Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Perfect Picking - Mini Tutorial - working with Inktense and Coloured pencil on Canvas

Perfect Picking - 5x7 inches
Drawn with Derwent Inktense and
 Coloured pencil on Watercolour Canvas

Reference Photo

Transfer of image
Draw your outline and transfer your drawing to canvas using your favourite method of transfer. The canvas I used was Renoir Watercolour Canvas Panel, which has a very fine weave and is similar to Fredrix Watercolour canvas. You can use any fine weave canvas of your choice and still get similar results.

Dry Derwent Inktense Pencils
Inktense Pencils used dry. Colours used for the Strawberry include Cadmium Orange, Scarlet Pink, Tangerine, Poppy Red and Cherry. The little strawberry pips were coloured with Sicilian Yellow. The strawberry leaves were given a very light application of Spring Green and the Background was done using a combination of Spring Green, Hooker's Green, Beech Green, Iris Blue and Scarlet Pink.

Water added to Inktense Pencils
This is the same image after water has been applied to the Inktense pencils. An 0 and 3 brush were used for the strawberry and an old rough flat brush was used to stipple the background.

Colouring with Coloured Pencils
Here you can see we have started to colour the background and strawberry using coloured pencils. Colours used on the background include Faber Castell colours Chrome Oxide Green Fiery, Permanent Green Olive, Permanent Green, Apple Green, Olive Green, Pine Green, True Green, Grass Green and Light Green. Faber Castell Colours used on the strawberry include Cream, Cadmium Yellow and Light Ochre, Dark Chrome Yellow for the 'seeds', Cadmium Orange, Dark Flesh, Vermillion, Deep Scarlet Red, Pale Geranium Lake, and Light Carmine for the red strawberry. Madder and Purple (also known as Red Violet) were used for the darker recesses around the seeds. Light Flesh was used for the pink highlights.

Blending and Burnishing with Caran D'ache Pablos
In this image, the leaves of the strawberry have been coloured using Faber Castell colours Apple Green, Light green, Light Ochre, Walnut Brown and Brown Ochre. At this point all areas are then blended and burnished using the softer Caran D'ache Pablos. Colours used on the background include Grass Green, Light Olive, Olive Black, Khaki Green, Light Green, Spring Green, Light Ochre, Bluish Pale and Pale Yellow. Caran D'ache colours used on the strawberry include Ruby Red, Carmine, Apricot and Salmon Pink for the pink highlights. The leaves were burnished using Light Olive, Spring Green and Pale Yellow.

Adding detail with white ink
In this final image, I used some Art Spectrum Concetrated artist's ink in white to add little hairs around the strawberry, to give definition to existing white highlights and add further tiny ones. If you enjoyed this mini tutorial, please visit to find a list of more comprehensive tutorials.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Newsletter Launch

I often get asked by artists to let them know when knew drawing tutorials are released and also for hints and tips for working with coloured pencils. Over, the weekend, whilst at our youngest son's soccer breakup, it suddenly occurred to me that a newsletter would provide the perfect way of keeping everyone up to date. I spent much of the weekend compiling an email distribution list and putting together this first, short newsletter. I am hoping to make them a little longer and more informative in the future, but just wanted to put the feelers out for this first one. If you would like to be added to the email list, you can either send me an email, or message me via Facebook with you email address. I am planning to make this a monthly issue and would love to hear if you have any ideas for tutorials or questions you think everyone might like to know about. Happy drawing. :)

Friday, September 6, 2013

Pippa - Coloured Pencils on Black Mat Board

8x11 inches
Coloured pencil on Black Mat Board

This gorgeous little girl is called Pippa and I have drawn her a few times. She is the daughter of my artist friend Andrea Knowles, who kindly allowed me to use this reference photo again to create a drawing tutorial. I have had a bit of a passion for drawing on black surfaces and quite a few artists have asked me about skin tones when drawing on black. This 27 page tutorial is available from my website at I have done it predominantly using Caran D'ache Pablos and Faber Castell Polychromos. The Caran D'ache are more vibrant on the black support, but do tend to sit on the surface and leave more dust, and the Polychromos are wonderful for pushing the Pablo pigment into the black surface to give a smoother, more polished look :)