New Art Supplies

I was terribly disappointed not to be able to get the Derwent Drawing pencils in a tin of 24 after a friend recommended them. I could find no stores in Canada that sold them. Probably just as well since I didn’t have the money for the full set. This is what I wanted:


I did however manage to afford/find a collection of the Derwent Drawing coloured pencils that had sticks and pencils along with a 4B graphite pencil (which I didn’t need.) The set has some blue, green and yellow shades, and some nice earthy colours. It’s better than not finding them at all I suppose.

I have never used sticks in coloured pencil or any medium so that might be fun to smoosh down broad areas of background colour.




I also finally got the greyscale value finder I have wanted for six months, and a Staedtler kneaded eraser that actually works (unlike the cheap Prang brand kneadables which are not malleable like they are supposed to be.)

I wanted some nice coloured Strathmore paper but all I could get was their grey tone Softcover Art Journal. Batting a thousand as usual for unavailable art supplies in Canada.

I then threw in a pad of Strathmore C à grain paper, here labelled “Drawing 1557” but the same thing. It was recommended on the Dick Blick site for portraits.


In my Stillman and Birn Gamma sketchbook, I started drawing irises from human eyes to get some practice for the new pencils I eventually couldn’t buy in Canada (rolls eyes.)

I was using Lee Hammond’s book How to Draw Portraits in Colored Pencil from Photographs which is fairly good although she is overly fond of burnishing for my taste. I dislike burnishing in colored pencil, it often looks very fake to me.

I need to get a bit more blending around the pupil, perhaps in a gold, but I was somewhat pleased that I could at least get some realistic colouring to these. I’ll be working on these for a while and then drawing eyes with lids, lashes, and eyebrows. These two were done with Verithin Black and Indigo Blue.


Ideally I would like to get to the point where I can draw a realistic portrait, so I plan to work on proportion and measurement too. All things in time.

Still, I am disappointed that I couldn’t get the tin of Derwent Drawing coloured pencils. I have so much though, so I must think of all the things I DO have.


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4 Comments on “New Art Supplies”

  1. Those eyes you have done are amazing! Especially the one on the left.

    • JJ ColourArt Says:

      Thanks Steve, I drew up seven more to have a go at variations. They aren’t perfect yet, but each one teaches me what works and what doesn’t.

      I had to get the magnifying glass out for these. I can’t see well enough to do them at night so have to wait for the morning.

  2. ironwing Says:

    LOL, Verithins made me say “Ugh!” to colored pencils long ago. I haven’t found any colored pencils that I liked until I discovered these Derwent drawing pencils.

    The softcover journal looks nice. The pad that I got was rather fragile. The Strathmore Toned Gray paper is a bit thin but it’s a great color and a nice smooth surface.

    It’s too bad that the store didn’t have the full set of pencils but at least you can find out what they’re like. I haven’t tried the blocks (can’t get them in the U.S.) but they look interesting.

    I have never been into drawing portraits, which is one reason that I don’t consider myself a “real” artist in the usual sense for 2D work – I’m fine with being “just an illustrator.” Now I’m busy drawing cat eyes. No burnishing for me, either.

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