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  • Writer's pictureKevin Roeckl

Studio Tour: A very old box of colored pencils

I’ve been working on a portrait that will be given as a surprise gift so I can’t show it to you yet. So in the meantime I’m going to share a few other interesting tidbits about my art studio, and how I work.

When I began working with Prismacolor and Spectracolor colored pencils back in the late 1970’s I kept stocked-up with several extras of each color…which I put in this cardboard box. When a pencil is worn down to a short stub, I replace it from this box, and note it on my inventory lists which are organized by color group. When I periodically re-order art supplies, I check those inventory lists to see which colors I am getting low on.

I have hauled this cardboard box around with me through multiple studio moves, to multiple towns and two different states, for about 40 years. I still have some of the earliest pencils I bought, in this box: colors I haven’t yet used up. I have colors that are no longer made, some which haven’t been made for years. I mourn when I use up the last of those, because there is no colored pencil made today that matches them exactly. I am even still using some “Spectracolor” pencils, a brand similar to Prismacolor which have not been made since 1999.

This box of pencils weighs almost 10 pounds. I also have all my greys in a separate container…a tall cylindrical cookie tin.

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