Featured artist: Ranjini Venkatachari

Self Reflection, 12x9, colored pencil on Ampersand Pastelbord


Washington-based colored pencil artist, Ranjini Venkatachari, has shared her work with us and also her process of working on Pastelbord. She explains why Pastelbord's surface has worked so easily for her style and experimentation. "I like working on surfaces that have a little bit of texture compared to smooth ones like a hotpress paper. I do not make my work look completely smooth, I really like the texture of the board showing through to some extent in the end."

Epiphany, at the UKCPS show pastel on Ampersand Pastelbord


With Pastelbord, Ranjini uses the grit in the surface to blend her Neocolors and colored pencils, working with a stiff bristle brush. She has also mastered a technique to correct mistakes by working through the layers of pigment down to the grit of the surface, which remains intact. "If there is a mistake in the Neocolor layer, the board can be cleaned off with just plain water. If I have something to erase after I have started the colored pencil on top of the Neocolors, I use a battery operated eraser. Even if you have to get through a painted Neocolor layer, the battery-operated eraser easily gets right through and the grit still remains to add color on top."


Pastelbord has even inspired Ranjini to test oil pastels and to combine her colored pencils with soft pastel. She originally began working in graphite, because she has always had a tendency for drawing. Pencils are portable, easy to clean up, and little health risk. So, it was natural for her to gravitate to colored pencil once she moved to the United States from India in 2003.

Line Drawing, Necolor II, then Colored Pencil on top on Ampersand Pastelbord


When she first began using colored pencils, Ranjini was working on paper. However quality materials, in both Pastelbord and Neocolor II, dramatically changed her work. She was able to work more quickly, layer the colored pencil as she was accustomed and work in both wet and dry media together. Plus, no framing is needed! Ranjini finishes her work with 4-8 coats of Lascaux fixative and then sprays with a Damar/UV varnish. To see more of Ranjini's work, visit her website.

Cherry Delight, 9x12, Ampersand Pastelbord

Check out this video demo of Ranjini's work on Pastelbord:


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