Saturday, November 12, 2016

Derwent - Drawn to Perfection

Derwent's new marketing communications includes 'Drawn to Perfection' 
reflecting its commitment to the artist community with the 
creation of innovative high quality art materials.

Here is my artwork 'drawn to perfection' 
with Derwent Graphic Pencils.

(viewable on pc only)

Derwent - Finished Work

Derwent - Graphic Pencils

finished work

Derwent - Work in Progress Cont.

I am totally loving these Derwent Graphic pencils! 

From the smooth laydown of the graphite to paper to the improved core strength allowing the sharpest point and crisp edges of the softest 9B are a shear delight.  Here are progressive scans of my current work in progress.  The light branches against the dark interior is usually a real challenge. But using a sharp tip of the 9B worked magically filling in the negative space between the thin branches.  The branches were then shaded using the HB.  The thin weeds were indented into the paper using the 9H and then a layer of 9B was applied.  This allowed the finest lighter lines to show through the darks.  The 2B is a beautiful mid-tone layered on the main barn boards.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Derwent - The Real Test - Work in Progress

Ultimately, the only test that counts is putting pencil to paper and just start drawing.  Here is the start of a barn as I try out the various Derwent lead grades.

Derwent Graphic pencils
11" x 14"
Strathmore 300 Series Bristol Board Smooth

Derwent - Comparison to Other Brands

This is always a fun test, comparing different brand's 
lead grades.  As graphite artists, there are a ton of 
HB lead Brand Comparison
different brands and finding which one fits your 
specific drawing technique can be challenging.
Over the years, I have tried most brands of graphite pencils.  My favorites are a mixture of brands as well as lead ranges.  

HB Lead Comparison 

The HB lead test definitely produced the most variation!  The brands used were Grafwood Caran d'ache, Palomino, Faber Castell 9000 series, Tombow and the new Derwents.  

The HB Derwent and Grafwood were the most similar in value with a nice silver tone.  However, the Grafwood laid down a bit smoother.  

Faber Castell had the most similar firmness as the Derwent but noticably darker.

The Palomino and Tombow are the darkest and the lead much softer.  The Tombow has more shine than the Palominio.  These make for great sketching pencils!  

4B Lead Comparison

The next Brand comparison was using the 4B lead.  The Brands included were Grafwood, Tombow, Palomino and Derwent.

These were much closer in both firmness as well as values with more subtle differences.

The Derwent, again is the lightest in value of the four with very little 'graininess'.

The Tombow is next in value darkness.

The smoothest, buttery feel goes to Grafwood and Palomino.  Both nice range of light to dark application.  Both have dark value with the Palomino being slightly darker.

9B Lead Comparison

I have only one Brand with a 9B and that is the Grafwood.  Again, the Derwent is slightly less in value that the Grafwood.  The Derwent is consistently firmer, leaving crisp, dark lines.  The Grafwood tip 'weardown' was markedly quicker than the Derwent.

9B Lead Brand Comparison

Derwent - Blending

While I do not use the blending technique 
(except for skies) much in my drawings, 
this test is good to see the "smudgability" 
of layered graphite.  The two blending tools 
used are the tortillon and chamois.  
Strathmore 300 Series Bristol Board Smooth has 
been consistently been used for all the tests so far.

The graphite has been layered onto the paper using a quick crosshatching.  An underhand pencil grip was used to keep the layers light to remain on the surface.  The text labels were written fairly heavy to test the smudging.

Here are the results:

The 6H is difficult to see and lays down very hard.  When using this lead grade with the intent to blend, multiple light layers would be needed.  

After spending the past few days working with the Derwents, the results do not surprise me.  They lay down very firm, smooth, with little graininess.  With the firm core, smudging is less, but blending is more difficult as well.  Applying lighter layers may provide better results.  Also paper plays a huge factor in how it reacts to graphite.  

Lack of "easy" blending is not a bad thing.  In fact, it is a characteristic that can be very beneficial.  Smudging is always a concern when drawing.  Crisp, clean pencil marks especially when working in smaller areas using dark tones is challenging with softer grades.

But, we still have more to come...

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Derwent - Old versus New

One of the Derwent Graphic key features is improved core strength.  This brings up the question of how much has the Derwent graphic pencils changed and is there an improved difference?  

I mentioned in my previous post that I have two older tins of Derwent Graphics and provides a perfect opportunity to compare the old versus new.  My older sets are missing a few pencils, so I will limit my testing to 3 different grades.

The first comparison and the biggest difference is the quality of wood and how they sharpen.  The older sets splinter as they sharpen, leaving the lead exposed and creating inconsistent sharpening.  The new Graphics sharpen clean.

The new Derwent Graphic on the left v. the older brand on the right.
The quality of the wood has improved over the years.

The F lead grade comparison:  There is a marked difference between the older Rexel and the New Derwent.  I had a tough time laying down a smooth gradation from dark to light.  The new Derwent F grade was just slightly smoother than the Acco logo.

Derwent Old to New Brand Comparison - F lead grade
Top - Rexel Logo, Middle - Acco Logo, Bottom - New Britain Logo 

The HB lead grade comparison:  There are impurities in the Rexel that appear as you lay down the graphite.  The new Derwent lays down a nice even shade.

Derwent Old to New Brand Comparison - HB lead grade
Top - Rexel Logo, Middle - Acco Logo, Bottom - New Britain Logo 

The 6B lead grade comparison:  The 6B is where the biggest differences are.  The old Rexel is not new are dark and rich as the new ones.  The Acco applied smoothly, but look at the grain texture! The new Derwent went on smooth, dark with little grain.    
Derwent Old to New Brand Comparison - 6B lead grade
Top - Rexel Logo, Middle - Acco Logo, Bottom - New Britain Logo 
 In summary, the Derwent pencil has markedly improved through the years!  So far, the key features of smooth colour laydown and improved core strength are holding true.

But there is still more testing to done.....