Thursday, May 3, 2012

Trying out some new supplies

Last week I showed you my stash of new supplies, mostly resulting from my birthday gift certificates. Well, this week I got to play with them, not all, but some. I thought I'd show you some of the results and what I thought of the materials I bought. Maybe it will shed some light on things you might be considering getting yourself.

Spraypaint for fabrics (mine are simply called Spray Color, no brand name)
I got these to see if I could use them on paper. I have a couple of bottles of glimmer mist sprays and I do like those, but the colors aren't always as bright as I would like, and they are rather expensive.  So let's see if these fabric sprays did the trick.

I took some of my stencils and just started spraying. The above picture is just a sample. I did more pages, but these illustrate that te paint is very bright and does work on paper. But what you can't see is...the paint is very sticky! You couldn't use it in a journal as is. On a canvas piece I think they would be okay, but on paper one would have to cover them with a spray varnish or something so they don't stick anymore. This need not be a problem, but it is something to consider. And of course I don't know yet how they hold up over time.
The colors seem half opaque and to my joy they are waterproof. I'm a layer person and I don't want my colors to bleed into new layers. I have not yet tried to see how they respond to layers of acrylic or other materials on top of them, so I'll have to see about that. Still I'm quite pleased with the brightness and how they look on paper. I might even try them on fabric in the future, haha.

Graphitint pencils (by Derwent)
I had four of these already before I bought the tin of twelve I now have, so I had already worked with them, but I thought it was a good time for test driving them again. What to draw? Well, my go to thing for a quick drawing where I don't have to think too much is girls' faces, so that's what I did.

I love love love these pencils! They are smooth and soft and very nice to work with. I also love the earthy tones of the colors. This drawing was also a good exercise in a little cross hatching. I'm very inexperienced with colored pencils, but I think I did okay with this one and managed to keep the face light.
The pencils are also water soluble, but I didn't want to ruin my lines by dissolving them in water. I did however use a paintbrush with water over the background of the girl. The lines you still see in the background were added later. The pencils dissolve like watercolor pencils. All in all a very good buy.

Aquatone pencils (also by Derwent)
These are watercolor pencils without a wood covering, so it's just thin long color sticks that are covered with paper to protect them. They are a little like elongated Caran d'ache neocolor II's, but you can't smudge them as easily as those. I decided to do another girl with these.

I was a little disappointed at first at how they felt when using them directly to paper. They are a lot less smooth than I hoped and don't really glide so easily over the page as the graphitints or Derwent coloursoft pencils. They almost felt like bad quality wax crayons and when you push too hard little crumbles appear. But when I used the waterbrush on them I was hooked! The colors just come alive in an amazing way and that totally makes up for any doubts I had at first. They dissolve amazingly and any lines you see above are added later to give more definition to the piece. I love how the hair of this girl looks with these pencils.
I also quickly tried on a scrap of paper if you could put a wet brush to them and then paint with them and yes you can! I love using my neocolors that way so I was happy that these can be applied like that as well.

All in all this first test of my new goodies was a success. I will of course need more practice to get the most out of all of them, but I'm glad they felt nice to use on the first try. One never knows up front what to expect for sure, so I'm pretty pleased with my birthday stash!

Hope you're having a good week. Now go be artsy!


  1. Are the graphitint smudge able, or are they harder? I've never worked with them. (Great sketches)

  2. Thanks for the review of your new toys. It's always so interesting to me to see how folks use things I may not have tried. nancy

  3. Looks like you had FUN Caatje... I LOVE your faces... and I have been wanting to try the graphitint pencils... and well now... I really do... also love the look of the aquatone... I haven't used those before... it is always lovely to try new art supplies... even new ones in your stash... I just pulled out my inktense blocks that have been sitting there for months... they are staying out

    Jenny x

  4. Happy belated Birthday to you! I love your 'reviews' even though I have DETERMINED not to buy anything else until I use up most of what I have and that's gonna take a few more years! I collected so much before moving to Colombia that I wonder if I'll ever run these items sound great...but will probably be obsolete by the time I need them!

  5. What a great review of all your new goodies...good for you, digging in and putting them all to use!

  6. Love your results, and I absolutely adore Derwent pencils they're my fav for watersoluable pencils, have fun continuing to play :) xx

  7. I'm not good with pencils and don't know anything about them... But I like your second girl, she seems like enlightened from the inside and I find the whole page with her both very pleasant to the eyes and soothing.

  8. I have not tried those pencils. For spray colors I have been using the Ranger Colorwash and Dylusions spray inks. You can dilute either by spraying the paper first with water. I like them better than Glimmer Mist because they do not have glitter or shine to them. A little goes a long way too. I saw a Dyan Raevely video from CHA where she sprayed facing pages in a journal book with water and then sprayed one side with several colors and quickly closed the book to get the color on the other page. Quick, easy peasy background colors. Then she put one of her stencils on top once it was dried and sprayed just water and wiped it off with a quick roll of the paper towel, making a muted color pattern. Great stuff!
    Aloha, Kate

  9. Thanks so much for sharing your product reports. I haven't used wither type of pencil and like to hear what others have to say about them.

  10. Interesting to see and hear about your new arty products, I like the spray colours!

  11. Thanks for the review. I liked the graphitints until I found out they can fade even in a closed journal! Make sure you take a quality scan of anything you draw with them in case you need or want it later. The crumbly crayon turned out to be really colorful. Your drawings look great.

  12. Interesting looking experiment =)

  13. thanks for sharing your road test of new art supplies. It's always good to see and read real tests of materials rather than the promotional guff. Wonderful portraits too - the colours are bursting through on the derwent one.


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