Monday, September 27, 2010

Exploring further ways of applying color with the Faber Castell Albrecht Durer Aquarelle Srticks

Just realized that I could also sharpen the Faber Castell Albrecht Durer aquarelle sticks with the 12 mm diameter Lyra Graphite Crayon sharpener. Collected the shavings in a porcelain dish for making some color washes by adding some water.
Brush doodling with the moistened aquarelle stick shavings on Handbook journal.
Sketching with the sharpened aquarelle sticks. Drawing with the side of the sharpened tip yields broad strokes that can be easily blended with a wet brush.
Adding some washes of Lyra 2B graphite crayon shavings. I don't think this combination works, for there is just too much contrast between the darker graphite wash and the light blue/violet washes. Unlike watercolor stick shavings that dissolve completely into smooth uniform washes in the porcelain dish, the aquarelle stick shavings color washes tend to separate and the wax component tends to clump together into a harder mass surrounded by the more fluid color wash.
Doodle on white card stock using a Windsor & Newton Sceptre Gold II #4 round synthetic blend round brush.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Bit of Brush Doodling

Doodling materials: Piccadilly sketchbook, Lyra 2B graphite crayon shavings suspended in water in a porcelain dish, and Winsor & Newton Sceptre Gold II #4 round brush.
The value of the washes can be easily controlled by adjusting the amount of water loaded on the brush tuft before picking up the graphite wash.Gotta admit that drawing with a brush has a nice feeling to it. The strokes seemed to flow much more freely than my usual brush pen choices. Going to have to start using my collection of real brushes more frequently. Even like the sand-like sheen noticeable on the darkest wash sections (though the photos fail to capture that sparkle effect). The suspension of water soluble graphite shavings also washed off more easily from the brush hairs than regular India ink.
Video 1 and Video 2. This was the perfect opportunity to test a recently fixed Winsor & Newton Series 7 Kolisnky #7 round brush. Its ferrule had become wobbly on its wooden handle, so I had to glued them back together.
I'm pretty happy that the Super Glue fixed this Series 7 round brush and continue to find the Lyra graphite crayons quite fun to play with.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Derwent Sketching Pencil quick comparison to other watersoluble pencil options

A question from a reader from India prompted me to conduct these quick tests of the Derwent Water Soluble Sketching pencils on a Piccadilly sketchbook (which might not have been the best choice for wet media given its lack of sizing, so I guess I will have to make another post using watercolor or wet media paper sometime)Comparison between Derwent Sketching HB, 4B, and 8B wash pencils and the Caran D'Ache Technalo 3.8 mm watersoluble graphite lead. The Technalo marks blended more easily and smoothly upon contact with the wet brush. The Derwent HB and 4B did not seem to dissolve as readily and much of the original pencil marks remained after scrubbing them with the wet brush.
Dry comparison between Derwent Sketching 8B dark wash pencil and the Faber Castell Albrecht Durer 199 Black watercolor pencil. The Derwent Sketching 8B retained its sharp point longer than the softer watercolor lead, felt very smooth on the paper, and it was also easier to erase. The Albrecht Durer watercolor pencil point got blunt quickly, so it might not be as efficient a choice for rendering fine details.
After blending with a wet brush. Both sketched marks dissolved quite easily into tonal washes. The watercolor pencil lines turned a darker black when wet while the Derwent Sketching 8B marks yielded a tad lighter gray wash. While you could use the watercolor pencil for sketching in a pinch, the Derwent Water Soluble Sketching pencils would be the more versatile choice for smooth sketching of detail-rich illustrations with the option of dissolving some the marks at will with a wet brush.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Review of Global Art Flexi-Sketch blank sketchbook by Handbook Journal Co.

Picked up this 6"X6" orange Global Art Flexi-Sketch blank sketchbook by Handbook Journal Co. a while ago rounding up a Blick's order, and finally got around testing it a bit. Even cracked open a new Staedtler Mars Technical Drawing Pen set for the occasion.
This blank sketchbook was made in Malaysia.
The pages needed some extra weight to hold the sketchbook open, so initially the Flexi-Sketch did not lie flat when open. It does feel flexible, and its covers are quite pleasant to the touch. Though I suspect that they are not likely to withstand rough handling. If you are hard on your supplies, you should probaly get a hardbound sketchbook with sturdy rigid covers instead.
Naturally the pages readily accepted graphite tools, and even withstood a light wash applied with a waterbrush.
Ink marks reference chart using a variety of brush pens and pigment liners. None of them cause any bleed through the back of the sheet.
Caran D'Ache Pablo colored pencil reference chart. Pleasant surface for working with colored pencils that come across quite vibrant on this bright paper.
Copic marker ink bled through this paper, so it would probably be best to avoid using these markers on this sketchbook to avoid wasting valuable ink or damaging the unprotected pages below. The Flexi-Sketch pages readily accepted dry media and could even handle light washes, so it could make a fine doodling pad at the studio. Yet given its signature flexible paper covers, it does not feel sturdy enough to function effectively in a field sketching kit.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Got a new 18" Metal Straight Edge

Since my old 18" aluminum ruler recently got lost with a supply cart. I had to find a replacement to safely measure and trim some of my drawing papers.
Figured might as well upgrade from my previous flat metal ruler, and get a model with a thicker cutting guard to protect my fingers form a runaway X-Acto blade: enter the Alumicutter
Side view. While I safely rested my fingers in the groove behind its elevated cutting edge, I could easily move my sharp knife alongside it. Less chance of slicing one's fingers = more time for drawing happily ever after.