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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Colored Pencils on Metal!!?? Why not!! :)

Yeppers.  Another metal experiment.  I am a little disappointed in the outcome of this experiment. But, I do think with a few adjustments, it can turn out much better.  So........ let me tell you what I did (and show the results) and then I'll tell you what I think it will take to turn out better! :)
First, I have been smitten by the notion of drawing on metal with colored pencils.  I have seen a matte black metal that is designed for drawing.  I have not ordered any of the metal because it is rather expensive.  Then I thought, why not try and make some out of what I have??!! 
I took some of my Rock Star Black metal from Ten Seconds Studio and sprayed 2 medium coats of PYMII on it.  (PYMII is an acrylic sealer.... super fabulous stuff!  Great for sealing all sorts of projects, including metal!!)  This gives the metal some "tooth" to take the colored pencil.

On the top, the PYMII coated metal.  Below (on the scrap piece of metal) colored pencil over untreated metal.

I ran the coated metal through my Big Shot Machine. (used a Cuttlebug folder.... Holly)  You can see (sorta) that I debossed the metal. (i.e. the pattern is sunk in on the front and puffed out in the back)

Then I colored in the debossed areas with colored pencil.  This is what it looks like unaltered after coloring.

This is the effect you can get if you sand the pattern after coloring. (Obviously you need to be a little more careful with your sanding!! :)

So.  Overall, I think the technique has possibilities!!  Now, how to make it better??
1) Freehand embossing should give better results.  The 90 degree (almost) angle of the Cuttlebug folder image is too sharp.  It is very difficult to color the entire image w/out getting it on the edge of the image.  You could try to use extremely sharp pencils to try and avoid this problem.  So, next time I will try to do a freehand image and I bet the results will "pop" more off the metal.

2) Two additional coats of PYMII should give a more even coloring surface.  I think the pencils will take better with a couple more coats of sealer.  Also, using lighter colors obviously will make the image contrast more w/ the black surface.

3)  Improve my coloring skills!  LOL!!  I think this technique could look really beautiful if colored by someone with a little more talent! :)

4) Just a note.  This technique could also be done with the Brrrrrrr Blue, Dark Chocolate, Barn Red, and Plum metals.  (The darker colors of metal) 

Now, I did try a little somethin' somethin' with a couple of leftover scraps.  I think these would make really cool embellishment pieces!!

I took a piece of the coated metal and used my colored pencil to emboss the image (instead of my paper stump) 
Then I sanded the image.  You can see the cool colored bits of metal under the sanded image.  I think it looks pretty nifty!

Here is another example using a very light blue pencil over the coated black metal.  Again, coooooooooooool! :)

So, overall I think my experiment has possibilities! :)   Another medium that could be used:  Chalk pencils! 
Remember that you will have to seal over the colored pencil or chalk after you finish your piece.  You can use the PYMII over non-permanent mediums.


  1. Wow, Susan this is really cool! Love how you "experiment"! lol Great stuff!

  2. Love the look of's got my mind churning with ideas!1

  3. I think the holly leaf design came out beautifully...I honestly don't see anything wrong with your coloring abilities! Hmmm....beautiful! I really love that PYMII stuff!

  4. Cool results! I have taken a class on this process and can share how it's done. Deb Karash does some beautiful work with this medium. I am not familiar with the metal you are using, I've used copper sheet; start by adding texture to the copper, patinate, and apply several thin layers of gesso. Then you can start to color, using Prisma color pencils. Between each layer of color, apply an artists fixative.

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