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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