Saturday, 22 February 2014

Inktense Mini-Tutorial

So here it is, a brief guide to using Derwent Inktense pencils and blocks - hold on to your hats, here we go!
This is the set I use, combining pencils and blocks,  It doesn't matter if you have just pencils or just blocks, the principles are pretty much the same.

I use ordinary paintbrushes, usually with a good point and a springy feel to them.  It's also handy to have a brush with a water reservoir - when you are working on a large section of a painting, it saves constantly dipping your brush in the water pot and losing your flow - literally!
It is always a good idea to have a practice first and see just how each colour looks on paper and how it moves with water.  I do this for most paints/water soluble pencils as only then can you be certain of choosing the colour you need when working.
I carefully draw out a basic outline of my subject - some clematis in this case.  There is no need to go into too much detail or use alot of pencil or shading as this will show through your paints and spoil the clarity of the colours.  Make sure your drawing is precise though - it pays to spend time on this as a bad drawing can ruin a finished painting.
I have started the centre of the flowers using a sharpened pencil.
I intensify the colour by going over it with a wet paint brush, also making sure the lines are clean.  I then shade a light layer of yellow over the leaves, wet it and fill in the leaf shape.
For the petals I shade in a fuschia and yellow combination.  I know that when wetted they will make the colours I want to shine through when the flowers are finished.
I then wet them with the reservoir pen.
I continue using a combination of violet and fushia, making the pencil marks darker in shadows and folds.
When using the pen, you can move the pigment about like watercolour but also keep the depth of colour where you want it.

The blocks can be used like crayons for larger areas but my preferred method is to use them like watercolours.
It helps to have a small piece of watercolour paper to test your colours on first and also to use a bit like a palette.   

Here I have used the blocks as watercolours to lay down a first layer of colour for the red flowers, making the pigment darker where needed.
I'm using dark chocolate pencil to fill in the gaps between the flowers and add some depth.
I've used water to darken the brown and also added some indigo from the blocks.  Here I am building up the colours on the flower petals with a combination of yellow and red pencils.
It looks a bit scruffy until you add the water...
I'm using the reservoir brush again for continuity of colour.
Hre I have used red from a pigment block in order to deepen the hue - the previous colours and shading still show through.

And that's as far as I have got with this little painting.  The rest of it will be more of the same, building up colour with pencil and washes until I reach the depth I want.

Of course, this is just my style of painting - you could work in big bold strokes with vibrant combinations of colour, it's entirely up to preference.  The colours are worth persevering with, the results are lovely.

It is also possible to paint like this on fabric - I have done a couple of t-shirts and several silk ties.  But that's a tutorial for another day!


Anonymous said...

Perfect, just what I needed to get the confidence up to give it a go. thanks so much

Would be interested in how you use them and fix them on fabric in due course when you are in the mood.

thank you

Anonymous said...

Well, I gave them a go following your tutorial and I am really pleased with the little painting I did. they are easy and fun to use and I love the intensity of colour and fact I can put layers on without it getting muddy. Can't wait to have another go tomorrow. thanks so much for your generous help
regards Jane

Caroline B said...

That's OK Jane, glad it actually WAS helpful!

Magpie Magic said...

Very cool. Looks like fun. :-) When do we get to see the finished painting? xoxo

Soggibottom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Does layering prismacolor pencils work over the dried inktense area? i am working on a commission and I would love to do the water with the inktense, and do the finer details of the mermaids hair and skin with prismacolor pencils.. (I have the pc 150 set, and the derwent inktense 72 set will be delivered this friday, so I can't test my idea for a few days yet..

Anonymous said...

You can later just about at pencil you want after Inktense Inktense is dry:takeaways experiment fest in scrap paper first!
What I can't figure out is why I did not receive that magic black pencil in my set of 72 pencils...I do have the "sticks" and I will try those tomorrow....I have become totally addicted to drawing and coloring: I am taking "formal" courses as well as gleaning pearls of wisdom from blogs like is so worthwhile to just enhanced my life and Wakes me up!

Our RD just graduated from a Votech in graphic arts:it's not so easy..but, she grew up with technolgy, so she is not afrad.
I am decidedly old fashioned, but that does not mean I disrespect computer art at all.
Thank you: you absolutely contributed to my knowledge base regarding Inktense. I felt so much more relaxation as peace after reading your blog....
Peace and Love for creating a more beautiful world,