View Full Version : My Realms of Fantasy

05-05-2010, 02:22 AM
Hi everyone. I've recently taken back drawing/sketching and also currently immersed with colored pencils (which I love so much!).

My journal is not really about places I've been or seen although it may have an influence. It is more of what I am thinking or in the mood to draw, wethere a sketch for a bigger piece, concept or just something I want to draw at that particular moment.

I've tried CPs on my moleskin but it is hell to color with as the layers build up it is just to glossy (or maybe I press too hard at the time, i don't know) so I decided to stick with my other favorite --- graphite!

Here's a few....

This was the first one I made here, started as a sketch of a female knight, people prodded me to finish it completely, so I did and I liked the way it turned out, after almost 10 years without practice, though I did not have any formal study anyway :(

I love drawing females depicted in fantasy settings.

This was another fast drawing to test out the cheap Bruynzeel we've bought. Honestly, I do not want to go back to them anymore, after having merged with another company, their products seem to be for kids nowadays. Yes, dragons in my head at this time, though I made the piece on a larger format instead.http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-May-2010/221150-DSCN8315.jpg

This one I did with Staedtler Noris Clubs, another cheap package I was trying to play with. This was for reviewing proportions.

more to come. Thanks for stopping by :)

05-05-2010, 07:38 AM
fun fantasy subjects :)

you might like polychromos or Lyra better? I do. For me they mix better and it's easy to build an intensity of colour - or very subtle mixes. It might be worth trying just one from an open stock supplier to see what you think of the way they behave.

05-05-2010, 10:24 AM
Thanks Vhere! I'm actually eyeing on those small blisters of different brands to try them out.

I do have some tests made from prismalos from caran d'ache (borrowed from my dear wife). Again, still raw green from colored pencils...

I did this while waiting in the train station. I had the whole bench for myself and voila, a quick one :D

These two are for preparation of a bigger piece. I wanted to draw an enormous wurm thrashing through the forest amongst panic stricken orcs.
This is where this journal comes in handy too, as I am able to spare making mistakes or even changing the whole piece before putting it on a bigger

And this is what I thought the "master" of the wurm should be. Did this one during my break.

I was doing a lot of research on references about medieval clothes and was also practicing the eternal circle concepts, thus the little circles above her head :lol:

And here's one more during my break just depicting a lady saying hi with three different clothes (coudn't decide what to put on her!)
well that's it for now. :) Thanks for looking.

05-05-2010, 11:45 AM
Nice fantasy drawings! I like your theme. Love the active poses and imaginative details, You're having fun with this one!

I'd recommend Derwent Coloursoft if they're not too expensive where you live. They do come in blister packs and the small sets are well chosen for being able to mix from a very short palette. Caran d'Ache Pablo are probably cheaper in your part of the world than they are in the USA and they rock. I like the Polychromos and Lyra Rembrandt too. The main thing is to find some soft colored pencils, they will blend a lot better even on a relatively low tooth paper than cheap ones and have stronger pigments.

Derwent Inktense used dry are a lot like Prismacolors, very soft. So are the new formula Derwent Watercolour Pencils, my latest favorite.

05-05-2010, 05:09 PM
Lovely ladies, all of them.

Vivien Maloney
05-05-2010, 11:43 PM
I like your theme and the fantasy sketches are very good. I agree with what Robert says, that the more expensive coloured pencils are better and I think you'd be much happier with the result. Derwent are very good, and Pablos as well.

05-07-2010, 10:07 AM
Thanks DrDebby! I love drawing females, especially in fantasy settings :)

Vivien, thanks for the suggestions too! I do have a couple of Pablos, going to try out Derwent's line. I'm glad a lot of people like Caran d'Ache too:clap: because it's not so popular in reviews and even on instruction books. :(
Yup, no more cheap pencils. no more! :mad:

robertsloan2, Thanks! Yup, recently got 12 Coloursoft, Inktense and Artists to test out their feel before buying a huge set. They are indeed expensive, but that's OK since they are indeed quality pencils anyway :)

I was concerned when I saw Blue Grey 6800 from our Artists set had a slight crack on the tip but was fine even when I sharpened them. :thumbsup: Luckily enough too, we can buy them by piece which is very good once we're more familiar with Derwent's color spectrum.

So, after my nightmares using Bruynzeel and Staedtlers, I don't want to ever go back to them again after having used Caran d'Ache Prismalo (borrowed from my wife purpalia) and Supracolor.

The reason I wanted to use those cheap pencils was for practice since I am very new to colored pencils and I was really scared to use the quality stuffs, afraid that I'd waste them out of my clumsiness in the medium hehe.

But then, when I tried the artist grade pencils, what a difference! Pigments went out very quickly and more evenly! Now, let's hope I'd be careful enough sharpening them especially from what I've read at the pencil library. Prismacolors, sadly enough are not available here.

Hopefully we'd get our hands on Faber-Castell Polychromos this weekend, now we have all the brands to try out (I'm already a fan of Derwent line though, hehe) and see which ones we like best :D

Well, another daily sketch, this was crammed again in break and a few minutes in the morning before leaving. I'd like to call this, "Travel in Style" :lol: which was inspired by a friend of mine who's taking the plane to travel. I just wish we had more time :crying:

Thanks again for spending seconds of your lives looking at my (sometimes demented) sketches :wave:

05-07-2010, 11:09 AM
Oh my! I LOVE all these beautiful, powerful women. Fantasy is definitely not my genre, but I appreciate the ability you have to sketch something so realistic looking from imagination. I like them all, but my favorite is "Travel in Style." Looking forward to seeing more.

05-07-2010, 11:24 AM
Your drawings are fun :D. You're obviously much into fantasy inspired thing, I bet you're into online games, like WOW as well ;).

Anyway, another recommendation for colored pencils I have for you would be Caran D'Ache Luminance. I really like them best. As far as I understand it they're made with wax just like the Prismas, hence they blend just as well as the latter.

05-07-2010, 08:41 PM
Lovely way to travel. :)

05-08-2010, 12:33 AM
Your dragonrider is cool, lifting her tattered skirt to climb up and travel in style! Your journal is delightful. Well proportioned dragon with a great expression, she has a great expression too.

The main thing to remember in sharpening extra soft colored pencils is to always use a fresh pencil sharpener blade. It can even be one of the cheapest children's sharpeners as long as it's new -- demote it to sharpening cheap HB pencils as soon as there's any trouble turning the pencil against it. If you need to press hard, the blade is too dull. Fresh blades cut through the wood so easily it's a great feeling -- and that's what keeps points from cracking inside the case.

Also storing them well so they're not banging into each other. They don't do badly kept in pencil cups but some brands, if the tin gets tilted they all roll to the bottom and get internal breakage. Prismacolor tins were nasty for that till they invented the system in the latest big tin, where they stack and a lid keeps them all pressed into place if the tin's tilted.

I use elastic-band cases for my good artist grade pencils, especially the ones I use the most. It's a bit of an expense at the start -- the easel ones are ten dollars or so for one that holds 120 pencils, at ASW, while Blick and ASW and Jerry's all carry the Global Classic leather cases. I like leather, so I spent for the extra luxury and then liked how those handle better -- they don't take as much space to carry a large set with me if I want to go somewhere. Both types will protect delicate artist grade pencils well enough that I never get internal breakage except on getting them from stores in open stock.

Sometimes the ones in bins at stores have been knocked out on the floor too many times, the core cracks but you can't tell it's a bad pencil till you sharpen it. Then the point falls out... again and again and again. If it does that with a new sharpener, I wind up going back to the store for a replacement and most stores will just give me a replacement.

05-08-2010, 01:40 AM
From all the drawings my husband did, I must say that the sketches on this journal are my favourite so far, especially the "Ride in Style" :)

@RobertSloan : wonderful piece of advice, thank you so much for sharing :cat:

05-08-2010, 03:45 AM
Thanks everyone!

Jake, thanks! Yes, I love them too! I still need training though hehe. I do think anyone can make art related to fantasy in one way or another. I myself do not have any formal study but just got them from observation like the favorite movies, pen-and-paper games of Dungeons & Dragons, Tolkien, Magic: The Gathering, etc. that I love SO much!

Silvia, Thank you! You've guessed it right except for WOW, which I really detest haha. Not that it's bad or anything, I just don't like the idea of having to buy a game, then paying to PLAY the game forever XD.

I'm a big fan of Magic: The Gathering Trading card games, RPG games (with D&D rules), fantasy books like Dungeons and Dragons (very strong influence here), Forgotten Realms, Lord of the Rings, various superhero comic books and manga, etc. (although I am a software developer by profession, I love reading!)

Thanks for the suggestion too, we've recently indulged ourselves in dozens of Derwent and maybe some Polychromos later :D

Debby, indeed haha! Thanks! :)

Robert, Thank you! I am really satisfied on how it turned out too! I am really cautious about sharpening, thanks for the tips (I've seen your hubs too)! For the meantime, we put them back on their respective cases. Way the go for leather! Great choice!

luckyily enough, we hadn't had broken pencils except for a point that was broken. Nothing a little sharpening can fix, the lead inside was still solid (thankfully)

It was funny before, although I know it's essential, sharpening those pencils hurt. I hate seeing them shrink, but well, that's the way it is :)

Sandra, (my purpalia :) )
I have you to thank for the moleskin and colored pencils gift :heart: I love drawing with you.

05-08-2010, 12:12 PM
Fun! It's so enjoyable to see all the different journals and I like the fantasy aspect of yours.

05-09-2010, 04:10 AM
Thanks, NHyde! I've been browsing a lot of them too :D

Well, I've got new stuff to post but it seems that the forums limits the pictures in 24 hours? My wife and I use the same IP :(

Anyway, I hope I can get my hands on Derwent's Graphitint pencils!

Graphite. :)
Color. :thumbsup:
Water-Soluble!:clap: :clap: :clap:

EDIT: Uploading of pictures worked!

Just polished my "Travel in Style" a bit more just a before lunch yesterday. I completed the other wing, more shading and tones, and also gave the young dragon a more "friendly" eye :D

Again, having indulged ourselves with dozens of different Derwent Pencils, I've tried out their "Drawing" line almost hastily. I actually wanted to draw the pencil but just didn't have much time (OK, I got lazy a bit there was a lot to do!). I just wanted to lay down colors :lol:. We happened upon their Coloursoft 48 in a wooden box on sale! It's the last one, so we got it for a very reasonable price. I've always wanted it :D So, the Derwent House. Yes, I'm officially a fan now... can't wait to use their Graphitint! I just hope they are available here! :(
My wife just had to put that caricature there :lol:

05-09-2010, 01:57 PM
This is great! I love the refinements to "Ride in Style," they complete the balance of the picture and keep the composition which was already pretty cool before -- now it sings. Wonderful page.

I love the Derwent House page too. That's so fun. Derwent Drawing Pencils are among my all-time favorites -- super soft and opaque, the most opaque white pencil and smoothest opaque black pencil that I've ever used. They expanded the range from 6 to 24 in 2005 or so, and I was so happy to get some cool colors as well as the four indispensible earth tones I was used to.

I love your wife's caricature on this page. The smiling wicked face and pencil through her hair is just right! Way cool!

You'll love the Graphitints when you get them. They get brighter when they're washed, so I often combine dry areas in a Graphitints piece with washed areas that have more color and a change in texture. They are very soft, like soft graphite pencils, and used dry the color's very subtle. Used wet, it's bright in relation to dry Graphitints and muted in relation to watercolor pencils -- so it's this perfect mid-balance between spectrum brights and monochrome.

They also gave everything I did with them an eerie, spooky look because of the silvery graphite sheen. It surprised me, but that's what they did when I got hold of them. Not something I expected since the cover art was a nature painting in realism.

Every time I think of getting Pablos or Supracolor Soft at last, or Bruynzeel Artist grade, Derwent invents another interesting cool pencil or expands the range of one that I already love and then I wind up buying the Derwents again. It's like the wicked mad scientists at their color labs know the contents of my wallet and know exactly when to lure me away from other companies. I sometimes picture them working late into the night while lightning rods provide the power for their electricity, bubbling retorts and all, coming up with strange pencils no one else even thought of doing before...

I love it. Derwent stuff is just fun. I reviewed lots of it on my art supply reviews blog, if you haven't seen it yet it's in my signature.

Derwent Drawing Pencils are great, but you know that now.

Yay for your wood box of 48 Coloursoft! Derwent does really cool wood box sets and the best way to get them is on sale. It's something that could go out in the living room along with a hardbound sketchbook even in a very formal living room and not be out of place with antique wing chairs and crystal chandeliers -- they always make me think of that sort of thing. And they're practical, they are very good protection for the pencils.

I went into describing pencil protection and sharpening mostly because you and Purpalia had both mentioned that you're exactly at the point of getting good artist grade pencils after getting frustrated by cheaper children's and student grade ones. I had so much trouble with Prismacolors and internal breakage ever since my first set in 1971 that I've spent a lot of time trying to find ways to prevent it. Of course, Prismacolor is the worst offender for internal breakage. Coloursofts are just as soft, but more opaque and a bit less prone to it.

I think some of that is the way that Derwent makes their more delicate pencils thicker than normal so there's also a bit more wood protecting them and the cores are fatter. Why do I imagine the mad color scientists at their factory putting pencils through crash tests while devising their formulas?

05-09-2010, 04:25 PM
Thanks, Robert! You know those times when you do something, half serious then it turns out to be quite good. I just couldn't leave it half finished :D.

Yes, that caricature was upon seeing me shading mindlessly. I wanted to finish something before we had lunch because we had errands after so that was a really quick one. I liked it too, I do have some pages I haven't posted yet featuring a LOT of doodles (hers too!). :lol:

Oh, the internal breakage problem. :crying: We are quite fortunate not to have one (yet! I hope never!). Holding and using the pencils, they felt sturdy, even the coloursoft ones. Even their Drawing line, despite their creamy texture, they felt solid and laying down colors was a breeze.

Graphitint! This is something that blew my mind. I cannot wait to have and test them! I love graphite and adding steroids to them like they did makes them an instant fave!

You know what, I really don't know what they smoke there in Derwent but they make amazing pencils! I went to their site and discovered some of their production processes and I was shocked to know that those pencils are put into wooden boxes and tin cases manually! :eek: Human touch rules haha!

That wooden box was made for us! I actually saw that but didn't quite pay attention to it as I knew that heirloom collections costs more for the box. But then, when I looked at the price, it was marked down to the price of a tin box set! We love it!

I swear I'll make a derwent themed sketch (better!) one of these days. I am also making some personalized color swatches on one of my sketchbooks as reference and also to familiarize myself with Derwent's color spectrum (gosh, I love their greens and magnificent blues!)

I've seen your reviews and samples which are awesome and insightful. We'd like to try oil pastels someday, but one thing at a time. We really want to improve on coloured pencils first!

I just wished we had more time to draw. All of us! Thanks again! We have to call it a night here. Until next time! :wave:

05-09-2010, 09:25 PM
The young lady and her dragon are even better. Wow!

05-11-2010, 01:54 AM
Thanks DrDebby! I should make more of them. :D
Finally got our Derwent Graphitint. I wasn't dissappointed! :clap: I like the shiny texture it gives when used dry and definitely blown away by those vibrant color washes!

The Moleskine journal isn't really designed for other media, so I'll just post up my other journals here on this same thread to avoid making multiple ones. Loving those Daler Rowney cold pressed watercolour pads.

Our local art store gave us a discount card when we bought the Derwent Wooden box! It really makes a difference!

There seems to be a problem as I cannot upload pictures. I'll use attachments instead.

First pic was a sketch I continued. I also wanted to test out the Koh-I-Noor Progresso that we had. It is indeed useful for backgrounds, well the one I made here wasn't the best as it screws up the graphite drawing. I'll revisit this sometime and fix it.

Second pic was done on a 15-minute break. I intend to continue it later. It's a cliffhanger type of scene hehe.

Next is color swatches from Derwent's Drawing (6-pack) and an elongated face. This is what happens to my proportions if I don't start with graphite. Which comes to another question, if I use Graphite and go over them with Graphitint, will using a kneaded eraser take off Graphitint as well? I haven't had time to test it out. I'm gonna try it later.

Last one is from my other journal, I used graphite HB for the outline, went over with Sanguine (from Derwent Drawing) and lifted graphite with a kneaded eraser. So far it worked (I think) as I didn't have any problem with the graphite smudging my work.

Well, thanks for looking. See yah! :wave:

05-11-2010, 02:57 AM
I agree on the Graphitint, they are the most versatile things I ever seen... They also seem to be the hardest to tame as well!

Ah, like I said, I really love the shading on the last lady portrait you did last night with the Derwent Drawing! :cat: can't wait to get my set of 6 hehe ^^


05-11-2010, 09:09 AM
Great drawings again! So glad you got the Graphitint, I knew you'd like them. They do erase as well as a soft graphite pencil, graphite under them blends right in, but if washed you have to take them up like watercolor and it won't go all the way back to white.

Cool little tin for the Derwent Drawing Pencils. Those have the best strong black and the best opaque white of any colored pencils I've ever used. The earth tones are extremely handy. You can do the burnished, layered soft-pencil Prismacolor painting techniques with them too, that's always fun.

Like the way you developed the second face, her hair texture is excellent and her features are better proportioned. Cool cliff hanger sketch, very good proportions and pose. Cool first drawing too. Koh I Noor Progresso background didn't really ruin the pencil work at all, I like how that came out.

05-11-2010, 02:29 PM
More cool sketches. Love seeing your experiments.

05-11-2010, 02:56 PM
These are such fun! I love that you are fitting these in during breaks, or waiting on a train platform... total escapism!!
I'm a big fan of Derwent pencils too, but I have to say my favourite are the Faber Castell Albrecht Durer watercolour pencils as they have a great colour range. I use them dry and with water and carry them around in a roll up case.
Well done!

05-12-2010, 09:39 AM
Robert, yeah, I was amazed at how black their black is! I'm really happy with the sets we have. I'll be doing some more reading as that cliffhanger sketch I was trying to do stumped me. It was indeed a bold and challenging pose and I couldn't get her neck right! :mad: Also more importantly, control of washes from watercolours/wc pencils. So, review, review, review, tsk tsk. :rolleyes: Thanks!

Thanks, Debby, cairomum! Yep, breaks and tests! Arhgh! I want them both (Polychromos and Albrecht Durer)!

OK, it's official, my moleskine journal notebook will stay normal graphite only sketches as I want to use quality colored pencils on real quality paper and also thicker ones that can allow a wash.

When I was a kid, we were never taught that the medium should be used on thick paper! Can you believe that? They let kids use watercolor on thin bond papers? :mad:

Anyway, Daler-Rowney had affordable watercolor pads (I got the size around A5) that we took advantage of. These three are going to be my main "journals" since they have three different textures. Moleskine for graphite sketches, Daler-Rowney cachet for colored dry media and the watercolour pad for washes. :D

That way, I'd take up only one slot in the forum. :thumbsup: The one with a colorful page are my tests on graphitint as well as real watercolors. The one below turned to be in a shape of a tribal statue, so I accented it with Faber-Castell Pitt pen brush :lol: I also discovered that I put way too much water, noted that for next time. I basically wanted to use washes for water, sky, sea and other landscapes that are great for backgrounds of my subjects.

I also finished up the woman I was building up the color last night during my break (this should be called the break journal :lol: ) iPod buds on my ears listening to Megadeth while drawing helps out too!

I've also included some color swatches. If you find any use for them, grab them. The last picture was a little caricature my wife (purpalia) did on the cover of my Green Daler-Rowney Sketchpad.

I love my wife but I also love drawing women in fantasy worlds!

Joan T
05-12-2010, 10:45 AM
Your drawings are really great!!! I like the idea of keeping them in a journal for future reference.

05-12-2010, 11:54 AM
Great to see you experimenting.

05-13-2010, 03:30 AM
I love Graphitints! They are so versatile! Okay, admitedly I use them for lots of other stuff they're not supposed to be used for to, just because it works :D.
I'm havin a hard time with the Derwent Drawings, though, but that's another story.

Doing color charts is a very good idea. So often the color on the outside of does in no way represent the actual color of the pencil. Now you gave me a good idea what to do this weekend ;).

I'm curious what is going to happen to the sketch of the girl in the second picture in post 19. She's truly a cliffhanger in every aspect of the word.
The graphitint drawing of the woman turned out great. I never would have thought that heavy metal and art works so well together ^-~.

The chibi drawings on the front side of your cover are cute. So your wife is at least willing to play the model for you? I would take her by her word, it's much better to work from life than from photos :D :D

05-13-2010, 03:20 PM
Thanks Joan! Yup, comes in handy when choosing colors (still learning more about it, though).

Silvia, I love them too! Their Drawing line is creamy i feel like their soft pastels put into pencils but very ideal for huge formats :D That lady was actually made from Drawing 6-pack blister although I've made the color charts for Graphitint on its side to use up that blank space (sorry for the confusion :o ). I did a bit of Graphitints below though :)

I have a great idea for that cliffhanger scene. I was just stuck with the angle of her face, a bit of reading fixed that :thumbsup: but that's for another day :thumbsup: .Oh, no, I could draw her. I just couldn't draw anyone that I personally know! :lol:

New stuff! Well, sort of mini-tests too! I wanted to compare differences on all the water-soluble pencils that we owned, although I didn't want to redraw the same monster again for the other two tests as I was pressed by time :o

Inktense are great too! Even without water, the pigments are indeed intense! Adding water makes them even more brighter. I just need to learn how to control them some more, but I love them!

I could draw using Graphitint from start to finish though as it was more erasable and can be used for outlining!

Caran d'Ache Supracolor was super too! They may not be as bright as Inktense but has strong pigments too. I've used a bit of Faber-Castell's Pitt Brush pen along with the washes.

Koh-I-Noor wasn't as good as all others but that was understandable if I compare the price, but they're not bad too!


05-13-2010, 03:33 PM
Raymond, thanks for showing all your tests and swatches. I'd go ahead and use colored pencils or penwork on the Moleskine notebook even if it's got the thin paper. I just try to avoid washes on it since it'll cockle very easily. Great variety of pads and journals and sketchbooks you've got now.

I love the comparative monsters. Both of them look great in different ways. Graphitints does have that slightly spooky effect that's so powerful, and it is good for outlining. Inktense has the Outliner in the set unless you got a quite small set, and that's handy too. It's also a good soft graphite pencil in its own right, I picked up an extra one for that.

I've got a full set of Polychromos but I still have yet to get any Albrecht Durers. I've heard that like Inktense, they don't re-wet once they've been washed -- it'd be interesting to see how that works, and so many people recommend them. Supracolor Soft are wonderful. I got a couple of those from a friend who wanted me to try those and Pablos and I really like them, but have yet to get a set of them. Of course right now I'm having so much fun with the Derwent watercolour pencils that I probably won't get new pencils for a few months.

The little manga cat girl cartoons are delightful, love the captions and continuing comments on her. Sandra did a gorgeous female face too, so cool that you go in and out of each others' journals that way.

05-13-2010, 09:56 PM
Very cool monsters. The color tests are great information. Thank you for sharing.

05-14-2010, 11:00 AM
Debby, thanks! Let's hope there's time in the weekend! :cat:

Robert, I've looked for that outliner pencil and there IS a possibility to get it on singles, I just hope they have LOTS of it because I'll ravage through them! :D Unfortunately, we don't have them on our small set of 12.

I do love Caran d'Ache too! Pablos are great, but like you, we're having so much joy using our new set of pencils. It's super easy to get them here too, since it's the dominant brand. We'll get back to them soon.

Perhaps being usable only once is the greatest attribute inktense has. I like the idea of letting them dry and then following up with more details on top without worrying to smudge off the first layer of pigment. It's awesome! :clap:

I still am learning to control those washes though, I hadn't expected it to be uncontrollable at times. I do tend to put too much or too little. :crying:

I wanted to see how Graphitint would faire when used dry. It was cool! I like how the colors turned out with that shiny, spooky look. My only grudge are perhaps the lack of yellow (Meadow 10 seems to be close) red(Autumn Brown 17 is closest i could find) and pink(no luck with this one). I could draw faster with these too, they're so smooth.

Here's the Necromancer from Lord of the Rings I found on White Dwarf May 2006 issue. Not really a copy from the reference on the cover where he was facing forward. I just took note of the shape of his helm, that breastplate and the rest is just improvised his pose and clothing. The reason I do this, is for some reason, when I copy something part by part, I tend to screw up proportions, whereas if I make my own from memory and observing the subject, I could get a better idea of proportions. (strange i know :o )

The greens didn't show up much on the photo, though. Ah well. I really like Graphitint. Derwent, please smoke some more of whatever you smoked when you invented these! Pink, Yellow and Red please? :D:thumbsup:

And here's a couple more tests on Graphitint with water. I'm planning to make an underwater scene. This will take a bit more time. I want perfect water ripples and waves! :D

New additions here are the small dragon and that toxic fish. Both done with Derwent Graphitint and a bit of Faber-Castell PITT brush pen. Below them are just more tests for backgrounds.

05-14-2010, 12:31 PM
Those comparison tests are awesome. The Inktense are just that: intense! Wow. Love them just as much as the graphitints. However, I've recently heard evil rumour that their intense color wouldn't last a long time?!? Some people reported that their sketches they painted one year ago using Inktense pencils have already faded away significantly. :confused: I cannot attest to that, at least the sketches I have with them still look just as bright as on the first day.

Your Necromancer is really scary :eek:. Don't want to meet him at night in some dimly lit street. Okay, actually I wouldn't want to meet him at noon in a fully crowded place either ;) :lol:

05-14-2010, 03:29 PM
Great comparisons on the different pencils. I love your version of the Necromancer -- that's the way to deal with photo references all right, just use them for knowing the details and construct the pose yourself. That rocks.

Like the little dragon and toxic fish.

05-15-2010, 11:40 AM
Great pose on the necromancer. Scary. Yeah, I heard that both the graphitint and the inktense were not light fast at all. Don't know if it's true since I have not used either. Perhaps someone here on WC has done a light test.

05-16-2010, 04:26 AM
Debby, check the Derwent home page: http://www.pencils.co.uk/ -- they helpfully list lightfast ratings for almost all of their products. They also update those charts sometimes when they reformulate the product, as in the new watercolour pencils which have many more lightfast hues than they used to. Of course in sketchbooks, that's much less of a problem.

I'll never forget going to The Cloisters in New York and seeing Books of Hours from the 13th and 14th century -- little fat pocket sized books of bound parchment with incredible colour miniatures in them done mostly in watercolour and gouache. Fugitive pigments that had vanished or turned brown from public paintings like altar pieces and frescoes were just as bright as the day they were painted because the books had been stored so long and kept closed most of the time.

So I treat my sketchbooks and any ATCs that go into albums as okay to use less lightfast supplies, though if I give them away I let people know what's in it to know how to take care of it.

05-16-2010, 10:23 AM
Thanks Silvia, Debby, Robert! Crap, I just discovered the Chestnut from our Graphitint set doesn't work except the sides. I tried to sharpen it, but it seems that the center of the lead has dried out. It's like a ballpen without ink when I use it. :( Still serviceable for shading though.

I too, cannot attest to both Inktense and Graphitint lightfastness as I have only used them recently. As usual, the palest pigments have the least lightfast ratings.

I've also heard about fugitive colors that are forever lost in Stained Glass. The problem is, no one knows how to reproduce those colors anymore, they say the recipe is lost.

Do you think it's possible to preserve it using fixatives? To us, this is less of a problem though (for the moment) because they stay inside our sketch pads. I do think that this is a huge issue if you have works to be displayed.

For new stuff, I mixed a bit of Derwent Graphitint with Coloursoft. The first "mermaid" on top of the page is made from Graphitint and a tad of coloursoft but the rest are made with Coloursoft. Those are part of my imaginative world :lol:.

I find them... well, really soft, smooth and bright! They are like oil pastels (which I loved from my childhood!) put into pencils. No aquarelle options here though.

The dragon was made from Graphitint too with a light wash. This will make it easier to fill up a huge area. I'll make a bigger one.

05-16-2010, 01:39 PM
Interesting mermaids! I love the shining texture of their armor, they look armored and almost prehistoric. Coloursoft are among the most lightfast of Derwent's colored pencils, also the most opaque and softest, very close to the Derwent Drawing Pencils range (which are the top for lightfastness and softness). Love your Graphitints dragon, it's so dramatic. Gorgeous head and very natural S-curve to the neck, like a long-necked dinosaur or bird. The toothed beak also gives the dragon a great prehistoric, deadly look.

Frustrating about your Chestnut pencil. If you explain this to the place you bought the set, they may send you a replacement pencil. Blick did when the Port color Graphitint had that problem in my set.

I still love oil pastels. Have you had a look at my oil pastels site? The artist grade ones are even better than the ones you had as a kid, some of them are incredible. Caran d'Ache Neopastels are my favorites. I didn't get oil pastels as a kid, didn't try them till I was an adult and thought they might be a cheap way to do oil paintings with a little turpentine to dissolve them. Now I love them and use them often.

Kids don't deal with transparency well. I would've loved oil pastels and opaque watercolor as a kid, only learned how to use wax crayons and watercolor decades later as an adult. It helps to be able to cover over mistakes and put light over dark details!

05-16-2010, 02:30 PM
Such innocent looking, cute creatures... that become quite threatening when you take a look at their tail!

One of my favourite drawing! :)

05-16-2010, 02:41 PM
I do not know whether fixatives will help. Yet, using some UV fixative shouldn't be that bad an idea.
See, most of the times I'm wondering whether these people who have such issues with fading use those pencils on the right type of paper. Some papers and some sketchbook just contain paper with too much acid in it, so all colors will fade or change over the course of time.

The mermaids are beautiful :thumbsup:

05-16-2010, 03:09 PM
Thanks! I love them too! As purpalia put it, these are not quite innocent but special creatures if you make out what the third "mermaid" has for a tail. :D I always have this love for prehistoric and fantastic creatures. Their fusion is the ultimate fantasy!

Silvia, you could be right about the paper too. You know back then when we didn't have any Derwent pencils, we've heard a lot of negative things about coloursoft especially. The biggest issue was that they allegedly broke too quick and often.

Once we've had our own set, not a single pencil has crumbled on me. I'm sure it's just with the care we take when sharpening and handling them. Now there's this evil rumor of their lightfastness. I guess only time could tell. :rolleyes:

Robert, regarding a broken pencil, that's quite complicated here. Especially if it's a blister, they don't replace them. I guess it would be an exception if it happened to several clients or pencils.

Yeah, we actually watched your videos! Absolutely magnificent! We finally see Ari too :D I've also been drooling over those Neopastels and Rembrandts. I prefer colored pencils for the moment though and working on a fairly decent canvas size primarily for the accuracy I could achieve in details.

I do love oil pastels, I received mine when I was like 12 long with that big bunch of markers and watercolors that were probably kids stuff but I was the happiest kid ever!

We'd probably get some as they are quite portable too. :cat:

I wish I had brought my sketches back then, I left them back home. I drew this guy with the oil pastels I had. I'm going to draw him again. This is one of my hobbies back in my college years, they were trading cards that was a complicated game of imagination and tremendous calculation, as well as occasional bluffing.

05-16-2010, 03:26 PM
Oh that's fun! Thinner techniques that I showed in the videos for oil pastels will also work with colored pencils, the best thinner is rubber cement thinner but odorless mineral spirits and odorless turpentine substitutes also work just as well. It depends on what texture you want in the wash and it's great for getting a layer of underpainting down to add textured layers over it.

I had some friends who played those trading card games back in New Orleans, though I didn't get into it with them. It cost a lot to collect and I always had art supplies on a higher priority. Too bad the Belgian shops don't exchange damaged pencils if they were in a tin or blister. I thought that Derwent and the other manufacturers simply made good for those factory errors when the shops would report them.

I'll make sure to include Ari in future videos too, anytime I have to watch paint dry I'll cut to the cat sleeping or playing or something.

05-16-2010, 10:32 PM
Wicked cool mermaids. Wouldn't want to meet them though. Your dragon is remarkable. Oh, I played MtG with my kid. Even entered a few tournaments. Lost horribly. :o But it was fun. Had to find a new home for all the cards when I moved. They are at a friends house in another state. :rolleyes:

05-17-2010, 11:38 AM
Thanks, Debby! Are you serious!? Send them over here! They will always have a place here! :D

Oh, but seriously this game is wicked and fun. It will take over your life if you're not careful. I've seen it destroy relationships and drop kids out of school. I myself am slightly *cough* guilty of this. Multiple possibilities and probabilities. Matches never turn out the same. That's the beauty of it. I was addicted to it.

I remember using up half of my allowance just to save up for cards during the weekend. I could play 6 hours straight without feeling hungry or thirsty. It's just that much fun! In my years of playing the game, I have met a lot of good friends that became my best, they were also my teammates. We stormed tournaments with our rogue strategy. I was seriously aiming to make a career out of it as these tournaments give away prize money and selling the cards that I win also makes profits from peanuts.

But then again for how long will that last? A winning streak could only last for long and the other teams have sponsorships, thus more money, more cards. My last year of play was satisfying though as my total deck value was around $200 for all 60 cards in my deck while that of my opponent was around $1,200 for the same quantity of cards and I still beat him. :D

Good times. Life caught up with me pretty soon enough though, the reason why I quit. MTG has some of the best artists I've known like Rebecca Guay which I love for her mastery in watercolors! I am still collecting all cards with her artwork hoping that one day I could meet her and let her sign my cards. I'd be the happiest fan :)

Robert, I love the mini Ari commercials. Don't edit them, they are spontaneously fun! There's one more issue I am quite worried about is that I do not see Graphitint much let alone singles. I think the European market is still testing out their profitability or something.

Good news though, we've got ourselves a Cotman Pocket Sketcher's Box set! It's seems that they are on promotional sale here in Europe (around $18!) Twelve lovely colors and a very cute brush that fits in your pocket!

I made a little something to embody my love for art supplies as I've been drooling at them for quite a while and I've never imagined how fun it is to have mixed media. I want them all!

I'll verify first though for some of the artwork I have that may be a bit suggestive/sexy. Maybe I need a butt icon here... :D

05-17-2010, 01:03 PM
Wow! Raymond, she is sexy! But I don't think she needs a butt icon because her nipples are covered -- she meets the rules for covers of old science fiction digest magazines. She can go public -- barely. Think of Cosmopolitan covers too. They'd do something like that. Excellent! Great proportions too. Muscular, she looks like she works out and she's really tough.

Too bad Graphitints are scarce where you live. Maybe if you had them shipped direct from a UK supplier it wouldn't be too bad for the shipping, though you might want to combine multiple small items to make the shipping pay for itself.

Congratulations on the Cotman Sketcher's Box! It's well worth it. I remember how good the Cotman watercolors were -- they are excellent. You'll be happy to know that price probably isn't a temporary sale price either -- on sale that set sometimes comes as low as $12 here in the USA. It's one of the greatest bargains in the Winsor & Newton lineup, for some mysterious reason lots cheaper than other comparable sets in a different box. Maybe they do that to hook you in and get you using their paints, then tempt you with the specialty boxes like the Field Box at a big mark-up.

For the longest time I couldn't get Cotman half pans by themselves so I would buy a Sketcher's Box to replenish my Cotman Field Box, then give any remaining half used pans away to an interested beginner. I'd replace when I hit bottom on any of the pans but there was always still a bit on the sides so they'd get the full range to work with. I brainlessly didn't realize I could have gotten the Cotman tubes to replenish the pans a lot cheaper. When you use up any colors in your Sketcher's Box, just look for those colors in Cotman tubes. I tended to run out of Ultramarine fastest.

Cotman watercolors are lots stronger than the Reeves ones that you've both been using. So you'll see some dramatic differences the first time you paint with it.

05-17-2010, 01:27 PM
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
:thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

She's fantastic!:D

05-17-2010, 01:46 PM
Raymond, sexy, yes, but she doesn't seem very happy. Is that because she hasn't collected all the art supplies yet? :lol::wink2:

And, yes, I'm serious that I played MtG. I ran out of funding about the time they introduced flanking. But prior to that I bought regularly and played regularly. It helped that I had a job and could buy boxes at a time rather than just a pack or two. Didn't have any first edition cards, I got involved when they released 3rd edition. Someday, I may recover the cards and see if I can sell them because they are older now and I kept them all in sleeves so they are in good condition. :D Played D&D for years as well. Can't anymore because I moved away from all my gaming friends. I also find I'm getting more involved with drawing and running my candy business.

05-17-2010, 03:07 PM
@Raymond: hehe really love this one !!!!!!!! :D

@Debby: did I just read "candy business"? ^^

05-17-2010, 03:59 PM
Yes, Sandra, you read that correctly. I have a small candy business. I make truffles in the winter. (Can't keep the chocolate in temper in the summer, I don't have climate control in my kitchen) I make honey lollipops in 10 different flavors. (So far. :D:wink2:) I also make milk caramels, plus other versions, coffee caramels and chocolate caramels. I have marshmallows in various flavors. I'm currently running brownie experiments. Hope to have them ready to debut in July.

05-18-2010, 05:32 PM
Debby, thanks! I arched the lips a tad too much that she looks sad, but I'll use the excuse that she still doesn't have all the art supplies yet! :D A candy shop, that is awesome! :clap:Keep us posted if you plan to post pictures of your candies. Yup, chances are some of the cards you kept are worth a lot today. If you have cards with the names Mox Diamond, Mox Pearl, Mox Jet, Mox Sapphire, Mox Emerald, Ancestral Recall, Black Lotus, Timetwister, and Timewalk... expect to have at least $400 for EACH card. :thumbsup:

If you feel generous, you could send them over if you don't have a home for them hehe :D

Thanks, Robert! Good tips on the tubes! Will the tubes harden like pans and form into one if I pour them into the empty slot? I really like the set! The fact that it holds the line between artist and student grade makes me happy to have it as something to start with. The colors indeed are fuller, more intense than the old Reeves that we had. I can only imagine their Artists line to be even better.

We are keeping an eye open for that field box. It is unfortunately not available at the moment. We've actually thought of shipping something from the UK. So far, everything we tried to order from websites like Amazon.com does not deliver anything here except for books and cds. It's that market protection thing in the government or something with these old farts scared of importing stuff. If they're really afraid to lose their commerce, they should at least catch up and create alternatives readily available instead of blocking international market and taxing them like hell.

Thanks, Silvia! :clap:

Anyway, it's dragons week! I've only had roughly 20-30 mins on this one, squeezing it through breaks. Dragon rider and her dragon. Slightly related to a sketch I made with "Travel in Style"

Here (EXCLUDING the dragon on the top right corner), I just experimented with colours, mixed and splashed here and there. I didn't want to think. I just wanted to make something out of the new set, so I made a quick sketch of a dragon using Faber-Castell PITT (F) directly, then splashed on watercolors with some test swatches.

Sandra, it's just a pinup girl, OK? mwubjoo!
I never knew watercolors could be this fun! :clap: Thanks for stopping by :)

05-18-2010, 08:02 PM
Gorgeous dragon, Raymond! I knew you'd love those Cotmans. If I hadn't already given away my old Field Box I'd send it to you just for shipping, it's a great little box. I became frustrated that Winsor & Newton wouldn't sell them empty without the pans, but of course, they do want to sell their paint too!

Sorry about all the tariffs and taxes. Nothing you can do about that really. Even with it, you might do better ordering it directly from the UK. Watch eBay though, it may turn up on eBay sometime. Get it even if it's used, you can always recharge the paints even if it's empty. I think that Winsor & Newton does sell the little pocket brush separately too though I couldn't swear to that. At any rate the pocket brush is the same one as the Sketcher's Box.

I started with Cotman watercolours too, at least those were the first watercolours that ever gave me decent results. Up till that point I hated the medium but liked the idea of how portable it was. After getting the Cotmans, I started getting good paintings occasionally and over the years have gotten a lot better with them. Oh -- website.

Bob Davies has an e-book on watercolor that you can download free from http://www.how-to-draw-and-paint.com/index.html and on the same page there's an index of art lessons in drawing, watercolour painting, acrylics, oils and pastels. I bought his DVD course last year when it was on sale, he's a very good, very fun teacher with a great British accent and lovely projects. The free newsletter also usually has a lesson or a video lesson embedded in it when you sign up for that, it's great.

Thought both of you would enjoy the Bob Davies link. It's also great for exploring the English countryside by way of painting it in the videos. Which may give you good ideas for backgrounds for your dragonriders and other fantasy characters, there's often quaint and old buildings in his scenes. Of course living in Belgium, you probably have the same degree of lovely historic buildings in your own countryside, but still, the UK ones are cool and you might like them. One lesson on doing a plow horse could be very good for doing horses -- it was one of the first decent horses I ever drew or painted.

He uses the Cotman watercolours for his lessons and recommends them. Some of the colours he's got in his standard palette aren't in your kit, but they shouldn't be too expensive if you decide to use exactly his palette. Some colours are, though. You already have Lemon Yellow, Ultramarine, Burnt Umber and Winsor Blue. Raw Sienna, Paynes Grey, Light Red and Permanent Rose are different, but also useful colours if you decide to get them in tubes.

You can also try matching them by mixing -- a touch of the bright red into Burnt Sienna may come close to Light Red, a touch of it into Yellow Ochre would bring it close to Raw Sienna, mix Ultramarine and Burnt Umber to come close to Paynes Grey (but leave it on the bluish side) and Alizarin Crimson could substitute for Permanent Rose even if it's not quite as bright.

Yes, you can just pour paint from the tubes into a half pan and let it dry. It takes doing that about two or three times to fill it, because it will sink down and lose volume as the water evaporates, but it'll recharge as soon as you put a wet brush to it. I usually treat my tube watercolors that way and just squeeze them into a palette.

Some artists prefer to use their paint fresh from the tube, where it can be picked up full strength like oil paint and laid on heavy. I've considered experimenting with that but after a lifetime of using pans, I'm still much more used to those.

Your colourful dragon is gorgeous! Love the way you put it right under the other one on the swatch page, that makes the page balance well. Nice sketch of the dragonrider leading her dragon too, that really shows the scale of how big her dragon is. Great profile and expression on her too.

05-18-2010, 11:08 PM
Raymond, those Mox cards were already out and selling for quite a lot by the time I got started. So, I cannot gift you with them. :o I really like your dragons and swatches page. The dragon and rider are precious.

05-19-2010, 11:50 AM
Robert, Thanks! I was drooling over their boxes too and was frustrated with the same thing. I guess that's the gimmick, if you want the box, you have to get paints too :D

Yeah, those tariffs are evil. Maybe we'll go there instead if we have a really, really looong vacation. The Netherlands is much nearer though, maybe they have better stuff too. Meanwhile, we'll be on the lookout of any good deals hehe.

Thanks for the link and the color mixes! I've seen Bob's video before when I was looking for tips on making sky. He mentioned very good tips there especially noting the consistency of watercolor when dry.

I think I'd still prefer pans for their portability without worrying of leakage. I'm still experimenting with the colors, it's amazing how a touch of a slightly pale or darker color changes the result! This is freaking difficult. :D

I'm glad I succeeded in showing their difference in size with the dragon rider. I want to try WC on dragons and dinosaurs, it must be easier then trying to fill up a huge page with just pencils.

Thanks, Debby!

05-19-2010, 01:18 PM
Raymond, I can't wait! Dinosaurs are a big thing for me. I should put some in my art journals too, especially Folio One where I can pretend I'm Robert Bakker and do that pen stippled classic paleontologist style. It's tons faster to color in watercolor or paint directly in watercolor than to use colored pencils.

Watercolor's hard to learn but gets faster and easier. You have a great set now and I'm really looking forward to your dinos and dragons. This dragon's gorgeous and I can just imagine how good your dinosaurs will be.

05-20-2010, 05:38 AM
Yes, Sandra, you read that correctly. I have a small candy business. I make truffles in the winter. (Can't keep the chocolate in temper in the summer, I don't have climate control in my kitchen) I make honey lollipops in 10 different flavors. (So far. :D:wink2:) I also make milk caramels, plus other versions, coffee caramels and chocolate caramels. I have marshmallows in various flavors. I'm currently running brownie experiments. Hope to have them ready to debut in July.

Oh, sorry Debby, I almost missed your reply! wow, this sounds really great! All the best hehe :clap:

@Raymond: love your dragons and dinos too hehe :)

05-25-2010, 10:45 AM
No Dinos just yet, just a dragon and his rider that I finished. :D Did this with Derwent Coloursoft 12 set. Just experimenting around with our small set along with fantasy scenes that I really enjoy depicting.

I'm really loving watercolor and colored pencils!

Thanks for looking again, everyone! :clap:

05-25-2010, 07:50 PM
Ooh, they're in color now. Very nice. Next thing you know those 12 pencils are going to spawn more. :wink2: Art supplies are like that.

05-26-2010, 02:28 AM
I enjoy seeing your creations, Raymond. It shows a very good imagination. I couldn't draw a dragon even if one posed for me. Keep at it.


05-26-2010, 09:04 AM
Just browsing through your sketchbook for the first time, love your imaginative ladies. You are doing wonderful at capturing their form and that of the dragons. Seems as if you are having a great time exploring the various mediums, as am I also right now. Especially like the rich colors on your watercolor dragon. I've been a Tolkein fan since long, long years before the movies came out and so really am enjoying seeing your fantasy creatures. Thanks for sharing.

05-26-2010, 10:43 AM
Ooh, dragons :clap: Reminds me of when I used to draw fantasy subjects, I loved drawing dragons too! :D I don't really anymore, but I still like looking at others' fantasy art. I very much like that last watercoloured dragon there in the corner of one of the pages. Nice creations, it's good to keep the imagination going!

05-26-2010, 12:31 PM
Thanks, everyone!

Debby, this is an exception because we already had the 48 wooden box set that we luckily snagged on sale. The twelve is what we take for sketching outdoors. :D

Aiylah, please do draw some again, I'd love to see it! It's amazing how every person depicts a subject. It's always unique and different everytime.

Rainy, me and my wife are fans too! Oh and also you might be interested in this really great book I wanted to get too by John Howe featuring his fantasy art, tips and tricks here and there that seems to be a great reference book. Always a pleasure drawing those.

Doug, I will. I loved them as a child and even more as an adult!

05-26-2010, 04:52 PM
Prismalos - GREAT sketches! Glad you're enjoying the Derwent's, another Derwent lover here! (although still on the learning end of them!). You mermaids are SO cool ... the shine on their "armor", as Robert put it, is awesome! Looks like you've taken to the Graphitint's well! And I just loved that little green, pirhana looking toxic fish thingy! Make me smile!
Fun stuff... keep it going !

05-27-2010, 01:32 PM
Aiylah, please do draw some again, I'd love to see it! It's amazing how every person depicts a subject. It's always unique and different everytime.

I might just actually :D Would be an interesting add for my watercolour journal. If you're interested, here are a couple of my dragon drawings.. dating back to 2008. :)

Who knows, maybe they'll offer you a little inspiration. In any case, your dragons are inspiring me again and I think it would be fun to try them out using paints :D

05-30-2010, 05:35 AM
Rachel, thanks! Those are my faves and yes, I love my Derwent pencils too! More mermaids coming soon :D

Aiylah, oh, yes! I think I've seen them on your sketchbook before or on your blog. Yep, do some in watercolors on your journal please, that would be great! :)

06-01-2010, 02:11 AM
Some quick sketches I made over the past few days. I wish we could get a white lamp. The problem here is most of the lamps are yellow light, so if you use it at night, it doesn't give as much light and colors become murky :rolleyes:

So, character designs and study... well, one of them was an effort to sketch my foot with my sketchpad on my lap, drawing outside in a sunny day.

Thanks for looking!

06-02-2010, 12:44 AM
Your character studies are great. They have wonderful poses, full extension, stretched out legs, graceful poses, the flying girl is foreshortened beautifully -- well done! I like your self portrait sketching with your book on your leg -- it's very good and accurate.

I hear you about the yellow light. It's possible to compensate with practice but much easier to get something like a Daylight lamp or Ott Light or just one of those new lower energy use spiral looking sunlight bulbs. Those are very good and go in normal sockets. Do you have them available where you live?

06-02-2010, 03:15 AM
you could try using flash but cover the flash gun with a tissue to soften and diffuse the light. I find that works quite well.

Do you have a programme where you can change images, upping the contrast? that would help - something free to download like Artrage would do it.

Are you going to do these in book form as a story eventually?

06-02-2010, 09:36 AM
Robert, thanks! Yep, sketches, sketches! I did try to apply some things I've read about and I find it hard not to erase! They say in sketching, you don't erase, but you correct over the lines. My hands are still clumsy at times where I can mutate a chin or even an eye at times :lol:

For the knight versus vampire pose, it's the third time I drew it. It still cannot decide on armor/clothes, I do a lot of research on medieval clothes at the moment. :D

I have lost some of the previous sketches I made when we started that idea of a story back home, but as always, I slap myself for forgetting an idea because I didn't put it on paper at the very moment. Hopefully, I'd start that good habit now. :D

We're currently on the hunt for a white bulb or lamp. I think they call it LEDs here, but we're not sure yet. I do find it strange that every house uses yellow lamps for lighting up rooms and it seems normal. Some say that it's to get the feeling of warmth since the weather here is most of the time cold, humid and rainy. It's good for a bedside lamp, but not for reading and drawing! :lol:

Vivien, thanks for the tips. I forgot to increase the contrast, I should do that often. It's just sad that when in the evening, I still want to draw, the yellow light isn't really workable :(

Me and a friend of mine actually created a novel sorrounding most of the conceptual characters found on my sketches. It started on a forum where someone starts a few paragraphs of the story and another thinks of what happens next, what characters live or die, etc.

The only thing that's not impromptu are the characters because they are based on real forum members at the time, the top 10 posters! :lol: Not much for kids though as it contains violence and probably some organized religion debates.

Because of that, there was a lot of incosistencies to the story like character backgrounds and descriptions :lol: We are currently in the process of fixing those holes whenever we find the time.

Motivation is quite low, knowing the nature of publishing a book and the time it needs. At this point, the only place it was "published" was in the original forum and the earlier chapters were used by a friend of ours as a campaign for an online role-playing game.

It could be what many call "a labor of love". Just doing what we love but also at the same time, waiting to make something really presentable to (who knows) showcase in case that chance of publication comes up. Like they say "good luck comes when preparation meets opportunity".

I want it to be a graphic novel. Just like the way I've always wanted to do when I was a kid, I remember making comics on my notebooks after playing pen-and-paper role-playing games. Good times.

Next up is more of the ideas (and pretty ladies! :lol:).

Photo 2 (photo 1 has this and photo 3 together) was just practice for profile of anger with gritted teeth. I thought it was really suited for the assassin character we have.

On photo no. 3, I have this thing for braids. It's cute and very majestic. She the oracle.

Photo 4 is one of my favorite characters. The heretic angel that has exchanged her aid for something really trivial.

Well, hope you liked them, I really enjoy drawing them too in between breaks and even at times, little trips to the restroom! :lol::lol::lol:

06-02-2010, 02:02 PM
LEDs are something different, Light Emitting Diodes. They're common now and used to be expensive. But the Energy Saver bulbs that are Sunlight Corrected are white rather than yellow. It doesn't matter whether it's an LED as long as it says the bulb is Daylight Corrected. That means like noon daylight, bright with no particular color cast.

Incandescent lights are by nature yellow, it's a glowing wire inside the bulb while the Energy Saver bulbs are a variation on fluorescent lights designed to go into normal lightbulb holders, with the glass and gas carefully corrected to daylight instead of horrible hospital greenish. A cheap fluorescent light with the incandescent lights might do it, but the Energy Saver bulbs are also good for lasting longer and reducing your bills. They're everywhere in the USA, just your regular stores like department stores, supermarkets, big chain stores and even corner stores carry them now. I don't know about how available they are in the UK but they're good for the budget as well as easier on the eyes.

Great profiles of the angry woman and the oracle. They look really good. The angry woman has a wonderful expression, she is so dramatic. But your heretic angel is even more dramatic -- that angel is a wonderful character. She's wonderful, I can see why she's your favorite!

Her breastplate is interesting. She might not be very large-breasted under it, if she was it'd wind up looking more like Red Sonja's armor or Xena's, with defined breasts rather than shapes that look a bit closer to a man's armor with stylized pectoral muscles. It gives her a little intriguing androgyny, but it would only take a little shading to give that the shape of a breastplate hammered out to represent a woman's chest. If you like it better as it is, then it's no more constricting than an Elizabethan bodice, so that really is an artistic choice on your part. One that breaks a stereotype.

I hesitated to mention it because if you wanted it to look the way they usually do, say, the breastplate of Sergeant Angua from Diskworld, then it'd only take a slight bit of shading to give that impression. But without it, it looks so good as it is that I hesitated to mention that. I might try sketching Angua in mine. I've been reading Pratchett and somehow doing Pratchett fan art today sounds intriguing.

Because that gave me the idea, I did sketch Sergeant Angua in mine. Not perfect but I like her well enough to post her in my All-Media book. I got one detail of her armor dead wrong (she wouldn't tuck her chain mail shirt into her little Roman leather-strips armored skirt!) but overall it looks like a bit of recognizable fan drawing. So I'll scan and post it now.

I think your heretic angel is a lot better, far more dramatic and sweeping.

06-02-2010, 02:51 PM
that's a really great project - the joint storyline and your illustrations - If you are happy with the end result (I'm sure you will be ) you could always publish with Blurb, just for family and friends ? I did a catalogue of some of my seascapes with them and the quality is really good.

06-02-2010, 04:27 PM
Your ladies are gorgeous as always. Even the angry one. :lol:

Ooh, you have to get one of those energy saver florescent Daylight bulbs in your lamps. Compared to regular incandescent lights (which look yellow) these almost look blue. But, if you don't have a comparison they are a lovely white, clear light. I just got a new desk lamp and put one in there. So much nicer. Over here the bulbs aren't that expensive. I picked up a 4 pack for less than $10. They are supposed to last 9 years and take 1/3 of the electricity of a regular bulb of the same wattage.

06-08-2010, 11:36 AM
Debby, my "ladies" are touched, thank you! :clap: Yeah, going to look for those lights on our next trip to an electronics shop.

Vivien, I've also thought about that. We'll see, right now, the expulsion of inconsistencies in the story is our major concern. It's so hilarious that I feel I'm reading one of Terry Pratchett's disk worlds :lol:

There was a line there as an introduction to one of the main characters and the location was that hill with a SINGLE tree. When I continued writing the chapter, I missed this very important detail and went on with "... there in that VAST FOREST..." :lol:

Robert, thanks for the tips! I was actually going for a bit of muscle and I think I've overdone it :lol: I like Xena's build!

I'll have another go at this as I want to change her armor, it feels to old fashioned, but then again, I don't want it overdone as the many works that I see especially in new video games.

I've yet to see your works, the art journal has successfully grown! :clap:

Anyways, more sketches, mostly leather armor and as always, my ladies :lol: I amped the contrast up a few notches to show it better.

thanks for stopping by!:thumbsup:

06-08-2010, 12:43 PM
Interesting seeing how you work things out. I like the pose of the woman climbing.

I'm going to throw something out there, feel free to ignore it, since this is a fantasy situation. In real life, knife handles all along the waist sticking up like that will impact being able to bend forward and will limit movement. Just saying.

06-08-2010, 06:29 PM
Cool pages of costume studies, various studies and sketches. Thanks for amping up the contrast, that helps a lot with pencil drawing. Love the climbing woman, her face and expression are wonderful. Her pose is excellent, very three dimensional and natural.

I also like the torso with armor. You did come close to Xena's build on the torso with armor. Video games sometimes exaggerate breasts too far, throwing their proportions off in order to get a female build in with relatively few pixels. That torso isn't exaggerated and her hips are nice too.

The spell casting elf is interesting too. Her excited, angry expression really works. There's something a little odd about her chest, but her breast is well developed, well shaped and natural. Her arm and hand are great too. Did you change your mind about which arm was casting the spell?

Don't feel too bad about that if you did. I love my Leonardo da Vinci sketchbook, and in the sixteen page essay with lots of reproductions, it shows several figures with multiple overlapping arms and legs in different poses as da Vinci worked out what he wanted. That's a cool thing to do in a sketchbook.

You're right, I haven't done any fantasy sketching at all lately. Not for years. I think I'm working my way up to it or back to it somehow, but I should give it a go sometime. Maybe in my All-Media Book where I've got the butt icon and can do figure drawing.

06-09-2010, 01:47 AM
Thanks, Debby! I was thinking of the same thing. Now the decision comes to be either it looks cool or real. These are some of the samples that I see and indeed it looks good but impossible to maneuver with that.

I do want to stick with a bit of realism so the blades will only probably be located on the sides of the legs, arms and waist, I don't see anywhere else to put them and still be able to maneuver. :D

Robert, thanks man! Regarding the spell-casting, I intended it to be her right hand, but it seems i amped up the chest line a little bit too much oops! I hope she forgives me. :lol:

Yeah, I saw your Sergeant Angua! It's superb! You really captured the comic book feel. You could add a bit more to the cast of characters and before you know if, you'll have the diskworld in your sketchbook. :D

I've dugged up a couple more magazines with very interesting model poses along with medieval costumes and gowns (ouch, those folds are killing me!), I'll probably work those out this week.

06-09-2010, 02:08 PM
I see what you mean about there only being so many places to carry knives on a humanoid body, responding to your comment to Debby. But there's always having one or two more crossed on her back behind her neck with their hilts showing, that's a good easy-grab position I've seen.

You'll get the chest better on your next go, these are all good sketches and if something has a problem, you can sort it out the next time. It's not her breast -- it's large but well shaped. It might be the way you placed her shoulder beyond it, maybe that shoulder wouldn't show in that position.

Try getting your wife to pose for that spell caster. That would probably be the best way to see where her breast would go and where her shoulder and arm would go. I've tried to analyze it several times to find an easy fix, come up stumped every time, so the best recourse is a manikin or model. You're married, so rope in a model. (And be prepared to take your turn swinging a broadsword in your shorts for her of course.)

06-19-2010, 06:53 PM
Thanks for the tips, Robert. Let's see how I faire with real models. Go me! :D I loved the color tips that you made on your sketchbook!:clap:

Most of the sketches were fast and lazily doodled between breaks and short, spontaneous moments. They are more concepts so I never really bother to put much detail especially on the costume design pages.

Perhaps the hardest part in a story/novel is where to start. Our old prologue/intro was too cliché and straightforward. We're in the process of changing just that and i'll hopefully be able to put them together in a sketchbook as a full graphic novel as the main draft.

Anyway, doodles, short storyboard samples and more doodles. It's been a busy week and the week coming up ahead has the same mood.

Used Staedtler Mars Micro 0.5 mechanical pencil and a couple of Faber-Castell PITT pens here and there. Thanks for looking!

06-19-2010, 10:25 PM
That makes sense. If the sketches are preliminary then they're all ideas being worked out and you'll keep what you like, change what didn't work.

One of the things I found about starting a story or novel, with or without pictures, is that the start that gets the author going isn't the actual start of the story. It's a prompt, a priming of the pump. Usually the real beginning is somewhere half way down the first page or even a couple of pages into it. After a while you get to be able to spot what scene or image or paragraph needs to move up to the top spot.

Sometimes that's all it is, moving a paragraph or introduction. The cliche straightforward openers are good for getting started though -- they get you into the story so that you find out what happened. Then you can choose the opener that most foreshadows and leads toward what's actually going to happen, while at the same time bringing the reader in and maybe fooling him.

Looking forward to your doodles, storyboard samples and more doodles. They sound great! Please caption them if they're part of an ongoing story, I'd be interested in it.

06-20-2010, 03:56 AM
Oops! It seems the photos I attached didn't show up! :rolleyes:

Robert, yep, will do! I think it's just the fact of the cliché bugging me, but come to think of it, if I take into account every book that has been made, everything should be cliché by now.

I try to do everything that comes to mind because I have too much ideas quickly forgotten. :lol: I'm so excited but I don't want to rush it this time.

06-20-2010, 02:15 PM
Now your comment about doodles and storyboards make sense. :smile: Great seeing you working things out on costuming, proportion and action. I like the lady with the blue hair. Tho' I don't think I'd want to meet her in a dark alley.

06-20-2010, 05:30 PM
Hi Raymond,

I'm finally getting around to commenting on your journal - very nice fantasy work! I used to play D&D, quite a few years ago when it was still pretty new. I've avoided getting back into it because of other activities and don't want to take the time for the games anymore. Never did MTG, though. Enjoyed all your posts of your experiments with the various pencil brands.

06-20-2010, 09:01 PM
Wow! Thanks for posting the doodles, character drawings and storyboards! These are fantastic. You're way ahead of me on this stuff, Raymond. It's wonderful. That first page, all those different faces, all those lively poses -- it's beautiful. You're on your way with this!

I've come up with a saying about cliches -- and yes, this one's original to me, but occasionally I hang onto good lines and quote myself.

A cliche is a classic done badly.

A classic is a cliche done well.

I'm not kidding. Originality lies in the details, not in the roots of the story. When you pick up one of the great stories it'll write itself and you can't help making it unique because you're you -- and that's like drawing itself. Enough competence in the form and then you can't help it coming out as original as you are. It'll transform gradually with all the editing into something I couldn't write in a million tries... and if you handed me the same prompt I would come up with something completely different.

06-21-2010, 12:24 AM
nice thought process showing here

06-21-2010, 09:51 AM
Robert, haha! Well said! I have completely forgotten that fantasy should be exagerrated, bold and larger-than-life and my forgetting those rules gives me that mental block at times. That's the internal critic in me, especially with all these new fantasy genres that in my opinion diminishes its luster, I do not want to fall into the same lot :rolleyes: Thanks!

Thanks, John! Good idea not creeping back into it as it will suck you in! Well, a couple of games here and there wouldn't hurt but classic D&D demands too much time and in the world where profession drives us at breakneck speed, it is admittedly a luxury to have the time. I'm currently immersed in watercolors at the moment but will get back to mixing wc pencils with them on my new journal coming up. :)

Debby, it's a good thing I logged back in, I really had the feeling the pictures were dropped :lol:. Blue lady is cool, she's one of the good guys despite looking creepy :lol: Thanks!

Thanks, Robin!

Here's another one for Derwent pencil lovers! I've just had this spontaneous urge to finish it today after having started sketching it a month ago. Strokes lead to one thing and another and voila :lol:

06-21-2010, 06:25 PM
That is a cool juxtaposition. Great finish.

06-21-2010, 10:02 PM
Raymond, this one is so great! I love it! Characters hanging off the pencil and standing triumphantly behind it -- that's awesome. Elegant celebration of the genre, and it's well laid out too!

06-22-2010, 10:54 AM
Ha! I like this one! Poor guy in the bottom corner... hanging on for dear life! Good stuff!

06-30-2010, 06:07 AM
Thanks, Robert, Rachel and Debby! :clap: I feel finally more at ease during the past few weeks. I could feel the progress, comparing my current drawings to the ones I made a few months ago especially with my coloring.

Thanks for all the inspiration and encouragement, as well as lessons learned!

A few more in progress, again keeping that bold and ambitious attitude in mind :D

These are again my unconventional mermaids, seeing a boat from above. Also there is one of those random scenes I want to capture or else I forget them! :lol:

Finally getting to use more of our Derwent Coloursoft (48)! Thanks for stopping by :)

06-30-2010, 09:50 PM
The progress on your mermaid drawing is great. And the scene you just had to get down before it got away from you is exactly why artists keep sketchbooks. Good thing!

06-30-2010, 10:34 PM
pretty cool Raymond! I like the colour sketches right at the top of this page, is it markers you've used there? I really admire the way you are working away at your topic - the girl hanging from the pencil is one of my favourites!

06-30-2010, 11:18 PM
Great color sketches at the top, then the magnificent colored pencil piece of the mermaids sporting under the boat. They're grand! I love the way the scene is laid out and the light, you have the boat lit from above perfectly and that gives them so much depth. The surface ripples are luminous too. Well done!

07-01-2010, 08:46 AM
Debby, thanks! Yup, I'll make it a habit now to sketch those ideas. They always escape me.

Jackie, Thank you! She's one of my favorites too! :) Oh, I used Faber-Castell PITT Artist pens for those, they are great! My favorite markers, especially for details. Your style will surely benefit from these, have you ever tried them yet?

Thanks, Robert! This is my 2nd "water work" after having looked at more underwater pictures. I'm happy at how it turned out. It was fun and challenging at the same time and I'll definitely try it once more now that those mermaids really have secured a place in my jolly heart. :rolleyes:

I've seen that prehistoric scorpion on youtube, it's magnificent! I'll take a stroll by our local library and see if I could rent some encyclopedias, I want to make some prehistoric drawings but it's just easier to observe real paper than the monitor, less straining :D


I managed to finish it today in between errands! I can turn down the contrast filter since the values are now more visible than the preliminary sketches.

Used Derwent Coloursoft (48) coloured pencils. :)
Thanks for visiting :)

07-01-2010, 09:00 AM
Your illustrations are turning out great, I particularly like that last one. And the one with the large pencil and people around it :D Those Derwent colour pencils look great to colour with and soft too. I've heard the name around these forums a lot, yet never seen them here at all.. are they an expensive brand? Faber-Castell is the dominating brand here I think.. understandably :D

07-01-2010, 11:46 AM
Raymond, the finish is great on your mermaids looking up at the boat. Well done!

07-01-2010, 12:27 PM
Wonderful finish to the mermaids.

09-09-2010, 12:16 PM
Thanks, everybody! We've taken some downtime from posting, but I still managed to sketch every now and then. :)

HB pencil and PITT artist pens used here. Ideas and some mindless sketching too. They're really convenient for that fast sketches, I'm beginning to want more colors. The barbarian girl bit is a work in progress, I'll finish the page soon. :D

Thanks for looking.

09-09-2010, 07:55 PM
Great stuff Raymond! I like the girl with the blue hair - striking and the last one is promising to be very good ;)

09-09-2010, 09:18 PM
Raymond, these are fantastic. More and more you're gaining confidence in your line. Your poses are getting looser and more natural, that profile with blue hair is great, and your barbarian girl in progress is spectacular.

I love her face. Her wiry, muscular build is well modeled, and that pose of her dropping down on some unsuspecting foe with a stone axe at the height of the upswing is wonderful. That's pure action. I think the penciled bald guy with the fluffy eyebrows has a lot to worry about!

Way to go! Keep going, keep doing more of these!

09-10-2010, 04:20 AM
These are great. Glad you haven't stopped sketching. I agree, the lady with the blue hair is awesome.

09-30-2010, 12:30 PM
Thanks, everyone! So far, the moleskin is my most portable companion if I don't take a backpack with me. :D

First one was inspired by an ad in a women's magazine,just placed some burning aura to it.

Second one was a quick sketch, just randomly placed dragons, some mountains and just basically filling it up with what color I have. Works for those short breaks.

Lastly, a WIP. An angel warrior in the works. Didn't have to time to finish it, but I like how the form went nicely.

Thanks for looking!:thumbsup:

09-30-2010, 05:02 PM
prismalos, you have an awesome sketchbook. Fantasy is one of my favorite genres and I'm glad that you devoted this thread to it. You ever think about doing this for a living?

09-30-2010, 05:08 PM
Prismalos, these are great! I saw your graphic novel beginning too and it's so striking. Like the angel warrior a lot, hope you finish that one. Great dragon scene, there's real depth in it and action. The burning woman's scary, that's excellent too. All three of these rock!

09-30-2010, 07:08 PM
Great stuff, Raymond! Ms. Blue Hair is nice, but I think my preference is the blonde with the war hammer...! :)

09-30-2010, 11:21 PM
More great sketches. Tho' I have to agree, the burning woman is scary.

10-02-2010, 09:02 AM
Raymond, I like how you get the idea down even if you don't "complete" it. At least the bones of it is there and you don't lose the idea forever - a good trick :) Your latest batch are continuing on the great work and I agree with Robert - I think your work is looking much more confident.