I’ve not had any contact with them previously so this was totally out of the blue… and the best kind of Xmas present! 🙂 I was completely blown away!
I’ve been using FC products for years (think Albrecht Durer Watercolour Pencils) but as I started going through all the stuff in this box I realised just how many items have been a big part of my artistic journey over the years.
I was particularly excited to have a set of watercolour markers as I’ve been wanting to try these.
I started doing a double-page spread in my sketchbook to document everything in the box including a colour chart for the 30 set of watercolour pencils (WCP) and 30 set of watercolour markers (WCM). Note: These sets contain the same colours so it’s interesting to compare the same colours in different media.
I didn’t finish the colour chart in one sitting… I added the colour to the page at night and the next morning added water. I was surprised to discover that when the WCMs are dry they generally are no longer water-soluble. So this was a very useful discovery to make straight away.
Before I share more about the WCMs here are a few other fun things in the box.
Ecco Pigment Fineliners – I draw and write exclusively with fountain pens so I have never drawn with these fineliners. They seem nice and I really like the ergonomic shape of the pen…. but really don’t know enough about fineliners to say anything more. 🙂 So I would be really interested in hearing your thoughts (in the comment section below) if you have tried them.
I bought a grip pen a number of years ago and really enjoy using it as one of my everyday writing pens (it’s currently living next to my main computer at the moment). The Loom is a heavier pen so not something that I would choose to sketch with. I put a Stone Grey cartridge into this pen and used it on Sunday for my sermons notes – it wrote beautifully smooth and was a lovely pen to use.
I was really surprised as I was doing the colour chart for the 30 set of WCPs at how many of my own selection (see here) are included in the official Faber Castell kit. The only difference was the three earth colours!
Sanguine instead of Burnt Sienna and Dark Sepia instead of Walnut Brown work fine. The main issue is that the 30 set doesn’t have a raw sienna type colour (I use Brown Ochre) – instead, it has a greenish yellow – Green Gold.
One of the great things about the Faber Castell universe is that the same colours exist in other media. So that means that I was able to establish a usable set of WCMs that matches my WCP selection! And these (with the exception of the Green Gold as mentioned above) are all colours that I know really well. This has made my experiments with these markers easier!
I have been using alcohol markers a lot recently (Copic Markers in my Greenwood Journal) but it’s been years since I last did a sketch with watercolour markers. When using a watersoluble tool I normally try and use it in a way that combines the dry strokes with areas that have been activated with water and I try not to use it as a substitute for watercolour. See here for an index of my WCM sketches.
As mentioned last week, my first sketch was this quick one of Cockatoo Island standing up while waiting for a ferry. I was able to hold the caps of three markers in my hand (Green Gold, Sanguine and Indanthrene Blue) as well as the cap to a waterbrush (also Faber Castell brand) but it wasn’t all that comfortable.
Here is a closeup of the sketch. I enjoyed doing this sketch and the colours mixed well. You can see in this sketch that I retained some of the marker lines.
As much as I miss having a Brown Ochre, I will freely admit that the Green Gold creates lovely greens.
My next sketch was of a playground area at Anzac Park West Ryde. I was drinking a coffee at the time and thought it would be a good chance to try the markers again. This was a more controlled test of the same three colours and I found it easy to mix the colours on the page. Here I was using the WCMs as a substitute for watercolour.
Yesterday I attempted a more serious sketch with more mixing. At the time I thought this sketch was a bit of a mess (the yellow and green trees were super bright while wet) but it definitely looks better now that it’s dry. Back home I did some swatches (on the left) to test different ways of mixing the colours. As a general comment, these WCMs are more intense than the corresponding WCPs.
For this sketch and the playground one, I thought at the time that it would have been easier just to get my paints out. 🙂
(Note: the above three sketches were all done inside my Moleskine Watercolour book)
The last example was done this morning of a very boring local scene. Once again, mid-sketch I thought this was a total mess but improved on drying. In fact, there are some textures in this sketch that I really like. This sketch was done on a Handbook Sketchbook (the one with the cream paper, not the watercolour Travelogue Handbook.)
It’s still early days but I’m looking forward to exploring these markers more! As always let me know in the comment section below if you have any questions.
A huge thankyou to Faber Castell Australia for this incredibly generous gift.