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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