Preparing for winter sketching


Autumn is upon us, and my drawing materials are starting to give me some problems. The Platinum Carbon Black ink that I usually fill my fountain pens with, is hard to use when the temperature goes below 10°C or so. It takes forever to dry in low temperatures, and I keep laying my hand in it, smearing the lines. But this is easy to fix, I´ll just use waterproof fineliners instead when drawing outdoors. They don´t give me quite the same feeling as a fountain pen, but they are ok. I can live with them.

What is harder to take is the fact that the watercolours also take forever to dry in the cold. I love the versatility of watercolours, they give me the possibility to mix any colour I want, and if I let go of some control, I can get an enormous amount of variations and surprises from them. Plus they are very easy to carry with you. Now I am realising I have to find another solution for the coming winter.


I started experimenting last year with using large grayscale PITT Artist´s pens for drawing outdoors in the cold, because big tools are easier to hold with mittens on. But I must say I missed the colours after a while. I could just buy some coloured PITT pens, but I decided to go for these these Koh-I-Noor Hardtmuth Magic coloured pencils instead. Very lightweight, and short, so they´re easy to fit into a pen case in the bag. They are a bit bigger than usual pencils, so should be ok to hold even with mittens. (I coloured the Eldorado at home, simply because I forgot to put the pencils in my bag when I headed out. Plus, my fingers were frozen by the time the ink drawing was done…)

But what I like most about these pencils is the fact that each coloured lead inside the pensils consists of several colours, sometimes tones of the same colour (for exampe light, middle and dark blue) and sometimes more varied mixes, such as the yellow-pink-red in the photo above. Drawing with them gives a little more variation and a little less control than the usual coloured pencils, and this suits me fine. You´ll be seeing some more of these on this blog during the cold season ahead of us.

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