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The Sections listed above may have several individual Topic pages.

The list of available Topics are shown on the first page of the Section and in detail on the ‘Contents’ page

These are the main sections of the Site

Pencil Topics HOME     CONTENTS NEW CONTENT  WAX type Coloured pencils  SITE INFORMATION   DIFFERENCES BRANDS WORKING THE SURFACE   GENERAL CP TECHNIQUES   AQUARELLES /WATERCOLOUR PENCILS    MIXED MEDIA   GRAPHITE PENCILS PASTEL PENCILS & HARD PASTELS   SURFACES ACCESSORIES   LANDSCAPE TECHNIQUES  ART POINTS   BOOKSHELF     COURSES & TUTORIALS    Step by Step projects   Other Sources of Tuition    Ann Kullberg Tutorials    Peter W Personal site      READERS GALLERY   RECENT WORK    CONTACT   Pencil Societies   TOPICS TALK    CP Art History   Crayons De Couleur   

Information, Choices, Techniques and Advice on all Pencil Matters

COLOURED PENCILS - WATERCOLOUR PENCILS - PASTEL PENCILS - GRAPHITE PENCILS

Over 100 detailed pages of information for beginners and improvers to help you develop your skills



PENCIL TOPICS

This web site was originally set up to look at Coloured Pencil Techniques for the new and intermediate Coloured Pencil user and to provide a freely available source for learning and for discussion.

The site has been running for 7 years and now has regular readership of over 20,000 visitors a month from over 140 countries around the world.

In 2016 a major revision is taking place, extending the content to all types of pencils. However, all the original CP data is still here and mostly in its original position

All sources are acknowledged where I know them and I am happy to add further useful information which readers of the site wish to contribute.

There is an introduction to the site below and more information about  how the site works.


©  PETER WEATHERILL. 2009 - 2016

This is probably the largest existing free Internet resource of information on techniques and products for the new Coloured Pencil user,

with over 150 pages ( some of them long ones ) covering a multitude of individual topics and tutorials.



The site has been running for over 6 years and has no financial sponsorship from any manufacturer.  

All the information and tutorials are available to you at no cost.   

However, because the site produces no financial benefit, updates and additional entries are only made when time permits.  

Most pages carry a ‘last updated ‘indication at the bottom to show how up to date the information is.

Reviews of products now rely on manufacturers sending me samples, as I no longer spend good money adding boxes of pencils to my enormous stock. Pencils are not cheap to buy and I don’t buy pencils any more just for testing.  However, If a brand is missing which you have experience of, and you would like to contribute an article, then please contact me by Email and we can discuss what is required.  If you are a manufacturer and your product relates to Coloured Pencil or Pastel use and is not covered here, I welcome contact and the opportunity to look at your product and comment.  

If you don’t make contact, your product may well not be included and seen by those 20,000 visitors a month to the site.  

I don’t make any charge for including an item, but I do reserve the right to make free comment on how good it is !


The site was originally based on my teaching notes for students attending my Coloured Pencil courses which were set out to cover some specific topics which were discussed during the course sessions - the earliest data was composed around the start of 2007.  Print costs and waste of paper from out of date note sheets led to me finding an alternative.  

…………………………………………………………..This web site is the alternative.

Since being set up in January 2009, this Internet site has become generally accessible and used Internationally from over 120 countries.

It has never been actively promoted. The enormous growth in readership comes entirely from people finding it through Internet searches for information.

The site is also translated into many languages for those who search for information from the World at large.  If you read it in translation, I apologise if the text in your version runs over images.  I am afraid I cannot allow for the space taken by all the text alternatives.


If you are outside the UK, please remember that the site was designed for UK use and the information given here is very UK based.  

Reviews depend on what products are available to me in the UK, though most International products are seen here, and some readers have kindly added items for me.    However, despite the above limitations,  feedback from the USA  and elsewhere in the World indicates the information is very helpful to all who start out to learn about Coloured Pencils and the ways to use them.  

Further contributions from Readers for adding to the site are always welcomed, as are ideas for further content.  I now rely on comments and questions from readers around the world to extend the information shown here.


Be  aware that the site does not set out to be exhaustive, it is a personal view and is not sponsored.


All images are subject to Copyright and copying is not permitted without approval.  

Most images are Copyright © Peter Weatherill  and others are copyrighted as indicated on the page they are seen on

( such as those in the Readers Gallery ).

If you wish to copy images to post on another website, PLEASE ASK.  We only ask for artwork to be properly credited to the original author of the work and for a link to be provided to this site and/or the site of the copyright holder.

To ‘Borrow’ images without asking or properly crediting the source, is theft.



You are free to use the Pencil Topics Tutorials to work your own versions of the pictures

BUT those completed versions may not be sold for profit without direct approval from the copyright owner.  

They exist to help you further your knowledge and practice and not to extend your bank balance at our expense !.



HAVE YOU SOME EXPERIENCE OF USING  Coloured Pencils ?

ARE YOU LOOKING FOR MORE TECHNICAL INFORMATION ?

HAVE A LOOK AT THE ‘CONTENTS’ PAGE


Most of the information on Techniques for using Coloured Pencils and the different surfaces appears in TOPICS shown in the early sections of the index.     More specialised information on Coloured Pencils appears in the ‘GENERAL CP TECHNIQUES’ section and in the ‘LANDSCAPE TECHNIQUES’ section


You may find there are useful points in the AQUARELLE section which will help you when you use Watercolour Pencils


Also there is a wide selection of items in the section on  ‘ART POINTS’ that cover things like Perspective, Composition,

The Golden Section, Using a camera, Drawing from life and scanning and printing out copies of your masterworks.


There is also a SEARCH facility provided by Google which works - even if it does include the odd advert !


Finally there is the GALLERY of images from artists who work in Pencil and who have web sites where you can find even more pictures and information.  If you work with pencils of any kind and have a website, let me know and I will include an image of your work and a link.


September 2015


I get regular readership statistics from www.One.com, my Internet Provider.  These have helped me plan and update the site to meet the demands of readers.  I get details of the countries readers come from, the pages they look at, and the average number of pages seen at each visit.

From March 2016, One.Com only show me restricted data in graph form, but this is showing a more accurate count of stats and it is clear that for the last 12 months we have actually been seeing an average of over 800 visitors to the site each day - more than the old statistics charts revealed. A total visitor count for the last 12 months was 283,000 visitors ( that is people logging on to the site and visiting a number of pages ). The daily figures don’t change a great deal and the average page count for each visit is just under 3 pages.


READERSHIP  OF THE TOPICS SITE

From  around 140 different countries

United Kingdom Readers 26%

USA based Readers      23%

European (outside UK)  24%

Australia & Canada    10%

Rest of the World Readership  17%


Figures last revised 27th March 2016

WHAT DO MOST READERS OF THIS SITE LOOK FOR ?

The list below gives a few of the pages most often accessed ( In order )  

Extracted for the total statistics over the last 12 months to March 2016


PAGE No.

HOME PAGE (most requested)

6

Differences between CP brands

79

Colour Comparisons

11

Caran D’Ache

7

Surfaces

27

Prismacolor

92

Glossary of terms

184

Pastel Pencil Techniques

136

Working on coloured paper

53

General CP Techniques

156

How do you sharpen a pencil ?

13

Lyra

171

Burnishing & blenders

151

Solvents

25

Lightfastness

183

Pastel Pencil brands

34

Ways of using aquarelles

8

Wax type pencil summary

2

Contents

217

Spectrum Noir Pencils

137

fixatives

16

Cretacolor

126

Clouds & Skies

174

Bruynzeel

81

Working backgrounds

17

Aquarelles summary

133

Step by Step projects listing



SITE READERSHIP STATISTICS

Collectively, visitors look at an average of over 2000 pages a day from this site, and the list above gives a guide to some of the pages looked at most frequently.  Month by month, the ‘most read pages’ list rarely changes

There are just over 150 actual pages on this site, though a few of those are very long

and the equivalent of 5 or more normal pages in length.    Virtually every page gets some reader access every month

SO WHERE DO WE START ?

BELOW -  on this page

You will find some simple guides for those new to the site to help you get started

Diary Notes which record some recent events on the Site ......and possibly the reasons for them !

Site Statistics and Information on the most ‘referred to’ pages.




And following on from these early contents pages

There are more pages describing how the site works in  detail - in SITE INFORMATION

A GLOSSARY of Pencil Terms,  a list of the PDF files included

and a running detailed record of major content  updates as they are made.

ARE YOU NEW TO USING COLOURED PENCILS ?

ARE YOU LOOKING FOR THE VERY BASIC TECHNIQUES ?

What’s NEW from the world of Pencil Topics ?

THIS IS A BIG WEB SITE

AND CONTAINS A LARGE AMOUNT OF INFORMATION

A frequent comment from readers in the past has been the problem of knowing what is in the site and then finding where it is buried.

In recent years we have added a search engine, hosted by Google.

We have re-organised the navigation so that all the main sections have a full set of buttons at the top to take you round the site.  There is a fairly comprehensive CONTENTS page that has links and some short descriptions that a lot of people find useful


The whole site will always be a ‘work in progress’

and your input and suggestions about what you find helpful and what you find confusing will assist in the next development.

Your Emailed comments are, as usual, very welcome.

We are still open to receive contributions from readers… in the form of pictures for the Gallery,

articles for the topics sections, or reviews of books and new products.

Next Page


Do you have a problem with reading the site pages here, due to them being too small, or possibly too large for your screen?   

Can I suggest that you try adjusting the size of the page by using CTRL with either + or - keys.

This usually works to zoom in or zoom out of a page.  

No guarantees, but I know it works with most people and most systems.

If you have a particular problem reading the site pages, please let me know,

and I will try and take the difficulty into account when re-building pages in the future.


PAPER TESTS

A year ago I started a series of comparative tests on different papers - starting with those suitable for non soluble, wax and oil based coloured pencils.  

The first set of 15 samples was completed on August 4th  2015 and posted up here in Topics in the Surfaces section.  

More tests covering papers suitable for watercolour pencils and pastel pencils will follow as soon as I get time.

The testing is not comprehensive, as only papers in my own stock have been covered.  

If you believe a paper should have been included and it is available in the UK, then please get in touch with me.

Now we are back on the rails again with the refreshed web site, I will hope to have time to address this area of testing

NEW PASTEL PENCIL COURSES

with Peter Weatherill


Knuston Hall have scheduled new one day  courses

Introduction to Pastel Pencils

on Saturday November 5th 2016

There is a further single day course on Friday May 19th 2017.

This is followed immediately by a two day weekend course starting on the Friday evening of May 19th ( you can book these two together if you wish)


Some accommodation is available for those who need to travel, but the day courses start at 9.15am and finish around 4-45pm, so some folk may be local enough to treat it as a day out.

All materials necessary will be loaned / supplied.  


 Contact Knuston Hall,  Wellingborough, Northamptonshire  on

(UK) 01604 362200 if you are interested


These courses will be included in the next Knuston Hall brochure

 for those new to pastels and pastel pencils

This web site and it’s contents

are  COPYRIGHT to Peter Weatherill © 2009 to 2016 inclusive

Other artist’s work is also copyright to the named artist         

see site information for more.

THE LARGEST AND MOST COMPREHENSIVE,

FREELY ACCESSIBLE RESOURCE

ON THE INTERNET

COVERING PENCILS OF ALL TYPES

FOR BEGINNERS, AND INTERMEDIATE STUDENTS

This Web site has no commercial sponsorship

Welcome !

DO YOU USE OTHER DRAWING MEDIA ?

Pastel Pencils, Hard Pastels, Graphite Pencils ?  

Mixed Media with any of the above ?

Prior to July 2016 this site also contained some topics on Pastel Pencils and Mixed Media with pencils

From that date onwards more revisions and updates will progressively include more information on other drawing media including Graphite Pencils.


We already have a fairly full coverage on Pastel Pencils, but demand from readers suggests that more information on the use of hard pastels will be helpful.  Hard pastels have exactly the same content as pastel pencils. The only difference is that they are in stick form (usually square cross section) and without wood.  This means that they can be used to draw with and also to provide the helpful foundation layers to a pastel pencil or coloured pencil picture.   Pastel papers can often be used successfully with coloured pencils and many artists use a combination of drawing media to complete what are called ‘Mixed Media’ works.


Graphite pencils will also now fall within our orbit and articles are being prepared to include topics on the special techniques for graphite as an aid to beginners in this medium.

The navigation panel at the top of this HOME page takes you to the main sections of the site.

This panel appears at the top of each main section page and each of those main pages will have an additional navigation box to take you to the topics relating to that subject.  There may be many topics in some sections.

The main media covered by the site are highlighted in orange as you will see, with the four main pencil types highlighted.

 Most information on techniques is linked with these main areas of interest, but some subjects, like paper surfaces are listed separately.  The web site was originally set up to cover wax type coloured pencils so there is a lot of data in that area.

Media like pastel pencils and graphite have been added later.  The revision in 2016 will be ongoing as I will be trying to make the layout of the site easier to use without dropping too much of the old content. This may mean some re-writing of pages.

IF YOUR INTEREST IS WAX TYPE COLOURED PENCILS -  ( COLORED PENCILS IN THE USA  - CRAYONS in FRANCE )

Head for the Section on Wax type pencils and look at the brands page and also the page on price and content

There is also an individual page for each of the main pencil brands available in the UK

You might also be interested in the section on colour comparisons.

HOW TO USE COLOURED PENCILS?

See the page on basic techniques for wax type pencils

A whole range of pages follow on with a selection of techniques and  ways of using.


IF YOUR INTEREST IS IN WATERCOLOUR PENCILS  -  AQUARELLES in FRANCE

Have a look first at the page on aquarelles 1 for basic information on water soluble coloured pencils

This is also followed by a number of separate sections - including the various ways the watercolour pencils can be used


LIKEWISE THERE ARE SPECIAL AREAS COVERING PASTEL PENCILS AND GRAPHITE PENCILS

In each case we look at the techniques particular to each pencil type and also discuss the best type of paper or other surface to use.  

SOME OF THE INFORMATION MAY BE DUPLICATED, BUT IT IS PERHAPS BETTER TO DO THIS RATHER THAN HAVE YOU CONSTANTLY REFERRING BACK TO OTHER PAGES

DIARY

Latest site revision  July 2016

22nd July 2016      First step of posting up the newly revised layout for the Pencil Topics site.

Most data is exactly where you used to find it, just the appearance of the site has changed and some of the navigation options.  This will allow for new pages on Graphite pencils to be included towards the end of this year.


It is possible that some rarely used sections may disappear, but a decision will be taken on this over the coming months.  If you find any problems. please let me know as soon as possible so that any  bugs can be cleared.

Thanks  Peter W.

 19th AUGUST 2016




HARD PASTEL STICKS




Users of Derwent Pastel sticks are advised to stock up while this product is still available.


Derwent say the product is being discontinued,

but I see that Amazon and several other Internet retailers still list stock.


If you use and like this product

take advantage while there is still stock available


Other manufacturers still making similar products

are Caran D’Ache, Faber Castell and Cretacolor.