Crafted By Colette

A place for me to ramble about my art and crafting exploits.

Arty Advent Day 8: The Pencil Case Challenge

For December 1st-24th (and possibly a Christmas day bonus), I’ll be posting an art-related blog post every day.  If you visit my blog during this time, let me reassure you that I’m not just an art blog.  I do all the crafts.  You can look through my archives, or stay tuned for future posts, to see the other crafty things I get up to. 

One of the many challenges I have noted down in my notebook to try is The Pencil Case Challenge.  This one involves swapping pencil cases with a fellow artist and creating a piece using just the supplies inside.

My artist friend (Cayden) didn’t feel ready to have a go but happily handed over his pencil case.

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Inside were these lovely goodies.

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Step 1: swatching.

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Cayden likes blue.  That gold that you can’t read because of my atrocious camera skills is Shimmering Sands ink by Diamine, in a fine nib Moonman pen.

I took on this challenge on a game night, so I wasn’t focused entirely on the artwork. As a result I wasn’t finished by the time Cayden went home.  But he was due to come and visit again in a couple of weeks and promised not to change the contents of his pencil case in the meantime.

When Cayden had to go home I’d done the sketching.  I’d come up with some kind of design, decided the hat was too big, erased it with this nifty cute little eraser…




…changed the orientation of the page a few times and finalised the image.

Now, this is where I’d normally show you what I did manage to do.  Except that for some unknown reason I didn’t take a photo.  So I can’t.  What I can show you is what I started the next session with, which isn’t quite the same thing.  Because I cheated a little.

Since I happened to have two of the exact same pens, in the interveneing weeks I used the Uniball Air to outline her hair, and the Zebra Mildliner to fill in her face.

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(I have just now – literally as I write this – realised that on my swatching page I wrote “mild liner” twice instead of writing the actual colour.  It’s mild blue, if you’re interested.)

In the second session I had with the pencil case I…

  • used the Tombow Brush Pen to fill in the hat.
  • filled in the hair a little more.
  • added another layer to her face with the mildliner.
  • used the Fire and Ice ink by Robert Oster in the TWSBI 58AL fountain pen to fill in the eyes.
  • used the afore-mentioned Shimmering Sands ink to do the detail on the hat band – which I left to fully dry overnight before erasing the pencil beneath out of fear of smudging it.
  • redid the outling of the face with the Uniball Air.


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The blue smudge on the right side there is because I was an idiot and did some layering and testing on the back of the paper.  But other than that I’m really happy with this piece.  I wish I could have taken a picture of the hat band that shows how awesome that ink it.  I can show you this little bit though, which helps but still doesn’t really do it justice. This is from where I was testing to see if erasing pencil after inking would ruin the sheen.


I’d really like to do this challenge again, but I don’t have any other friends in real life who are artists.  Maybe one day.   Or maybe I could ask Cayden to curate a special pencil case for me.  We’ll see.

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