Upon realizing that our income will be substantially less upon retirement in the summer, I thought I’d better get the Faber-Castell Polychromos coloured pencils that have been on my wish list. I’ve been stocking up on odd things for about two years, knowing that the time would come when I can’t afford more than an inexpensive top-up of favourite colours or paper.
So I downloaded and printed the full colour chart, and then printed out which colours come in the 24, 36, and 60-pencil sets. Most of the pencils included in sets are extraneous bumph, I know this from once buying the full set of Prismacolor coloured pencils, and the Polychromos are similar in that regard, but more expensive, so it all needed to be sorted through carefully.
Then I wrote out the recommended Polychromos pencil colours from two hardcover books I own on botanical painting with coloured pencils. Then I made lists of what I needed if I bought each set, realizing the the 36 and 60 sets were well above my means and had too many odd colours I didn’t want. That left the set of 24, which contained several of my required base colours, plus a few colours I would use for things other than botanicals, like lizards for instance.
Finally, after that, I correlated it all using symbols and colours on the colour chart to make a decision. Then I honed and razored the list down to 23 extra pencils, leaving me with a purchase of 47 pencils. This took me several hours, and several hours to let it sit so I could think about it, and then some double-checking and fiddling with taking more things off the list.
Got that? Ha-ha, I used to do accounting, it’s all in the details and correlations!
Hopefully they won’t mess up the colours when picking my order at the warehouse. While gulping at the price, I feel confident that I made the right decision in getting these at a time when I could just squeak by to afford them with a strict budget and colour restraint. I am looking forward to trying them out.
I’ve got all kinds of paper, several different kinds and brands of graphite pencils, coloured pencils, bottled ink and dip pens and nibs, a few Micron markers, watercolours and watercolour pencils, Conté pencils, soft pastels, gouache, white and black gesso, a paper cutter, bookbinding threads and supplies, several sketchbooks, many art technique books, some storage, and templates and handmade journals, and lots of different brushes. Absolutely everything I ever wanted 20 years ago in the realm of wished-for art supplies.
Have heart if you’re just starting out, it takes a while to pinpoint what you want, and save for it and procure it. It literally took me 20 years from the time I first bought a set of coloured pencils to chip away and buy this and that. In the last year I spent more simply because I knew it was my last opportunity to buy anything.
Such bounty, such richness, it’s a great feeling for the days ahead.