Friday, 20 May 2011

Sketching with Karisma

No, it's not a spelling mistake, but it is intended to be a pun. It's been a pretty uninspiring week at work, certainly not one in which I felt the slightest amount of charisma, so I was ready for the usual Friday afternoon ramble with Louie The Beagle along the country bridleways and footpaths and the chance of a little bit of sketching.

After sitting pretty much idle for the best part of twenty years, I decided it was about time I used my much coveted Karisma coloured pencils. I only have a few left, about thirty or so, and some of them are very little more than half their original length, in some cases just stumps, but they're still very usable and full of that gorgeous soft rich colour that made them (and still does make them) sought after. I just wish I'd bought bucket loads of them when I had the chance :( Still, I do have my Coloursofts :) Here they are in all their glory:

Well that's enough rambling: here for your enjoyment is an A5 sketch using only Karisma pencils in a Daler Rowney wirebound sketchbook. The place is a few miles from home, somewhere between the towns of Huntingdon and St Ives. I completed the entire sketch on location in about forty-five minutes: long enough for Louie to take a break and enjoy the sunshine!

Have a good weekend!


  1. Oh that green and pleasant land! I love it so much and miss it terribly, *sigh*.
    Isn't it funny how you become so attached to some art items. I have some that I never use because I know they are irreplaceable and I don't want to use them up!

  2. Lovely sketch Michael!
    You are blessed to live in such a beautiful country!

  3. Thank you, Anita. I miss my roots too, back up there in Cheshire which is more green, and more pleasant, and has a few dark satanic mills too! Yes, I know what you mean. Using the Karismas was a bit like selling the family silver :)

    Thank you Judy. I think you live in a beautiful country too. The Fens and surrounding areas are often compared to the Netherlands :)

  4. Your sketch is GORGEOUS!! I really love it :0)
    I once had an oportunity to try some Karisma pencils and they were wonderful to use. Apparently they do still make them - Only the brand name has changed to 'Prisma Colour'. They are not as attractive as the originals because the casing is no longer plain wood, but aparently the core is exactly the same and you can buy them online :0)

  5. Hi Sandra, thank you very much! I haven't tried the Prismacolors although some of the Karisma hard-core fans (pun intended) say they're not quite the same.

    Interestingly, a few of mine say 'MADE IN USA', when Sanford started to move production of Berol Karisma UK out to the states.

  6. Nice sketch Michael.

    Can't join the conversation because I had a whole pencil-case of Caran D'Ache stolen when I was at college way-back-when. The replacements (also CD'A) have vanished into the void of my parent's attic :?

  7. Thanks, Sue. Caran D'Ache are fabulous pencils too. I've got a set of eighteen Pablos and the matching set of Supracolors. They've always been so expensive though so I think you really ought to try to get your old set back from your parents' attic!

  8. Lovely sketch, Michael. There's such texture in that grass - its delicious :) xx

  9. Thank you, Pat. I really enjoyed doing this sketch so I'm glad that you liked it too!


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