Scrapbooking with Coloursoft by Sarah Hurley

27 February 2012

One of my favourite crafts is Scrapbooking; not only is it a chance to be creative but it’s a great way to preserve your family history, memories and photos – as well as reliving all the great times as you work on your pages!

Scrapbooking is most commonly done on 12”x12” acid free papers, although some people scrap on 8”11.5”, 8”x8” and 6”x6” as well as mini books – so there is lots of variety for anyone wanting to start out with this craft – if you are already a card maker or paper crafter you probably have most of the materials you need already!

Scrapbooking with Coloursoft by Sarah Hurley

Today I’m showing you how you can incorporate colouring pencils into your scrapbooking. Quite recently crafters have started experimenting more with different mediums on their pages and I wanted to show that your colouring pencils are not limited to just colouring in stamped images to use on your page, there are lots of other uses too. So here is my step-by step scrapbook page…

Supply List – Derwent Coloursoft Pencils, White 12”x12” cardstock, Kraft Cardstock, die cutting machine or punches, adhesive, piercing tool, embroidery thread and needle, black journaling pen, embellishments and a photograph.

Scrapbooking with Coloursoft by Sarah Hurley

First, I cut a piece of Kraft paper to 11” x 5.5”, then using my Cricut Expression (die cutting machine) I  cut some bunting, butterflies and flowers. I’m actually going to be colouring the negative shapes but I kept hold of the die cut butterflies to add to the layout (you could also use punches if you don’t have a die cutting machine.)

Scrapbooking with Coloursoft by Sarah Hurley

Using a piercing tool and ruler I made holes 0.5cm apart all around the Kraft paper and stitched round with 2 strands of coral embroidery thread.

Scrapbooking with Coloursoft by Sarah Hurley

I then rounded the corners using a corner rounder punch and adhered about an inch from the bottom of my white 12x12” sheet of cardstock, I also rounded two of the corners of my photo and adhered next to the die cut area.

Scrapbooking with Coloursoft by Sarah Hurley

Using my Coloursoft pencils I blended the colour carefully through the die cut areas (use a blending stump to get into the small areas) I kept the colours quite fresh, using only one or two colours in each area and blending as I went.

I then coloured in the die cut Kraft paper butterflies, also with Coloursoft pencils and stuck to my layout with glossy accents (by curling the wings up slightly first and sticking just the middle down it gives a great 3D effect to your layout which will also flatten down when you want to pop the layout in your album.)

Scrapbooking with Coloursoft by Sarah Hurley

Using a black journaling pen I doodled over the top of my colouring to add lots of details.  I also added some white gel pen and glitter to small areas to add highlights. One of the great things about Coloursoft pencils is you can draw back over the top of them with a black pen to add details etc…!)

Scrapbooking with Coloursoft by Sarah Hurley

A few finishing touches, embellishments and a journaling card to tell the story behind the picture and my layout was complete!

You could also try…

  • Doodling onto your page
  • Journaling in rainbow colours
  • Stamping and colouring a repeat background to create your own patterned paper

Thanks so much for looking, I hope this inspires you to try colouring pencils in your scrapbooking projects – please do share you links here or on the Derwent Facebook page, we’d love to see them!

I’ll be back soon with more crafty projects!

Sarah x

10:18 by Rebecca Watson Rebecca Watson

Valentine's Card Project with Sarah Hurley

30 January 2012

We love crafting here at Derwent, so who better to show us some great techniques and projects than super-crafter Sarah Hurley? Sarah will be bringing us lots of fun and colourful ways to craft using Derwent products so keep your eyes peeled... take it away Sarah!

Today I’m sharing with you a Valentine’s card using Inktense pencils and blocks. They are so versatile and have such bright vibrant colours; I just love using them in my crafting!

I’ll be showing you how to stamp and colour with Inktense…

Valentine's Card Project with Sarah Hurley

Supply List – Inktense Blocks, Inktense Pencils, Watercolour Paper, Waterbrush – Derwent, Jar Stamps – Little Musings, Cloud Stamp – Hero Arts, Valentine Stamps – Pink Paislee, Once Upon a Princess Cartridge (Cricut Expression) – Provocraft, Staz-on Ink Pad, Kraft Card, Water Spray Bottle 

Valentine's Card Project with Sarah Hurley

Firstly I stamped two jars (in case of a mistake or smudge!) using a Staz-on ink pad (this is a solvent based waterproof ink so won’t run and spoil my image once I start to add colour) onto watercolour paper. Using the Inktense pencils, I added some Bright Blue to the edges and bottom of the jar and some Teal Green to the inside of the jar (very lightly) then, using a water brush I blended the colour out using lots of water as I wanted the colour to be very feint to give the effect of glass.

Once this was dry I added some Black to the edges of the lid and some White in the centre and blended with a water brush. While the lid was still wet I added more White to highlight and blended (the colours are more intense when used on wet paper.)

Valentine's Card Project with Sarah Hurley

While the jars were drying I cut a piece of watercolour paper to 13 x 9.5cms, using the Inktense blocks dry I coloured the cloud stamp with two shades of blue (you can add colour to a dry stamp but it won’t stamp until you wet the stamp or stamp onto wet paper) I then misted lightly with water using a spray bottle and stamped onto the watercolour paper – set aside to dry.

Valentine's Card Project with Sarah Hurley

I then cut a piece of Kraft card to 14 x 10cms and using my Cricut Expression I cut a heart shape in the middle. I then rounded the corners and used a red pen to doodle stitching round the heart and the edge of the paper.

When the cloud image was dry I mounted it onto a card blank using double sided tape, then using 3D foam I added the Kraft card over the top, allowing the stamped clouds to peek through the heart.

Valentine's Card Project with Sarah Hurley

Once the jar was dry I stamped the hearts inside the jar using the same technique with the Inktense blocks – using them dry onto the stamp and then misting with water. If you miss any parts out (i.e. if too much water goes on one area and dilutes / washes away the colour) you can just touch up the area with your Inktense pencils or a corner of the Inktense block.

I then added the jar to the front of the card with 3D foam, and a stamped greeting to the top left corner.

Some of my Top Tips! 

  • Using the Inktense blocks directly onto your stamp is a great technique to achieve a watercolour effect for backgrounds etc
  • For more precision you can use Inktense pencils onto specific areas of the stamp
  • The more water you add, the more blurred and painterly your image will be when you stamp
  • Bear in mind as you flip the stamp over some water will run, mixing the colours; if you want to avoid this look then wet the paper instead of the stamp, this will also make your colours brighter.
  • For a more intense colour, wet your stamp with the mister first and then add colour to the stamp.


I love discovering new things with these pencils & blocks. They are so versatile, I’m sure you’ll be seeing more of my experiments popping up here soon!

09:38 by Rebecca Watson Rebecca Watson

How To Draw Eyes

12 December 2011

Val Webb takes us through an illustrated guide to drawing eyes - let us know what you think!

Eyes are challenging to draw, but they are also a lot of fun -- and the eyes are often the key to expressing human emotion in a drawing. Here's a short, step-by-step tutorial on drawing realistic eyes in pencil. For your model, cut a pair of eyes out of a magazine photo or crop a pair from an online image. Cut away the rest of the face so that you won't be distracted as you concentrate on this drawing exercise. When you have finished, I'd love to see your results! My email is

How To Draw Eyes


How To Draw Eyes


How To Draw Eyes


How To Draw Eyes


How To Draw Eyes


How To Draw Eyes

Val Webb is an illustrator of flora, fauna & fairies - she also teaches botanical and nature drawing. Please visit for more information.

12:45 by Rebecca Watson Rebecca Watson

Developing a Personal Style

18 November 2011

A guest blog from Lina Maria Carrillo on developing a personal style as an artist.

Developing a Personal Style

I have loved to draw ever since I can remember. Looking back at my work, I can see how I have gradually developed my own style as an artist. When flipping through my sketchbooks now, I laugh how many identical swans a 4 year old could possible draw over and over again. I like to hope that this level of persistence and commitment some day will serve me well in my artistic career. Later on, I have also cringed at some styles I have experimented with, particularly my naked life-drawing phase!

I think this is basically the same story for every person who likes to draw; we each like to hope that our work has evolved over time and stands out in our own way.

I believe the best way to develop our own artistic identity is to follow what we love. If you love to draw realistic, abstract or even finger paint, go for it!. There is no use trying to emulate someone else’s style, as at the end of the day our best work should clearly reflect who we are as an artist and our love for art.

At a personal level, now that my passion has turned into more of a career, I have to think about whether my work is pleasing to the audience’s eye, whether it is commercial enough to be used for advertisement purposes, and most importantly, whether it is effective in putting my point across. Having my own blog pushes me to come up with new ideas every week. I experiment with new techniques with digital media; I like to play around with my watercolors to create patterns that I can scan and play around with on my computer.

Eventually, when a stranger can pick my work out of others because it has my personal touch, this is something I definitely strive for. Developing my own style seems to be a continuous evolution but I am happy to forever be learning new methods and techniques. This is what I love most about being an artist!

Lina Maria Carrillo

Developing a Personal Style

Developing a Personal Style

11:26 by Rebecca Watson Rebecca Watson

The importance of drawing

4 November 2011

Keith McMean, watercolour artist tells us about the importance of sketching.

This is the first blog post I have written for Derwent Pencils and hopefully it won’t be the last.

Most of you might know that I am by definition a watercolour artist but as we all know the foundation of any good painting is the drawing that everything hangs on. Imagine what it would be like if the angles on a building were not quite right, this causes the viewer a slight discomfort and sometime they have no idea why but one thing they do know is they won’t be purchasing that painting or sketch!

Drawing and sketching are the fundamentals that any artist should master before even thinking about adding paint to paper or canvas. I remember holding a painting workshop many years ago and one of the students said to me “but I can’t draw a straight line” and my response was “there are no straight lines in nature, only man made” admittedly it was a landscape workshop we were on. But this doesn’t get away from the fact that drawing is key and care and attention should be paid to.

I have completed a small sketch of one of my favourite places, Whitehaven harbour and this is something I have painted and sketched a lot over the past 30 years and I never tire of looking at and painting it.

The importance of drawing

But what I have tried to capture is the essence of the place with this tonal sketch, sometimes I might even write the colours on the sketch to remind me, such as sky Ultramarine and yellow ochre and so on, this is a great way to bring the scene back when you are in the studio ready to paint.

I don’t underestimate the power of the pencil and I am sure that there are lots of pencil artists out there thinking ‘that’s rubbish’ and maybe it is, what I am getting at here is that using pencils for really detailed work or tonal sketches doesn’t matter, it’s the fact that YOU CAN use them to an end.

So next time you are in the art shop and you stumble on a box or rack full of pencils don’t dismiss them by thinking “what could I use them for?” there are a million and one things you can use them for…so go on use them!

Until next time.

The importance of drawing

Thanks so much to Keith for his interesting opinions on sketching. For more information on Keith's work, why not visit:

12:01 by Rebecca Watson Rebecca Watson

The Magic Number 33

19 October 2011

Cartoonist Colin Shelbourn guest blogs about how he uses Derwent Studio 33 pencils to create his fantastic illustrations.


The Derwent Studio 33 pencil; it’s slim, perfectly formed and the secret weapon in a cartoonist’s armoury.

When drawing for newspapers, the deadlines are tight. In the case of a front page cartoon it can be as little as three hours. This includes reading the headlines, sketching at least four ideas, discussing them with the editor and then drawing the finished artwork. As part of this process, the Studio 33 is indispensable.

It’s the best blue pencil in the world and it has magical properties.

When scanned in black and white, blue lines disappear. They simply don’t register, which means I can sketch the final artwork with in blue pencil and go straight to ink without the need to erase any lines. This saves a huge wodge of time plus it avoids wrecking the paper surface and subsequently creating a splodgy inky mess.

The Magic Number 33

The printed result is a finely-crafted cartoon of elegance and tranquility; the frantic, blue pencil scribbling beneath the surface is hidden from view.

But the magic of the Studio 33 doesn’t end there. It extends into the wild, where it prevents conflict, altercation and unseemly behaviour.

The Magic Number 33

The Magic Number 33

Drawing in trains, cafés and at live events is tremendous fun but carries a risk: I’m a cartoonist so when I sketch someone, the results may not be flattering. An ink or 4B pencil cartoon can be spotted from several yards away but the magic blue pencil is invisible. This gives me plenty of time to spot an incoming victim and turn the page before they arrive. Oh look, I wasn’t drawing them at all, it was my shopping list.

Colin Shelbourn is a professional cartoonist. He can be found extolling the virtues of the Derwent Studio 33 pencil to anyone who will listen, but usually at workshops or in the pages of his new book, Drawing Cartoons (Crowood Press).

The Magic Number 33

© Colin Shelbourn

14:57 by Rebecca Watson Rebecca Watson

Sketching & Design: a Perfect Combination

18 August 2011

Sketching & Design: a Perfect Combination

We asked world-renowned web designer Grace Smith to tell us a little about how she uses sketching to develop ideas for her design work.

Sketching & Design: a Perfect Combination

Sketching isn't optional for me as a designer, it's essential. I can't go straight to digital at the start of a project, I always start off with some browser templates or Moleskine (and a few Derwent pencils!)

Sketching kick-starts my creativity and allows me to get ideas out on paper and is the fastest way to brainstorm and convey as many ideas as possible with the least amount of effort.


Staring at a blank Photoshop canvas is not a great way to start a project. Although it may sound exciting to just jump straight in, it can also be quite overwhelming. Sketching gets you over this hurdle and allows you to quickly explore concepts and ideas. I see it as the frame upon which I craft my projects.

Whether it's a website design, logo design or iPhone app design, it all begins with a pencil and paper. Sketching enables me to break down ideas and fully explore design and layout options and I find putting it down on paper tends to raise questions and ideas, and leads to changes.

I focus on wireframing and layout when sketching for Web Design and iPhone UI Design, looking at the overall picture instead of minor details too early in the process. I usually start by jotting down the main points and goals of a project on a separate page, which I can then quickly refer back to when I'm sketching.

This is the exact process I used when redesigning my own site - Postscript5, which was recently relaunched. Brainstorming ideas and sketching out layouts for each area of the site led me down some creative avenues I wouldn't have experimented with had I not taken the time to sketch!

I sketch quickly and freely as I'm not concerned with how it looks but on developing and exploring ideas. Plus usually no one but you sees the sketches so don't get caught up in  trying to draw a masterpiece!

My process for Logo Design differs slightly in that the sketches are scanned and digitally treated (in Photoshop or Illustrator). However before the sketches are treated they are shown to the client for feedback and revised, only at this point are they then scanned and given a design treatment. This allows for quick iteration and feedback and makes for a much more efficient design process.


As you begin sketching at the start of a project, you soon discover potential obstacles and problems that you may not have seen until much later in the design phase. I've therefore found that while the approach may differ slightly on each project, sketching has cut down dramatically on revisions later in the design stage.

As a designer it now means huge amounts of time aren't invested in refining concepts and solutions which may not be in the right direction, as the sketch (or a sketch turned into a wireframe) can be shown to the client, for approval.


1. Sketching Resources for User Experience Designers

2. To Sketch or not to Sketch

3. Collection of Printable Browser and Wireframe Sketching Templates

4. An in-depth look at my Wireframing process


Too many people get hung up on not being able to draw, but great drawing skill isn’t necessary to capture your ideas. Sketching should be fast and loose, you're not trying to recreate a Picasso, it’s about transferring ideas from your brain to paper.

It's the place where you make your mistakes and your discoveries and lay the foundations of your ideas.

Now excuse me while I go and grab my Derwent Pencils and Moleskine and get sketching!

Sketching & Design: a Perfect Combination


Grace Smith is the principal designer of Postscript5, a small, boutique web design studio based in Northern Ireland, where she works with clients from around the globe.

11:38 by Rebecca Watson Rebecca Watson

Win one of our Eco Pencil packs!

10 August 2011

Win one of our Eco Pencil packs!



Derwent make their fine art pencils in one of the most beautiful parts of England, the Lake District so they are very conscious of how important it is to love and protect the world around them.

Derwent cares about trees; it uses Californian Incense Cedar wood from forests accredited to the Sustainable Forest Initiative (SFI) in the manufacture of its pencils.

The new Derwent Fine Art eco Sketching Pencil, with its hexagonal barrel and unpainted natural finish, is made using high quality artist-grade graphite, a naturally occurring substance sourced from Sri Lanka. It is available in 5 key degrees from a crisp, non-scratchy 2H for fine lines to a
soft and smudgy 6B for darker shading. The first time, Derwent believes, that an eco-friendly sketching pencil has been made available in a range of degrees which are perfect for sketching and drawing.

To limit waste the packaging is made from recycled paper and is 100% recyclable. You can also remove the perforated hanging tag and re-use the pack to store the pencils when not in use.

Derwent works hard to protect the planet. They have been awarded the Queen’s award for sustainable development for their commitment to the environment. They developed a unique eco
friendly process, using UV light, to coat the barrels of their pencils thereby avoiding the use of harmful chemicals and solvents. And, when they built their new factory in Lillyhall they incorporated a number of eco-friendly features; they store and re-use rainwater, while waste wood chippings created in the manufacturing process are burnt to heat the factory and all the offices feature motion sensor lighting in order to save energy.

To win 1 of 20 packs simply answer this simple question:

What kind of wood are our pencils made from?

Just leave your answer at the bottom of this blog post to be in with a chance! We'll pick a winner from the correct answers at random on Wednesday, 17th August 2011 at 12pm. Only one entry per person please. Good luck!

12:48 by Rebecca Watson Rebecca Watson


9 June 2011

Thanks to Facebook we found an amazing artist who really astounded us with his skill at photo-realistic pencil drawing. We asked Diego to share his work and bio with us:

DiegoKoi was born in Lamezia Terme (CZ) October 25, 1989. As a young man he started out creating tattoo designs & was inspired by the work of Katsushika Hokusai.

In time, Diego’s technique moved on from the sharp and heavy lines of Japanese tattoo drawings and he progressed on to the lightness and delicacy of pencil drawing. The pursuit of perfection is an obsession for Diego.

He has the ability to see hundreds of shades of grey & achieve extreme realism in his works. He spent a brief time training with the great artists Calabrese, Maurizio Carnevali who helped him define his drawing skills to be able to communicate his vision.

Diego has made a great name for himself and is commissioned regularly from all over the world. His work goes beyond the simple picture and has wowed the public with exhibitions in the picturesque area of Calabria, Italy.

Diego uses Derwent Graphic Pencils "I tried many but the Derwent pencils are the best, because the feel of the pencil allows you to draw in a classic style, the core is also very strong & will not break."

See his work below - it really is beautiful. For more information on DiegoKoi please visit:





09:40 by Rebecca Watson Rebecca Watson

Decorate Derwent Winner!

23 May 2011

We are pleased to showcase the winner of our Decorate Derwent Competition: Alan Jones! Below is Alan's winning entry and some more info about him.

Decorate Derwent Winner!

I was born in Wrexham, North Wales in 1954 and have always had a love of drawing. I knew I wanted to do something connected with art from an early age but didn’t know what. On leaving school my art teacher suggested I go onto Art College but the only course available at the time was graphics, which I studied for 3 years.

I have worked in the creative industry for over 35 years. My career started in a major retail-furnishing outlet creating interior designs, shop window displays and exhibitions, then moving on to a large signage company producing designs, visuals and artwork where I became studio manager.

I then joined LEGO UK Ltd as designer in the Marketing Dept. where I worked for over 17 years designing and producing all LEGO national promotions, shop in shop retail environments and themed window displays.

I now own and run a small design company in Wrexham with my business partner Dave Savage called Mako Creative Solutions.

Somebody said last year you “must really love design and art” and yes I do but realised in a light-bulb moment that running my own company and working in the corporate world meant I was so busy with the day-to-day “stuff” that I wasn’t doing what I really enjoyed all those years ago which was drawing.

So during a horrible bout of flu in November 2010 I couldn’t sleep and got up in the middle of the night and just started sketching. I started using graphite and was encouraged by friends and family to do more portraits, which progressed to private commissioned work with moderate success.

Then in January I discovered coloured pencils for the first time and they blew me away! They are such a fantastic medium to use and I am amazed at the depth of colour and detail that can be achieved. My weapons of choice are all things Derwent. Studio, Coloursoft and pastel pencils being my favourites. In the short time I have been drawing I have experimented with lots of different brands, but found Derwent to have such fantastic quality that keeps on delivering time after time.

I still only have time to draw in the evenings and at weekends and have a great passion for what I do. I get a huge amount of satisfaction and pleasure when people comment and get enjoyment from my drawings.

I love drawing pets, portraits and wildlife all with coloured pencils or graphite and would be happy to do any commissions.

Thanks so much to Alan for sharing his biography with us & showing us his drawings. For more information email: or visit Alan's page on Facebook!

Below is some more examples of Alan's amazing work.




Decorate Derwent Winner!

Decorate Derwent Winner!

Decorate Derwent Winner!

13:00 by Rebecca Watson Rebecca Watson