lean13

Review: Derwent Tinted Charcoal Pencils

Foreword

As some of you may know, I am a huge fan and supporter of the products made by Derwent. I use their pencils on a daily basis and I don’t think that I will replace them any time soon.

A few days ago I went through my somewhat large and messy collection of art materials and noticed these pencils, the Derwent Tinted Charcoal, which I have received a few months ago from my contact at ColArt.

If you’re a fan of charcoal and thought it’s only available in black then you’ve surely missed out on these pencils!

Let’s get our hands dirty (or not) and start with the review…

The Review

The Tinted Charcoal pencils are very similar to other products by Derwent, they have a comfortable weight and a very professional look. Same as many other pencils made by Derwent the barrel is round, which you might not like because you prefer octagonal pencils.

As you can see in the demonstration that I have posted above, the charcoal pencils are water-soluble and also blend very well. The colors are rather dark and do not get brighter when washed. They look exactly as they do in a dry state.

The best part about charcoal pencils is that, unlike with the regular charcoal sticks, you will not look live you’ve been stuck in a chimney after using them, and that you can use them when your hands are wet without ruining the charcoal as it’s inside the pencil’s barrel. You can still get all smudgy and messy with them but you don’t have to if you don’t want to.

Just like any drawing made with traditional charcoal sticks, drawings made with these pencils also require workable fixative.

Conclusion

I’ve always found charcoal drawings to be very special. The dark blacks and dramatic shading methods are very unique to this medium and I am more than happy to tell you that everything that is possible with stick charcoal is also achievable with the Derwent Tinted Charcoal pencils.

Do you enjoy working with charcoal but at the same time want to keep your desk clean and tidy? Then there’s no need for you to look any further as Derwent is here to help!

Buy Here:

- Blick Art Materials

 - Jerry’s Artarama

(Disclaimer: I write these reviews out of my own interest and do not get paid in any way by the companies that I mention. I share my own personal opinion and am always as honest as possible.)

Review: Huion H610PRO

Introduction

Today I’ll be reviewing the H610PRO, a drawing tablet by Huion

http://www.huiontablet.com/h610-pro/

A few months ago I stumbled upon Huion by seeing a video posted on Youtube from fellow artist Oliver Scott (he was showcasing the H610, Huion’s earlier version of the H610PRO). At the time I was using a cheap tablet by a company called “Trust” because my Wacom Intuos had died on me, so I know both worlds, the lower end tablets and the more expensive ones.

Anyways… The H610PRO attracted me right away and reading the specs made me want to try it out even more so I decided to give it a shot.

Oh, did I mention that it sells for only $69.99?

Design

As I’ve said earlier, the H610PRO really got my attention. The design is very modern and well executed. Compared to other graphic tablets in it’s price range it looks very professional and can even hold up to the more expensive Wacoms in my opinion. 

The pen that comes with it is rechargeable via usb and has two programmable side-buttons. I am very much satisfied with it, although the shape of the grip could have been designed a little bit differently for more stability when holding the pen.

Performance

I was surprised how easy it was to set up the H610PRO, just pop in the drivers cd, install and you’re ready to go (although I suggest to download the latest drivers from their website instead of using the cd that came with the package).

I’ve tested the tablet in the most known programs, including: Photoshop, Painter, Sai, Manga Studio, Sketchbook Pro,  Artrage and ZBrush. Pressure sensitivity worked in all of them and I didn’t notice any issues like lag, jumping cursor etc.

The eight programmable express keys on the tablet could really enhance the workflow of new users, though I still prefer the custom shortcut keys on my keyboard.

I’m a little bit disappointed that there’s no tilt sensitivity but other than that I am more than satisfied with it.

Pros

- The price of $69.99

- Overall quality of the tablet

- Rechargeable pen and detachable usb cable

- Performance in various programs

Cons

- Grip of the pen

- No tilt sensitivity

Conclusion

I’m impressed by this tablet, it can keep up with the big players and isn’t only for the amateur artist. I now use it for all my professional work and can only recommend it to everyone else. If you don’t want to miss out on anything but aren’t willing to spend the money on Wacom’s products, then this is the best you can get!

Buy Here

US Amazon

UK Amazon

UK Ebay

By the way, they also have a Cintiq alternative called GT-190 which I hope to test out soon and I’ll also create a video review of this tablet, so stay tuned!

Video Tutorials by Stan Prokopenko

http://www.youtube.com/user/ProkoTV/

Some of you might know Stan Prokopenko’s tutorials already but those of you who don’t will really appreciate this post! (I promise)

With about 70 high-quality uploaded videos, this youtube channel easily makes it on the top of my list of resources for artists wanting to become better and improve their skills. 

Stan is a really talented artist who can teach you a lot about drawing and art. What I like most about his tutorials is that they are created in a way that makes them fun to watch without getting bored too fast. 

I recommend these video tutorials to every artist at every level. Especially if you already know the basics and want to get into anatomy a little bit deeper then you shouldn’t miss out on them!

I also suggest reading Andrew Loomis’ books because it really can’t get much better than them. (More about his books in another post)

Thx for reading!

3

How to draw hands

I had some requests for this sitting in my inbox for a while now and would like to share how i draw hands. I highly suggest reading some books about anatomy because hands can be very difficult to draw and it seems to never become an easy task. Also try to get the best reference image possible so you can see all the little details and shadows.

Alrighty, let’s go!

The first step is to roughly sketch out the shape of the hands. Don’t worry about any details yet, just try to get everything in place. At this stage I usually draw really fast so I don’t get lost in the small things and just focus on large shapes. 

Ok, so you got the shape down and you’re ready to move on… 

Step 2 would be to start shading. For beginners this could be a bit difficult but all you have to do is to study your reference image closely and look for shadows. Try to imagine how skin folds around the fingers and figure out where the light is coming from. Shading takes time but it’s rewarding in the end.

We could stop here but don’t you think that we can do much better?

Step 3,  finishing touches. Now we want to get the most out of our drawing by paying attention to all the tiny details. How much time you’ll spend on this is totally up to you. Look for wrinkles and folds, build up your darks to create some more contrast and get rid of messy lines. 

That’s it, basically. Most important is to have fun and to enjoy the process. Don’t be scared of mistakes, instead learn from them.

Thanks again for checking out my art and please sign up to my mailing list for future posts and monthly-artsy-giveaways!

- Eric