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Colored pencil on metal

BASICS_colored pencil 1
Figure 1
Colored pencils are an easy way to add surprisingly durable color to metal jewelry components. As long as you prepare the metal properly, use artist-quality materials, and seal the finish, you can exert complete control over the final color of your piece.

Use coarse-grit sandpaper (at least 80-grit) to sand the metal thoroughly with a circular motion (Figure 1). Make sure there are no smooth spots left on your metal.
BASICS_colored pencil 2
Figure 2
Paint a thin coat of acrylic gesso onto the metal (Figure 2), and let it dry. Try to avoid creating brush strokes. Apply additional coats of gesso until the metal is completely covered, letting the gesso dry between layers. After the final coat, let the gesso dry thoroughly (at least an hour). This is important because if you start drawing on the gesso before it’s dry, you can easily scratch through it, and it won’t bond with the metal as well.
BASICS_colored pencil 3
Figure 3
Slowly build up the layers of colored pencil, starting with the lightest colors first (Figure 3). You can draw a recognizable form, or add color in a more all-over treatment, similar to a patina. Don’t press too hard with the pencil, or your colors may become “muddy” and begin to flake. Eventually, the layer of colored pencil will thicken and won’t accept more color. To add more color, lightly spray your piece with artists’ workable fixative (available at art/craft stores), and let it dry thoroughly before continuing to color.

Add 5–6 light coats of matte spray sealant, letting it dry between coats.
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