How to get the most from your Art Accessories Part 2 June 16, 2010

There are an array of artists accessories available on the market today. Some of the newest and most innovative products have been developed by The Cumberland Pencil Company (more commonly known as Derwent pencils to you and I). In developing the range their premise was to try and enhance your creative enjoyment whilst also caring for the tools of your trade – the pencils.

Embossing Tools

Derwent Embossing tool to create fine detail

Use embossing tool to add fine detail

An embossing tool works by making an indentation in the paper. Coloured pencil will skim over the indentation; colour will be put down on the surrounding area but not in the indentation. This allows you to make fine white or light lines in a dark area. This is a very useful technique for grasses and certain flowers, animal whiskers or even leaving your signature in a dark area of your work.

Stipple Brush

Derwent Stipple Brush for creating texture

Create sand like texture by stippling

 A stipple brush is an artistic tool that can be used to create dimension, texture and other details to artwork. This can be achieved quite effectively with watercolour pencils. Simply dip the stipple brush into wet colour and remove excess colour on a piece of spare paper. Then dab the brush evenly on to your work. This can be done repeatedly with different colours in order to make an entire range of subtle textures. Perfect for creating the sand texture on a beach and rocks.

Fan Brush

The shape of this brush spreads colour across the page quickly and in an interesting manner. It can be used with water-soluble pencils and is great for creating grasses or rainbows of colour. The fan brush can also be used dry with pastel pencils to blend colours into each other in a subtle way.

Derwent Fan brush spreading colour

Fan Brush for spreading colour

Rubber Shapers

Derwent Rubber Shapers for smudging and blending

Rubber Shapers for smudging and blending media

Derwent Rubber Shapers (sometimes also called Colourshapers), are very useful for blending and smudging pastels, charcoal and graphite. They are perfect when precise control is required.

All of the above items form part of the Derwent Essential Drawing kit which includes 1 Stipple Brush, 1 Fan Brush, 2 embossing tools with different shaped heads and a Rubber Shaper. The full set costs around £10. for more information follw this link:

Derwent Essential Drawing Kit 

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How to get the most from your Art Accessories Part 1

Creating the speckiling effect

Creating the speckling effect


There are a comprehensive range of accessories available on the market today. One of the newest and innovative ranges has been developed by Derwent pencils. In developing the range their ethos was not just to ensure that you care for your pencils properly, but to also add to your creative enjoyment. Many are ideal for creating unusual effects and for experimenting with different drawing techniques.
Outlined below are a few ideas of how to use these tools. 

How to use a Sandpaper Block


You can use a sandpaper block to create a speckled effect: Draw a shape on your paper with a wetted paintbrush then using the sandpaper block sharpen the side of the pencil point and tap the resulting pencil ‘dust’ onto the wetted area on your paper. The colour will only adhere to the wet areas of the paper. If you use this technique with Derwent Watercolour Pencils (or other watersoluble pencils like Derwent Inktense), you can observe how the colours dissolve and create some fascinating effects.


How to use a Kneadable Eraser to Create highlights

Lifting colour out to create highlights


A kneadable or putty eraser is pliable and can be shaped into a point to erase small areas of tone. It can also be used to  add highlights; you can remove areas from the drawing to reveal the white underneath thereby creating areas of light and dark which can define the shape of an object. Don’t worry if you lift too much off, you can easily add some back in. This simple technique can really bring your drawings to life. 

How and What to use a Waterbrush For …

The Waterbrush has been described as an artist’s dream. The brush houses water in the barrel of the pen which is supplied to the fibre brush via a valve. The flow of water is controlled by applying slight pressure on the barrel when the brush meets the paper. To clean it simply apply pressure to the barrel and the water will flush the paint from the brush. 

Using a Waterbrush and Watersoluble sketching pencils

Using a Waterbrush and Watersoluble sketching pencils


You can use the Waterbrush to lift colour from the tip of a Watercolour pencil or Aquatone stick which you then apply to the paper. Or you can draw the colour onto the paper and then turn it into paint by simply running the Waterbrush over your pencil marks. Thats how you turn your drawing into a painting … 

How to Hatch and Cross Hatch

This technique involves laying down colour in the form of lines and adding a different layer in a different direction each time. 

Cross Hatching with Pencils

Cross hatching


For example: Draw the first layer of lines in a horizontal direction; draw the second layer of lines, on top of the first, but this time in a vertical direction. Each different direction adds more tone to the shading. Different colours can also be used. This technique can be performed using any Derwent Pencil media. 

How to Blend to Create Tone, Shade and other Colours

Blending involves the merging of one or more colours. Blending is especially important for creating tone, shade and other colours. There are numerous accessories and tools you can use to blend your colours together, below we look at four examples: 

Lay your colours down on the paper close to each other, then, using your finger, paper stump, rubber shaper or stipple brush, merge the colours together. 

blending with your fingers

Blending with your fingers


Example 1 shows how the finger can be used to blend two shades of blue together.  

Example 2 shows how a paper stump can be used. The effective use of a rubber shaper is shown in example 3 . Finally example 4 shows  blending using a stipple brush. 

blending with a Derwent paper stump

blending with a Derwent paper stump


blending with a Derwent Rubber Shaper

blending with a Derwent Rubber Shaper


blending with a Derwent Stipple Brush

blending with a Derwent Stipple Brush

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Extend the Life of your Favourite Pencils June 11, 2010

Have you noticed that your favourite pencils are always the ones that turn into stubs first, making them difficult to use. Well the kind people at Derwent have come up with a solution – Derwent Pencil Extenders!

Derwent Pencil Extender

Pencil Extender to prolong the life of your pencil

By using a pencil extender you can use almost every bit of a pencil before having to throw it away. It also makes shorter pencils feel more balanced and allows for a better grip.

The versatile Derwent Pencil Extenders are available in two sizes; the silver extender fits larger sized pencils, up to 8mm, including Derwent Pastel, Coloursoft and Artists Pencils. While the black extender is for use with standard sized pencils, up to 7mm, including Derwent Graphic, Watercolour and Studio pencils.

Both extenders have a robust screw fitting to hold the pencils securely and a soft touch coating on the barrel for improved grip and comfort in use.

The extenders are available in a pack of two, one of each size and cost just £4.99. If you want to know more about Derwent Pencil Extenders follow this link: Derwent Pencil Extenders

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Things you can do with Pencil Erasers.

Derwent Battery Operated Eraser

When you mention the word “Eraser”, most people think about it being used to rub out unwanted marks. However they can do much more than that. Derwent has launched two new erasers which are ideal for creating unusual effects and for experimenting with different drawing techniques. They can still of course be used to rub out unwanted marks too!

Derwent Electric EraserThe first is a Battery Operated Eraser – when the eraser is switched on, the spinning action of the eraser lifts the pigment from the paper surface. This makes it ideal for correcting mistakes or re-working very small areas.

The precise control offered by the eraser makes it suitable for highlighting as shown opposite in the picture of the dog’s eye.

Derwent Electric Eraser image 2

For greater flexibility the erasers shape can be changed by working it on a spare piece of paper. For example a flat tip will give you a nice sharp edge which will erase a thin line, whereas a round or conical tip will allow you to erase a small dot.

The Battery Eraser offers precision in erasing graphite and coloured pencil  – here the artist has used the eraser to reproduce the engraved flower pattern on the surface of the bowl of cherries (3).

Derwent Electric Eraser image 3

The eraser is operated by pushing down the button located on the top. The position of the button means it is perfect for left or right handed people and is very comfortable to use. It comes with 8 spare erasers and is economically priced. The product features an extra long eraser for extended use.

If you run out of eraser tips they’ve got that covered by offering a pack of 30 replacement erasers for around £1.00.

Derwent Pencil Eraser image 1Derwent Eraser Pencil with Brush

The second new eraser is the Derwent Eraser Pencil with Brush, which is invaluable for cleaning up the white paper surrounding an image, including feint grid lines. As can be seen in the photograph opposite, the eraser pencil is being used to clean up the areas under and around the snow leopard’s eyes.

Derwent Pencil Eraser Image 2The brush on the end of the eraser pencil is a great additional feature that can be used to gently sweep away debris to ensure the drawing stays as clean as possible.
With the eraser pencil, smaller, controlled areas of graphite can be erased or corrected. Instead of cutting slivers from a plastic or soft eraser, more control is achieved with the eraser pencil whose ‘point’ can be sharpened to any required shape with a craft knife. Using a ruler, the eraser pencil can be used to create a clean, straight edge on a finished piece of work.

Drawings can also be made lighter with the eraser pencil which is especially useful in creating reflections ,such as the Red Breasted Goose image. Here the artist has used a dragging motion to soften the reflection

The Derwent pencil eraser with brush is available in a pack of two pencils.

If you want to know more click on this link  Derwent Eraser Pencil

All of the above images were created using pencils from the Derwent range of pencils. for more information on the full Derwent range follow this link Derwent Pencil Range

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How to Sharpen Pencils May 28, 2010

Sometimes people forget that a pencil sharpener or a craft knife is a blade just like a razor or a kitchen knife. You wouldn’t dream of using the last two for long periods of time without sharpening the blades, but somehow we expect a pencil sharpener to last forever.

Using A Pencil Sharpener

When using a pencil sharpener, keep the pencil and the sharpener in a straight line. Do not insert the pencil at an angle or the point will be subjected to unnecessary pressure and may break.

Pencil sharpeners work very well when new and sharp, but do not last nearly as long as people think. There are a couple of easy ways to check whether a sharpener is blunt:  Metal Pencil Sharpener

First examine the wood around the pointed pencil. If the surface of the wood is smooth, then the sharpener is sharp. If the wood is rough or ‘furry’ then the sharpener is becoming blunt. A very blunt sharpener will produce a very rough surface on the pencil point. Second observe the shavings coming out of the sharpener. A good pencil sharpener will produce a long, continuous sliver of shavings. The blunter the sharpener the smaller the pieces of shaving become. If you start to see shard-like pieces coming out of the sharpener, then throw it away.

Using a Craft Knife

As with sharpeners, craft knives become blunt and will need the blades changed regularly. Many people experience problems with pencil points breaking when using a knife. The trick is to hold the knife at a shallow angle (almost parallel to the pencil) and take off small amounts of wood from each side of the pencil. If the angle is steep the tendency will be to take off too much wood in one go and possibly to cut the strip at the same time. Once the strip is exposed, use gentle scraping movements to make a nice sharp point.

How to Sharpen Pastel Pencils

All of the above applies to pastel pencils however, Pastel Pencils are more delicate than normal pencils. The properties of pastel pencils are specifically designed to be ‘crumbly’ and dusty on paper. This means that they must be handled with more care during sharpening. There is even more risk of snapping the point by being too vigorous with a knife (the sharpening angle for a pastel has to be even shallower because there is less wood around the strip).

Also, the materials that make the pastel pencils dusty are much more abrasive than the materials in other types of pencil. Therefore, blades will blunt quicker than they would normally. New Derwent pastel sharpeners and sharp craft knives will work well for a time, but will need to be replaced regularly to make sure that sharpening can be done properly.

For more information on Sharpening Pencils click this link: Derwent Pencil Sharpeners

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Drawing Manga Eyes May 20, 2010

Essential parts of the eye

The essential parts of the eye that need to be incorporated

The diagram shows the essential parts of the eye. The eyes are an important subject especially in Manga. 

The upper and the lower eyelids determine its outline. In most drawings, the upper eyelids are more accentuated on the upper portion with the edge of the eyelashes pointing upwards. You will notice single or double-layered eyelids. 

Single layered eyelids

Single layered eyelids

Double layered eyelids

Double layered eyelids

The lower eyelid may sometimes disappear when there are tears present.
Lower Eyelid disappearing

Lower eyelids not visible

and sometimes are hardly ever shown as in the 2 illustrations below.
No lower eyelids

No lower eyelids

No lower eyelids

The cornea is drawn in an oval fashion often quite bigger than the outline of the eye. The top and bottom parts of the oval are covered by the eyelids therefore making the eyes appear slightly rectangular. 

Drawing the cornea of the eye

Drawing the cornea

Eyes are given life and sparkle through details like light being reflected by them. 

giving life and sparkle to the eye

Adding highlights to the eye

However, the eyelids may also be shown drooping downwards, instead of the normal way.
Eyelids drooping downwards

Eyelids drooping downwards

Manga eyes drooping eyelids
Why don’t you have a go at drawing the different types of eyes to explore how easy it is to convey how each character is feeling.
The illustrations have been produced using Copic Multiliner Pens  and Copic Markers. For more information about the products click on the relevant links


 © 2008 – 2010 Holtz GmbH. All rights reserved. – 

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How To Draw a Chibi Manga Style Girl May 14, 2010

Chibi is a Japanese word meaning “short person” or “small child.” Super deformed or SD is a specific style of Japanese caricature where characters are drawn in an exaggerated way, typically small and chubby, with stubby limbs and oversized heads, to make them resemble small children.

Chibi characters are normally between two and four ‘heads tall’, meaning the size of the head is between half and a quarter of the whole body. The characters in these tutorials are slightly more than two heads tall, but feel free to draw whatever size you feel most comfortable with.

The most important thing is to make sure the body retains a ‘chunky’ feel, which matches the rest of the character. Joints on the body such as the shoulder and neck should be kept narrow in order to allow for a large amount of movement, but in general the limbs will be thicker than normal.

Chibi hair is often equally chunky, with the hair clumped together into large spiky strips, or simplified to look much bolder than usual. You can still achieve some fine detail, but the hair ought to be as bold as the rest of the character – it’s a great opportunity to have fun! Try out some hairstyles that would look unusual on a regular person, and play around with colours.
The most important thing about Chibi characters is that they are all about fun, and they’re just as fun to draw!

This Chibi style Manga girl was drawn using Derwent Inktense pencils. The simplest way to describe them is ink but in a pencil style format. For more information on Inktense pencils click here Derwent Inktense Pencils .

Chibi Manga Style Female
Chibi characters are often presented in a bright and cheerful manner, and this girl is no exception! Her golden locks surround a beaming face and her blue dress is vibrant and colourful with a pattern of apples around it and matching red lace frills and belt. The socks are designed to match the dress perfectly, with an added frill of red lace along the top. Finally, her shoes, bag and accessories are all carefully picked out to complement her dress.

Chibi Manga Girl Outline

Step 1: Start off by drawing the character outlines with the ‘Outliner’ pencil. It is possible to erase the lines with a regular pencil eraser, but you have to be careful when drawing. Try to avoid pressing too hard with this pencil otherwise the lines will be difficult to remove. (For an outline to copy and the completed character, see the end of this tutorial.)

Chibi manga style socks Step 2: Now that the pencils lines are in place we can start adding colour, beginning with the socks. First of all, draw the outline of the area with the Iris Blue pencil. This helps to ensure the area has a crisp and solid outline. Lightly fill in the area with Iris Blue, being sure to apply very little pressure. Now it’s time to paint! Simply apply a light wash to the area you have coloured, with the paintbrush, in order to blend the colours together into an even tone. You don’t need too much water, but try to paint each area in full before it dries to avoid uneven colours.

Chibi Manga style legs

Step 3: Now apply the same technique to the skin. It’s useful to allow each area of colour to dry before moving on to the next, so that colours don’t spread into one another. Using the Baked Earth pencil draw the outline of the legs and then start to lightly fill in the skin area.

However, rather than filling in the whole of the area with pencil, only colour the parts beneath the skirt and below the knee leaving a patch of white around the knee area. This area of white gives the skin a shiny feel. Now apply a little water to the colour as before, but keep the brush strokes to the outside of the legs, and below the knee area ensuring to keep the patch of white around the knee.

Chibi Mange style dress

Step 4: Now we continue to fill in the other areas of colour using the same technique. The dress is filled in with Iris Blue, first defining the outlines of the areas and then filling in with colour. The rest of the skin is coloured using Baked Earth, just as you did for the legs. The skin has highlights on the arms and hands, so the upwards facing areas of these parts of the body have been left white.

Chibi Manga style Hair

Step 5: It’s now time to tackle those golden curls! Using the Cadmium Orange pencil, define the outline of the hair. You can draw extra lines for the areas where the hair overlaps itself. The hair has a large area of highlight at the top that is left blank, in a similar manner to the skin. Now, apply some extra Cadmium Orange pencil to the area of blonde hair located behind the character’s neck, as this will make it darker. Apply a little water to create a colour wash as before, taking extra care to keep the brush wet to avoid the ink from drying whilst you’re filling out the colour area.

Chibi Manga Style Dress detail

Step 6: Using the Cherry pencil, mark out the details on the dress such as the apples, the frills and the belt. Define the outline and then fill in the central areas, before applying a little water to the details you have coloured in. This will intensify the red.

Manga style clothing Step 07: The red colour is lovely, but we want it brighter and richer! And this is the beauty of the Inktense pencils. If you wait a few moments to allow the red colour to dry, and then apply more Cherry pencil evenly over the top and finally add a little more water, this will greatly intensify the red, really bringing out the richness of tone. Do the same thing to the handbag, socks and shoes.

She is now complete!

Chibi Manga Style girl
Simple – you now have your Chibi Manga Style Girl !

These illustrations were drawn using Derwent Inktense Pencils. Inktense Pencils come in a range of 72 fabulous colours. They are highly pigmented and can be used as demonstrated here and for everything from silk painting to fashion design. For more information on the Inktense Pencil Range follow this link: Derwent Inktense Pencils

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How to Use Derwent Watercolour Pencils April 5, 2010

These versatile pencils have a watersoluble colour strip allowing you to draw and paint with   complete control. The pencils can be used wet or dry on either wet or dry paper to create a variety of exciting effects. Derwent Watercolour pencils are ideal for mixed media work. They are available in a range of 72 colours.

Shells produced with Derwent Watercolour Pencils

Shells produced with Derwent Watercolour Pencils


Materials used to complete this project:

Derwent Watercolour pencils  No. 17 Pink Madder Lake, No. 30 Smalt Blue, No.59 Golden Brown, No. 61 Copper Beech, No. 67 Ivory  Black, Hot pressed watercolour paper, Size 4 round brush, Craft knife, Derwent Graphic 3B pencil



Using No. 30 Smalt Blue, lightly draw the line drawing onto watercolour paper.

Watercolour Pencil shells outline drawing

Add outline with Smalt Blue Derwent Watercolour Pencil

Watercolour Pencil shells drawing 2

Start by using the pencils "Dry on Dry"








Dry on dry. Apply No. 61 Copper Beech in sections as shown stroking the pencil from the outer edge towards the centre (not all the way), using No.59 Golden Brown apply to the centre and a little on the brown section to link and warm.  Add  No.17 Pink Madder Lake lightly over all the shell except in the centre. Introduce No.30 Smalt Blue over the centre part of the pink as a halo (this will create a mauve when water is added.)



Introduce No.30 Smalt Blue to the yellow centre to darken. Add No.67 Ivory Black from the outer edge inwards to darken. Work on the two smaller shells by blending the No.17 Pink Madder Lake and No.61 Copper Beech as shown. This will act as a base colour when hydrated in preparation for the dramatic black which will be applied when wet.  Add a little blue. Draw in the centre coil with a Graphic 3B pencil.

Watercolour Pencil shells drawing 3

Introduce more colour to capture detail

Hydrate: Using a size 4 brush and clean water gently dampen the smaller shells (avoid the shadow). The moment the black goes onto the damp surface the colour will intensify and a bold stroke will result. Gently intensify the pink and yellow if the colour is too light in contrast with the black. Middle shell – using clean water, begin in the centre and with gentle stroking movements allow the pigments to blend.  As soon as the blue is touched it will merge with the yellow. Working from the centre outwards on the light area stroke the pigments towards the outer edge with a wet brush – continue to moisten the brush in water. Avoid over wetting. Hydrate the dark bands from the outer edge inwards. It is important to keep the brush clean and not transfer the black to the lighter section, use gentle stroking movements. Whilst the shell is still damp use 61 Copper Beech and apply the tiny dots.

Watercolour Pencil shells drawing 4

Add water to really see how you can enjoy the precision of a pencil and the beauty of Watercolour

 Wet sections of the final shell. Then using a craft knife gently scrape the colour off the pencil letting the speckles fall onto the paper. The colour will hydrate and intensify only where it is wet, the rest will remain on the paper. Once dry the excess dry speckles can be blown away to reveal untouched paper.

Watercolour Pencil shells drawing 5

Speckling "into wet" to create some beautiful effects

Whilst this is drying put a little of each colour on the paper, (except black) like a mini pallet and blend the colours to give a soft mauve/grey for the shadow area. Paint the shadow area under the dry shells. This results in a beautifully painterly effect.

Watercolour Pencil shells drawing Mini Pallet

Create A mini pallet to blend the colours

Using the paint as a pallet again, introduce some structure lines to the remaining shell using No.30 Smalt Blue, No. 59 Golden Brown and No.61 Copper Beech. Then add the shadow as previously.

The final result using Derwent Watercolour Pencils

For more tips, techniques and product information visit:  Derwent Watercolour Pencils at Your Creativity Store

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How to use Derwent Inktense Pencils for Silk Painting. March 8, 2010

Inktense Pencils are probably the most versatile pencils available anywhere. They are frequently used by watercolour artists to create wonderful landscapes. Equally fashion designers love the vibrancy and intense colours you can create. You will even find fans of Inktense among the Manga and Anime fraternity. Another creative use for this product is painting on fabrics. 

Here Artist Kim Bradley, a professional quilting teacher in Australia, used Derwent Inktense pencils alongside quilting techniques to create her magnificent “Duck bird”. Kim also used a sewing machine and textile medium. 

Inktense Pencils for Silk Painting

The Beautiful and Vibrant "Duck Bird".

The first step is to chalk out an outline of the head, neck and body, and approximately where the wings will start. The rest of the image is created using free motion machine quilting, which means you use the sewing machine to draw your image. To enable freedom of movement drop the feed dogs on the machine.  The wadding is two layers of silk as there is a lot of heavy work with thread and colour. 
The bird is coloured using Derwent Inktense pencils from the 72 colour range. To help the colour take to the fabric, use a textile medium. Most Textile Mediums should be fine, if it’s very thick simply water it down to a thinner consistency. Paint the textile medium into the area you are working on, it needs to be quite damp; not sodden, but not dry, otherwise the ink will not flow, and then use the Inktense pencil directly onto the wet area. This allows the colour to flow freely from the pencil. Use the pencil on its side as it helps with flow and ease of blending. 

To get a feel for what can be achieved experiment and practice applying the textile medium, and using the side of the pencil as well as the point. Dipping the pencil end directly into the textile medium is a wonderful way to create fine detail, i.e. eyes, mouth, bird’s feather and feet. After dipping the pencil into the medium you can draw directly onto your work. 

Work in the medium toned colours first of all, finishing off with the dark contrast tones and then the highlights. Antique White and Sherbert Lemon are brilliant for highlights. Colour the whole piece and let it dry for approx 24 hours to ensure it has set properly. 

Derwent Inktense Pencils used on silk fabric

An example of how intense the colour and the level of detail you can achieve with Derwent Inktense Pencils on silk and other fabrics.

Once dry, heat set it with an iron on the wool setting, using a piece of calico between the iron and the work to protect the quilt. Press and hold for about 20 seconds at a time. Do not be too forceful a gentle action is all that is required.

The fabric medium makes the image stiff which is ideal for a hanging piece, however if you prefer a softer feel, the stiffness will release upon washing (on a cool wool setting) without damaging the colours.
You may find that your pencils become hard if the textile medium dries out on the end (it dries like a plastic film) all you need to do is sharpen them and they are ready to use again.

For more information or to purchase Inktense pencils visit our website Or call 01926 519320.

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