Last week: My pencil testing week

January 11, 2016 | Leave your thoughts


Last week was all about testing my Faber Castell Graphite Aquarelle pencils as part of my new series Foundations Friday. It was also my first week back at work full time and I really hit the ground running. I immediately fell into my usual pattern of working all day and a number of hours in the evening, and finding it hard to pause to do a sketch during the day. So my big challenge for the year is to work out a way to squeeze some ‘sketching time for me’ into the day (apart from my morning coffee sketch) and more importantly, not to work as many hours in the evening!

So the ‘big news’ of the week:

After spending time revisiting my Graphite Aquarelle pencil during the week I have decided to take it out of my kit – for the time being anyway! I realised that the reasons for having it my kit could be more satisfactorily met by my Faber Castell Albrecht Durer watercolour pencils. 

This the sketch, the first on Monday morning, was done with the Graphite Aquarelle. At the time I was very pleased with the result, but by the end of the week realised it could have been done with my other watercolour pencils that are ‘locked in’ parts of my kit.


This sketch of Manly Aquarium – my warmup sketch at Saturday’s Urban Sketchers Sydney event – was done with my Dark Indigo watercolour pencil. I found it much easier to achieve the result I was after with this pencil than with the watersoluble graphite – and less smudge too!


On Saturday I also did this quick sketch of Manly Wharf whilst actively engaged in a conversation with two other sketchers. This was my only ink and wash sketch for the week. If I had another chance I would change the composition slightly… but at the time it was more a case of ‘reflex sketching’ and probably annoying my friends with my chatter!


And I ended my week by this ink drawing at the end of the day, leaning against a shaded wall of Manly Aquarium. Curiously enough, what I instinctively chose at the time because I was tired, is now the perfect lead in for this coming week’s theme as I start on the next lesson of Foundations – stay tuned.

So here are all the pages from last week in order:









Please note: I must have been a bit distracted as I omitted to write the day and date on a few pages mid week – this has now been fixed!

So, is anyone else testing something in their kit this week. Please let me know what your conclusions are?

Leave a Reply