Friday, 15 December 2017

Azog The Defiler Finished

Here is the next update on Azog! (which i finished today!)

I will show you my updates from my last post up until the final result. 

I started working on the armor after my last post and got the details in place. This was all done with light tones of blues, greys and a Indigo blue. 
After putting a base layer on the armor i added some of the dark background to create a contrast.

In the next step i darkened up most of the shoulder pad and added details and color to some of the fur. I also went back to work on Azog's face as it was not nearly dark enough. I started to add shades of warm dark grey to make the shaded half of his face. 
After that i decided to work more on the background. 

In the final steps of this drawing i added more dark all around and highlights and colors to the fur and iron. Last thing to do was the color and shades in his eyes which also added the finishing touch. 

This drawing is going to be a gift for a big Azog fan!
In the near future i might also make a drawing of Bolg to complete the Family line!


Saturday, 2 December 2017

Azog The Defiler

I started a new project and this time it is a drawing that will be given as a gift for Christmas to a big Azog fan!

This is the first time i draw a portrait and so far i am enjoying it. For this drawing i'm using the open stock of Prismacolor pencils that i have. I have been using 3 shades of blue, a purple, cream, peach and some shades of grey so far. In the first step i started to draw the scars on Azog's face and put the darker shades of blue. 

At the next stage i started working on his armour and fur. I also darkened up the face a bit more, however i will still need to add more shades and tones before i consider the face done. The armour will be done with grays and blues to create a metal effect but for that update you will have to wait a little bit more!


Saturday, 25 November 2017

Spectrum Noir colored pencil review!

Recently i purchased 4 sets from Spectrum Noir Blendable Pencils (ColourBlends) to try them out. I was asked on several occasions if they would be a good choice for a beginner or even a professional artist since the range of colors is quite varied and looks like it can accommodate any type of subject. They are also easy to find (online and in stores) and you can start buying them set by set making it an affordable way even for a starting artist to build up a good selection of pencils.

I decided to buy the 4 sets i thought would give me the most options, so i could write a comprehensive review. The sets i have are Shade and Tone, Floral, Natural and Primaries . 

I noticed the leads were not matching the colors on the barrel's ends so i sharpened them before using since this can be an issue with wax based pencils.
I chose to draw a Toucan, a simple image, rich in color and shades so i could see how these pencils perform.

On the manufacturer's website they state the following:

"They have a soft lead for seamless blending and shading techniques"

I found this to be the case, but instead of the soft lead being good for blending they simply crumble into the paper, leaving so much residue behind that i had to clean up my drawing more than i was able to work on it! I have NEVER seen this with any pencil before. They simply disintegrate on the paper, leaving a million crumbs behind! 

"They have a high pigmentation and vibrancy of color"

This is not true! These pencils leave a streaky mess behind, they do not layer, do not blend and are not
intense as the manufacturer claims. They barely leave any pigment. 
I am not heavy handed, since my usual style of drawing is photo-realism and i like to build a lot of layers and fine details. These pencils do not work for that! 
They take 2 layers at most, after which they do not leave anymore pigment on top of the previous layer. 

I did my best to make this drawing as "ok " as possible, given the circumstances, but i was definitely not happy with the result.

I could not build up any contrast, shading or details making it look a flat and bleached. 

Also, i did not have a black pencil in any of the sets so i used my Prismacolor black pencil to finish the drawing. (my bad for not checking, before starting to draw!) 

As it is, i do not recommend these pencils and for me they are a waste of money. I will try to contact the manufacturer and see if what i have experienced is normal or if i had a bad/ old batch of pencils because i don't like giving negative reviews and i had at least some expectations from this brand. 

Hopefully they can help and i will post any developments here!

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Fox colored pencil drawing

Here is a drawing i am currently working on. When i first came upon this fox picture i just had to draw it, i mean who can resist such a cute little fellow!
For this drawing i'm using Faber-Castell Polychromos pencils on Canson Mi-Teintes paper. 

I started out with giving the fox a base color and a small shade around to create a contrast between both.

After the base layers where put down i started to put on more layers and shades to start creating depth. I also added some more green to the background and some details where there will be bushes. 
From this point onward i'm going to start adding details on the background and finish that first. 

Keep an eye out for my next post with more updates! 


Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Froot Loops Step by Step Colored Pencil Drawing

This is a step by step process of my Froot Loops colored pencil drawing that i made for the colored pencil magazine October challenge.
I'm glad to announce that this drawing won the advanced category price and the results can be found here:

In this post i will guide you through the process of how my drawing came to be and i will do my best to give explanatory comments with all the images / steps that i photographed.

This drawing was made using Prismacolor Premier colored pencils on 8x11 Inch Canson Mi-Teintes paper.
 After outlining all the loops i started working on the left side of the drawing, which might seem a bit weird as i am primarily left handed. (i can use both hands, but for drawing i mostly use the left as it is my most steady hand)
This half of the drawing had most of the loops, which is why i wanted to start on this side. 
I started out with a loop of each color, which luckily was not that hard as they were all kind of close together. This helped me create some color values between the different colors. 

From here on i started to work upwards and while drawing i made adjustments to loop locations and outlines as needed. As you can see i did make some darker shades, however i skipped making the shaded areas their definitive color until the last stage where all the loops would be done.
Note that i also did not work on any of the milk surrounding the loops, that as well i left till i finished all the loops. 

From this step onward you can probably notice that i blocked in all the darker spots on the loops. To do this i was scrolling/ zooming in on my reference photo and working loop by loop.

The next steps are working in the same style as before to keep on creating more and more loops.

At this point pretty much all the loops have a base layer of color and i was ready to start on the next step which is defining all the shaded parts on the loops (especially the shadows cast from a loop next or on top of another loop) .

As you can see most of my loops now have shadows on and around them. I also darkened most of them a bit more compared to the last stage. I did this by looking at my reference photo without zooming in and noticed that they had to be a lot darker then they actually were. 

I also started on the bowl which i gave a base layer of greens, yellows and blues. After that it started on the milk. You can see the start of this on the upper left corner. For the milk i used a mix of grays and light blues. 

I continued working on the milk and made sure to finish it before starting on the bowl and spoon. 
For the darker shades in the milk i used a mix of darker cold grays with different colors (red, greens etc) After that i started working on the spoon which was made using different tones of cold grays and a few tones of blue. For the really dark i used a mix of indigo blue and black. 

After this i finished up the bowl with more layers of colors, i kept the bowl to last so i could adjust the contrast to the loops and add some shadows around the bowl. 

And with that the drawing was done.

I hope this explains my drawing process a bit more and if anyone has any questions don't hesitate to contact me and ask!

- Stefan 

Friday, 29 September 2017

Bruynzeel Design Colored pencils

In the past few years i have tried many different brands of colored pencils, because I am always curious about new products. (or products that are new to me)
I found these pencils open stock on discount so i purchased the full range (48 colors).

I can't seem to find any information on if these are oil or wax based however based on the manufacturers description they are professional / artist grade with excellent light fastness.

First thing i did was make a color chart and they are quite true to the color indicated on the barrel.
For this drawing i worked on a 6x8 sheet of Canson Mi-Teintes paper

The first thing I noticed was that they leave a lot of buildup and they are very soft / breakable. They  Crumble if you press firmly, but even if they are just sharpened to a point, the tip crumbles off as it touches the paper.

I don't have a heavy hand and i layer a lot, so this did not happen to me before, not even with Prismacolors. I like a pencil to hold a sharp point and not leave a massive amount of residue on the paper while working as the smudges that result from this can cause serious problems on a work.

The pencils do not blend very well and they don't take many layers. After 3-4 layers they saturate the paper making it impossible to add more layers on top.
I used Gamsol to blend, which seemed to help quite a bit and i managed to achieve a smoother finish with a more even coverage.

In my opinion these pencils are not very suitable for very fine detailed work that requires many pencil layers. Since my style is leaning towards photo-realism, i  aim for fine details and a smooth blend between colors, and I could not really achieve this using these pencils.

They are however a good buy (price/quality) for a beginner or a student to experiment with and get familiar with colored pencils as a medium.

I now use them for quick sketches or for my art journal.

You can find more info about the full range  on the manufacturers website:

Friday, 8 September 2017

Toy Color Watercolors Review

Another review of a product from the Italian company Toy Color. 
For this painting I used a set of 6 Two-colored Tablets watercolors!
I worked on a rough handmade watercolor paper, and I really enjoyed how this turned out. 

The watercolors are split in two wells so to easily mix another color, but they can also be mixed in any other combination.
I first tried the colors two by two as they come in the set, but I found that some do not give a very vibrant result, such as the red and yellow. 

Compared to their regular watercolor set, these are not very pigmented and seem more chalky.
The thing I did not like the most is that the palette is quite limited and the colors are not vibrant and bright.
I did however mange to achieve a good result by using only a few color and layering enough to get the brightness I was after!

I also layered over some of their pearly watercolors (as seen above), which gave much more color intensity and a beautiful pearlescent finish!
I definitely enjoyed working with the pearly watercolors more, the color range is higher and they seem much more pigmented. They also leave a very nice shine and don't shift color much once dry.
I liked that they aren't transparent enough to layer over other watercolors but you could still paint with them alone just as well.

They can be used with any watercolor brand, professional or student grade.
The colors are a mix between bright and pastels and I find that very useful for layering.
I recommend these as an affordable alternative to other pearlescent watercolors from bigger brands!


Monday, 4 September 2017

Toy Color Acrylic Paints Review

This painting was made using Toy Color acrylic glossy and matte hobby paints. I was trying them out for the first time and i thought a bright colorful painting would be a good choice to see how they perform.

I especially liked the matte paints, they mix and layer nicely, have a better coverage than the glossy ones and they dry with a matte aspect which make it easier to scan and photograph the artwork.

The white from the series is very opaque and covers pretty much ANY color including the darker ones.
For this painting I used purple, dark and light green, red, orange and two shades yellow. ( you can see the colors in the picture below)
Some of these, such as the purple, green and white were matte.

The glossy paints seem more liquid and are not as consistent as the matte ones. It took a few layers to cover the surface so that any under layers don't shine through.
They do mix nicely together so that's a plus point.

I thought the glossy colors were not as vibrant as the others. I had to put down many layers to achieve vibrant and bright result where I needed.

Over all I think these are a nice product for their intended purpose ( hobby, decorative art ), I would however say that the matte paints performed better.

I will give these a try with geli printing, I think they would create some interesting backgrounds !


Friday, 1 September 2017

Hand-Made Fall Decor

If you ever wondered what an artist does in his/her spare time, then i can hopefully give some insight. In my spare time i play board games, computer games, read books and i crochet!

I made this wreath since i wanted some new fall decor. The pattern for this wreath was bought on Etsy and i made it over the time span of a few days. I only worked on it for 1-2 hours per day and it took me about 3 days to complete.

The wreath is very easy to make and adjustable to the size of your Styrofoam ring.
We don't have much red or brown in the house and the original pattern had plenty of brown and red in it so i adjusted the colors to fit our home decor.

Hopefully that gives a bit of insight on what i do in my free time! 
I will also make a post in the future to show what books i read/ have read or other projects that i have made. 


Sunday, 27 August 2017

New Oil Painting - Impressionist Tulips

Here is one of my latest impressionist oil paintings.

These pink tulips remind me of my home country (The Netherlands). 
If you ever visit the Netherlands be sure visit during the spring when all the tulips are blooming and you will be greeted by an amazing colorful landscape!

This painting can be found on my website:


Friday, 25 August 2017

Green Malachite Butterfly Drawing

This is my latest drawing, that i made using Derwent coloursoft pencils.
It's a green malachite butterfly sitting on a lemon slice.
After drawing the outlines i started working on the upper wing with layers of yellow, orange and green.

I have tried these pencils in the past on my wild boar drawing and was very pleased with the result and  i again was very pleased with the result.
For the background i used a mix of Caran D'ache Neocolor II and the special fashion edition of coloursoft.
I first started with a under layer of Neocolor II and finished it with dark turquoise and Pine from the fashion edition set.

The drawing can be found on my website:
In the near future i will also do a giveaway with the prize being a tin set of 12 coloursoft pencils!

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Orange Flowers Colored Pencil Drawing

This is one of my current drawings in progress.
Below are a few images of various stages.

This is the first step after sketching the outlines of the flowers

After the center flowers petals got finished with a base layer of colors i moved on the the left and right flowers. 

Here i started to work on the stem of the left flower. This was done by mixing dark red, dark blue and a darker purple to get a nice blend of colors.

Here i  have added more colors to the petals with the next step being the other flower stems and the background. 

I'm currently working on the background. After that i will add another layer of color to petals that need to be more intense and the drawing will be finished!

Keep an eye out for the final update!