Derwent Lightfast and Fabriano Black Black – First Impressions

by Wendi OBrien

First Impressions

In this blog, I will be sharing my first impressions of the new Derwent Lightfast Colored Pencils and the Fabriano Black Black paper. 

Talking Paper

First, lets talk PAPER.  For this project, I used Fabriano Black Black drawing paper.  It is 300 gsm or 140 lb, which is a particularly good, sturdy paper.  It is available in 20 sheet pads of various sizes.

I used the larger page measuring in at just over 11 ½ inches by 16 ½ inches.

One of the important things to note about this paper is I do find it to be one of the truest blackest papers so far.  Some of the black papers may lean more red, blue or even grey.  This paper seems to have a good balance of a neutral black color.

This paper has good tooth on back and front, but find that the front is more desirable to work on for my techniques.  Also, the color does not shift from front to back like some other papers.

Now For The Pencils

Now, lets move on the pencils.  The pencils used on this project are the recently released Derwent Lightfast pencils.  I was a bit skeptical because when the procolor was released I gave those a go and was quite disappointed in them.  However, that was not the case with these.  I was pleasantly surprised by the quality and consistency of these pencils. 

They are available in various sets from 12 to 100 in metal tins and select sets in wooden boxes.  One thing that did drive me a bit crazy was the colors of the pencils not matching the colors of the pencil cores. 

I know not to rely on those colors, however, having them close would be nice.  Many of the differences had to do with saturation.  Usually the end of the pencil was much more saturated than the core.  That being said, there were a few that weren’t even close.

The lay down was quite smooth.  Creamier than say luminance, but not quite as soft as pablo.  Maybe a tad bid harder than Polychoromos.

When I did some tests of the pencils, I found them to be more of a semi opaque pencil for several of the colors.  In this fact, I would consider them a lovely balance between luminance and polychromos as far as opacity. 

I actually had a completely different project picked out for this paper, but because of the semi opacity of these pencils I decided change it up and get a subject that is better suited for these pencils.

Really, you don’t notice it as much on white paper, but you can really see the nature of the pencils on black paper.

How They Worked Together

That brings us to How these two products worked together.  They were actually quite nice.  I was able to get achieve many layers on this paper without even flattening the tooth of the paper.  I did not use OMS on the project so for first impressions I am not sure how it would handle it. 

The white was quite bright on this black paper.  It also worked great as an underlayer to brighten up the darker more transparent colors to create more of a saturation in those areas.  As this is a common practice when working on black paper, some whites work better than others and this one works beautifully for that purpose.

The pencils also blend quite nicely on this paper I and really did feel like I was fighting the paper or the pencils at any time.  Even after burnishing several areas the paper held up and I was able to add additional layers on top with a sharp pencils.

Overall First Impression

So, over all my first impressions were quite good for both of these products both individually and together.  I am looking forward to further testing and giving you an overall rating and recommendation on these products.  For now, they do look promising and something I could see myself incorporating into my work. 

Will that change after further testing?  That remains to be seen.

Question of the day:  Did you enjoy this first impressions blog and video?  Let me know in the comments below if you would like to see more first impressions or in depth product reviews in the future.

Until next time…keep on arting!

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