Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Fairy Sketching and Watercolor Pencil Review

I have been working on a few fairy sketches. They are reproductions of the famous sketches by Cecile Mary Barker. I have always loved her drawings, so I was excited to start this new project, knowing full well that I could never really do her artwork any Justice.

But, I love a challenge!

Just recently, my daughter has decided on a fairy themed birthday party. We have been brainstorming on how we would like to capture the fairy-like atmosphere (coming from a theatrical background, "set building" is the first thing that we always think about).

Our first task was to start on the invitations. I always enjoy hand making our invites... so we decided to sketch our favorite fairies, and mount them onto a pastoral background. I am only part way through sketching and hand painting, but hope to finish the whole project by this weekend so I can mail them out.

To capture the soft, dainty look of Miss Barker's fairies, I knew that I would have to use watercolors. I decided that this was as good a time as any to start playing with watercolor pencils. I have been hesitant at the prospect of using them, because I am a bit backwards, and enjoy using paints and a palette . Give me an easel and artist's chapeau and I am all set.

Being in a playful and very experimental mood. I purchased the Generals Kimberly set of watercolor pencils. It is not the most expensive set, but it is a higher quality brand. Being reluctant to spend the full amount on something that I was unsure about, I purchased a smaller set.

Here is a picture of one of the rough sketches that I have started out with. When using watercolors, I try not to sketch a tremendous amount of detail or shading. This is something better left for your colors to do. I have not defined or hardened any lines on these particular sketches. Miss Barker's sketches are so wistful and airy, that any "heaviness" would result in complete change in style. I have tried to remain true to the texture, look and feel of the original artist's look.

This is a picture of the final work. This picture, in particular is of the lilac fairy. I was very impresses with the Kimberly brand watercolor pencils. They were easy to work with and blend very well. I was reluctant to use full pressure when shading with these pencils. Again, when trying to recreate the lightness of Miss Barker's pictures... Less is more.

I fully recommend these watercolor pencils for beginners. A quality product is so important. I know that often times, we hesitate in buying the most expensive art products for our children.

My kids have a habit of being a little "loose and free" with their art supplies, and I am so against the wasting of art materials. Still, it is important to note that better quality art supplies make for higher quality art work. My children are so excited about working with "special" materials, that their excitement is reflected in their artwork. Their talent and love for the fine arts never ceases to amaze me.

Stay tuned their Oil pastel hummingbirds!!


  1. These are lovely. What a beautiful birthday it will be!

  2. Nice post - watercolor pictures ..Keep Posting

    watercolor pictures

  3. Nice post - pictures of pencils ..Keep Posting

    pictures of pencils

  4. Hi, Just found your site searching for paper puppets. Here is a craft for you. I just found the site www.pheemcfaddell.com These are beautiful fairy puppets and coloring pages. I will be using these for Christmas presents for my 2 little girls. I'm also going to make a "fairy box" for them to store these in and hopefully a large foldable background. Hope this gives you some ideas with your kids.

  5. Hi!
    Although this doesn't apply to your post per se, I just wanted to invite you to "Kids say the darndest things Friday" blog hop at:
    We’d love to have you join the fun and share your stories. I’m sure that you have some real gems!
    In Christ,

  6. wow..nice piece of art...love it...

    keep it up..

    bestessays is what I am hoping for..



comments welcome :)

"A truly good book teaches me better than to read it. I must soon lay it
down, and commence living on its hint. What I began by reading, I must finish by
acting."- Henry David Thoreau.

“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”
-Proverbs 22:6