Reader question

Got this question from a lovely reader a few days ago:
“Do I really need all those fancy expensive pencils to color?”
No.
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Graphite pencils (7B, 4B, 2B, HB, 2H, 4H and 6H but you don’t really need all those, 4B, HB and 2H are a good versatile trio) and a bit of Signo Uniball gel pen, dots on background simple eraser. Sommarnatt by Hanna Karlzon.

So longer version of the no? 😀 No, you don’t need expensive pencils to color. You don’t even need cheap colored pencils to color. Color with graphite, pens, crayons, whatever you have and want to use. Sky is the limit. If you want affordable but good colored pencils, look for Marco Raffines on Ebay, they’re in the same price range as student grade pencils but quality is better and worth the wait (it takes forever and then some to ship from China). They also have a Renoir range which I hear is even better and also not expensive. I haven’t tried neither yet, my daughter has Raffines, she loves them, says they’re a definite upgrade from her Faber-Castell and Lyra student grade pencils.

Now it’s raining and I just HAVE to go outside, it’s been crazy hot for so long 🙂 If anyone else has a question, feel free to e-mail me: iris.eenmae@gmail.com.

 

Postcard swap time!

Today I want to show you the postcard swap I did with Kai Hunter. She blogged about it as well, HERE, go check it out 🙂
So without further ado, this is what I sent her:
vinterdrömmarbunny
It’s a bunny! From Vinterdrömmar by Hanna Karlzon. This was done with Derwent Artists pencils if I remember correct, it was a while ago that I did this.
Kai in return colored me this lovely pair of hummingbirds by Johanna Basford, Secret Garden:
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She also was cool enough to add some extra cards (damn, wish I’d thought of that!), one of her home town:
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And one of the Grand Teton Mountains:
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Here, lets also pretend I sent her this one, it’s a card of Tartu, my hometown 😀 So that’s how it looks here:
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This was a really fun and cool swap, I loved talking with Kai and everything else about it 🙂

If you too want to swap and don’t mind waiting since I’ve built up quite a queue of to-do things, drop me a mail at iris.eenmae@gmail.com 🙂

Butterfly, Sommarnatt

So, continuing with Sommarnatt. For those with super keen eyes, yes, I’m skipping one at the moment, it’s still in progress, I’m looking for some things I need to finish it. So until that is on a standstill, butterfly time!
Challenged myself to a limited palette once again and since I’m obsessed with trying to catch the most beautiful version of a pink with grey, that decided the limits. Did this with four Lyra Rembrandt Polycolors (Light, Medium and Dark Flesh plus Wine), one Derwent Artists (Blue Grey) and the background was done with some cool greys from the Faber-Castell Polychromos range. I’d love to say which ones and how many but I’ve already managed to forget.
Dotting mania done with a white Uniball gel pen and black Faber-Castell Pitt markers.
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I think I’m done with trying for the pink and grey now, pretty happy with how this turned out colorwise. Not too happy with my er.. rustic background 😀 But hey, live and learn.
Now while this dries, I have a cake to bake for my little sister who is not so little anymore and today is her birthday. Yay for birthdays! 🙂

Colour My Sketchbook 2, Mother Masked

Lets just start with saying that the art of Bennett Klein is awesome, okay? I don’t have the first of his books but the second is amazing. The images are absolutely gorgeous. It’s my first grayscale book so that’s new and interesting as well, allows for a wee bit more relaxed coloring since some of the work has been done for you, plus super precision is not as important at places. What I don’t like about this book is the paper. It’s basically copy paper, thin and flimsy and yuck. The images make up for it though. But yeah, I hope if he ever does a third book, it’ll have better paper then this one.
But without further ado, my first Bennett Klein coloring, Mother Masked:
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Done with Lyra Polycolor Rembrandt pencils and a tiny bit of white gel pen. Decided to do this sort of background or lack thereof because I wanted to retain some of that sketchbook feeling.
Overall, thumbs up for this book! Seriously, Google it, it’s awesome, it has loads of crazy images. He is kind on his Facebook page as well, giving free images now and again so check that out as well.

Prismacolor Premier review

Today, finally, the Prismacolor Premier review. These are the most popular colored pencils out there and there are diehard fans and those who absolutely loathe them, very few are neutral. Which I must say is incredibly intriguing, don’t you think? So lets look at whaaat?
All reviews on pencils and what’s to come, you can find HERE.
Prismas were my first pencils ever, I had the 72 tin. I recently got the full set of 150 so showing you that instead of my stubs in the 72 tin.
Prismacolor is an American brand that belongs to the Newell Brands. It has a long history, originally belonging to Berol. The pencils were manufactured in USA for a long time and moved their production to Mexico several years ago, with that starting the controversy with quality.
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Prismacolor Premier comes in a wide variety of counts, 12, 24, 36, 48, 60, 72, 96, 132 and 150. There’s also a special portrait set containing 24 pencils in tones suitable for portraiture. They are wax based.
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The pencils are round with a colored casing, on it the color code and name. The pencils feel quite thin but house a standard 3,8mm lead.
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Pros:

  • Very soft and smooth
  • Blend beautifully
  • Reasonable price
  • HUGE color range
  • Probably my favorite black, nice and opaque, easy to get a deep black from
  • They layer very well, with a light hand you can do quite a few layers
  • Good thick 3,8mm lead
  • Fit all standard sharpeners
  • Strong in bright colors and excellent variety for coloring light skin, I don’t feel like I’m missing anything in color choices
  • Available open stock in some art stores and Amazon

Cons:

  • The cores break. A LOT. That is the main reason the haters hate. It’s just not fun when you sharpen your new pencil to a stub
  • The casing quality is shoddy, some pencils are off center, contributing to the breakage, some splinter, some cores just fall out without much prodding
  • Tricky to get in Europe, not impossible by no means but noticeably more expensive then in USA
  • Don’t erase well

Comparison:
I’m a little hesitant about what to compare them to. I’ve already done the comparison with Derwent Coloursoft which you can read HERE and also Caran D’Ache Luminance which is HERE. So lets just touch on some key points again.
Prismacolor Premier is absolutely delightful when it’s not being a pain in the lower bodyhalf. If it weren’t for the absolutely horrific breakage, they’d be a strong contender to be my favorites. But.. Well I still love them. And hate them with a fiery passion.
Prismas belong in the softest group along with Derwent Coloursoft and Caran D’Ache Luminance. The casing quality is the crappiest of all three. Lead is the most brittle as well, breaking a lot. Lightfastness is the worst. However on the upside, the softness is more unified then Luminance, pretty much all the pencils are the same degree of softness, no surprises really, which is always a good thing. And they layer better then Coloursoft. Also Prismas have the biggest color range out of all three and if you luck out with a good sale price on Amazon, they’re also priced the best.
If you have the other popular giant, Faber-Castell Polychromos, and wonder how they compare, they really don’t. Polychromos is very different in handling and that comparison would be comparing oranges to apples.

Color chart:

Once again, my handwriting is intense and columns whacked but hey, better then nothing if you don’t want to Google for it 🙂

Official color chart:
Prismacolor_Lightfast_Color_Chart
Example coloring piece:

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Picture: Sommarnatt by Hanna Karlzon

Overall:
All things considered, hey, I did get the full set, didn’t I? Goes to show that underneath all the cursing and throwing tantrums and having aneurysms, I do love them. I really do. They find use a lot, even though mostly they drive me bonkers and I swear never to touch them again. And yet I do. And the full set is a little bit better then my 72 when it comes to breakage. My 72 is from the time when they just switched to Mexico so maybe, just maybe the quality is a wee bit better now. But maybe not. I’m still figuring out how many are broken but not all, unlike my 72, so there’s hope. I’ll probably keep buying them and recommending them with the caveat that you have to be prepared that they are very fragile. If you can deal with that and don’t care much for lightfastness, you’ll love these.

Next time I’ll be blabbering about the Lyra Polycolor Rembrandt pencils.

Disclaimer: all of the above opinions are mine, you might have a different experience with these pencils

Postcard swap, first tale

So I was looking for people to swap postcards with (btw still am, if interested, e-mail me iris.eenmae@gmail.com) and the lovely Rachel Barton was willing to give it a shot. Now we have both received ours so I wanted to share the fun 🙂
I sent her this bird from Vinterdrömmar by Hanna Karlzon, done with Inktense:
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And in return, she colored this dragonfly for me, isn’t it beautiful?
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I love dragonflies so this is totally fit for me. To my great surprise the world really is small, turns out she has been in Estonia. What are the odds? Most people don’t even know it’s a country, which I think is okay, it’s so tiny, you can’t know them all. Though hey, Skype backend was developed by Estonians so know you’re chatting through an Estonian invention kthnx 😀
Rachel also was kind enough to send me these awesome stickers:
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How cool are these? Let me hear you say it. Yes. VERY cool!

I had tons of fun coloring for this swap and chatting with Rachel and the dragonfly will definitely find a place in my album. I used to do Postcrossing which is currently on hold but I have an album for cards, I’m a geek like that.

So again, if you want to swap with me as well, e-mail me and lets have fun!

Imagimorphia giveaway winner!

Woohoo, winner time! 🙂 So the random elves at Rafflecopter have shuffled their random numbers and… Can I have the drums?… The winner is… Christina Rodriguez! Her comment was:
My favorite book right now is Romantic Country by Eriy. I love all her cute pages with lots of details. I still can’t believe she draws all her books using just toothpicks!!

Congratulations, Christina! I’ll be dropping you an e-mail, check your inbox 🙂
Party time!

Thank you all for participating! There will definitely be more giveaways in the future as well so more chances to win stuff will come for sure 🙂