• Reviews

    Caran d’Ache VS Faber-Castell Polychromos – Pros + Cons – Which is Better?

    Two super popular coloured pencil brands, two of my personal favourites. But which pencils are BETTER? Whether you’re a professional looking for the highest quality materials, a hobby artist just intrigued to try something new, or a beginner wanting to get your first coloured pencils… BOTH these pencils are awesome options. There are, of course, many other options – these are just two I have a lot of experience with. So, read below for pros and cons, in-depth details about price, colour options, blending ability, quality control, and my personal top tips for using both these pencils for amazing results. This entire article is obviously purely my own opinion and…

  • Coloured Pencil Tips

    How to Get SUPER BRIGHT WHITE + Fine Details (Artist Hacks)

    Wanna learn some cool art hacks for getting super bright white and fine details into your coloured pencil drawings? Look no further! Over the years I’ve learnt about some awesome tools and useful tips for achieving those all important fine details that help make coloured pencil drawings pop. As with all my coloured pencil tips, these are just what I personally love to do and I love the effect created using these tips and tools… have fun experimenting and make your art your own!   White Gel Pen LITERALLY CHANGED MY LIFE. Eugh. Before discovering this hack I was using Tipex. Yes, TIPEX. It was kind of effective, but tricky…

  • Coloured Pencil Techniques

    4 IMPORTANT Coloured Pencil Techniques – What They Mean + How to Do Them

    You can watch the video version of this article here:   There’s always four techniques I’m constantly thinking of when I’m drawing: Layering Blending Burnishing Glazing I teach these techniques in my workshop. They all form part of my process of creating a coloured pencil drawing from sketch to finished polished piece.   Layering I would argue that layering is the most important fundamental technique, and is what ultimately brings a piece together. Layering builds up tone and colour, creates depth, and transforms a dull, flat drawing into a rich and realistic one that stands out. The amount of layers depends on many factors: the materials being used, how much…

  • Coloured Pencil Tips

    How to Use Clairefontaine Pastelmat with Coloured Pencils

    Pastelmat is for… pastels, right? Well, yes. They also happen to work wonderfully with coloured pencils! What? Why? How? Clairefontaine Pastelmat has particular  features that make it great to use with coloured pencils. Read on to find out the main features of Pastelmat and how you can use these properties to create realistic, colourful and fun coloured pencil drawings 🙂 (For reference, I use Faber-Castell Polychromos and Caran D’ache Luminence coloured pencils and Clairefontaine Pastelmat. I’ve created many drawings and run several workshops with these materials – I’m in love!) For a full review of the paper, click here.   Pastelmat Paper Weight and Thickness Pastelmat is a thick paper,…

  • Coloured Pencil Tips

    Why EXPERIMENTING is Vital when Learning to Draw with Coloured Pencils

    As a former perfectionist, I always needed to get everything right first time. Not only was this unrealistic, it was also anxiety-provoking and often crippling to creativity. I am now a HUGE fan of experimenting. It’s through experimenting that you learn what you like, don’t like, enjoy, don’t enjoy, what works well, what doesn’t, etc! There is never only one way of doing things, never one person who knows ‘best’, never a right or wrong when it comes to art. Hey, if you don’t like my way of doing things or prefer doing something else – do your own thing! I encourage it 😀 I want you to experiment and…

  • Reviews

    Clairefontaine Pastelmat and Polychromos?! (An Artist’s Honest Review)

    Pastelmat… the name kind of gives it away, right? This paper is originally designed for pastels – I also discovered that it works quite well with coloured pencils! I’ve been using Clairefontaine Pastelmat with my Faber-Castell Polychromos for over six months now, mostly for detailed portrait work. I feel it’s time for an honest review so you know a bit more about what to expect and whether it’s right for you 😊 You can read my review of Faber-Castell Polychromos here.   Paper Thickness PROS The first thing I noticed when I opened my first pad of Clairefontaine Pastelmat was how thick and heavy the paper was. It’s pretty thick,…

  • Reviews

    Bluntly Honest Review of Faber-Castell Polychromos Coloured Pencils

    After months of research, asking numerous other artists online, and clicking them in and out of my online shopping basket, I finally took the plunge and invested in a set of 60 Faber-Castell Polychromos. I’ve had them for four months now, created many artworks and a few portrait commissions with them, so I feel I can give a bluntly honest review of what I think about these oil-based beauties.   If you’re an eager beaver and can’t be bothered to go into the details, here are my top Pros and Cons:   PROS: Good choice of colours, lots of vibrant shades Super great for fine detailed work Allow for the…

  • Coloured Pencil Tips

    COLOURED PENCIL TIPS: Are You Holding Your Pencil Wrong? How to Hold your Pencil for Different Techniques

    I love this coloured pencil tip so much! It sounded so simple when I first thought about it, yet it is so effective and often overlooked. Read on for some tips on how to make the most of your pencils and achieve different results by holding your pencil in different ways 😊 As with all of my tutorials, tips and advice, this is just what personally has helped me draw realistically. I’m all for experimenting and finding your own style, so if you like the effects achieved doing things differently, keeeep doing them!   Layering I love using lots and lots of light layers to build depth, colour and contrast…

  • Coloured Pencil Techniques

    COLOURED PENCIL TECHNIQUES: Burnishing – What it Means & How to Burnish Effectively

    If you’re anything like me, you heard of the term ‘burnishing’ with coloured pencils, did your research, did some more research… and just got more and more confused. Or maybe you’ve never heard the term before, or just heard it once, and don’t know what on earth I’m on about. Either way, you’ve clicked to read this article, so hopefully I can help 😊   In one sentence, what exactly IS burnishing? Here’s my best summary: Smoothing out the tooth of the paper so it is completely covered with coloured pencil. That’s. It. I think sometimes it’s made way more complicated than it actually is. Most papers suitable for coloured…

  • Coloured Pencil Tips

    COLOURED PENCIL TIPS: How Sharp Does Your Pencil Need to Be?

    Might seem overdramatic, but learning this tip (see what I did there…ha) literally changed my life. Or at least transformed my approach to my drawing and drastically improved the level of realism I could achieve. DISCLAIMER: these are tips that worked for me personally when on the epic search for creating realism and I liked the outcome – if you find you like the results of other methods PLEASE KEEP DOING THEM!   Let’s get into it. I would say how sharp your pencil needs to be depends on a few things: What effect you would like to achieve Materials you are using Which layer you’re working on Your budget…