My art material
I only use the highest artist-quality materials for my drawings.
To an artist, there is a variety of wonderful art materials to choose from. The medium I enjoy working with most for my portraits is high-quality pencils. I feel that pencils enable you to capture an animal or a person’s details and character best. I also want you to cherish and adore your pet portrait for many years. For this reason, I only use the finest artist pencils with lightfast pigments. This ensure colors won’t fade for up to 100 years. I mainly use Polychromos colored pencils creating a colored pet/person portraits and graphite pencils for my sketch black and white portraits. I also test different types of pencils and paper often and I add new favorites to the below.
A colored pencil is a dry medium, which you apply with soft pencil strokes in many layers. I use various methods to blend it together to create the exact shade and texture I am looking for in my portraits. The pencils enable a perfect balance between softness and sharp detail. The colored pencil drawings look amazing since the pencils contain very high-quality pigment. They allow for rich deep color and very detailed work. Finished drawings are smooth and pigmented with high contrast and details. I sometimes mix my pencils with Panpastel for backgrounds. Panpastel has very rich, ultra-soft, and super-blendable colors. They are perfect for backgrounds when needed.
My pencils bind very well with the paper since they are oil or wax-based. Very little pigment will come off if you touch the surface of a drawing. The drawing is intact and unaffected. But, since the portrait is on paper you still need to handle the artwork with care. You need to frame it with mat and glass, and you should not touch the surface of the painting.
Faber Castell - Polychromos
Faber-Castell is the world’s oldest pencil manufacturer located in Germany, and these are my favourite pencils. The name POLYCHROMOS®, meaning “many colors” in Greek and these are of highest artist quality with lightfast pigments.
These are oil based and under the proper conditions the colors will last 100+ years and there are also no harmful pigments used. Faber Castell certifies that they are non-toxic by a board certified toxicologist.
Caran D'ache - Luminance and Pablo
The name Caran D’ache comes from the Russian word karandash (карандаш), meaning pencil. They are Swiss made, and just as Faber Castell’s pencils many professional artists use them and they are very ligthfast.
I especially like their Luminance 6901, Pablo and the Museum pencils. They are a perfect compliment to my Faber Castell since they have some different shades to choose from.
Derwent - Lightfast and Studio
Derwent’s Lightfast pencils is an UK made oil-based colored pencil; formulated to be 100% lightfast (according to the ASTM 6901 standard, rating LFI or II), so the colors won’t fade for up to 100 years under museum conditions.
The smooth oil base of the core creates a rich vibrancy and you can mix it on the paper to create paint-like effects.
PanPastel are professional artist grade soft pastel colors in a unique pan format, allowing me to mix and apply them like paint.
They are very rich with high quality artists’ pigments.
They have minimal binder and fillers, resulting in a rich, soft and low dust formulation.
Caran D'ache - Grafwood
Caran d’Ache Graphite Line is in my view the top o the line of all Graphite pencils. They comes in various forms and degrees of hardness from the hard (H) to the soft (B) values.
This series of extra-fine graphite pencils contains 15 gradations (including 9B, the deepest black on the market), enabling me to produce an infinite range of techniques and effects, uniform darkening of large surfaces, and regular and intense line drawing.
Faber Castell -
Castell 9000 is a classic pencil that was launched by Count Alexander von Faber-Castell in 1905. Its quality and finely graduated degrees of hardness makes it a second favorite for me. Its lead is fully bonded with the wood surround and is therefore particularly break-resistant. The Castell 9000 is available in 16 different degrees of hardness, making it the ideal pencil for all technical and artistic applications.
The paper I choose for a drawing depends on the color of the animal, the composition, and background.
All paper used for colored pencil portraits is 100% acid free archival artist-quality paper. This is very important since the acid will break down the paper with time resulting in yellow and brittle paper thus destroying the artwork. Also I select a paper with a surface that is perfect to hold the pigment very well without any need to use fixative, so the colors stay fresh and vibrant. and
Fabriano Artistico is an Italian smooth watercolor paper and is mould made. Produced with 100% cotton and it is completely chlorine and acid free. The thickness is either 300 gsm or 600 gsm.
This guarantees the paper long conservation and inalterability over time. The paper is ideally absorbent and retains its nature unaltered even if scratched.
This paper is manufactured in USA, and made from 100% cotton and is completely acid-free.
The thickness is 250 gsm. and has a wonderful surface for pencils. It can take many layers of pigment which penetrates and absorbs into the surface of the sheet.
Clairefontaine - Pastelmat
Pastelmat is French paper and is 100% acid free with a wonderful velvety surface, which is is perfect for colored pencils and for drawings that need background color.
No fixative is needed for the pigment to absorb into this paper, and the colors remain vibrant. It is actually made for pastel, so it is excellent to mix with both pastel and colored pencils. The thickness is 360 gsm and comes in many variety of colors.