Derwent XL Graphite & Strathmore Artagain Drawing Paper


Derwent XL Graphite & Strathmore Artagain Drawing Paper

Derwent XL Graphite Blocks & Strathmore Artagain Drawing Paper are two art products I recently purchased for expanding my drawing skillsThe result of these two products is my whimsical drawing titled, 'There is a Unicorn in my Rock Garden'.

Drawing: There is a UNICORN in my Rock Garden by Minaz Jantz

There is a UNICORN in my Rock Garden by Minaz Jantz
Derwent XL Graphite Blocks on Strathmore Artagain Drawing Paper 18"x12"

My garden decorations are found objects such as natural elements like skulls, shells, driftwood, discarded rust, and brass decorations and are all placed throughout the plants. Visitors enjoy the FIND IT game.  Entertaining myself by placing objects for visual interest till it looks just so, harkens back to the display business I offered to retail stores.  I enjoyed the challenge of displaying absolutely anything in the windows and the store. 

The garden displays are set up for close-up photography with the flowers, bugs, and birds. What I do later is go through the photos and find a story and put them into PAINTING IDEA FOLDERS for future paintings.

Baby garter snake in garden.

Beside the UNICORN and inside tucked away safely in the 
soft leaf rock plant (Snow in Summer) is a baby garter snake.

Rock-n-Zen Gardens

Photograph of Rock-N-Zen Garden with a cow skull, driftwood, the brass UNICORN
 & where the baby garter snake lived for a few weeks.

Review of both products:

Derwent XL Graphite has 6 thick large blocks that are large enough to get a good grip. My intention for this product is to make drawing more painterly. 
  • I enjoy using full-size sticks to block in values and shapes quickly while the squared edges can give more line detail. 
  • The graphite does come off onto the hand so could wear gloves but I don't like to wear them so I have a damp paper towel close by to wipe off my hands easily.
  • Smudging for soft edges is easy much like pastel which can use fingers and/or a paper stump tool.
  • Blends evenly into each other to create other shades of colors.
  • Layers can be applied either dry or wet.
For the first drawing, I intended to create using just the Derwent XL Graphite set but found I needed EXTRA additions.
  • charcoal pencil for final details
  •  light-blue pastel to create lighter value besides the beige paper surface. 
  • ochre pencil crayon.
  • gum eraser to pull out and mix graphite which did very well.
  • eraser shield allowed for the straight edge on unicorn horns.
Overall I enjoyed the Derwent XL Graphite and will look forward to using them in my life drawing group where I use large pieces of paper to draw the nude gesturally and as quickly as possible.

Strathmore Artagain Drawing Paper, 18"x12" 400 series is a good size for my smaller compositions and can be easily transported to most size tables. I was looking for a paper that can tolerate heavy erasing and take off graphite with gum erasers & other types of erasers.
  • The paper is acid-free with a medium surface measured at 60lb which can be much easier to frame.
  • 5 Color choices from light to dark values.
  • Easy erasing using the gum eraser without pulling up the surface.   
  • Paper stubs and fingers smooth even strokes over the surfaces. 
Overall I am pleased with Strathmore Artagain Drawing Paper and will look forward to applying other mediums like pens, markers, inks and will have to be LESS is more with liquids on this type of surface but will push until it buckles!      

close-up: There is a Unicorn in my Rock Garden by Minaz Jantz
Close-up strokes, smudges & details. 

The light color beige is the paper surface color. The light blue pastel is used for highlights. Otherwise, the 5 shades of graphite are very limited to mid-dark values and would add lighter values to further the depth of drawings.

There is a Unicorn in my Rock Garden by Minaz Jantz

There is a Unicorn in my Rock Garden
by Minaz Jantz
Derwent XL Graphite & Strathmore Artagain Drawing Paper

I encourage getting out of your comfort zones or a stagnant creative moment and break-free by trying new products. It is all about the journey and what sparks the goal of finding one's voice/style.

Art Material Inspired, Minaz Jantz


1 comment :

Lori said...

Who's who in the Garden Mews. Love it. You should put your product review on the product website.

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