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Old 09-01-2010, 05:12 PM
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robertsloan2 robertsloan2 is offline
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Derwent Black Book

Just when I thought I was already so stocked up with interesting new sketchbooks that I should just fill the ones I have... Derwent invented something far too fascinating to ignore and sent me a review sample. I've reviewed it already at Rob's Art Supply Review, Derwent Black Book of course.

I love it. The pages are stiff, heavy 200gsm paper, handling light washes and tough handling with oil pastels, colored pencils or white ink. I've already used the front page and the inside back cover so far.

This is the book:


Of course I posed it with its favorite pencils, the soft, opaque Derwent Drawing Pencils that have the strongest, brightest white that I've ever used. Here's the color chart I did with them on the inside back cover - both end papers are the same as the pages, so in essence you have two more surfaces to draw on or do color charts.



You can see the paper's nice and black! The black stripe didn't make a noticeable value step, just more of a texture change.

I've also done an oil pastels sketch from memory on the first actual page:


A Spray of Wildflowers
A4 8 1/4" x 11 3/4"
Pentel oil pastels
Derwent Black Book 200gsm black heavy paper.
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Old 09-01-2010, 07:06 PM
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Re: Derwent Black Book

This is very interesting. If I run into one of those at the store I'll have to
buy one.

Are the pencils CP? Oil? Pastel? Something else?

David
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Old 09-01-2010, 09:11 PM
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Re: Derwent Black Book

I bought something similar on my recent trip to Sydney!

I bought a white gel pen to use in mine plus a red metallic pen but haven't got around to trying it yet. I will be very keen to see what you do in yours Robert
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Old 09-01-2010, 10:06 PM
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Re: Derwent Black Book

Oooh, a whole sketchbook of black paper. That is so cool. *sigh* Yet another item to add to my wishing I had money for art supplies list.
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Old 09-02-2010, 08:37 PM
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Re: Derwent Black Book

The pencils are specialty colored pencils from Derwent. Back in the 80s, they only came in six colors: black, white, brown ochre, chocolate, venetian red and terra cotta. They were earth toned sketch pencils to use something like Conte crayons - and absolutely soft, rich, opaque and sweet. The friend who twisted my arm to snatch up a lot of them at an art supply shop's closing sale where they were going for 25 cents each said they were the best colored pencils in the world.

She might still be right, though I'm growing fond of Luminance.

Derwent recently extended the range to 24 a few years ago, within five years anyway because I remember seeing the first ads for them and snapping it up as soon as I saw it. Now there's soft blues, greens, violets, grays and yellows as well as more earth tones and black and white. They are the perfect range for nature sketching, with lots of neutrals and muted soft colors. They also combine well with Coloursoft if you want to mix them with brighter accents.

I use them by themselves very often because they give a unique look to anything I do with them. I've got one of the CP challenge photos out to use them on the black paper with, and they should show up good and bright.

I'm thoroughly enjoying the Black Book and plan to use a variety of supplies in it to see how it handles gouache, acrylics, oil pastels (tested), Colourfix primer, colored pencils, sketch and wash in white. I tested that on the back cover though and the white Derwent Inktense pencil washes out much darker than when it was dry. I'd have to lay it on heavy to do that.
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Old 09-03-2010, 11:10 AM
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Re: Derwent Black Book

Oh cool! It really IS a black sketchbook. That should be really fun to work in.
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Old 09-05-2010, 08:56 AM
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Re: Derwent Black Book

Hi Robert! Wow I have never thought of using Derwent Sketching pencils on black paper, but this sounds interesting indeed! Thank you for sharing!


Sandra~
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Old 09-05-2010, 01:00 PM
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Re: Derwent Black Book

Derwent didn't invent the black-page artist sketchbook. I have Strathmore "Black Field Drawing" books with nice black paper - 98 lbs. (160gm) acid free. Really great for all kinds of media. However, I'm afraid they may be discontinued, because I cannot find them anywhere online or off. I am quite happy to hear Derwent is coming out with their black-page "Black Book", so I won't have to make my own! Thanks for letting us know about this, Robert. Thanks also for the tip about the Derwent Drawing pencils - I bought a couple yesterday and like them very much. Big plus - I searched online and found out all the pencils have excellent lghtfastness. Wish all art media did!
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Last edited by dragonsDaughter : 09-05-2010 at 01:12 PM.
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Old 09-05-2010, 10:31 PM
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Re: Derwent Black Book

This sounds a great buy Robert, another art supply to add to my list. Thanks for posting the pencil swatches, it's interesting to see how they look on the black paper.
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Old 09-06-2010, 12:37 AM
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Re: Derwent Black Book

Cool work!

Quote:
Originally Posted by robertsloan2
The pencils are specialty colored pencils from Derwent. Back in the 80s, they only came in six colors: black, white, brown ochre, chocolate, venetian red and terra cotta.



Those are the exact (and only) colours I have in these pencils. I need to get them out again
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Old 09-06-2010, 10:24 PM
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Re: Derwent Black Book

Re-reading my earlier post, I realize it sounds a bit rude. My apologies for that - I really didn't mean it that way. Looking forward to what you do next, Robert, and thank you for sharing!
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Old 09-07-2010, 04:43 PM
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Re: Derwent Black Book

Heidi, thank you! No, Derwent didn't invent the idea of black sketchbooks in general. They just came out with a very nice one that has heavy, super heavy 110 or 120lb paper, it's 200gsm. So it stands up to a lot of abuse and it will also hold plenty of layers if you're very light and gentle in applying them. It's quite smooth so it does allow detailed works as well as loose ones, unlike some other black papers I've tried that have so much texture I wouldn't want to try using a white pen on them.

I tried something a bit different on it today. This time it's with Derwent Metallic colored pencils on the black book - and while the effect seems a bit dark and muted in life, toss it on the scanner and it really pops.


Night on the Jeweled Reef
8 1/4" x 11 3/4" (A4 size)
Derwent Metallic colour pencils
Derwent Black Book 200gsm heavy black paper.
From imagination and the memory of way too many coral reef documentaries, no reference used at the time of drawing it.
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Old 09-07-2010, 05:41 PM
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Re: Derwent Black Book

you are getting the colours really clear and bright and not at all murky.
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Old 09-07-2010, 07:02 PM
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Re: Derwent Black Book

Very nice, interesting and unique look to your work in the black book, Robert!
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Old 09-07-2010, 07:33 PM
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Re: Derwent Black Book

Interesting effects on the black paper. Now you need to do a sketch of Elvis.

David
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