The Tools

I've mentioned before, I studied to be a Costume Designer. With that comes a miniscule amount of sketching and rendering, but for me I usually dove in head first and made it up as I went. Not the most reliable designer to work with, I know. In my defense, everything came out alright because I always completed a project, and also, it being theatre, the alterations I made (read: mistakes) couldn't be seen from the stage. :-D

I used watercolor and pencil for my renderings back then, but I confess - I used them very ill. I'm ashamed now looking back on some of the atrocious figures and lack of technique I applied.

When I returned to art this year, I made sure to experiment with a few other mediums, just to make sure I liked what I liked. I picked up some watercolor, acrylic, pencils, gouache, and ink. After trying each one, I decided my favorites were and forever with be watercolor and pencil. (Oil, I'm coming for you.)

I don't hate acrylic - I just don't think it likes me very much. I find it stiff and dislike how it grabs at everything: the brush, the paper, the wrong places...

No, watercolor is my love, because LAYERS. I love to use it opaquely, more like a gouache, or thin and airy. Any way is a good way for me!

But watercolor has been on the back burner these days. I've found a new sweetie: colored pencils.

I was about to toss my stash of colored pencils recently. I had been using my sketchbook and each time I tried to draw with pencils, I was disappointed in how childish-without-being-cool-and-artsy it looked. Right before I dumped my pencils in the trash, I came across a lovely artist on instagram who inspired the heck out of me. You can find her art here and here. You're welcome.

The way she blends and suggests, and negative space, and use of gouache, and interesting subject matter, and bees, and skulls, and faces, and her palette...asldkfjalskjflkjdf...!!!!

It's all wonderfully overwhelming.

So, I bravely brandished my Prismacolors and Faber-Castells and tried, this time, like Madame Amazing Colored Pencil Goddess, with kraft paper.

Here are some progress shots of a recent piece.

Marni Manning - Artist

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