Colored Pencil: Drawing with Impact and Confidence with Rhonda Nass

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Colored Pencil: Drawing with Impact and Confidence with Rhonda Nass

June 22 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

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Colored Pencil: Drawing with Impact and Confidence with Rhonda Nass

Thousands of us who began playing with colored pencils have become professional artists exhibiting in galleries around the world. It’s a new day for colored pencil. This workshop is geared to give you—a novice, veteran or professional–added colored pencil skills that offer meticulous detail, wide value range and color accuracy beyond the ordinary. We’ll review contemporary colored pencil artworks, go over various application techniques, but focus on a unique (“airplane”) stroke and a unique process of layering from light to dark, create a permanent referable visual aid to ensure your ability to match any color you may need to replicate, develop the means to get atypical lighter, brighter colors on dark paper, then begin a custom drawing—your concept, subject and design–which you’ll complete in your own space at your own pace beyond the workshop hours.

The skills added to your pool in this workshop:

*drawing dramatic, well-composed colored works on dark paper

*becoming proficient in the airplane stroke

*feathering coverage for seamless transition from color to color and from pencil color to paper color

*making a color match strip as part of a system kept for all future works to ensure matching color…NO guesswork

*introducing brighter/lighter values beyond that possible with dry pencil by painting a water soluble, white colored pencil foundation in a few isolated areas

*approaching any new drawing with confidence because all previous skills listed are “scientifically” repeatable

*growing in patience! That frees you to focus on the creativity and effective communication via your art. Yay!


Paper (Ground): Preferably Canson Mi-Teintes or any paper as smooth in surface as Canson Mi-Teintes paper– no bumps or surface relief. If you are considering selling the original work, the ground paper should also be acid free. Purchase navy, burgundy, dark green or dark brown paper determined by the majority of color in your subject matter or if you wish maximum drama, choose Stonehenge Black paper. No light-colored papers, please.


One drawing pencil with which you’ll do pencil roughs (your preference; I usually use 2H, H, or HB)

PLUS: Prismacolor or another professional brand of soft colored pencil (not water-soluble unless listed)


2 white (#938)

1 black (#935)

1 slate grey (#936); color looks bluish

1 black grape (#996)

1 cream (#914)

1 indigo blue (#901)

1 terra cotta (#944)

1 water-soluble white colored pencil (Faber Castell Albrecht Durer or Caran D’Ache Supracolor II Soft)

Additional pencils will be available for purchase @$1.50 in class once we decide your subject and color needs.

Other Materials:

One kneaded eraser

One excellent red sable watercolor brush–the brush is called bright and sized #1, #0, #00, OR #00 (only one needed);

I use Winsor Newton Series 7 Kolinsky Sable, but anything equivalent that holds an excellent tip will work.

An excellent pencil sharpener, preferably electric. This is KEY!!! You’ll need a precision pencil point.

A clamp-on light or table lamp and magnifying glass if you normally use one for meticulous work

Soft cotton rag on which to wipe the pencil tip after sharpening


Lots of patience 🙂

Please be thinking about what you would like to “say” through your drawing. Throughout this class, I’ll be reminding you to make choices of subject matter, composition, lighting, etc. that best reinforce what you wish to communicate to the viewer, so please bring your chosen subject which has attracted you (and most likely the reason it attracted you is what you would like to convey to your viewers). If plants, they can be living or dried specimens. Let’s stay away from taxidermic subjects. Photography you shot (many photographs from which you’ll pick and choose from multiples) is preferable. Do not use others’ photography unless you have their permission; that includes off the web. For those who have not taken a class with me before, please choose a non-complex subject matter with a close perspective–not more than 3 elements and not too texturally complicated–for this first piece with this technique, so your efforts can be focused on gaining expertise in the technique before adding other challenges (e.g. a blossom with portion of leaf rather than a landscape). Know that this technique is time-consuming, so your subject should not change/grow substantially in several weeks/months, depending on your drawing time.


Cost: $210

Ages 16+

Class and Room Package (including 2-3 hotel nights): for a total of $430-$540 (at a discounted rate through River Arts)


June 22
9:00 am - 4:00 pm
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