Sunday, 23 December 2018

My Christmas Wish List - Part 3 - Schmincke Horadam Watercolour Paint

Tiger - Sennelier professional watercolour paints, Centenaire watercolour paper

In The Netherlands where I live, many people give each other presents on December 5, when they celebrate Sinterklaas.
But as Christmas is approaching, I have been contemplating a Christmas Art Supplies Wish List.

I don't really NEED more art supplies, but there are pencils, paints, papers, and other things that I would love to try. And there is one thing I would love Winsor&Newton to invent…

This is my wish list:

The third item on my Christmas Wishlist is Schmincke Horadam Watercolour Paint.

Besides coloured pencil, I absolutely love watercolour painting. It took a while before I understood the medium, and I still want to learn a lot more, but watercolour painting is something I enjoy very much.
Because I want to explore the medium further, I would love to try one of the very best watercolour brands in the world: the German brand Schmincke Horadam.
This German brand is often mentioned by artists as one of their favourite paints.

A drawing from the Watercolour Along Project with professional Sennelier Paint

My professional Sennelier paints are very nice to work with but I would like to expand my watercolour horizon and see what this superb German brand has to offer. I expect that it is a great example of 'Deutsche Grundlichkeit', as we often say here in The Netherlands. The Germans are famous for their precision and thoroughness.
I expect that, like with the Faber Castell Polychromos pencils, the Schmincke Horadam paints are of extreme high quality, are very consistent to work with, have vibrant colours and superb lightfastness.

A quick sketch 

Besides the metal tinsets, Schmincke also sells beautiful sets in wooden boxes. The one here below has 48 full pans, so great when you like to make large size paintings. 


The price  of Schmincke Horadam paint varies quite a bit. If you live in the USA, this brand may turn out very expensive. In Germany, however, it is still expensive but more what I would expect for a beautiful brand like Schmincke.


So yes, I am definitely going to keep this beautiful brand on my wish list. Well, actually I hope I will remove it from my wish list  because I was able to buy a set!

Wednesday, 19 December 2018

My Christmas Wish List - Part 2 - Rembrandt Watercolour Paint


In The Netherlands where I live, many people give each other presents on December 5, when they celebrate Sinterklaas.
But as Christmas is approaching, I have been contemplating a Christmas Art Supplies Wish List.

I don't really NEED more art supplies, but there are pencils, paints, papers, and other things that I would love to try. And there is one thing I would love Winsor&Newton to invent…

This is my wish list:

The second item on my Christmas Wishlist is Rembrandt Watercolour Paint.

I think it was 15 years ago that I bought my first watercolour paint: Winsor&Newton Cotman, student grade watercolour. I enjoyed using them but felt that something was lacking. And then a couple of years ago I came across a good deal on Amazon and bought a set of professional Sennelier paints.

Last Spring I worked on this sketch. 

Since I bought the Sennelier I have used Cotman only a couple of times. The professional paints work so much better for me!
Now that I have painted quite a few projects with Sennelier I would love to try other brands.
So why not put the Dutch professional watercolour paint on my wish list?
Just like coloured pencils, all watercolour brands have their own characteristics. I'd like to explore other brands and l learn about their strenghts and weeknesses.

Rembrandt Watercolour Paint is the professional paint of the Dutch Royal Talens Company. The famous Dutch artist Marjolein Bastin uses the Rembrandt paints and I have heard that the paints are popular among members of IWS Holland, a Dutch watercolour society. So I would love to give them a try.


Every artist, both amateur and professional, has his/her own style. In my case, layering and mixing colours on the paper is what I like most. So mixing watercolour paints on a palet is something I don't do that often. I prefer glazing, layering thin layers of paint right out of the box on the paper.
That is why a large set of Rembrandt paints is on my wish list. I then have many different shades available.
Professional watercolour paints may seem expensive, but the paints are highly pigmented and last very long. This watercolour set lasts for many years.

W.I.P. in Jade Gideon's book Island Escape

Monday, 17 December 2018

My Christmas Wish List - Part 1 - Derwent Inktense pencils and blocks

On my Wish List: Derwent Inktense pencils!

In The Netherlands where I live, many people give each other presents on December 5, when they celebrate Sinterklaas.
But as Christmas is approaching, I have been contemplating a Christmas Art Supplies Wish List.

I don't really NEED more art supplies, but there are pencils, paints, papers, and other things that I would love to try. And there is one thing I would love Winsor&Newton to invent…

This is my wish list:

The first items on my wish list are Derwent Inktense Blocks and Pencils:

I have a set of 24 Inktense Pencils. They were given to me by a lady from California.
It took me some time to learn how Inktense works, but as soon as I figured it out, I was hooked on these bright pencils. I love the fact that you can use them both with and without adding water. A velvety look appears when you use them dry.

When I try new art supplies I Always pick up a colouring book to experiment and learn. In the case of the Inktense pencils, I picked up Painterly Days. I found out about the difference between water colour and Inktense, I practiced layering, hard and soft edges and much more.
I like Inktense so much that I decided I wanted to use these pencils in the Watercolour Along Project.

Derwent Inktense Pencils in Painterly Days


Inktense has become one of my favourite mediums. I would love to one day buy the complete set of both pencils and blocks. I feel the pencils are a little bit limiting because they are less suitable for painting larger areas. That is why both the pencils and blocks are on my Christmas Wish List!


Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Arteza Expert Watercolor Pencils - Great pencils for a great price!


Last fall Arteza contacted me and asked me to review their watercolour pencils.
I had found some reviews about these pencils on the internet. These reviews were so positive that I could not believe that the relatively cheap Arteza pencils would perform so well. So when Arteza asked me if they could send me a set, I couldn't wait to start testing and reviewing!

So far, I tested the Arteza Expert Watercolor Pencils on watercolour paper, in Painterly Days by Kristy Rice and in Johanna Basford's book World of Flowers.
The pencils are not only great to work with as watercolour pencils, you can also use them as normal coloured pencils, without adding water. They have a soft core, layer very well, and the colours are vivid.

Testing Arteza Expert Watercolor Pencils in Painterly Days

Arteza Watercolor Pencils are a real joy to work with! I must say though, I have little experience with watercolour pencils so I don't know how they relate to other pencil brands. 
Also, when it comes to lightfastness, I don't know if Arteza's claims are accurate. Lightfastness is only important when you want to sell your original work or want to display your work and don't want the colours to fade. But there are ways to protect your work from fading by using UV protective glass in your frame or use a UV protecting varnish of fixative spray.

Arteza Watercolor Pencils in World of Flowers

For more information about World of Flowers, click HERE

Arteza Watercolor Pencils in World of Flowers

Untill January 1st 2019 you can get 10% discount in the Arteza webshops if you use this 
coupon code: PassionforPencils2

For people who want to order in Europe go to the webshop
To instantly go to the Expert Watercolor Pencils in the UK/Europe shop, click HERE

For people who want to order in de USA go to the webshop
To instantly go to the watercolor pencils in the Arteza shop (USA), click HERE

I received the Arteza Watercolour Pencils from the Arteza company.
I get commission from sales of Arteza products.

So far, I made three videos about Arteza Expert Watercolour Pencils, but I am sure more videos will follow! You can watch the videos below:

support Passion for Pencils!

Thursday, 25 October 2018

Derwent Procolour Pencils

I am finally finding my way with the Derwent Procolour pencils. I am currently enjoying them a lot in Johanna Basford's latest book World of Flowers.


Buy World of Flowers by Johanna Basford

I recently received a package from Johanna Basford!
She sent me her new book World of Flowers, and also Faber Castell Polychromos pencils!

Of course, I will make videos about World of Flowers, and if you want to colour along with me, you can buy a copy of the book via the Amazon links below:


Monday, 25 June 2018

Caran d'Ache Luminance Pencils - A first impression in Enchanted Forest


Once in a while, I receive messages from readers and viewers who ask for my mailing address. They want to send me a 'thank you' for the articles and videos that I make.
Everytime I receive gifts like this I am in complete awe. People are so generous! 

In March 2017, a lady from India had asked me for my mailing address. A couple of weeks later a package came. There was a beautiful animal encyclopedia in it and...the full set of 76 Caran d'Ache Luminance pencils! And again, I was completely in awe...what a gift!


In Johanna Basford's book Enchanted Forest, my favourite page is the one with the compass.
I decided to pick this drawing to explore the Luminance pencils and make a series of videos:

As soon as I started using the beautiful Luminance pencils, I immediately noticed the quality of the pigments, vibrancy, and opacity. These pencils are absolutely superb. Their lightfastness is the best.
My dutch version of Enchanted Forest has thick but slippery paper and I was having trouble with all my other pencils. But the Luminance pencils were no trouble at all! Where other pencil brands' pigments seemed to slip away or not find enough tooth to lay down pigment, Luminance pencils had no trouble at all!

There were a few moments where I wished the pencils were a little less soft, though, because colouring tiny details can be a bit difficult. But for this project I decided to only use Luminance. And in the end, I managed to colour the details as well.

Caran d'Ache Luminance pencils are not only extremely good, they are also very expensive. 
But I haven't found a pencil yet that matches the vibrancy, lightfastness, softness/no breaking pencil leads of these Luminance pencils. 

As I continue my passion for pencils, these Luminance pencils will be often used. I just love them. 
So yes, highly recommended!


Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Stones and Wood in Enchanted Forest - Episode 32 - Finished!


After 32 episodes, I finally finished this beautiful drawing from Johanna Basford's Enchanted Forest!

The first episode was uploaded in April 2016. So it took me more than 2 years to finish this project.
I used many different pencils brands and together they gave this wonderful result.
Projects like these give me the opportunity to use all my pencil brands and learn about their characteristics.

Faber Castell Polychromos

My Faber Castell Polychromos pencils did a great job. I love how they layer and I also love their subtle nature. They are a little translucent which make them perfect for sublte layering.
I also pick these pencils when nieces or nephews want to colour along. Polychromos pencils are so sturdy, they won't break, so I trust them in the hands of a toddler!
I also used my Bruynzeel Design pencils for layering. These pencils, although wax based, feel very similar to the oil based Polychromos pencils. At least, for me they feel quite similar. 


Sometimes however, a more bold pencil turned out to work better. For colouring the darkest shadows I turned to other pencil brands like Caran d'Ache Pablo, Caran d'Ache Luminance, Prismacolor Premier and Derwent Procolour.
I also used these other pencils brands when I wanted to make stronger accents.

I also discovered that harder pencils like Derwent Procolour and Tombow Irojiten do a great job when you want detail and subtle layering.

And there is this other thing about harder pencils that I'll try to explain:
Soft pencils give a lot of colour, but they also seem to give a lot of waxiness/greasiness. When I combine them with a harder, dryer pencil like Irojiten or Procolour, it seems like the harder/dryer pencils are absorbing the grease/wax...sounds strange, right? But I love combining softer pencils with these harder ones.
The harder pencils also pull everything together in a very sublte way. I love that too.

People often ask me if I can give them advice about which pencils they should buy.
Because all these beautiful pencil brands have their own characteristics it is very hard to give the right advice.
The best thing you can do is treat yourself on a trip to an art supplies store where you can try different pencils brands.

I put all 32 episodes of Stones and Wood in Enchanted Forest in a playlist. You can watch all episodes here:

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