So l have had a full set of Derwent Inktense pencils sitting in my art room unused for nearly two years! I was so excited to get them, l couldn’t wait! I tried them once - didn’t like them and gave up! I bought the Inktense blocks at the same time and for some reason liked them better. I used them for several backgrounds. But the pencils, l was really disappointed with.
I don’t like the feel of the color lay down, it isn’t very smooth. The dry pencils don’t blend very well. And l can’t sharpen them to a fine enough point or get them to hold it.
A long and major list of dislikes here! But over the past few weeks l have been looking at them sitting there and been thinking l should really give them another try. They are unique pencils, like no other on the market and one try is really not a fair assessment. So, determined to give them another chance l got them out.
This time l decided that rather than trying to get all the detail with the pencils, l would use them to create a base layer to work my usual coloured pencils over. They still didn’t lay down smoothly (although l suspect a more toothy paper than l use might help with that), they still didn’t blend well dry. But when l used my favourite Artnfly water brush pens to blend them, the colors just popped off the page. They blended together with the beauty and softness of water color. The base they created was amazingly vibrant.
l am not actually certain whether l like the absolutely smooth blending result l got because it looks almost like digital art to me (and l promise you l have done no editing to blend the colors more smoothly). I would like to try adding more detail with the Inktense on top next time.
The vibrancy and saturation of the base layer meant that far fewer pencil layers were needed. This saved a huge amount of time but l do miss the subtlety of only colored pencil layers and the texture that can be seen from many layers of pencil in real life.
My other issue with Inktense is that they are not light fast rated which means l would be unhappy to sell pieces drawn using these pencils.
However, after a second attempt with these pencils l feel that l should have further experiments with them. They are a very unique and interesting pencil to work with. And l am really looking forward to trying them again.
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