Are you using the right technique for work?

Nothing feels as good as getting a new toy, I mean tool, to try out. I got some new Derwent pencil sets – Coloursoft, Studio and Inktense.

The Coloursoft pencils are bold, vibrant and blend-able, Studio works well for delicate details and Inktense are watercolour pencils that turn into vibrant ink once wet.File 06-07-2016, 12 03 04 am

Excited as I was, I may have gone bonkers and used all of them on a single sheet of paper. And I may have used an additional three techniques; painting strokes, a white and bronze pen and Photoshop to fix one or two things. I could have fixed the picture completely through Photoshop but I decided I might as well turn this into a learning experience, practise makes perfect after all.

Success in life does not always mean having the best tools at our disposal but knowing how to use any tool and knowing when to use them. First of all, the creature in my drawing is a mythical beast from Middle Eastern mythology. I started with a simple pencil drawing, inked it then concentrated on the beast. I’ve been envious over some beautiful pencil and white pen drawings on which I have always wanted to try. Using the Studio set and the white and bronze pens, I coloured in and highlighted the beast. The tropical branch was first coloured in with the Studio set then worked on with the Inktense set. In the last minute I used the Coloursoft set to add the mushrooms and flowers which did not bode well. The Inktense colours are incredibly vibrant, making it hard to layer over. This is where my failed attempt at using painting strokes came into play. I was treating this artwork as an acrylic painting, adding layer after layer of detail to solidify the shape and perfect the details. The paper was 90 g/m², a great sketch surface but not durable enough to take the abuse of water and other mediums unlike the sturdy 220 g/m². With every layer of water, I risked saturating and ripping the paper. I flattened the artwork underneath some heavy weights in-between sessions but that still left a mark as you can see in the picture on the right.

File 11-07-2016, 10 31 40 am
At the back you can see how the watercolour and the strain to colour in the flowers had warped the paper.
File 11-07-2016, 10 32 31 am
Half done with the branch still to finish.


The Derwent colour sets are amazing, but they need control and practise to use them correctly. By studying other artists on and, I also learned that colouring in requires precise colour planning because once that heavy layer is added, its hart to erase if at all. Some artists lay an ever so light layer of colour just to get the boundaries in place. This is especially important to reach that rich range of bright whites and lights.





So in short, what may work in one world may not work in another; acrylic painting and pencil colouring require precise techniques just as oil painting vs acrylic painting vs water-colouring. This lesson can be translated to any number of subjects including writing. Writing a thriller requires different techniques to that of an adventure novel. The element of mystery is much more pronounced in the thriller. A fantasy novel usually concentrates on world building verses a romance that needs to focus on the interactions between people.

Although my first attempt isn’t bad, I know I can do better 😀


Rainforest Encounter small
Completed work

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