Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Colouring Secret Garden - A garland in pastels

One of my favourite double pages I'm currently colouring is a drawing from Secret Garden which I call "A garland in pastels". It is a double page drawing and I have been working on this drawing while being on vacation in England.
I thought I would have more time to colour but there were so many things to see and do that I mainly coloured a little while at night.
But we had a wonderful vacation, and I did manage to colour on the shores of Lake Windermere in the beautiful Lake District National Park!

Joyful colouring on the shores of Lake Windermere


Faber Castell Polychromos Pencils are available in the Passion for Pencils Webshops.

Since many people have asked me which colours I am using I will give you a list of the colours I use in the video below.
Take into account that Faber Castell recently changed names of some colours. So the numbers correspond to your Polychromos set, but the names may not! They are the same colours though.

The colours I used for the leaves:

266 Permanent Green
158 Deep Cobalt Green
112 Leaf Green
168 Earth Green Yellowish
165 Juniper Green
171 Light Green
205 Cadmium Yellow Lemon
181 Payne's Gray
246 Prussian Blue
199 Black

The colours used for the background:

102 Cream
140 Light Ultramarine
125 Piddle Purple Pink
109 Dark Chrome Yellow
136 Purple Violet
129 Pink Madder Lake


I almost always start with light colours and then build the colours with darker pencils.
When leaves are covering each other I shade the leaf that is being partly covered by another leaf. This will give your eyes the impression that there is space between the leaves. 

Colouring this page takes a lot of time. Especially the background is a little tricky because I want the colours to be 'airy', light. I need to blend colours with a very light touch and with great care. I like colouring at night in my bed, but in the stage it is right now this drawing needs bright daylight otherwise I cannot see what I'm doing and I might ruin it. 

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


I bought my Polychromos pencils about two months ago. I've found that they work a little different than my Bruynzeel Design pencils when it comes to blending and shading.
My Bruynzeel pencils give great results by colouring in little ovals but I find that the Polychromos give the best results if I place loose strokes next to each other. I hadn't expected that, but really, it works! Another difference between the two pencil brands is that the Polychromos pigment can me moved around a little once it is on the paper. So to smooth things out I rub the colour out with my fingers. It works realy well, especially on the background of this drawing!

I think I have worked enough with them to let you know what the pros and cons are so I will post a complete review about them soon!

Happy colouring to you all!


  1. I can't wait to see the complete review. Hello! I'm Jia. I'm from Taiwan. And I saw your paintings on YouTube at first. I really love your style, very comfortable and so many details in your work. It's beautiful!! <3

    1. Thank you for your kind words! I'm still working on this drawing, it will take a while before I have it finished.
      Happy colouring to you!

  2. Hi Henny-
    I am wondering if you used the "cream" color- as an overall base color for all of the background- before adding the blues and pinks? Or do you layer different shades of pinks on pinks, blues on blues, etc. and then blend them into the cream?
    I have been following the Step-By-Step tutorials (up to day 15!) but I love these colors so much I want to start on this drawing as well.
    By the way, my poor child and husband are complaining about how I don't want to do anything but color since discovering your videos and blog! They are correct because I just love this so much! I have never felt drawn to coloring until seeing all the beautiful work you create. They are also teaching me to relax more and just enjoy coloring without rushing. Patience in the creative process- and a light touch- really begins to payoff as the layers buildup. Thank you for your tutorials.

    1. Hi!
      I do not use a base colour, just start with a light tone of the colour you want to use and then later add darker tones.


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