Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – film review


(WARNING: this post may contain spoilers for the film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them)

If you already love the Wizarding World of Harry Potter then you’re bound to love Fantastic Beasts, set in America about 70 years before Harry Potter. The film follows Newt Scamander, a Magizoologist and aspiring author, carrying a case full of magical creatures he has taken into his care.

One of the best things about this movie, in my opinion, is the way you can relate to the characters, their personalities and individual quirks shown in depth, making them, though of a fictional magical world, seem more human and real. The creatures were no exception, Pickett the Bowtruckle being especially popular and becoming a part of Newt himself by living in his coat pocket and, though seemingly small and insignificant, saving lives at one point in the film.

In the creative industry, character is one of the most important things, whether in illustration or film, the characters are ultimately what the viewer will connect with most. And often it seems characters lose personality and development in place of a packed narrative, this film however doesn’t make that mistake. Fantastic Beasts keeps a mix of fast-paced action, slow moments and character personality and development as people who would not normally find themselves in each others company come together with the same goal. The attention to the small details in this film is something I haven’t come across in other films and should be used as an inspiration for future films.


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Caran Dache coloured pencils – review

Caran Dache pencils

CaranDache coloured pencils are top artist quality pencils which are of a Swiss brand, they are, without doubt, the best coloured pencils I have used. Some of the best things about them are that they layer nicely with other mediums like ProMarker pens or watercolour paints so they can be used to add small details which a brush or marker pen can’t fill in; they have bold pigments so you don’t have to press too hard to achieve nice results which makes a difference from cheap coloured pencils which often dent the page more than they colour it in; the pencils are hard wearing so don’t need to be sharpened as often as other brands, meaning they’re longer lasting, and, finally, they blend easily and can be smudged for smoother blends between colours.

These, and Promerker pens, are my two favoured mediums to use when creating art. Coloured pencil has always been one I used often, but Caran Dache became a favourite to use within minutes of first trying them out, my favourite thing about them is how nicely they layer up and blend to form different tones of colours and shades to show shadows and highlights on an image.


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ProMarker pens – review

image.jpgLetraset ProMarkers are a UK brand of artist quality marker pens, in many ways similar to copic markers although cheaper and non-refillable.

I own two of the manga colour sets of these pens with the addition of individually brought grey and black, and I now use them as one of my two main mediums in my artwork.

Frm personal experience, I’ve found that the marker pens, although non-refillable, have a long life. The oldest pens of the ones I have are about a year old and, even with regular use, have yet to run out or need replacing.

The colours in the pens are bold and stand out which is what most appeals to me about them, they often give a paint-like effect to artwork. The colour of then no, unsurprisingly, doesn’t match the label of the pen exactly, so I found it best to create a colour chart to use as reference, but this is something I’d reccomend doing with any material to get a more accurate representation of the colours.

the blender oen that comes with thsetsI have can be difficult to use, but once you get th hang of it, it gives a smoother look to the colour blends which is appealing to look at and seems more professional.

The markers, like most, are known to bleed on paper and special promarker paper is recommended, I however, have found that artist quality paper of weight 135gsm works well with the pens and had minimal bleed from the ink. The pens work effectively on their own or, as I discovered through experimentation, as a base layer of colour with coloured pencil layered on top for added texture and more colour blending.

In my opinion, these pens are of excellent quality and are great for making bold illustrations.