Archive | December 2012

Colours of Life – with Background

Colours of Life. Background added with coloured pencils, blended witzh markers. Ulla Hennig December 2012


Unfortunately I got ill over the holidays. Pains in the right hip and fever, and due to the latter I didn’t feel like posting. I am much better now – back to the creative world so to speak.

I posted this piece without the backround here. I am more and more convinced of the importance of the background, and of the fact that it is not simply something to be filled in in whatever colour might  be appropriate, but an entitity with its own structure.

Merry Christmas everybody!

It is Christmas Eve and it is the most important days of the Christmas Holidays here in Germany. Presents will be given tonight, and people will gather round the Christmas tree.

So I wish everyone of you who follow this blog a Merry Christmas! Enjoy the holidays together with your family and you dear ones.

Feliz navidad y un prospero ano!

Fröhliche Weihnachten!

The Colours of Life

The Colours of Life. Colourpencils, blended with baby oil. Ulla Hennig December 2012

I wanted to blend the various shades of red I’ve got: dark red, cadmium red medium, scarlet red dark cadmium orange. I added cadmium yellow, phtaloblue and magenta.

I dipped the paper stump ever so gently into the oil, trying not to get too much oil on the paper. As far as I can see the oil didn’t mess up the paper (I used drawing cardboard  with 190g)

Blending with baby oil has a different effect compared with blending with markers. Some people say that it makes coloured pencils look like markers, but I don’t agree with that. There is still a difference!

Coloured pencils and babyoil

Polychromos coloured pencils and babyoil, on rather heavy watercolour paper.

I had watched a video on YouTube about using babyoil as a kind of solvent, and also read some threads on Wet Canvas about the same matter. I’d also read – on the website of Faber Castell – that they recommended baby oil as solvent.

So I went to a drugstore on my way home from work and bought a bottle of baby oil, eager to experiment. I used a paper stump to apply the oil to the pigments, and you can see the result of it in the picture above. I am surprised about the intensity of the colour, and will keep on experimenting.

Sunset with ruins

Ruins with Sunset

Sunset with ruins. Coloured pencils, blended with markers. Drawing cardboard 17×24 cm. Ulla Hennig, December 2012

Here the challenge consisted in the fact that the reference tutorial was for watercolour painters, and I somehow had to transfer this tutorial to the world of coloured pencils. So it actually looks a bit different than the watercolour piece. However it was not my intention to produce a copy. I was interested in the colour combination of orange and brown, and I wanted to create grass in various shades of green.

Hornbill, done with coloured pencils

Hornbill with Coloured pencils

Hornbill. coloured pencils on drawing cardboard. Ulla Hennig December 2012

It is most interesting to do the same subject with different mediums. I did this bird with oil pastels, with watercolours, with acrylics and now with coloured pencils and markers. And I think I like the last one best…

Orange and Blue

Orange and Blue. Abstract

Orange and blue. Coloured pencils and markers on drawing cardboard. Ulla Hennig December 2012

I had bought some curve templates and played around with them, first in my sketchpad and then I drew the final version on drawing cardboard. The first thought I had was movement, and the second the use of colours.

Drawing cardboard is very smooth; nevertheless coloured pencils leave tiny white specks. So I went over them with markers. And in the end I went in again with my coloured pencils and worked out the textures.

The funny thing is: I didn’t follow any plan, and in the end I was looking at the finished drawing and began to discover a strange being with one eye…

Rocks by the Sea


Rocks. Coloured pencils and Markers on watercolour paper. Ulla Hennig December 2012.

The reference photo for this piece was a greyscale photo. I changed the foreground and simplified it, and added the sea (there was only sky on the photo). What really had attracted my eye was the shape of the rocks and the textures, so I tried to recreate these with the coloured pencils.

Regarding the grass I not only used more or less all of my green pencils but also quite a few of my markers – the yellow green, the olive green and the lime green. Of course I had to be careful not to use a marker which was too dark. I found out that I could put green markers which are rather light on all kinds of green pencils, but not the other way round.

Sunset with Coloured Pencils


Sunset. Coloured pencils on watercolour paper. Ulla Hennig, December 2012

In November 2012 the monthly challenge for the acrylic forum was “sunsets” and there were some wonderful reference photos of sunsets. I downloaded two of them with the intention of doing them with acrylics. However, the month of November passed, and the reference photo still waited to be painted.

In December I switched to coloured pencils again. I’d never thought of doing a sunset with them, but I had to look at the photo again and again. Then I thought “Why not?” and began to draw… It sure was a challenge, but the result encourages me to try other subjects which are also not often done with coloured pencils…

Blue Fantasy

flower fantasy

Blue Fantasy. Coloured pencils and markers on watercolour paper. Ulla Hennig December 2012.

The reference I had for this drawing was an acrylic tutorial. I wanted to explore how it would be to do a coloured pencil piece with it, and I quite like the result. Of course there’s a big difference regarding the application of lighter colours. With acrylics you can put white on a dark blue, whereas with coloured pencils and markers you cannot. You have to work from light to dark.