Tuesday, 31 March 2015

My Secret Garden colouring book, part 6 Testing different brands and types of pencils

Every type of pencil and pencil brand has its own characteristics. To make my hours of happy colouring even more fun and interesting I decided to try different brands and types of pencils.
Besides my beloved Bruynzeel Design Pencils I also have a beautiful set of Derwent Pastel Pencils.
I'm also experimenting with Cotmans water colour paint (by Winsor and Newton), a water brush by Derwent and graphite pencils.
With my niece and nephew I have frequent 'colouring parties' and they have some nice equipment as well which I try too: Derwent Coloursoft, Derwent Metallic Pencils, Derwent Water Colour Pencils and Bruynzeel Super Sixties.

If you want to purchase Johanna Basford's wonderful colouring book, you can use one of the affiliate links below:


I started several pages colouring with my pastel pencils and because the paper in my copy of Secret Garden has a little tooth pastel pencil works pretty well!

The drawing above is only in the first stages of drawing. If you follow my blog, you already know I take my time with my colouring. I don't want to rush anything.
For blending my pastel pencils I use a 'colour shaper'. It's a silicon tip which makes it easy to work with the pastel pencil and rub it into the paper.

Colour shapers are available in many shapes and sizes. For pastel pencil, the smaller ones are most suitable, unless you want to use them to work on large areas of colour.


Here is another page from Johanna Basford's colouring book Secret Garden that I'm colouring with pastel pencils. I'm using the same method as with my Bruynzeel Design Pencils. layering. 

Colouring with pastel pencil is relatively new to me. Two years ago my husband gave me a set of these pencils (Derwent) but I used them only occasionally. Now that I'm colouring in m Secret Garden book, I'm learning about the techniques and improving my skills along the way.
I've come to the conclusion that I want another colour shaper, one I can use for the small details.

Derwent Coloursoft Pencils are popular for their softness and rich colours.
My niece has a set and when we are having our 'Colouring Parties' I work a little on a nice page with flowers and insects.

The next few weeks I will work on all of these pages. Of course I'll post my progress.

Happy colouring to you all!

Monday, 30 March 2015

Review Bruynzeel Super Sixties coloured pencils

Do you need the most expensive pencils to have good results? Absolutely not!
Although better pencils give you more options for your art work, you can do beautiful things with less expensive pencils.

Here is an example of what you can do with a type of pencil that is less expensive than the professional ones.

My 12 year old niece has loved drawing and painting since she was a very little girl. Because she is really talented her parents gave her good quality art supplies, such as Derwent Coloursoft Pencils.
About a year ago, her brother, now 10 years old, started to join our drawing sessions and he wanted coloured pencils too. He likes colouring but not as much as is sister so his mother went searching for a set of pencils that are not too expensive but are pretty good quality. 

Bruynzeel (Bruynzeel-Sakura) is a company with its origin in The Netherlands. They have a wide range of drawing supplies for both children, adults and professional artists.

Bruynzeel Super Sixties is a set of coloured pencils with 44 coloured pencils and 12 metallic pencils, 2 graphite pencils, an eraser and a pencil sharpener.
So there are not 60 pencils in this set, but 58.

For this review, I tested the coloured pencils. I haven't used the metallic pencils yet.

This box has a red beetle car on it, but there are also sets with flowers on the metal tin set.
The coloured pencil leads are harder than the Bruynzeel Design pencils I own, but the colour comes of pretty easily although it is not as much as the professional brands. Also the burnishing process starts early because there is not as much pigment in the pencils as professional pencils have.

You can also layer and blend with these pencils. This works best if you colour gently. Don't push if you want to add several layers.

Here is a quick example:

I started with colouring the leaves with a yellow pencil. With gentle strokes I coloured the leaves. As you can see, there is white paper shining through the colour. You can also still see the texture of the paper. This is important, because paper with texture will be able to handle layering much better than paper that as been 'burnished' by pushing the coloured pencil harder on the paper.

 The second layer is a light green. As you can see you can vary a little with the amount of colour you want to put on top of the first layer.

For the flower I used three different colours of pink and purple.
I started with gentle layering. There is still a lot of white paper visible.

In the centre of the flower, I already started to push a little harder because eventually I want the paper to be completely covered with colour.

The drawing is far from finished, And I'm planning on finishing it as soon as possible.
But these pencils aren't mine, they belong to my nephew.
Next weekend is Easter Weekend in The Netherlands and I will see my family again. I'm pretty sure my nephew will bring his coloured pencils and I'll ask him if I can finish this drwaing with his pencils.

Conclusion Bruynzeel Super Sixties coloured pencils:

A good quality pencil for both children and adults for a very reasonable price.
The range of colours covers the whole spectrum. There is a beautiful lilac pencil in this set. I wish it were in my Bruynzeel Design set!

When you open the box, the smaller one of the two plastics where the pencils are placed in is on top of the larger one, so you need to move it in order to use the pencils below. This can be tricky because these plastic sheets are quite weak.

The metal box is not very sturdy. It might open unexpectedly so beware of that!

I wouldn't buy these pencils for myself but they are very suitable as a starter kit for children and adults who want to explore the world of coloured pencil.

Unfortunately these pencils are not available at Amazon but
You can buy the Bruynzeel Super Sixties at Bol.com

Monday, 23 March 2015

My Secret Garden colouring book, part 5

Yesterday, my husband and I came back from a wonderful weekend in the woods. We hiked, enjoyed the sunny weather, saw a lot of wildlife and of course, I had Johanna Basford's colouring book My Secret Garden with me!
I've been working on my favourite page in the book which I call 'The Secret Door'.
I still needed to work a little on the background and the leaves.

While colouring the last few days, I noticed the paper beginning to deteriorate.
Because I put so many layers of colour on top of each other, the paper started to disintegrate.
Small peaces of paper come off when I put some extra colour on the paper.
It was a clear sign that this drawing was about to be finished!

In these final stages I worked on the leaves. I layered the large brownish leaves with a little green to push them a little more to the background. I added some extra detail to some smaller leaves and decided the colours for the leaves I hadn't coloured yet.

I also added some more colour to the background so the door would pop out a little bit more.

I started this drawing in december 2014, and I ended it now, the end of march 2015. So it took me more than three months of very happy colouring to get to this point.Instead of watching stupid tv programs and taking my tablet to my bedroom and not be able to sleep after using the bloody thing, I now had my colouring book and pencils, even in bed! A little colouring before sleeping works very well for me. From now on, there will always be a colouring book on my nightstand!

If you want to be able to colour like this, buy a set of decent, good quality pencils and just start colouring.You don't need 100 different colours or more...Although the cases with this many pencils look absolutely beautiful you will not use them all.My Bruynzeel Design pencil set has 100 different colours but it turns out there are about 30 colours I do not use because these colours are almost identical to other colours in the set.

Amazon only sells a Bruynzeel set of 24 pencils:

If you want to purchase the set with 48 pencils you can buy at Bol.com via the link below:

I wanted to bring this page to life, I was wondering what was behind this beautiful door, and it reminded me of the book 'The Secret Garden'. For me, behind this door is a secret garden,
with a well in it...my next project to finish.

If you want to purchase Johanna Basford's Secret Garden, you can use one of the affiliate links below:


Saturday, 7 March 2015

Review Derwent Carry All Bag

You can purchase the Carry All Bag via one of the affiliate links below. 


Until last year I always carried my art supplies in their original cases or put them in a bag. But it was not very handy.
I recently stumbled upon the Derwent Carry All Bag and purchased one.
I've been using it for a couple of months now and I'd like to tell you what I think of it.

I bought my Derwent Carry All Bag in The Netherlands, price was E21,50 (euros) in a local art store.

The Carry All has three leaves with elastic band to hold your pens, pencils, or brushes. Each leave can store 44 pens, however, using the slot closest to the ringbinder might damage your pen/pencil because it will come into contact with the ring binder once the bag is closed. I only put one pen/pencil in this slot closest to the ring binder.

You can buy extra leaves if you wish to store more pencils. I might do that in the future.

The Carry All Bag comes in one colour: light brown canvas with a dark brown trim.
There is a mesh pocket in the bag with a zipper. I put pencil sharpeners, erasers, scissors and much more in it.
I would have like this pocket to have several smaller compartments.

There is also an elastic band in the bag where you can store a small sketchbook.
The bag has a detachable shoulder strap and one external pocket.

So far I really like this bag, I use it almost every day and I will buy some extra leaves in the future.
This is what I have currently stored in my Derwent Carry All Bag:

Bruynzeel Design Coloured Pencils
Derwent Pastel Pencils
Graphite Pencils
Staedtler Fineliners
Pencil sharpeners
Derwent Water Brush
Drafting Triangle

Conclusion Derwent Carry All Bag:

Room for over 132 pencils, pens, brushes, etc.
You can buy extra leaves to carry even more pencils.
Comfortable size of the bag: not too small, not too large

The bag comes in only one colour, but that is no issue for me.
The mesh pocket with the zipper clutters up: I would have liked to have several smaller pockets to organize erasers, sharpeners, etc.

I like this bag a lot and would definitely buy it again!
If you want to purchase this bag, take a good look at the price. Amazon USA offers this bag for $34.96, Amazon Germany is cheaper: E23,53 and Amazon UK offers the bag for £14.99.

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