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Introducing the New Chromaflow Pencils from Derwent

by Ellie Jakeman May 20, 2024

Introducing the New Chromaflow Pencils from Derwent

What are Derwent Chromaflow Pencils?

What Derwent say;

“Derwent Chromaflow pencils have been formulated with high quality pigments, for striking vibrancy that stands out, even on dark paper. The soft core delivers rapid and smooth laydown, covering the page with vivid colour. The artist quality, slimline core handles pressure, allowing for easy layering and shading. Transform the ordinary into the exciting with this fun and expressive pencil range.”

Derwent Chromaflow pencils are a type of coloured pencil manufactured by Derwent, a well-known brand for high-quality art supplies. These pencils are specifically designed to offer vibrant, intense colours with a smooth application. These pencils have a wax base and a smooth texture. They are Vegan and 60% of their colours are lightfast. (* Colours remain the same for 100 years under museum condition).

Chromaflow pencils, key attributes;

  • Slimline round pencils with 7.2mm barrel and 3.5mm coloured core.
  • Rich in high quality pigments, the colours stand out even on dark paper.
  • Soft core delivers a rapid, smooth laydown, making easy work of blending and layering.
  • All Chromaflow pencils are made with ingredients that are safe to use and comply with ASTMd-4236 standard.
  • Barrel handles pressure, perfect for beginner artists developing their colouring skills.
  • Suitable for fun and expressive artwork, from adult colouring books and crafts to abstract and realism pieces.
  • Available in sets of 12, 24, 36, 48, 72, 100 and 150 colours.
  • One of the best features of the Chromaflow range is that it has been formulated to be compatible with other Derwent Pencil ranges. They work especially well with Derwent Metallic and Colour soft Pencils.

Links to Chromaflow pencil products:

A beginners guide

  • Gather your materials: Along with your Derwent Chromaflow pencils, you'll need paper suitable for coloured pencils such asWinsor & Newton Bristol Board - 250gsm or Seawhite Bristol Board Pad - 240gsm - 20 Sheets, a slightly thicker paper will take multiple layers of coloured pencil,  a pencil sharpener, and possibly a blending tool such as a blending stump, tortillon, burnisher pencil or blending pens.
  • Select your colours: Derwent Chromaflow pencils come in a wide range of colours, so choose the ones you need for your artwork. You may want to start with a basic colour palette and expand as you become more familiar with the pencils.
  • Prepare your workspace: Ensure you have a clean, flat surface to work on. If you're concerned about the surface getting marked or stained, you can place a protective sheet underneath your paper.
  • Sharpen your pencils: Use a sharpener to sharpen your pencils to a fine point. This will allow you to achieve precise details and fine lines in your artwork.
  • Plan your artwork: Sketch out your design lightly with a graphite pencil onto your paper if you prefer. This will give you a guideline to follow while colouring with the Chromaflow pencils. If this is your first drawing, maybe create some colour charts to familiarise yourself with the pencils. 
  • Layering and blending: Start colouring your artwork with light pressure, gradually building up layers of colour to achieve depth and dimension. Experiment with layering different colours to create new hues and shades. You can also blend colours together using a blending stump, tortillion or blending pens to create smooth transitions, but only after you have built up the final colours.
  • Highlighting and detailing: Use lighter colours or a white pencil to add highlights and finer details to your artwork. You can also use an eraser to lift off colour and create highlights.
  • Experiment with techniques:Derwent Chromaflow pencils can be used in various ways, including layering, burnishing, and blending. Experiment with different techniques to see which ones work best for your style and preferences.
  • Protect your artwork: Once your artwork is complete, you may want to spray it with a fixative to prevent smudging and protect it from fading over time.
  • Practice and have fun: Like any art medium, using Derwent Chromaflow pencils takes practice. Don't be afraid to experiment and try new things. Enjoy the process of creating colourful and vibrant artwork!



Blending: If you have a limited palette, you will need to know how to mix and blend your Chromaflow pencils so you can create a range of hues. A good exercise to do is to create a colour wheel. Always start your fist layer with a very light touch, try not to press too hard as you need some of the tooth of the paper exposed which will enable you to build up layers of colour.

Start your colour chart with yellow, we used Sun Yellow, then cover a third of the circle with a very light touch. Cover the second third of the colour wheel with Magenta, again with a very light touch. Lastly, cover the final third of the colour wheel with a Blue Chromoflow pencil, we used Blue Orchid. 

When you have three designated areas of colour, Red, Blue and Yellow, using the Sun Yellow create an orange by creating a second layer of colour over some of the Magenta. Taking the Sun Yellow Chromaflow pencil then create a second layer over the blue to make green. 

To create a purple colour, take your Magenta Chromaflow pencil and work a second layer over some of the Orchid Blue section. You can apply more pressure to these second layers and fill in the tooth of the paper a little bit more but not completely. We used 250gsm Bristol paper for our investigations. You may need to go over the areas a few times with each of the primary colours to create the required secondary colours.

Creating Tints:  If you need a lighter colour, you can apply a White Chromaflow pencil over the top of a darker colour. We used Midnight Purple and blended White Chromaflow over the top to create a tint or sometimes called a pastel shade of the original colour. 



Creating Shades:  to darken a colour, you can actually use a black pencil sparingly or if you would like to create a softer shade you can use their complimentary colour. Lay your colours down lightly starting with the colour you want to darken first. Lay its complimentary colour on top lightly then go back to your original colour for the top layer. Keep your pressure light, if the colour you have created isn’t dark enough then repeat the process. 

You can also darken a colour by adding a darker version of the colour if you have one for example if you have a Pure Red 0510 Chromaflow pencil you can darken it with Sangria 0620 pencil working in layers to create a seamless transition from dark to light or light to dark. 

Creating Gradients: 

  • One colour Gradient technique; always start with more pigment at the top or bottom of the gradient, depending on how you want the gradient to look. You can start with using more pressure on the Chromaflow  pencil which will leave more pigment on the paper or work your gradient up by adding light layers of pigment on the paper.

  • Two colour Gradient technique;  You can choose two similar colours for your gradient or two different colours, as a guide remember the colour wheel, where you can create a third colour from two primary colours. Start with a light even tone working down the paper, then change pencils and work another light layer working up from the bottom. Let the two colours overlap in the middle. Work layers of colour from one side to the other until you are happy with the results. Light layers can build up some really beautiful transitions of colour.

  • Three colour Gradient technique; if you are drawing a contained shape and would like to introduce some 3 dimensional qualities to your image,  you can choose 3 colours in the same family such as  Sun Yellow, Amber Gold and Mango to create a seamless gradient. All  Yellow based colours. The key is to begin very lightly and build up the layers.

Starting with the lightest colour, fill in the area lightly, use a little bit more pressure where your lightest colour will be, then take the mid range colour which should be a little darker and overlap some of our lightest colour but start mid way and work down to the bottom. Next take your darkest colour and work up from the bottom to just cover a portion of the mid range colour. Lastly take your lightest colour and blend over all the colours to create a seamless gradient. You may need to repeat this a few times until your gradient looks right. You can work your pencil side to side, or in small circular motions, or up and down or all three when you are working up your layer. If you can see a few drawn lines you could try using the blending pen or pencil to smooth them out.

To create a three colour gradient for a sunset or seascape, the same principle applies, take a light colour, a mid colour and a dark colour and start covering the surface with the light colour, then work down with the mid colour and work your way up with the dark colour, overlapping slightly and finishing off with applying the lightest colour all over the surface to create a smooth, seamless, transition of colour.

Some tips you should know before you start.

  • The success of your drawing will depend on one most important technique and that is layering colours with a very light touch. Having patience with your work and building up your layers will guarantee a successful outcome, smooth gradients, smooth transitions of colour, smooth stroke lines and colour mixing, shading and successful textures. Practice definitely makes perfect!
  • Some colours are creamier than other colours, and some are more opaque. Creating a test sheet helps to familiarise yourself with the colour options before tackling a piece of artwork.
  • Buffing out your colours with a cotton rag once you have completed your work will help even out your waxy bloom.
  • You can not add colour onto your burnished layer easily so don’t lay down a lot of pigment initially, aim to build up soft layers.
  • Holding your pencil at the end will reduce the impulse to press too hard on the paper. Keep a light touch so you can build up your layers of colour slowly.
  • Only on the last layer can you add a little more  pressure.

Correcting errors when using Derwent Chromaflow pencils is really easy, however it does require a careful approach to avoid damaging your artwork. Here are some methods you can try to erase or correct mistakes made with Chromaflow pencils:

Eraser: Use a soft art eraser, such as a kneaded eraser or a vinyl eraser, to gently remove the unwanted pigment. Lightly dab or knead the eraser over the area you want to correct to lift off the colour. Avoid pressing too hard to prevent damaging the paper or smudging the surrounding colours.Derwent Specialist Artist Erasers Pack of 2 orDerwent Battery Operated Eraser.

Sandpaper or Emery Board: For more stubborn mistakes or areas with heavy pigment, you can lightly sand the surface of the paper using fine-grit sandpaper or an emery board. Be cautious and use a gentle touch to avoid damaging the paper's surface.

Colourless Blender Pencil: A colourless blender pencil can help blend and lift off some of the colour, making it easier to correct mistakes or smooth out uneven areas. Use the blender pencil to gently blend and lighten the problematic area without adding additional colour.Derwent Burnisher Pencil

White Coloured Pencil: If the mistake is minor and on a lighter area of your artwork, you can use a white coloured pencil such asChromaflow or Coloursoft, to cover and correct the error. Apply the white pencil lightly and gradually build up the colour to match the surrounding area.

Overworking and Layering: If the mistake is due to overworking an area or layering too many colours, you can try using a colourless blender pencil to soften and blend the colours together, creating a more cohesive look. Derwent 2 Blender Pens

Prevention: To minimise the need for corrections, work slowly and carefully, building up your layers gradually. Test colours and techniques on a scrap piece of paper before applying them to your actual artwork to avoid potential mistakes.

Remember, it's essential to approach corrections with a gentle touch to preserve the integrity of your artwork and the paper's surface. Always test any correction method on a small, inconspicuous area of your artwork first to ensure it yields the desired results without causing damage or altering the surrounding colours.

Overall, Derwent Chromaflow pencils are versatile and user-friendly, making them suitable for artists of all skill levels. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced artist, you can create stunning artwork with these vibrant coloured pencils.

Ellie Jakeman
Ellie Jakeman

I have had a strong interest in the visual and creative arts since a very early age. After completing an Art and Design Degree and Post graduate studies I have taught Art and Design, Fashion and Textiles, Textile design , Fine Art print and Illustration for over 20 years. Before teaching I was a freelance artist and illustrator and decided 4 years ago I would return to freelance and commissioned work. I have created many domestic and commercial murals for hospitals and hospices. I work part time for ARTdiscount as a content creator and product tester.

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