Monday, August 1, 2011

Three Colored Crayon Technique with Robert Liberace Part II

After experimenting with the three colored crayon technique using the Verithin pencils and the prepared Twinrocker paper, Rob introduced another way of working with three colored crayons. This technique is bolder and more painterly and starts by establishing a charcoal drawing and adding hints of red (terra cotta) and finally white highlights.

For this technique he suggested using a neutral beige or gray Canson Mi-Teintes drawing paper and preparing it by layering terra cotta conte or chalk. This establishes a ground that can be rubbed into the paper and later on erased out for highlights and lighter tones. As the drawing takes shape details can be added using charcoal pencils and red pastel pencils. Brushes can be used to blend and finally highlights are added using white chalk.


Demo drawing by Robert Liberace using three colored crayon technique.


Highlights and details added to finished drawing.


Detail of the finished drawing

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Detail of one of my three colored crayon drawings.

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Finished study using three colored crayon technique. Drawing by Marie Dauenheimer.

Three Colored Crayon Technique Workshop with Robert Liberace, Studio Incamminati, Philadelphia, PA PART 1

This past weekend I spent three days at the Studio Incamminati in Philadelphia attending a workshop with Robert Liberace on the three colored crayon technique. The three colors are back, white and red (terra cotta).

This technique has been used for centuries by artists such as Hans Holbein, Peter Paul Rubens and Antoine Watteau. Below are some examples of how they used this technique.


"Young woman Looking Down" by Peter Paul Rubens, 1628.


"Sir Thomas Elyot" by Hans Holbein, 1527.

In class Rob demonstrated two techniques for using the three crayons. I will review the first technique today and the second technique tomorrow.


Three crayon technique drawing by Robert Liberace.

The first technique utilizes hard colored pencils (Prismacolor "Verithins" work well)
in black, white and terra cotta on a text weight hand made paper (Twinrocker is ideal). The paper is prepared with a light watercolor wash in yellow ochre and sealed with a coat of amber shellac (with denatured alcohol mixed in). This hardens the paper and gives it a tooth so you can layer the pencil.

Liberace 1

First stage of Rob's demo, with figure blocked in using terra cotta Verithin pencils.

Liberace 2

Second stage as Rob builds up the form using the terra cotta color and adds black.


The final stage as form is built up using terra cotta and black and white highlights are added. Highlights can also be erased out used a typewriter eraser.

marie drawing

Three crayon drawing by Marie Dauenheimer.

Back to blogging

After a blogging hiatus I am now ready to return to the process. I am working on a posting now about a Three Colored Crayon Technique Workshop i attended this past week. Other postings in the pipeline include a review of an Italian Master Drawing exhibition at the national Gallery of Art and an amazing edition of Vesalius' Da Fabrica in my home library. Thanks for following!