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Key Components of a Successful Colored Pencil Composition

Koh-I-Noor Featured Artist, Ranjini Venkatachari recently picked up her colored pencils to create a still life of silver objects, which can be a detailed and complicated subject to draw. Here are some of her invaluable tips and insights in creating a striking and rich composition.

"I love painting and drawing silver objects. People always ask me what colors I use to get a realistic rendition of the silver metals. There is never a simple answer. One thing I can definitely say is what it is not. It is definitely not just shades of grey. There are a few things that I recommend you keep in mind when drawing silver objects..."

1. Drawing - Your initial drawing is key to understanding the object and its reflections. So make sure you have the perfect drawing before you start to apply color.

2. Proportions - Keep your proportions geometrically correct. This is very critical for the object to look realistic.

3. Color - All metal surfaces will reflect the colors around them. There is always a painting within the painting when there is a reflective surface. So make sure you add in the colors & reflection from the environment the object is placed in.

Ranjini chose a rich palette of purple and dark blue to add an element of visual drama. The dark blue, especially if it’s cooler in tone, makes the purple appear more sophisticated.

Purple also works well with warm neutrals like tan and warm yellow since they are complements. The whole palette gives a sense of mystery that sets the tone for a narrative.

To learn more about her colored pencil technique please check out her classes and workshops

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