like color, as white as possible (for a chrome like shine or a sun-ray/sunburst effect). Also where can I find colored pencils that are Very Bright (silver/white & yellow/gold). I’ve been using Prismacolor and downward to Crayola.

Alyona Nickelsen You can use our Colored Pencil Titanium White in its powdered form for soft edges when opacity is a needed. You can also mix it with our Touch-Up Texture and create paint-like substance that will dry and harden and allow you to work with colored pencil on top if necessary. The ration between Titanium White and Touch-Up Texture will determine the overall opacity of the mixture. Colored pencil applied over white surface will look more lustrous. If you need to apply colored pencils over dark colors try our Textured Fixative in a couple of light layers, then follow with colored pencils. They will look more prominent compared to their application directly over dark colors.

 

Toni Danielle Not sure what happened but unable to view the responses to questions and all the comments until now. I don’t want to mess up the forum with all my “can’t see” posts so will be dropping out 🙁 now. Glad to have had the questions answered that I posed to Alyona! Thanks to the magazine for the forum today and to Alyona for her time and expertise. Have a great night all!

Alyona Nickelsen Sorry for the glitches on FB. Please let me know if you question was not answered.

 

Kim Keys Hi Alyona. . I purchased your first book, the Colored Pencil Painting Bible, and the pencils you used in that book are Prismacolors. I noticed that now you are recommending other pencils like Polychromas, Pablos and Luminance. Is there a reason you have switched from the Prismacolor?

Alyona Nickelsen In my first book I was working on Stonehenge paper and with Prismacolor colored pencils using a traditional colored pencil application. Now I switched to abrasive surfaces which allow me to cover large areas very fast using Powder Blender and less waxy colored pencils, such as Pablos, Polys, Lyra, Soho and Procolor. I reserve waxier type of pencils, such as Prismas and Luminance for details and sharp edges.

 

Caitlyn Gehman I bought the Liquitex product mentioned in the book for prepping the canvas to work with CP, what is the best way to do it? Do you thin it down with water and how many layers should you do for the tooth of the canvas? Also if I used Frederix canvas do you have a preference for which one to use?

Alyona Nickelsen Yes. I suggest that artists apply acrylic gesso thinned to the consistency of milk and using an airbrush because this yields the best results. The textured particles of gesso in this manner are spread evenly and simulate the surface of manufactured sanded paper. When liquid gesso is applied with a brush or a roller you might end up with random brushstrokes that will be visible through colored pencil layers.

Alyona Nickelsen I would not recommend using canvas since it is flexible surface. Maybe canvas mounted on a board.

 

Tamara Mason Culp I’ll repeat Frances McKeever’s question if you don’t mind. I’m a newbie, just received my kit order. The question is what types of paper should I get to try your products with?

Alyona Nickelsen If you just received your kit, you probably already have some samples of abrasive surfaces in it to try. However, here is the list of papers that work the best with our Colored Pencil Powder Blender:

  • Fisher 400
  • UArt 500, 600, 800 grit
  • Ampersand Museum Series Panel Pastelbord
  • Canson Mi-Teintes Touch Sanded Paper
  • Richerson’s Premium Pastel Surface
  • Art Spectrum Colourfix Supertooth
  • Pastel Premier Sanded Paper

 

Kassie Stone As a professional artist, do you feel that the lightfastness in the Pablo line presents a problem? Also, please, I have FC Polychromos, should my next purchase be FC watercolor pencils, Lumaniance or Pablos?

Alyona Nickelsen Some colored pencil manufactures are finally started realizing that their product could be so much more. I admire Caran d’Ache for creating their Luminance line and yes, I would like to have more lightfast pencils in Pablo line. Meanwhile I work with a collection of less waxy pencils by combining Polychromos, Pablo, Lyra, Soho and Procolor.

To answer your question about your next purchase. It depends on what technique you are going to use. If you would like to work on sanded surfaces with Powder Blender and Textured fixative, in addition to your Poycrhomos I would suggest that you get some Luminance. They are lightfast and great for details and sharp edges.

 

Caitlyn Gehman Hi! I have your Portrait Book and have read it. Can you explain the best way to get smooth results between alternating oil and wax based pencils? Do you lay down oil first then spray and then do wax?

Alyona Nickelsen Yes, for the first few layers I would recommend that you use colored pencil brands with a lesser content of wax in their core. Faber-Castell Polychromos works beautifully with my technique. The other lines that I suggest are: Lyra, Caran d’Ache Pablo, Derwent Procolor and Soho. For sharp edges and fine details you can use a waxier type of colored pencils, such as Prismacolor Premier, Caran d’Ache Luminance, Derwent Colorsoft.

 

Kassie Stone Hi. Does the Textured Fixative act as a final fixative also? Is this correct, you only spray the Textured Fixative between layers and “Final” upon completion of art work? Thanks.

Alyona Nickelsen Textured fixative has textural element in it noticeable to the touch. It restores the surface tooth and allows you to apply more colored pencil layers. Final fixative dries clear. And yes, I recommend spraying Textured fixative to secure applied pencils and isolate layers and Final at the end of the rendering.

 

Chanel Lenkakai I have a problem with my colored pencil still looking grainy after 2 layers. Is there a proper way to blend or am I just not putting enough layers of pencil down before blending?

Alyona Nickelsen The keys for smooth appearance are:

use abrasive surface without a pattern, such as Fisher400 sanded paper;

for the first layers work with less waxy pencils, such as Faber-Castell Polychromos

blend applied pencil using sponge and Powder Blender

do not press too hard on the pencil or a sponge. The less you press the less you push the shaved colored pencil particles deeper into the tooth. This makes blending easy and appearance of the applied pencil smooth and seamless.

 

Philip Davis Do you tend to start with lighter colors first, working in the darker colors later and finally the titanium white?

Alyona Nickelsen Not with this approach. Actually, it is entirely opposite: I start with the darkest darks (underpainting) then follow with the lightest lights (dead layer) and then work with color layers and merge the darks and lights in the mid tones.

 

Toni Danielle Can the fixative be used without the powder blender? If I only used OMS and never used the powder blender would the fixative still work?

Alyona Nickelsen Yes, absolutely you can use our fixatives without Powder Blender. Just make sure that the surface would not buckle under application of the fixatives.

 

Termeh Nz Hi Alyona. I have prismacolor colored pencil and I want to buy a set that make my set complete. Among caran da’che luminance and pablo, and polychromous, which one do you recommand?thanks

Alyona Nickelsen Since Prismacolor is more waxy I would suggest that you get some Polychromos or Pablos. They are both great lines of pencils and work amazing with Powder Blender.

 

Vera Kangas-Kauffman Are the products sold in any art shops or just web orders?

Alyona Nickelsen Dickblick carries some of our products https://www.dickblick.com/search/?q=brush%20and%20pencil…
Not sure if they are available in their stores yet.

 

Kimbearly Hunt I absolutely LOVE your product. I use it all. Just wondering what the shelf life expectancy is?

Alyona Nickelsen Glad to hear it! I would say indefinite if stored in normal conditions.

Kimbearly Hunt Alyona Nickelsen Great! I want to stock up. 🙂 It is the best product to come on the market for color pencils.

Alyona Nickelsen Thank you, Kimberly!

Kimbearly Hunt Alyona Nickelsen THANK YOU!!!!

Kimbearly Hunt Alyona Nickelsen I honestly can’t thank you enough for creating such a wonderful product for colored pencils. Can’t live without it now!

Gwyneth Carol Bowles Just a comment. Your powdered blender saved a piece that I thought was not salvageable. Thank you!

Alyona Nickelsen Thank you so much!

 

Sherry Davis Hi Alyona! What tips do you have for making eyes, ears, etc. look natural?

Alyona Nickelsen Think about all facial features as part of the face; that they “belong” to the face and not outlined on it. Make sure that if the part of the face is in the shadow the details of the facial features are not as well defined as those under the light. You can read more about it in my book Colored Pencil Painting Portraits in Chapter 6 Practicing the Essentials.

 

Tanya Postoliuk Hello, Alyona!
How long does it take for you on average to finish 1 portrait?
Thanks.

Alyona Nickelsen It depends on the size, if it is something like 11x14 then it takes about 2 weeks.

 

Karen Higgins Peters Can you still put on a lot of layers with powder blender?

Alyona Nickelsen Yes, just work in light layers and secure them with Textured fixative. To create darker value don’t accumulate a lot of colored pencil medium within a single layer, but rather work in multiple translucent layers. This will also allow you to create depth in color instead of making it look flat.

 

Cindi Moon Did the student version of the magazine get discontinued?

Alyona Nickelsen I think so.

 

Jemma Jason If you use powder blender, must you use a fixative on the finished piece?

Alyona Nickelsen Powder Blender works as dry lubricant for colored pencil and doesn’t let it “stick” to the tooth of the surface, which makes blending process easy. Textured and Final fixatives secure applied colored pencil to the surface. So the answer is yes.

 

Annik Girardin Hiiiiii !can we find the products in canada ?!

Sabine Leppanen Yes, you can order from http://www.deltaart.ca/.

Annik Girardin Ahhh thank you soooooo much!!!!

Alyona Nickelsen Thank you, Sabine and Annik. Yup, Delta Art.

 

Kimbearly Hunt What is the best grade of paper to use with your products?

Alyona Nickelsen

Here is the list of papers that work the best with our Colored Pencil Powder Blender:

  • Fisher 400
  • UArt 500, 600, 800 grit
  • Ampersand Museum Series Panel Pastelbord
  • Canson Mi-Teintes Touch Sanded Paper
  • Richerson’s Premium Pastel Surface
  • Art Spectrum Colourfix Supertooth
  • Pastel Premier Sanded Paper

 

Tammy Jones What’s the best way to store your pencils?

Alyona Nickelsen I use my own colored pencil organizers, so I know exactly the place of each pencil when I need to put them back after project is done. We are out of stock now, but they will be available soon.

 

Caitlyn Gehman Would you be willing to put videos on your website subscription with information on how to use your powder blender product?

Alyona Nickelsen Yes, we are in a process of re-modeling of our website and are planning to put lots of new “how to” information soon.

 

Toni Danielle I hope this is the right place…want to learn more about powder blender because I am hesitant to try it. Worried about lightfast issues over time?

Alyona Nickelsen Hi Toni. This is as live as it could be :-). Our products will not affect the archival properties of your work. Promise.

 

Kim Keys Hi Alyona. . I purchased your first book, the Colored Pencil Painting Bible, and the pencils you used in that book are Prismacolors. I noticed that now you are recommending other pencils like Polychromas, Pablos and Luminance. Is there a reason you have switched from the Prismacolor?

Alyona Nickelsen Just responded to your question and my comment is gone. The reason is using a different approach to colored pencil application. The less waxy pencils, such as Polys, Pablos, Lyras, etc. are blended much easier on sanded paper with powder blender.

 

Kim Keys ok. Thanks! Just wondered why the switch. I have your new book and haven’t cracked the cover but hope to soon!

 

Tanya Postoliuk Hello, Alyona!
How long does it take for you to finish a portrait ?

Alyona Nickelsen It depends on the size. Usually if it is 11″x14″ or so about 2 weeks.

 


EVENT NOTES!

WINNER of the Brush and Pencil Prize Package: Susan Grimm!

Brush and Pencil products:
USA – Her website: www.brushandpencil.com and Blick Art Materials: www.dickblick.com
UK/EU – Jackson’s Art Supply (www.jacksonsart.co.uk),
Canada – Delta Art (www.deltaart.ca)
Australian/New Zealand – Arthouse Direct (www.arthousedirect.com.au) and The Art Shop (http://theartshop.com.au).

Books:
USA – Her website (get a signed copy!): www.brushandpencil.com
International – Amazon, Barns & Nobel and more.

Training:
Art Logistics – https://www.brushandpencil.com/Art_Logistics_Membership.html

COLORED PENCIL Magazines:
November 2017 – Sunset Roses: A study in size, perspective, and value
June 2017 – Featured Artist
January 2016 – Excersize in Red
November 2015 – Colored Pencil Reinvented
20122013 – Monthly Q&A Columnist

Visit Alyona Nickelsen at:
www.brushandpencil.com | www.facebook.com/BrushAndPencilLLC