I have always been fascinated with writing tools– pens of all types, markers, and crayons– but pencils were never that exciting. Always the same shade of gray. Going to the office supply store for new writing implements was always my favourite part of back to school shopping because I could pick out new pens in exciting colours for note-taking.
As an adult, my love for colourful writing tools hasn’t gone away and I think it’s one of the things that draws me to mixed-media art. There is a writing tool (or two, or three) for anything you want to do. So you can imagine my excitement when Crystal Neubauer introduced me to Liquid Pencil and I discovered it comes in many colours!
It wasn’t at all what I expected. I was expecting a pen-like object with graphite coloured ink flowing through it (similar to the Sharpie Liquid Pencils from several years ago). But instead, Crystal presented what looked to be tube water colours of a creamy graphite in a variety of shades of gray. Some were tinted slightly with colours like green, red and blue.
In her quick introductory demonstration, Crystal focuses on the very basics of liquid pencil as it applies to her style of collage work. It can easily be spread with a palette. You can leave it thick in some places for a bit of dimensional texture, or you can spread it thin to add a hint of shading.
Liquid Pencil (by Derivan) comes in two forms: “rewettable,” as they call it, and permanent. While we didn’t try adding water to our Liquid Pencil, I can imagine the possibilities this creates! I really want to grab a damp brush and pull it along the lines of graphite above, just like I would with tube watercolors. I’ve been doing a lot of mark making lately.