1/ What is this website For ?2/ A gentle warning3/ Site History4/ The site is UK based5/ Site Search Engine6/ HOW DOES THE SITE WORK ?
We have a regular readership of around 50,000 unique monthly visitors to the site ( and still growing )The average reader looks at between 2 and 3 pages on the site each time they call inso that is around 120,000 pages a month accessedfrom over 100 countries across the World.You are a welcome member of the Friends of ‘Pencil Topics’,There is no subscription, no membership feeYou just have to turn up ! Feel free to contact me with any questions ( obvious or otherwise ) and the answers may well add further to the site contents in due course. There is a ‘Facebook’ group dedicated to readers of the sitePencil Topics TalkThis is a closed group, so you have to apply to join, but it is quite active and, from time to time, an online tutorial is run where a picture is worked and discussed by the group.See the ‘Topics Talk’ page later in the site for more information 2/ A GENTLE WARNING !What you read here is a personal view . These notes have been assembled from personal experience, information in books, magazines, discussions with other artists on Internet Forums and from speaking to other artists over some 20 years. Where I know an original source, I have given it, But in many cases the origin is no longer known and I apologise in advance if, on the odd entry, I have not acknowledged an outside source I may have used or if I infringe any copyright. The images here are mostly all mine. Those that are not, have the artist’s name quoted. If you see something here that you know should have an acknowledgement, please tell me and I will put it right straight away.Where a site page looks at products, it describes those available in the UK at the time of writing. Please check the foot of each page to see the date of the last page revision. You may need to bear this in mind if you are looking for the most up to date information and you are seeing prices quoted.The information here is made available in good faith with the intention of providing a freely accessible resource on a specialist subject for those starting out in this interesting art medium. The site is no more infallible than I am ! 3/ THE SITE IS BASED in the UK and looks at the UK market. HOWEVER, around two thirds of the visitors to the site are from outside the UK, and a high proportion (nationally) logging in each month is from the USA. To my readers from that big world outside, I hope that you find the content of the site useful. It is written purely from a UK perspective, however, so some products you are familiar with may not yet have found their way to the UK, and vice versa !!If you read the site content with the aid of a translation tool - like the Google translator - then you may find that some of the pages have images obscuring the text. In the original version these pages are correctly laid out and all the text is visible, but translation can make the text longer and therefore in some languages the layout becomes changed. I have no control over this, I am afraid. It would be a major task to lay out all the pages to be sure that all languages are catered for !I check translated pages from time to time and re-arrange the layout to take account of regularly used alternate languages (like Spanish and French) so if you find a particular page especially annoying with missing words, let me know and I will try to do something about it.All the text in the site is now laid out as ‘text’ - no text is a graphic - so all text should be able to be translated.In 2017, the new design of the site also gives text more space, but only time will tell if the translation problem has been solved.THIS WEB SITE Was launched in 2009 and has been ‘WORK IN PROGRESS’ ever sinceFrom an initial 12 pages it grew to over 200 The whole site has been revised several times and more recently the number of pages reduced, but at the same time lengthened so that the same amount of information was included. In 2017 we learned that the software used for writing and maintaining the site had been discontinued. This raised the possibility that it could suddenly be impossible to carry out any maintenance if the computerused here had to be replaced, as alternative software would have to be used and the site might have to be re-written from scratch at short notice.The opportunity has been taken to do a substantial cut back on the number of pages on the site and concentrateon the areas of most importance, but archiving the old site and leaving it still available to those who wish to delve into the ancient depths. The new site will be less than half the size of the old one but will hold all the essentialsThe old site will gradually become out of date but still, I hope, be useful.BELOW on this page we have a link to an internal Google search engine (which generally finds things, but is not perfect).The first two or three search results may be adverts, so bear that in mind when you use it.The link below takes you directly to the pagePlease let me know if you spot any bugs in the system, or areas where presentation could be improved. Enjoy using the resourceThank You.SO HOW DOES THE SITE WORK ?You will have already seen that at the top left of every page is a set of navigation buttons in blue.This gives access to each of the main Sections of the site and also enables you to get back to each of the initial pages of each section and the home page, wherever you are.Every page should show this blue navigation panel.Each section has it’s own separate navigation to find your way around the individual Topics. Those buttons are on the top right of each topic page and only access the topics within that section. The right hand side navigation buttons are a different design in each section.In the old site, there were a large number of step by step exercises that had been added over the years. These have now been reduced to a few essential ones, and appear together in a ‘Step by Step’ topic in the Tutorial section here. However, all the original step by step exercises still exist on the old archived site which is freely available on the parallel internet address ( www.colouredpenciltopics.co.uk). The old archived site was written on an old software programme and is no longer revised and updated. You may need to use a PC or Tablet to read the pages - they may not be readable on a Mobile Phone. The old exercises were spread over the pages and sections of the old site, but the current collection are now all indexed together on this site under ‘Tutorials’.Some of the Topics on the old site had little or no readership in the 8 years examined, so these have been dropped to simplify the core of information and ease updating. Some of the old facilities like the colour comparison charts took up a lot of bandwidth to include the many big PDF files and these took a lot of work to keep up to date. Those have also now been dropped, as in many cases the Internet offers fully up to date equivalents at modest cost. Where I know of a good equivalent, I have noted the details and provided a link.I hope that you find the new design of the site easy to get around and that if you are an ‘old’ reader of the information here, you can still find what you came to look for. It may take a little while for the Google search engines to locate the new information and if you are totally lost, please feel free to refer to the old archived copy.November 2017
1/ WHAT IS THIS WEBSITE FOR and why does it exist ?Those coming new to the joys of Coloured Pencil can find it difficult to locate a collection of notes to guide them through the basics - the essential nformation that long standing users of pencils can take for granted. This website tries to provide just such a collection.Back in 2007 I was handing out notes to my course students covering the points we had discussed in the course sessions, and I found that the notes needed regularly updating - which resulted in piles of scrap paper and untold numbers of printer cartridges being used up. I already ran a couple of websites and it struck me that it would be a good idea to transfer the pencil notes to a new web site so that they could be updated whenever necessary at a very modest cost, and past students could readily refer to the most up to date copies of each sheet whenever they wanted.In January 2009 the earliest full version of the site was established and publicised only to current and past students.Since then the site has grown and as each course has run, a fresh set of pages has been added. The site has also been re-written several times until it is as you see it now. Along the way we have been picked up by various search engines and a number of friendly sites have linked their pages to www.penciltopics.co.uk.The site does not sell anything and does not ask for money. The information is free to read and use and the tutorials included in the site are also free to use.I still undertake courses at Knuston Hall, Wellingborough, Northamptonshire,...... in the UK I have to say that as I now have more readers outside the United Kingdom than within it . I add further pages of notes to the site, following each course.