Category: Artwork

Adventures in Pencil Land

I’d say I’d been very bad yesterday but I really haven’t, I earned it…

Derwent Studio Pencils

I’ve been coveting a nice set of colouring pencils for a while. My Carb0thellos are great, but it’s impossible to get small fine details out of pastel pencils so I have to leap in with a box of Crayolas to save the day on the tiny bits. Last week I struggled to colour something purple with my one shade of deep dark violet, and decided to take a look to see what else was out there. I did a bit of research and was shocked at how much these pencil sets cost.

Enter Hobbycraft’s January sale; it’s not often you wander into a store and find exactly what you’re looking for at half price, or spend an hour trying to decide which set to go for before finding these tucked away at the back of the store. They were marked down at £10 cheaper than that Artist’s range, which I can only assume is because they’re less popular. Most artists look for something soft and highly blendable so while I found a sea of reviews praising Derwent’s Coloursoft range, those wouldn’t quite fit what I was looking for. In the end I narrowed it down to two ranges; Derwent Artists and Derwent Studio. The “lead” core of the two pencils is identical, but the Studio line is thinner with a hexagon shaped barrel, so they’re marketed as being for fine detail work and sound more like what I was after. Plan A was to pick up one pencil from the different ranges, give them a try and see which I liked best, but I was unlikely to find a set like this for £25 again so I just went for it. After a quick play it seems these’ll do the job just fine for me. :)

Calendar Project: July

Oh my.
Stripes and Wings - Small

Now this, *this*, is what the calendar project is supposed to be all about.

The Calendar Project was my latest attempt at a new year’s resolution to get myself drawing again. The first was “do a drawing a day” 2009. I’ve heard other artists sing the praises of this one as a way of improving, but found myself  just scribbling out a 5 second doodle at 5 to midnight just to say I’d done something. The quality was really poor and I wasn’t really learning anything. So next was “do 5 full-size drawings this year”. I botched the 3rd and stopped there. This year’s is a variation on that theme; I’m not making a calendar, but assigning a month to each drawing is an easy way to keep track of how many you’ve done. And it appears to be working.

The idea was to get myself drawing again. Most of the other sketches in the series involved me looking at the calendar, noticing I only had a week left and racking my brain for days trying to dream up a concept for something to draw. Then about a day of thinking it over and planning.

But this one was different. I was still on a tight deadline after spending too long colouring June (which was a bit of a disappointment). I left work feeling like I was in the mood to draw, picked up a pencil when I got home and just went for it. It’s the closest I’ve come to the way how I used to draw years ago, where I’d just sit in front of the TV or in my room with a sketchbook and see what came out.

Truth be told, I think a lot of it’s because you can’t really have a sketchbook at your desk at work and just drop everything for a quick sketch when an idea comes into your head. I have mountains less-than-presentable content doodled when I was at Uni, but those books are pretty empty now. Maybe this project will do the job.

3 Minute Sketch Project

My train journey to work takes 3 minutes. Ever since switching from the 20 min bus ride to work I’ve missed being able to do stuff while travelling; it’s too short a time to read anything but too dull to just stare out of the window every morning. Cue 3 minute sketch; an attempt to use the time productively with a quick little drawing to show for it at the end.

3 Minute Sketch - 13 Minute Sketch - 2

I expect most of the stuff I draw will suck a bit at first with the tight time limit, but the idea is the more I do it the better I’ll get at getting ideas down quickly.

3 Minute Sketch - 3

3 Minute Sketch - 6

3 Minute Sketch - 7

I’ve been doing it on and off for a couplea months now. Technically it turns into a 7 min sketch sometimes if I have to wait at the station but it’s all good.

3 Minute Sketch - 9

3 Minute Sketch - 103 Minute Sketch - 11

3 Minute Sketch - 12