Make Your Own Journaling Cards

26 November 2013

If you're a crafter or scrapbooker, you won't have missed that pocket style scrapbooking such as Project Life that has been everywhere lately! It's definitely one of my new obsessions, so I thought I would have a go at mixing it with one of my other obsessions; Derwent Inktense blocks!

Most journaling cards come in either 3" x 4" or 4" x 6" sizes, so I started by cutting some watercolour paper to those sizes as my base. Then I collected together some brushes, sponges, stencils and stamps, along with my Inktense Blocks and got to work!

Make Your Own Journaling Cards

Firstly I made the base colour, using the blocks on sponge or brushes and through stencils to make a variety of effects - plain bold colours, gradients and stencils to make chevron and hexagon patterns - you really can experiment and make whatever colour or theme you like with these and they end up really bold and vivid too, I love the finished effect!

Make Your Own Journaling Cards

This yellow one I made with a hexagon mask, dabbing over colour with a brush, you can see it blurred a bit under the stencil in the middle but I quite like the softer effect there as it gives a less bold area for journaling. The stencil wasn't quite as wide as the card so it left a border each side, I emphasised this with some doodled stitching and added a stamped sentiment to the bottom.

Make Your Own Journaling Cards

This one, I used a scrap of the leftover watercolour paper and stamped a Doodle Doll image, which I also coloured in with Inktense blocks; once dry I added some glitter to her dress. I added a doodled border to the card and a stamped sentiment (one of my favourite sayings!) before sticking the doll to one side - I think this one ended up being my favourite! 

Make Your Own Journaling Cards

For these little ones I simply added some stamped and doodled images to finish, and here is my complete set of cards ready for a future Project Life spread...

Make Your Own Journaling Cards

I hope you'll give Inktense Blocks a try to make your Project Life / Journaling Cards! If you'd like to share your projects over on the Derwent Facebook page we'd love to see them! I’ll be back soon with another project.


Sarah x

www.sarahhurley.com

Comments
10:30 by Sarah Hurley Sarah Hurley

Coloursoft Pencils on Kraft Card

28 August 2013

Today I'm sharing a very quick and simple card using stamping and (my favourite!) Coloursoft pencils onto Kraft card...

Coloursoft Pencils on Kraft Card

I wanted to show how bright and vibrant the pencils are, even onto coloured card. I started by folding a piece of Kraft card in half and cutting it down to a 5" x 5" square. I used a Memento black inkpad to stamp the little boy stamp (from Stampin Up) into the right hand corner and the birthday greeting (from the same stamp set) into the top left corner.

Coloursoft Pencils on Kraft Card

I then used my Coloursoft pencils to colour in the image; you can see how vibrant the colours are, even onto coloured cardstock, and they blend beautifully on the slightly rough texture of the card.

Coloursoft Pencils on Kraft Card

Once coloured, I used a black fineliner pen to doodle a frame around the edge of the card as a finishing touch.

Coloursoft Pencils on Kraft Card

I hope you'll give Coloursoft Pencils a try with different colours of paper and card! If you'd like to share your projects over on the Derwent Facebook page we'd love to see them! I’ll be back soon with another project.


Sarah x

www.sarahhurley.com

Comments
10:00 by Sarah Hurley Sarah Hurley

Inktense Coloured Embossing

15 July 2013

Today, I wanted to show you how to add a new lease of life to your embossing folders using Inktense pencils and blocks!

Inktense Coloured Embossing

I've used a Sizzix embossing folder in my Bigshot machine with watercolour paper. As you can see, it looks lovely even left white, but I wanted to add a little bit of interest with some bold colour!

Inktense Coloured Embossing

I used a Waterbrush with my Inktense Blocks (you could use pencils if you prefer, I just had the blocks to hand) to start to add colour to the raised areas.

Inktense Coloured Embossing

Once this had dried I added a touch of sparkle with some Stickles glitter glue to the flowers.

Inktense Coloured Embossing

I liked the way it looked just by itself so I adhered it straight to a card blank with no additional embellishments.

You could also add washes in just one colour for patterns or use them for backgrounds, rather than the main focus of the card, as I have here - the possibilities are endless! So dig out your embossing folders and give them a new lease of life!

I hope you'll give Inktense Blocks a try with your embossing folders! If you'd like to share your projects over on the Derwent Facebook page we'd love to see them! I’ll be back soon with another project.


Sarah x

www.sarahhurley.com

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10:00 by Sarah Hurley Sarah Hurley

Team Derwent Raises Over £1000 for Charity

23 April 2013

Six members of Team Derwent took part in the Workington to Keswick challenge a couple of weeks ago! Lisa Hawkrigg (Accounts), Judy Marsland (HR), Jason Birbeck (Purchasing), Phyllis Meckin (Manufacturing), Anthony Robinson (IT) and his wife Lesley battled against wind and rain to take part in the walk. Here, Lisa tells us her account:

"The weather conditions were terrible but the organisers, having already postponed it once due to snow, really couldn’t postpone it again. So on Sunday morning at 7.30am our small but happy band set out in the torrential, often horizontal rain and gale force winds to walk the 32 miles to Keswick. The conditions were so bad that 109 people who had pre entered did not even bother turning up on the day!

We were soaked to the skin by the time we passed the factory and going over Fangs Brow the rain felt like needles on the side of our faces. We had to wade through knee deep flooding at Lorton (or scale fences and walls to get round it!) to get to the check point.  Unfortunately, Phyllis and Lesley had to retire due to injury at Buttermere, but they both did amazingly well to get that far (19 miles).  The rest of us then had to struggle up Honister through 60 mile an hour head winds but at least the rain had stopped at this point.

The last few miles to Keswick seemed to go on for ever and we were all hurting but we finally made it to the finish line in just over 10 hours."

Team Derwent Raises Over £1000 for Charity

I asked a few members of the team about their own experiences...

Anthony, what were the best and worst things about the walk?
The best thing about the walk was, even though the weather was hideous, we were all able to still laugh about the situation we were in...most of the time!

The worst thing was the weather... and that horrible bit of road flooded by glacial water we had to walk through just before the second checkpoint.

Judy, what drove you on to complete the walk?
Staring hard at the back of Lisa's heels and the thought of hot pies at the end!

Jason, do you feel like the preparation you did for the walk helped on the day? If so, in what way?
The preparation for the walk was invaluable. Getting back out and doing regular practice walks at the weekends was the only way to go. Just getting used to walking longer distances on tarmac was a big thing in itself. Nothing, however, really prepares you for 65mph winds and driving rain!

Phyllis, can you give me a few words about your experiences during the last few years of doing the W2K walk?
I usually like to start preparing for the walk at least 3 months beforehand. I try to walk every day but this year, with other commitments, it was difficult. This year was a big low; I was so disappointed I couldn’t carry on past Buttermere.

I did the walk one year on my own it was supposed to have been with someone else but she dropped out. It was pleasant because as you went along everyone spoke and passed the time of day and as everyone walked at different speeds it passed the time away.

As I was walking along Borrowdale I met a lad from Seaton so we walked into Keswick together and when we got towards town we started running up the main street; it was funny because people started clapping as we went past.

Well done to the team!

Comments
14:47 by Rebecca Watson Rebecca Watson

Want to win a set of these?

7 March 2013

To celebrate the launch of the fashion inspired Coloursoft Special Edition set, we're giving away 2 sets along with 2 beautiful fashion journals from Laurence King. Both the journal and tin were illustrated by Niki Pilkington and make the perfect companion for any fashionista!

THIS CONTEST HAS NOW FINISHED! The winners were Kathryn Barstow and Allison_HVK!

 

Want to win a set of these?

Want to win a set of these?

• No purchase necessary.
• Winners will be picked at random from all entries received.
• Only one entry per person on the blog & one via Twitter
• Closing date for entries 20th March 2013.
• Not open to employees of the Cumberland Pencil Co, ACCO, their families and its agencies.
• This competition is open internationally.
• Winners will be notified within 14 days of the draw taking place.
• No cash alternative will be offered.
• Submission of entry constitutes acceptance of the terms and conditions.
• Promoter: ACCO UK Ltd, trading as The Cumberland Pencil Co, Derwent House, Lillyhall Business Park, Workington, Cumbria, CA14 5HS.

Comments
10:04 by Rebecca Watson Rebecca Watson

Top Tips Series 2: Graham Bradshaw

19 February 2013

Graham Bradshaw returns with some more fantastic tips for drawing in graphite.

Rendering

These days pencil artists are using techniques which make pencil lines disappear & as a result you get a much more photo realistic look to your portrait. We use tools such as torillons, cotton buds or even tissue paper. Some artists use graphite dust & paint brushes; this is known as the dry brush technique. Personally I use tortillons so this is the method I’ll explain in more detail.

A tortillon is otherwise known as a blending or paper stump which is made of compressed rolled up paper & used to blend graphite after you’ve applied it to an area. To get the best results you’ll need to apply the pencil as smooth as possible keeping your strokes close together (fig1).

Top Tips Series 2: Graham Bradshaw

Whilst doing this you’ll have to also create the shade & depth you need for the specific area which is not only done by the grade of pencil you’re using but also the pressure you apply to the pencil (this does of course take practice & can only be determined by the artist’s eye & ability). Once you’re happy with the rendered area use the blending stump in a circular motion to smear the graphite (fig2). Use as little pressure as possible to begin with then gradually build it up to a nice smooth area. Be careful of graphite build up on your tortillon because you’ll soon find it will no longer

be effective. You can either clean it on a scrap piece of paper or more effectively on a piece of sand paper.

Top Tips Series 2: Graham Bradshaw

This method of rendering is really effective on skin tones, around eyes, noses & ears. I also use it for creating hair which appears blurred & out of focus.

Depth

Creating dark areas with a pencil always seems to become the topic of conversation whenever I upload images of my work online. Some artists use charcoal which is a great way of getting dark black areas without the graphite shine. They still consider themselves graphite artists which is fine, although in my opinion the drawing has now become mixed media. I have been thinking about using this method myself at some point but at present I use the dreaded 9B to create my dark areas. Using the 9B in such a way will always cause graphite shine unfortunately it’s unavoidable; I’m not going to lie. So the best way to deal with this is to try & control it the best you can by drawing in deep circular motions instead of scribbling long deep lines; this will help the appearance of the drawing when you look upon it directly (Fig1). Applying 9B to paper is very similar to the methods used by tattoo artists when applying colour & shading to skin; deep circular motions.

Top Tips Series 2: Graham Bradshaw

I will stress that without using charcoal or a black pencil this shine will always be the downside to using graphite pencil.

Graham will be back next week with another set of top tips. Visit Graham's website for more inspiration.

Visit our website for more information on Graphic Pencils.

Comments
09:00 by Rebecca Watson Rebecca Watson

Art Journaling with Aquatones

8 February 2013

Today I'm sharing one of my art journal pages, I don't often share these but this one I'm making an exception for as I had such fun making it with my Aquatone sticks! Aquatone is probably the most fun art material I've had since I was a child with a box of crayons in every colour. These highly pigmented sticks of colour blend with water to create the most rich, intense and vibrant colours; I just love using them whenever I can, especially in my art journaling!

Art Journaling with Aquatones

 

For this page, done in my little Derwent Journal, I lightly misted the page with water and then blended the colours, starting with the lightest yellow in the middle out to the darkest purple at the edges. Once dry I went over again, this time wetting the Aquatone sticks and going over where I thought I needed more colour or to blend the colours together better - I love the way these layer...

Art Journaling with Aquatones

Once it was dry, I then misted and spattered some white spray over the top, I thought it looked like stars so I knew then exactly what to doodle over it!

Art Journaling with Aquatones

Once the spray was dry I then used a black pen to doodle my picture over the top, finishing with a border and the quote, one of my favourites. I finally added some silver stars which I also doodled around to make them stand out...

Art Journaling with Aquatones

I hope you'll give Aquatone, and Art Journaling, a try - it's a great free way to make art! If you'd like to share your projects over on the Derwent Facebook page we'd love to see them! I’ll be back soon with another project.


Sarah x

www.sarahhurley.com

Comments
10:00 by Sarah Hurley Sarah Hurley

Interview: Graham Bradshaw

1 October 2012

We came across Graham Bradshaw's work online and since then have been so impressed with his attention to detail and creativity in his drawings. We asked Graham to answer a few questions about his life and work:

Tell us a little about yourself.

I was born in Liverpool but we moved away when I was very young. I was raised in a small village called Chinnor in Oxfordshire. Chinnor sits right on the edge of the Chilterns & is a really nice place to grow up; home to all my childhood memories. I now live in Rugby, Warwickshire with my wife, three children & a loopy German Shepherd. I work full time as a Team Leader for a company called Cemex which has  long 12 hour shifts but lots of time off in between. I’ve always been very hands on & mechanically minded, fixing, designing & making things has always played a part in my line of work. My favourite subjects at school where always Art, Woodwork & Metalwork. Drawing is something I do in my spare time; usually late at night when all the kids are asleep. Sometimes I’ll be up until the early hours because that’s the only time I get to draw. I find drawing very relaxing & once the headphones are on, the pencils come out & the iPod’s set to shuffle I’ll drift off into my own world & lose myself for while.

Interview: Graham Bradshaw

How would you describe your work?

I feel that my work is very much like every other graphite portrait artist. This is something I’d like to break away from rather than continuously drawing portraits of celebs, people’s family members & animals.  Please don’t get me wrong as I do enjoy drawing these things but I’d like to start combining ideas and making my work different if that makes sense. The drawing ‘Lost in a dream’ was my first attempt at breaking away from the normal. Although surreal, the drawing still holds a realistic vibe. I think the best way to describe my work at the moment is ‘evolving’.

How did you start out as an artist?

I began drawing at a very early age. At first I drew cartoons that I’d send in to Phillip Schofield. Phillip was really cool! He showed two of my cartoons on his children’s show on CBBC & also read out my name twice. The first cartoon was Scooby Doo & the other was Count Duckula. I received a letter & badge from the BBC to say thanks for sending in the drawings. I was really chuffed about it & remember wearing my badge to school every day for weeks. It wasn’t until I was twelve that I discovered my ability to draw people. It sounds bad but I stole my brother’s Derwent pencils & FHM magazine to draw Sherilyn Fenn. It was kind of accidental really but that’s where it all started I guess.

Interview: Graham Bradshaw

How has your style evolved over the years?

From the age of 18 I gave up drawing for years. My parents always told me I had a wasted talent but you know what it’s like being young; all I wanted to do was hang out with my mates & party. I’d draw the odd picture from time to time but never really took it anywhere. In my twenties I spent a lot of my time learning how to play guitar. I got good on guitar but I always knew I’d never be as good at that as I was at drawing. In 2010 I decided to start drawing again & began sharing my work online. I’m constantly competing against myself with every piece I draw striving to make every drawing better than my last. Back in 2010 my work was soft & lacked depth.  Over the last two years my style has become a lot more detailed, accurate & realistic but most importantly it has depth. I now know the exact pencil grades that suit my style & the paper I need to use; back in 2010 I didn’t have a clue & was still experimenting.

Do you have your own studio? How have you made the space work for you & your creativity?

I don’t have a studio as such but I do have a room that I share with my German Shepherd who snores a lot. In the room I have a large angled art desk that has a massive canvas of New York City above it. I love New York, it fascinates me, unfortunately I’ve never been there but it’s always been on my ‘to do’ list.

What is your favourite piece of work and why?

That would have to be ‘Lost in a Dream’ simply because it’s the first time I’ve really let myself go creatively. The drawing is a concept rather than just copying from a photograph.

Interview: Graham Bradshaw


Who or what inspires your work?

I’m inspired by a lot of things but mainly my kids. They often ask if they can see my drawings & if I’m drawing one of them they get really excited. Music inspires me a lot & listening to my iPod while I draw is a MUST! I can’t draw without music. If I’m having a tough time with a drawing I’ll change tracks to get a more uplifting tune which drives me to keep going. Artists who inspire me are Hyper-Realism artists such as Paul Cadden. I’d like to become Hyper-Realistic in my drawings but what I don’t want to do is copy another artist’s style. Finding my own direction & having my own ideas is my main goal as an artist. 

What advice would you give to someone wanting to become an artist?

I’d tell them that there’s no such thing as one big break! The only reality in art is hard work. If you’re serious about becoming an artist then you’ll get your rewards, but if there ever comes a time when you stop enjoying what you do... give up! 

What are the most enjoyable and rewarding aspects of being an artist?

Wow that’s a tough question because there’re so many. The best feeling is completing a commission that the owner loves & gets emotional over.  Then there’s the sense of achievement when you’ve completed a piece, the moment when you stand away from the art board for a while & admire your work from a distance. I also love it when you’re in the process of drawing & you get that feeling that it’s going better than you expected. Posting your new piece on Facebook & sitting there refreshing the page to see how many people have liked it; sad I know but any artist who doesn’t admit to doing this is a liar.

Posting on Facebook isn’t just exciting but it’s also a very nervous time for an artist. The most rewarding part is all the amazing people & other artists I’ve met since sharing my work online. One of my most memorable moments was when my artwork was seen by a member of the film industry. I was invited to Pinewood studios for the day to visit sets for The Da Vinci Code & Children Of Men. The Da Vinci Code was amazing; I don’t want to ruin it for people but they couldn’t get permission to film inside the real Louvre in Paris so they recreated the entire gallery at Pinewood. There was still blood on the floor when I went in because they’d filmed the opening scene the morning I was there. I wasn’t supposed to see the set because I was actually on my way to meet Tom Hanks. Tom wasn’t available because he was filming on another stage at the time so the guy I was with asked if I’d like to see The Louvre instead. I never did get to meet Mr Hanks but that day still remains one of the best days of my life thanks to my artwork. There’s more but I’ll let you (Derwent) reveal that when you’re ready.

Interview: Graham Bradshaw

What are your top tips for budding pencil artists?

My main tip is to be patient; never rush and always believe in your ability. If you ever get tired or start to struggle leave it alone & come back to it later. You’ll always see your drawing from a different prospective when you’ve been away from it for a while. As for techniques I’ve found that a tortillion (smudge stick) works great for accurate detail & blending. I often get asked how I keep the paper so clean. Most artists already know this but for those of you just starting out, try using a blank piece of paper to mask out the areas where you place your hand during drawing, that way you won’t smudge your work.

Thanks so much to Graham for sharing his thoughts with us. Find out more about Graham and his work by visiting:

www.grahamb-artist.com

www.twitter.com/grahambartist

www.facebook.com/grahambartist

Comments
09:00 by Rebecca Watson Rebecca Watson

Inktense on Canvas with Sarah Hurley

12 May 2012

One of my favourite things about the Inktense product range is the vibrancy of colour and the versatility of it being permanent once it's dry so I can work back over and over until I’m happy. I can also use it on any surface!

Inktense on Canvas with Sarah Hurley

I’d had a picture in my head for a very long time; it was based around a favourite quote of mine by Marilyn Monroe and I wanted to make it into a canvas to hang in my studio but I couldn’t find the right medium. I’m not a watercolour fan; paint seemed too heavy and then I thought of Inktense – just right! So I finally got around to making that canvas and I’m super happy with the result!

I used the Inktense blocks with a water spray bottle and my fingers (I’m a very messy artist!) to achieve the background effect, building up three layers to get the exact effect I wanted, letting the lighter colours shine through from underneath. I then used a mixture of Inktense blocks and pencils to draw in the details and highlights.

I finished it with a 3D glaze over the balloon and added the quote with an ink pen.

Thanks so much for looking, we’d love you to come and share your Inktense projects over on the Derwent Facebook page! I’ll be back soon with another project.


Sarah x

www.sarahhurley.com

Comments
12:12 by Sarah Hurley Sarah Hurley

Illustration with Sarah Hurley

17 April 2012

This month, I’m giving you a sneaky peek into my illustration process. Most of my work is digital (although I hand draw everything first) but once a year my work goes off to be shown at the Bologna book fair and for that I like to show the full range of things that I can do, so there will be some digital, some collage / mixed media work and some hand drawn and painted work – you never know what people will be looking for! Here is the process of one of my Bologna illustrations using Derwent Coloursoft pencils (my faves!)

Illustration with Sarah Hurley


First I start with an idea. I love pictures with houses and ‘Home’ themed projects, so this year I thought I would do a whimsical house. I start to sketch some ideas in pencil; everything is a bit messy at this stage as I fight to get all of my ideas on paper before they drift off again! No-one usually ever sees this part so I feel free to be messy and make notes onto my picture, cross things out, draw over things – as long as I know what I mean, it’s OK!

Once I’m happy with a composition and ironed out any problems.Sometimes I discover I can’t draw what I want in my picture particularly well, so I’ll do a few studies of it from reference material until I’ve perfected it or I might need to practice the perspective and proportions of things until I’m happy.

I then draw it out very lightly onto my paper – I keep the strokes very light so they blend more easily, especially around light areas.

Illustration with Sarah Hurley


At this point I’ll start adding areas of colour, keeping everything very soft so I can still work over it and adding shading and highlights or even erase something if I think it doesn’t work. This is the hardest stage for me; the colours look quite flat and it can be disheartening because it doesn’t look like the picture in my head yet – at this point I want to abandon it and start over! But instead I usually put it away for an hour and come back to it with fresh eyes (and newly sharpened pencils!)

Illustration with Sarah Hurley


Once I’m happy with the colour balance I start adding shading. I love to blend lots of colours together; I still work lightly or the surface of the colouring can become shiny too quickly and it can be difficult to add more colour.

Finally, I use a pen to add details over the top. I occasionally use a black fine liner but mostly I use a grey or brown brush pen as you can get finer detail and the finish isn’t so harsh. It really depends on the piece – here I’ve used a grey brush pen to pick out the details such as blades of grass, birds' feet and eyes, leaves on the trees and other little bits and pieces – just make sure not to smudge the ink before it has time to dry!

Illustration with Sarah Hurley

Illustration with Sarah Hurley


Thanks so much for popping by to take a sneak peek into my illustration process and share my sketchbook secrets – I hope you’ll come and share yours over on the Derwent Facebook page; we’d love to take a look.

I’ll be back soon!
Sarah x

www.sarahhurley.com

Comments
10:22 by Rebecca Watson Rebecca Watson