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How to Use Derwent Inktense Pencils

Guest Author - Maribeth Lysen

I received some brand new Derwent Inktense pencils this weekend and I like them so much I had to tell all my artsy friends about them. Inktense pencils are a whole new ballgame from standard watercolor pencils. They are a permanent ink once they have been mixed with water allowing for the build up of layers. The colors are so vibrant, they lift right off the page. Inktense pencils will be great to throw in a bag with a mixed media or watercolor sketchbook & watercolor brush with a built in water reservoir for some painting on the go.

I have several different pencils from the Derwent line, a company founded in 1832 based out of the UK and I love them all. The Inktense pencils had been on my wish list for the last couple of months after seeing a Youtube video where they were used. I have found all of Derwent's pencils to be innovative, reliable, and come in a wide range of colors. Inktense pencils did not disappoint and I can't wait to try them on a variety of different projects.

To get started you have a couple of options. You can use the pencils just like regular colored pencils and color your drawing. Next take a watercolor brush and wet the pencil lines in stages, from light to dark. You need to allow one section or color to dry before starting on the next section if you don't want the colors to blend (I used a heat gun because I have no patience).

You can also rough outline your shape & fill in the background color first. Wet the color, then allow the background to dry before moving on to your foreground. Keep in mind, the more pigment you put down on the paper, the more intense your color will be.

Inktense pencils can also be dipped directly in water or you can take your wet brush directly to the tip of the pencil to load the pigment on your brush. Do a practice sheet or two trying out the different methods and see what works best for you. Be sure to dry your pencil tips on a paper towel to keep them soft.

To make your own colors, the pencils can be blended together on a pallet or Teflon sheet to create new color by wetting the end of the pencil or by scribbling down the colors you want to blend. This new color can then be painted on your paper just like a regular watercolor paint.

Inktense can also be used on fabric with a fabric medium to make it permanent. The possibilities for quilters and fabric artists are endless. Even those who can't sew (or like me, have limited sewing abilities), could use Inktense pencils to embellish their own off the rack clothing. I plan on trying this out on some thrifted skirts later this week.

These pencils are also perfect for coloring in your stamped images. Stamp using a permanent ink so when you fill in the color your stamped line doesn't blur into your Inktense color. Inktense also works great when used to color in drawings made with a waterproof ink pen which makes them a must have for calligraphers and art journalers.

The quick & dirty on Inktense pencils:
Inktense are inks, not watercolors.
Inktense pencils are permanent once the pigment is wet..
Inktense pencils can be layered without the colors becoming muddy if dried between layers.
Inktense pencils are easy to use and require very little clean up.
If you have a young artist in your life that is of the tween or teen variety these pencils are a great gift but they can stain clothing..
Inktense can be used with other mediums. They work beautifully with watercolor pencils.
Work from light to dark.
Clean your brush between colors (I keep a paper towel handy).
Experiment with different papers to see how the pencils react and what you prefer. I found hot press watercolor paper to be my favorite.
Derwent also makes Inktense blocks & a resist pencil.
Derwent has a free app for iphones & ipads covering a range of their products with tips, tools, and ideas.

Happy Creating
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Content copyright © 2014 by Maribeth Lysen. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Maribeth Lysen. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Christine Sharbrough for details.

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