FREE gift when you join SAA Membership JOIN TODAY

Derwent Inktense

Thinking of picking up some Derwent Inktense? Get inspired and discover different ways you can use them to create vibrant artwork.
Derwent Inktense

How can I use Derwent Inktense?

Inktense blocks are ideal for making large quantities of a colour wash by scraping the pigment into a container and adding water until the desired hue is reached. These washes tend to dry far more evenly than watercolour, eliminating a lot of the guesswork – and ‘cauliflowering’! The choice of colours make it possible to mix natural, life-like colours for fur and plants.

Table spread of Derwent pencils, paint pans and water brushes
Thin black line

Endless versatility

Like a pencil, mistakes can easily be erased – prior to wetting of course. As soon as Inktense is dry it is permanent and can be painted over again and again with no fear of lifting, smudging or fading.

You can shade with several colours on top of one another - the effect when water is added can be quite magical – mixing to form a new colour with areas of the original pencil work still showing underneath. By using the pencils lightly and then washing over the area with a wet brush, it is possible to achieve a smooth, even wash of pure colour, which can be intensified by repeating the process several times.

You can create your own disposable palette – scribble with a pencil or block on scrap paper and mix the colour you require with a wet brush before using it on your work, with the added bonus that you can check the tint before painting with it! Pick up pigment directly from the end of the pencil or block with a wet brush for a real burst of intense colour.

Derwent Inktense pencils lying next to dolphin drawing and waterbrush
Thin black line

Try experimenting

Create swirls of colour by thoroughly wetting an area of your paper and dropping either diluted pigment or even shavings on top and allowing the pigment to spread. Try spattering droplets of the various colours you are using in a painting and letting them mix, remain as droplets or even run down the page.

A sponge can be used, as can most aids used in obtaining texture in watercolour painting, such as clingfilm, bubblewrap, etc. And you are not restricted to paper – I have painted on t-shirts and silk ties with terrific results. ‘Set’ the finished artwork by ironing with a steam iron then it can safely be washed.

And as for painting en plein air – I have a feeling the Inketnse Selection Box will provide a handy way of carrying a full set of pencils and paints, only requiring a brush and a cup of water to bring your work to life. So my advice is don’t be scared to experiment – these colours may surprise you. Just be careful not to get it on your clothes, because it’s not coming out…ever!

Red, blue and yellow Derwent Inktense blocks next to water pot
Derwent Inktense

Inktense Products to get you started...