A Balkan anemone worked up in colored pencil with powder blender.

This brilliantly blue Balkan anemone really stands out on the dark background. Once again I worked this piece up using the powder blender from Brush and Pencil. I used the UArt 400 this time to test out the various grades of paper to see which one I like best. I’m not sure if it will end up being a one grit fits all or if different grits will work better for different levels of detail.

Watch the time lapse or skip down for more.

UArt 400

I wasn’t sure how much I liked the rougher grit when I first started working on it, but by the end, there didn’t seem to be a substantial difference from the 600 I used for my clownfish in a waterlily work. This anemone didn’t require a lot of detail whereas the clownfish was full of details, and took substantially longer. I still have the 800 grit left to test and will see if I can feel a difference when working on the papers. If you want to follow along, head over to Patreon for the free line art, and reference. The longer version is also available to watch for free, I’m experimenting with longer, more detailed voice overs.

 Powder Blender

The powder blender from Brush and Pencil has been wonderful to work with as has the sanded paper. I don’t have a lot of spare time to work on large projects so anything that speeds up the process, allows me to create works in a reasonable amount of time without losing interest part way through. This did happen with the first, and second attempt at my clownfish. I didn’t give up on the idea, I just had to set it aside until I could realize the potential in the size I wanted. This powder blender and sanded paper combination has helped me realize just that.


I don’t know if there is any difference between Balkan anemone and other anemone flowers, but the reference for this particular flower was specifically listed as a Balkan anemone. I was drawn to the solitary flower, the dark background, and the vivid blue. This flower came together quickly and I am happy with the results.

Things I learned

I am still figuring out how to work with the powder blender and if I am doing things correctly. I learned that the textured fixative will add texture to anything in the spraying vicinity but luckily it washes off with water. I learned to use a light hand when blending or it is possible to remove the pigment altogether (not always a bad thing). I learned to use a light hand when spraying, and spray many light layers rather than one or two heavier layers. I learned to check after adding textured fixative to see if I had enough layers rather than assuming. And finally I learned that the final fixative requires many layers before pigment doesn’t lift.

What is next?

You can follow me on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or Patreon. I’m currently working on a surreal space piece. Let me know in the comments if you followed along and how it turned out.

Equipment (affiliate links):

Have at least one eraser of some type. Masking tape will work but stick it to your pants a couple times to reduce the tackiness so it doesn’t rip your paper. Paper is rather important, it is important to use a non-absorbent paper like sanded or gessoed. You can buy a large sheet and cut it down to size.

Colors used:

  • White 101
  • Cadmium Yellow Lemon 205
  • Light Chrome Yellow 106
  • Naples Yellow 185
  • Light Yellow Ochre 183
  • Phthalo Blue 110
  • Middle Phthalo Blue 152
  • Light Phthalo Blue 145
  • May Green 170
  • Earth Green Yellowish 168
  • Permanent Green Olive 167
  • Chrome Oxide Green 278
  • Delft Blue 141
  • Blue Violet 137
  • Red-Violet 194
  • Caput Mortuum Violet 265
  • Caput Mortuum 169
  • Warm Grey III 272
  • Dark Sepia 175
  • Cold Grey III 232
  • Black 199

The affiliate links are for both Amazon and Blick Art Materials, they don’t cost you anything to use them, but by using them you help support me in making videos and writing blog posts.


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