Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Getting to know a new box of pencils

Every year at my work there is an end of year bonus. I put most of it in a savings account to pay for trips and vacations (and repairs and unexpected expenses of course), but I always try to invest in some sort of art material as well.

After having gotten the full collection of Faber Castell Polychromos coloured pencils a few years ago and loving them, I decided that this time I would invest in their watercolour pencils, the Albrecht Dürer brand. They are exactly the same colour range but water soluble, so they are perfect to combine.

That's a 120 pencils!

Good quality (and rather pricey) art materials fresh out of the box are both breathtakingly beautiful and somewhat intimidating. I am a big believer of getting the good stuff and using it, even if you don't make masterpieces, but that doesn't mean that I don't have to swallow a few times as well before I pick up such pristine supplies and put them to paper.

The best way to get over this and get to know the colour range is simply to play with them, swatch colours and make some art. I decided to use sections of the box in the order they came in and do some colour gradients. In pattern form of course!

These were done in an old Moleskine watercolourbook, A4 size. It took quite some time to finish these, since you colour first and then wash them with a brush and water to really make the colours come alive. It means I had to go over every square or triangle twice!

I don't know if you are familiar with them, but these pencils remind me a little of the Caran D'Ache Neocolor II crayons in the way they respond to the water. They are more intense and therefore actually a bit less like watercolour than the watercolour pencils I already owned, but I sure do like them. I like the velvety finish they have and how pigmented they are and also how well they dissolve in water.

By doing these gradients I also get a good peek at the range of colour in the box and also: colour in general just makes me happy.

All in all I am very content with my new purchase and I'm sure I will enjoy this box for many years to come.

Wishing you all a wonderful and artsy day!