Looking at Different Surfaces for Polychromos Pencils

Faber Castell Polychromos Pencils

As with most Art Materials, weird and wonderfully creative effects can be achieved by mixing colour and surfaces that weren’t necessarily designed to go together. But, before you start to experiment, we thought we would suggest 4 surfaces that we know work really well with Faber Castell Polychromos Pencils for traditional style pencil drawings where graduation of colour is achieved by building up lightly applied layers of colour with no blending tools used.

Bristol Board

Polychromos on Bristol Board Bristol Board

Not quite as the name suggests, Bristol Board is a heavywweight, smooth and very white paper. As such it allows for very detailed mark-making for crisp application of colour – perfect for scientific or botanical illustration.  

Close up of Polychromos Pencils on Bristol Board

This close up of the drawing, above, shows the building up of layers of colour using gentle shading. With the almost indistinguishable, regular texture of the paper, the pencil transfers smoothly and sharp linework can be achieved with ease.

 Medium Surface Cartridge Paper

Polychromos on Medium Texture Cartridge Paper

Cartridge Paper is a staple for all those who draw being the paper that makes up most sketchbooks. It is usually an off-white/cream colour with either a smooth or slightly fibrous surface usually described as ‘medium’.

Polychromos Pencils onn Medium Surface Cartridge Paper

The Slightly fibrous surface has a subtle ‘grating’ action on the pencil shaving off more colour and giving the marks a softer, smoothly applied appearence.

Fabriano Artistico Fina

Polychromos Pencils on Fabriano Artistico

Artistsico is actually a Watercolour Paper and ‘Fina’ describes this version’s Cold Pressed or NOT surface. Watercolour papers vary rarely have bleaches added to them so most will be a natural off-white colour and a Cold Pressed Watercolour Paper has a noticeable texture.

Close up of Polychromos Pencils on Fabriano Artistico

The texture has the same ‘grating’ action on the pencil as the Medium Surface Cartridge does allowing the colour to transfer easily but also gives an interesting interruption to the mark.

Seawhite Kraft Card

Polychromos Pencils on Seawhite Kraft Card

This is a smooth, brown card which can take a wide range of media including ink and paint but is one of my favourite surfaces for Polychromos.

Close up of Polychromos Pencils on Seawhite Kraft Card

Like the Bristol Board, it allows for detail and crisp linework but the mid tone of the card allows the colour of the pencils to zing out!

Artworks shown are ‘Life Study’, ‘Bear’, copy of a section from Leonardo’s ‘Leda and the Swan’ and ‘George Bernard Shaw’ by Kim Curtis using Faber Castell Polychromos Pencils.