Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Sketchbook Wednesday #5 - Derwent Drawing Pencils

 Something different this week.  Not only am I sharing a sketch of a different subject in a different medium but the format of this post is a bit instructional.

I decided to try something different this week and made a sketch of a landscape and using Derwent Drawing Pencils instead of my usual pens, markers and/or watercolor cars and trucks. Derwent drawings pencils are similar to colored pencils but there are a couple subtle yet important differences in their properties which I'll cover later.

drawing nature field tree bush art

This is the finished sketch, a nature landscape featuring a tree, bushes and a grassy field foreground.  As you can see I used only warm tones, I feel warm tones work best for landscapes, except maybe for a winter scene of course.  All of the colors available in the Drawing Pencil range are rather subdued.  I used only four pencils for this sketch, Mars Orange, Sanguine Red, Terracotta and Sepia Red. If I wanted to broaden the value range I'd use Brown or Yellow Ochre for brighter/lighter lights and Chocolate for deeper darks.

To apply the color in the foliage I used circular strokes with the pencil at a low angle as shown above.

First I apply a layer of Orange Mars

Next I applied some Sanguine Red to the darker areas.

Next came Terracotta for some even darker areas.

And finally for the darkest darks I applied Sepia Red.

And here's the first major difference between Derwent Drawing Pencils and regular colored pencils.  The Derwent pencils can be blended using a dry blending stump which is what I have done here.  Most colored pencils require some kind of solvent, heat or a special blending pencil to make them blend.  Admittedly the blending isn't very thorough but part of that is due to the heavily textured paper I'm using which in my opinion enhances the image in this case.

The other property of the Derwent pencils that differs from traditional colored pencils is that they can be erased...sort of. The Derwent pencil marks can be significantly lightened using a stiff eraser, you won't get all the way back to the white of the paper but you'll get much lighter than you can with normal colored pencils.  I like to use a Paper Mate "Tuff Stuff" eraser as shown in the photo below with all of the items I used to make this sketch.

So, in conclusion, I enjoyed using the Derwent Drawing Pencils to make this sketch and will definitely use them again. Next time I might try smoother paper and a Chocolate pencil for deeper darks.

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