As much as it pains me, I had to start over on the piece “Against the Clock.”  Unfortunately, I had the very same problem with this piece as I did with “Sworn to Protect” – the colored pencil stopped layering and started coming off of the paper.  Now, I’m pretty sure that it isn’t my technique.  I’ve been very careful to use a very sharp pencil and a light touch.  I hardly had any layers of color on the paper and was far from the burnishing process!

I suspect that there are two reasons for this problem:

  • Stonehenge is too soft and smooshy (there are actually quite a few artists who complain about this aspect of Stonehenge and refuse to use it as their substrate).
  • Prismacolor pencils no longer have the same quality now that they are being made in Mexico.

This time I am using Strathmore 500 Mixed Media Board and Faber-Castell Polychromos and Caran d’Ache Pablos pencils.  These products cost a lot more than the Stonehenge paper and Prismacolor pencils, but so far they totally seem to be worth it!!

I started this new piece about two weeks ago.  Here is what I have so far:AGAINST_vs2_3.15.13


2 thoughts on “Sigh

  1. Hi Michelle, haven’t conversed with you in awhile. I’ve settled on Arches 140lb hot press bright white watercolor paper. The hot press gives me a smoother surface than the cold press. And combined with the 140lb…wow, I can pile on the layers and beat that paper up. I can also use the amount of water application that I like to do without having to prepare the paper. I have a few samples of other papers from a class here or there but, honestly, I don’t want to spend the investment testing out an unknown surface.

    I finally bought a battery operated eraser and wish I’d done that a year ago. I saw your studio displayed in a cp magazine a bit ago but can’t remember which one. I thought, oh, I know her! I’ve been interested in print on demand websites lately and am preparing a space on fineartamerica. Have you tried a POD site? My address is below. As it is not yet ‘public’ you have to dial exactly to the address…you can’t search for it.

    I take it you like WordPress? I looked up comparison articles on WordPress vs Blogger but I’m not sure I want or need to switch yet. Why did you switch? Do you know exactly which ‘version’ of WordPress you are using?

    I’m glad I’m on your email list.

    Melissa Hadcock

    Sent from my iPad

  2. Hi Melissa!

    Great to hear from you again!!

    I’ll have to give the Arches paper a try. So far I’ve been pretty pleased with the mixed media board that I’m using for “Against the Clock ” (take two).

    My studio was featured in Colored Pencil Magazine (

    I’ve never tried a POD site. Checked yours out and was very impressed! Have you ordered a print for yourself to see what the quality is like?

    I decided to use WordPress instead of Blogger because I think they have better layout/template choices.

    Missed you at the workshop in Chippewa Falls last October! I assume that you and your mom couldn’t make it? It was very good and I think Alan is an excellent teacher.

    -Michelle 🙂

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