Tuesday, 17 January 2017

A Comparison Between Coloured Pencils

Why so many Coloured Pencils?

We are often asked why we carry such a large range of coloured pencils. But what is the difference anyway? Here is a quick review of 8 of our most popular pencils, which we hope will help you to choose the coloured pencils most suited to your needs. Each of the pencils featured are available individually in a choice colours or in a set of assorted colours.

We made our samples below on smooth hot pressed watercolour paper.

A comparison of coloured pencils

Derwent Tinted Charcoal

The pencil core looks and feels exactly like charcoal which does not split or splinter. It is made from tinted compressed charcoal for a choice of earthy tones ideal for landscapes. The pencil strokes give the same familiar whisper on paper as all dry chalky media and the charcoal marks are easily smudged or blended. The charcoal core is naturally water-soluble.

Derwent Tinted Charcoal Pencil

The cedar wood casings are painted at the end of the pencil to give an indication of the pencil lead colour.

Stabilo Carbothello Pastel Pencils

Stabilo state that this chalk-pastel coloured pencil has a wonderfully dry and dusty stroke, just like charcoal. The pencils are very similar in performance to Derwent Tinted Charcoal pencils. The large choice of highly pigmented colours are bright and clean. The chalky core is naturally water-soluble.

Stabilo Carbothello Pastel Pencil

The wood casings are painted along the shaft to give an indication of the pencil lead colour.

Caran d'Ache Luminance 6901

The creamy lead feels satisfyingly smooth and leaves a mark with very little pressure. Caran d'Ache claim that these superb pencils are "the most light fast permanent colour pencil ever designed". They certainly are the best of the permanent colour pencils in our test. The highly pigmented, opaque colours lend themselves well to overlaying, mixed media and gradation.

Caran d'Ache Luminance 6901 Pencil

The cedar wood casings are painted at the end of the pencil in the same colour as the pencil lead.

Caran d'Ache Pablo

The pencil lead transfers colour smoothly and with little effort. There is no grittiness or resistance on the paper and colours blend well. The sharpened lead leaves a fine detailed mark. The lead resists water and is used to include permanent detail with water-soluble pencils or watercolour paints.

Caran d'Ache Pablo Pencil

The hexagonal cedar wood casings are painted the same colour as the lead and stop the pencil from rolling away.

Derwent Coloursoft

A soft blendable lead which is slightly more sticky than the other pencils tested. The pencil was tried on a variety of papers and performed best on the papers with more "tooth". Performance was adequate to good on the smoother surfaces.

Derwent Coloursoft Pencils

The cedar wood casings are painted a reddish brown and the end of the pencil is painted the same colour as the pencil lead.

Caran d'Ache Supracolor II

The Supracolor pencils feel similar to the Pablo pencils. Supracolor are water-soluble and can be used with permanent pencils to add a wash. These coloured pencils are used alongside watercolour paints or in mixed media work. The pigment dissolves quickly when water is applied.

Caran d'Ache Supracolor II Pencil

The hexagonal cedar wood casings are painted the same colour as the lead and stop the pencil from rolling away.

Cretacolor Aqua Monolith Water-soluble Woodless

A solid stick of water-soluble crayon covered in a thin film of lacquer, the Cretacolor Aqua Monolith is a delight to hold and handle. The sharpened lead provides a fine detailed line and the "lead" glides smoothly to quickly colour areas from light to dark, depending on the pressure applied. The pigment is soluble in water although as an aquarelle it is not as good as Supracolor II Soft or Derwent Inktense.

Cretacolor Aqua Monolith Water-soluble Woodless Pencil

A slightly thinner but heavier pencil than the wood pencils, the entire pencil (apart from the fine lacquer coating) being made from pigment. Pencil shavings can be dissolved in water to use as paint.

Derwent Inktense

The best of the water-soluble coloured pencils! Used dry, the pencil is a little resistant on the paper and less smooth than some of the other colour pencils, although the colours transfer well. The "lead" is a special formula, when wetted dissolves quickly into a vibrant ink, which is permanent when dry. This allows for layers of colour washes and other exciting techniques.
The pencils can also be used for "painting" on silk and other fabrics as the marks are permanent when the pigment has dissolved and dried.

Derwent Inktense Pencil

The cedar wood casings are painted blue and the end of the pencil is painted the same colour as the pencil lead.

Water Soluble Coloured Pencils

Here are the results of the three water soluble pencils tested. The Derwent Inktense coloured pencils and the Caran d'Ache Supracolor dissolved very easily and the colour spreads readily. The Cretacolour Aqua Monolith took slightly longer to dissolve.

Water soluble coloured pencils

Browse the George Weil website for the full range of drawing and coloured pencils >

Friday, 30 September 2016

Painting with Derwent Inktense Blocks & Pencils

These water soluble drawing blocks and pencils can be use in countless different ways to create colourful artwork. Just add water to Derwent Inktense Blocks or Pencils to produce deep and vibrant permanent, waterproof ink colours on paper or fabric. If you choose to draw on fabric, your designs on cotton or silk will be hand washable at 30°C.

Different Ways of Colouring with Inktense Blocks & Pencils

Inktense can be used "dry on dry". When used on textured paper, the soft creamy consistency tends to grab at the peaks while leaving lower areas without colour. To improve coverage, build up the colour in layers and blend with a tortillion, paper stump or blender pencil.Derwent Inktense Blocks

Transform the dappled effect of the dry drawing by painting over with a brush and water. This will dissolve the pencil marks and turn them into permanent ink. Subsequently the colours can be moved around with the brush to blend and completely cover the surface. When the ink is dry it will become waterproof so that further layers of colour can be added.

For permanent lines, use the Inktense Outliner pencil. It is made from non-soluble graphite and can be used with Inktense to provide permanent shading or outlines. In fact, this useful pencil can be utilised with any water-soluble media.

Used in the same way as a watercolour pan, ink colours can also be lifted directly from the Inktense Block or Pencil with a wetted paintbrush. Altenatively, the paper or fabric can be brushed or sprayed with water and Inktense applied directly onto the wet surface. Rubbing an Inktense Block with sandpaper creates fine dust which immediately dissolves into puddles of colour on the wet surface.

Painting with Powdered Derwent Inktense Blocks

The Derwent XL Sprinkler makes light work of grating a little powdered colour from an Inktense Block. Place the sprinkler over a palette dish or saucer to collect the powder and gently rub the Inktense Block over the grid.

Either add water to the powder and mix to make a solution or wet a brush to dissolve a little of the powder from the palette. Remember, the powder only becomes permanent ink once it is has been made completely soluble by the water.

The smooth cartridge paper below has buckled from the water. Choose a good quality watercolour paper for the best results.

Visit the George Weil website to browse the full range of colours from Derwent Inktense