Head Scribbles….to colour or not to colour….Inktense

20160104 Head scribble 120160104 Head Inktense

Following on from my recent round up of last years scribble collection I’m starting to go through all the odds and ends of drawing/painting materials I’ve collected. Yesterday I rediscovered a set of 12 Derwent Inktense pencils that I bought about 6 months ago but was initially frustrated with the colours and effects I was getting….

The above pictures are a couple of scribbly faces drawn last evening, random faces I liked the expression, drawn with a Lamy Safari EF fountain pen then dark areas enhanced with a Pentel waterbrush filled with Liquitex black acylic ink.

I decided to try colouring the second head with the Inktense pencils….when I first started using the Inktense I found the colour too unpredictable – the dry colour is quite different to the wetted colour.

Then I had a little “EUREKA” moment…..I’m finding it best to draw lightly with the Inktense pencils, then wet the painting with a brush/waterbrush to create background colour…. Next go over with the Inktense pencils again whilst the paper is still wet….gives a pleasing scribbly effect and I have some idea of the colours they’re going to produce.

The Inktense are quite different to watercolour pencils….much more powerful colours (hence the name) and more importantly you can’t lift out Inktense once you’ve wetted them….they are permanent on the page. (Watercolour pencils are easier to use as they are generally softer colours, don’t have such a large colour-shift after adding water plus you can lift colour out…essentially you know what colour you’re going to get and have more chance to remedy when mistakes happen).

I could probably achieved a similar effect with ordinary coloured pencils but it would have taken longer…. it’s nice to be able to produce background colours and then bold colourful lines in just a few minutes with just a handful of pencils and a waterbrush….

May have to conduct some more Inktense experiments….


2 thoughts on “Head Scribbles….to colour or not to colour….Inktense

  1. Happy New Year! These are great, each very striking in its own way – and the photo of your “collected works” the other day was inspirational! The Inktense colour in the second portrait is very effective. I enjoy Inktense and – living in the English Lake District not far from Derwent Pencil’s home (and fab museum) in Keswick – all things Derwent-Art. Collecting art materials is itself a delightful interest isn’t it? Amongst the wonderful Derwent tutorials easily looked up on YouTube I was thrilled to discover the (now fairly obvious) tip that all such pencils can be used pretty much like a tray of watercolour pans – simply applying paint to a wet (Pentel) brush by way of the pencil tips. Endless hours of experimentation and enjoyment. Thank you for sharing your sketchbook and materials advice.


    1. Thanks Windinmywheels…. and a Very Happy New Year to you….looking forward to more of your poetry selections and thoughts on the human condition this year…they always make me stop and think:)
      You do live in a very pretty and dramatic part of the UK ….in years gone by I have been scuba diving in Hodge Close (very cold and creepy) and Windermere (muddy)…. winter or summer it’s always beautiful (although tourist central in summer)….hope you haven’t been affected by the huge rain fall that according to the press is flooding large parts of the North.
      A “delightful interest” in art materials is a wonderful description!! I’m sure I have far too many drawing/painting materials…I’m like a child in a sweet shop when visiting an art store….almost never leave without some new colour/tool!Yes I have seen some Inktense videos but have up until now always struggled with them…or maybe my style has changed to be more loose….who knows…more Inktense experiments to come…..would like to see what you have created 🙂


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