My main mediums these days are watercolor and colored pencil. I love how each one allows me to express myself vibrantly. You'll rarely see a monochromatic piece of art from me! Not that there is anything wrong with a single color - I happen to have many favorite artists who keep is simple. But when I want to create something, the more color I use, the more it keeps my own attention while making.

Here are a few reasons why I love each medium:


1. It's easy - every child remembers a white crayola watercolor strip with 8 colors and a blunt paintbrush. I loved how mine was exquisitely clean before I touched it, but became so disgruntled when I was messy and muddied the pallete. All that to say: almost everyone has tried watercolor at some point or another, and the results are usually satisfactory. Even a kid can paint with it!

2. It's vibrant (depending on how you use it) - I love that watercolor can be watered down and dreamy, but when I use it, I try to keep it popping!

3. Layers, layers, layers - ah, the magic of watercolor! You might find watercolor unforgiving because each line makes such an impression, but for me, by painting light to dark, I can interpret shadows and highlights very easily. I love how something subtle, like using the same color over an already pigmented area creates depth.

Colored pencils:

1. Control - maybe it's the control freak in me, but pencils are something I can grab and hang on to, and that's comforting.

2. Less mess - aside from all the pencil shavings, that is. I love that all my pencils fit into a small box and if it spills, it doesn't ruin anything. Also, while drawing, I rarely "smudge" it, the way that paint can be smudged.

3. Faster than oil - I tried oil a few weeks ago and thoroughly enjoyed it...except for the fact that creating one successful painting could take up to three days! I just don't have that kind of time and patience. To me, colored pencils give the depth that oil can, and I can layer without waiting for something to dry.

What are your favorite mediums?

Marni Manning - Artist

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