038 Deep Dive Discussion Of Inktense

Topic:  Deep Dive Into Derwent’s Inktense Pencils



What are Inktense Pencils?


This week Lisa and I talk about Derwent’s Inktense pencils.  

They are not really watercolor, although the way you use them can be very similar.  You can also opt to use them dry and without any water at all.  They lay down very smoothly even without applying water.  

They are permanent when dry.   They can be painted on lots of different surfaces.


Blocks vs Pencils


  • blocks can be applied directly to the paper, but will have a grainy look. You can also use a paint brush and water to make your own ink mixture and apply the ink directly to the paper for a much smoother look.

  • The blocks are a bit more versatile because you can so easily make your ink mixtures with them. You can then apply that ink with a tiny brush for fine detail or a large brush for larger areas.

  • Pencils can sharpen to a fine point for detail, then add water if desired to blend out directly on the paper.

  • The blocks and the pencils work very well together.


Tips for working with Inktense:


  • When wet, the colors may be very different than when dry. Especially the white. When dry the white from the Inktense block is super opaque, but totally transparent wet.

  • My favorite paint brushes to use with these are taklon bristle filberts, liner brushes, rounds and flats.

  • Mix your ink mixture in a cheap acrylic painting palette

  • When your premixed areas on the palette dry up, you can reactivate them by adding water

  • Colors can be muted by adding their complimentary color. While they may seem too bright by themselves, they mix and layer very well for any color palette.


They are not lightfast when wet (and there are some that aren’t when dry).


Available in sets of 6, 12, 24, 36, and 72


And available in open stock in fine art stores.




Around $100 USD for the set of 72 pencils

And around $80 USD for the full set of blocks

A small set of 12 blocks will run around $6.28 and are great to get started with.

Links mentioned in the show:

Special Audible Offer for Colored Pencil Podcast

Videos mentioned in the show:

Lisa’s demonstration of the inktense pencils



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