Bet Borgeson begins with a concise introduction to the colored pencil medium, touching on its history and the properties that you will enjoy. She takes a look at the attributes of a range of colored pencil brands which will help you make a selection, whether as your first purchase or as additions to your existing range. She also discusses tools and equipment for the colored pencil artist, compares colored paper surfaces and looks at the paper qualities needed for drawing.
Once these practical considerations are covered, Bet goes on to explore the handling of colored pencils, layering and mixing, and special characteristics of the medium, including transparency, wax bloom and paper grain. This chapter is of particular value to those new to colored pencil, as its unique properties call for a very different approach to other mediums.
The following chapter explores the use and manipulation of color and mark-making, demonstrated with a step-by-step example showing a range of marks. Bet then does a step-by-step demonstration of a flower drawing, giving specific directions on color selection, and also looks at the use of unusual, textured paper surfaces.
Bet covers a range of essential and extended techniques including frisket film lift-off, sgraffito and impressed line, burnishing, liquid techniques and solvents, water-soluble pencils, colored papers and 'trois crayons' effects.
The final chapters of The Colored Pencil cover blocking-in (outline drawing) of complex pictures, and the care and preservation of artwork.
All up, this is an impressive book. It covers everything you need to know about technique, illustrating the concepts with excellent, detailed images that reveal paper texture and are faithful in color reproduction. The 'icing on the cake' is a wonderful range of artwork - as well as Borgeson's own, work from many other artists covers a broad range of genres, which inspire the reader with the exciting possibilities for artistic expression that the simple colored pencil offers.