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Derwent Tinted Charcoal Pencils!



ACEO Morning Fawn was created with Derwent Tinted Charcoal Pencils. My Blick package arrived today. It arrived before I even woke up. So the first thing I saw when I opened my eyes was this Gigantic Box sitting on Kitten's chair across from my bed. I got up, fell down, stumbled, grinned, staggered out to get coffee and remembered to take pills before I started carving it open and taking out all my new goodies.

Sascha has a new set of Creativity Street Washable Broad Tip Markers. Of course I put something in for the artistic kittenlet.

I unpacked everything. There at the top was my tin of Derwent Tinted Charcoal Pencils. I first saw these years ago on Derwent's site. I have spent years patiently suggesting to Blick that they order these from Derwent and carry them. Blick finally did just a day after I bought a different order right before I would skip a month and not order anything -- or I'd have done a small order just to get these.

They were worth the wait, as you can see. The soft muted colors are more like the Derwent Drawing Pencils than Graphitints, and they have more darks -- the darks are very subtle, some of them, like shades of black. This is great for doing nature scenes and animals but I wouldn't want to try doing florals with this set. They rock for trees and animals and rocks though, this is just very cool.

Blick also finally, after years, took my suggestion and listed Replacement Rubber Bands for their masonite sketchboards. Yay, I now have six extra big rubberbands to put on my sketchboard as they wear out! No more hoarding, I can just use them!

I also bought a package of 11 x 14" archival photo bags to mail out large pastels in. Lauren and Trish take note -- your pastels will arrive in these inside whatever flat cardboard mailer I use for sending your art. That's why I got them. I had to get the next-up size because the 9 x 12" Colourfix paper is actually 10" x 13" when the half inch or so of extra paper outside the gessoed area is counted. Since you'll need that to go under the mats when you take them in to get framed, I just got bigger mailer bags. These are also good for storing them if you have to wait for framing.

The second Big Thing is that I bought five new colors of Winsor & Newton Griffin Alkyd fast-drying oil paints for doing a three-artist group project studying Classic Still Life Painting by Jane Jones. Cadmium Lemon (real), Cadmium Yellow Medium (real), Cadmium Red Medium (real, and they didn't have scarlet), Ivory Black and Cerulean Blue Hue (hue but opaque enough and close in hue). I would've got actual Cerulean if it wasn't out of stock till late in November. I may still get it later on, Cerulean's a useful color. Along with those, I picked up a Loew-Cornell Paint Eraser (recommended by author and used in the demos) and a pair of Museum Cups medium cups that clip to the palette. Unlike the open palette cups I've been using for thinner, these mean that when I stop working for a while I can cap them and save the fluids. This will save me a lot of money in Liquin Medium especially. I have lots of odorless thinner, but only a small bottle of Liquin.

Last and biggest, I bought a 20 color set of Pan Pastels and one extra color, Chromium Oxide Green. These are soft pastels, like stick pastels. But you paint with them. The pigment is mixed with a very small amount of binder and pressed into clear plastic pans -- big generous ones about 2 1/4" across from edge of color to color, 2 1/2" counting thickness of plastic. They screw together and stack. They're used like paint, you paint them on with little sponge applicators, special wedge or block shaped sponges or Sofft plastic painting knives that have little sponge socks you pull onto them.

Out of several choices of 20 color sets, I bought the Painters 20 Color Set because that set was all but one of the pure pigments, "masstones" they're called in art jargon, plus Titanium White and Ivory Black. There are sixty colors in the range total, with a tint and a shade each of all the colors and I think there's an extra tint on each of the grays.

Each pan contains about 35% more pastel than an average pastel stick (think the size of Sennelier normal ones or Loew Cornell ones, not the giant sticks like Unison or Mount Vision). It's also in a form where it can be used up to the last speck with those spongy tools. They're cleaner than stick pastels.

I made a color wheel using just the primary colors in the 5 Color Starter Set, which goes for $18.99 on Blick. The set has Titanium White, Ivory Black, Hansa Yellow, Permanent Red and Ultramarine -- and there's a Bi-Weekly Challenge on http://www.wetcanvas.com in the Pastels forum that calls for using three primaries and two extra colors. White and Black count as extra colors for the challenge. So I thought I'd do the challenge to see if I could demonstrate how to use just the five color set, which is a smaller investment for someone just fooling around to see if they like them.



The mixes satisfied me -- these are good mixing primaries. So I'll have a go at one of the photo references for the challenge just using these. The pans screw onto each other and came in five little stacks with five lids, so I rearranged my stacks to put the primaries, black and white on top. Many painters just leave them open in a tray in their studios. I have a cat and my room is Cat Central. I do not want to leave these open to find little art-pigment bright colored footprints all over everything, or invite Ari and Gemini to work on my big pastels projects in progress!

Hmm... I could write up my Primaries painting as an eHow demonstration, that's where I'd find plenty of readers who might be interested but would prefer to try them out with the smallest set. Extra tools are not necessary if you buy a set, just convenient especially if you like keeping the applicators separate for color groups.

I loved how these handled, even on just sketchbook paper. Where they really shine is on Colourfix and other sanded pastel surfaces like Pastelbord. They do NOT work well on velour board or paper, some of the WC pastelists tried it and the color drowned in the pile. But on sanded paper they really shine, you can layer and mix, layer and mix and get effects that are very painterly. It's the one type of pastels where I don't feel the screaming need to have more than 60 colors available, they blend much more than the sticks do. I'd like to get the shades and tints, and probably will pick them up a few at a time. But for now I'm very happy with this set and going to be using it on my big projects in process!
Explore-Oil-Pastels-With-Robert-Sloan.com Articles at eHow.com, ETSY shop, My Bonanzle Booth, deviantART gallery, SFFmuse and look for art by robertsloan2art on eBay. Listed on Art Blogs 4 U
Proud member of the Oil Pastel Society
Interesting art blog: Patrick's Art Blog focused on realism!
New Topical Blog: www.robs-art-supply-reviews.blogspot.com for all the cool art stuff that isn't oil pastels!

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Robert A. Sloan, author of Raven Dance
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