A fun festive challenge with Derwent Lightfast and Jess Pritchard

Is it possible to create a drawing using no more than the set of 24 Derwent Lightfast pencils? This was an interesting challenge as I’m used to using a minimum of 35 different colours on a piece regardless of size. To make it even more testing, I decided to draw my picture at 4×4 inches to see how the pencils would cope in creating such tiny details.

As it’s only a few weeks until Christmas (at the time of writing), I couldn’t help but draw a little festive scene including a donkey, wreath and snow. I began with drawing the wreath and wasn’t sure how well I would do as I only had 3 greens to work with. However, each green is completely different; Seaweed is quite earthy, Racing Green is more a dark grass green and Mallard Green is lovely and vibrant. Due to the creamy texture of the pencils, all three blended together beautifully and in highlighted areas I also overlaid Sun Yellow and Mist which adjusted the tones and gave the appearance I’d used more than just three greens. For the shadows on both the red bow and greenery of the wreath, I used Chocolate and you can see that due to the blending nature the pencils, it appears as though I’ve used a dark red and dark green.

Up next was the wood of the stable door. I’m used to relying on greys as base tones or details in shadows but as there is only one grey in this set I was a bit hesitant of how well the wood could be drawn. As a base layer, I used Mist topped with Mid Ultramarine and proceeded to layer these with greens and yellows for mossy areas, browns and Sandstone (which fast became my favourite colour) and topped it off with Chocolate and Black for the shadows. Layering Sun Yellow on top of Seaweed with an added hint of Mid Ultramarine created the perfect colour for moss.

Moving onto the donkey and a completely different texture to the wood, I sharpened the pencils using my ever reliable Derwent Super Point Sharpener and began drawing lots of little strokes to create the fur. With such a fine pencil point, I found it difficult to apply too much pressure due to the soft, creamy nature of the pencils but I was still able to create the fine lines I needed.

Finally all that was left were the bricks. The main colours used for these on top of a Mist base colour were the gorgeous Yellow Ochre and Salmon. Again, I lightly used Chocolate for the darker tones and the opacity allowed the under colours to shine through and make it appear a dark grey or yellow.

To create this drawing, I used all but three colours in the set and still could have easily put these three to paper but due to the blending abilities of the pencils, I felt there was no need to. So… is it possible to create a drawing using no more than 24 Lightfast Pencils? The answer is most definitely yes!

Thank you to Jess for this blog of such a cute donkey.

You can find out more information about Jess and her artwork on her website or visit her social media.

Purchase our 24 set of Lightfast pencils here or buy our singles here.