Sunday, December 13, 2015

Pencil Tips: These are intense, Dude!

Continuing on with tips and reviews for various colored pencils, I present today Derwent's Inktense watercolor pencils. I was given a set of 24, and liked them so much, I ended up buying the big set of 72. (Keep reading for a chance to win that slightly-used 24 count set.)

Normally, I say look at the lead to see what color you're going to get. If that were the case for Inktense, we'd all have been sorely disappointed. The barrels are all blue, and the blip of paint at the non-pointy end isn't a great representation either. The purples, browns, blues - all the leads look a similar drab color, and given a few months start developing a waxy bloom (that doesn't affect their performance in any way) that further mystifies the actual color.

But who cares how they look in the tin. Look what happens when the water hits them! The rainbow comes to life. Except it's not a full rainbow. There are NO SUBTLE colors here. No gentle pinks, no tints of pale green, nothing remotely resembling any flesh colors (unless you are rendering Na'vi). Maybe if you really water them down, you could do it, but these are the wrong tool for that job.

Use them for what they were created - BOLD, BRIGHT, STRONG colors. It will take a bit of practice to learn what pencil makes each shade, but you can't ask for more vivid colors. They behave very well for watercolor pencils, but it will take a little stroking to completely melt the pencil lines on rougher paper. On smooth press or cardstock, the pencil lines are dissolved almost instantly, You can technically use them as regular colored pencils, but you won't see their true colors until they are wet.

Mandalas are a great use for high-intensity colors. This is Mandala #7 from the Peace of Art coloring book.
See the sidebar to order. This was done on the actual paper used in the book: a little ripple, but not bad at all.
Here is another mandala I painted with Inktense pencils:

An important thing to note about Inktense colors - they are permanent. Unlike other watercolors that you might be able to rewet and blot with a paper towel to lighten, no dice here, Once the section is dry, it isn't going anywhere. This can actually be useful! Paint a petal blue and find it needs to be bolder? Wait until dry, then go another round with the pencils, shading a darker blue at the petal base then use your wet brush to ease in the color. This is particularly effective in outlining an edge. Use a wet brush and dab on the pencil directly to get a blip of bright color to fill a tiny area. See those little stamen zingers in the picture above? That's how we do it.

If you are ready to get your own set, I offer two options. The first is a link to Amazon, where you can find all sorts of things. These pencils will also be at Dick Blick and other art places and possibly at a lower price. JoAnns and Michaels might carry the lower count sets. If you've got AdBlock, you won't see my lovely link, but presumably you know how to google.

The second option... as I mentioned, I upgraded after having the 24 count set for a while. I'm going to host a giveaway for my 24 count tin. They are LIKE NEW and will give someone many hours of pleasant coloring (until they become obsessed with more colors and need to upgrade - mwah hah ha). To enter in this drawing, leave a comment here, or on Facebook telling me what your favorite things to color/paint are, or what you currently use, or what you'd like to see in my next coloring book, etc. (An actual comment, not just "pick me.") I'll toss your name in a second time if you share the blog link. I'll pick a name on Boxing Day (Dec 26), as that is the fitting time to pass along things we no longer need.

26 comments:

  1. Omgoodness! K first off I thing you are a great colorist. I think I have the makings of one but not the utensils. I also am an artist, have three coloring books out now, working on the fourth. I would love it if you would check me out and also can I get an extra ticket if I feature you on my page? Facebook.com/vitruvianart thanks!!

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    1. Cool stuff you do! Thanks for the share - absolutely.

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  2. I pretty much enjoy coloring anything, but it varies depending on my mood, and how much time I have. Right now I am using colored pencils and Crayola markers. I recently saw a tutorial on using gel crayons with water to create a water color effect and ordered some cheap ones from Indigo of all places. I can't wait until they arrive. I love trying new things! I have Fibromaylgia so I have a lot of down time, which makes coloring a good hobby for me.

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  3. I love your pictures they are really pretty..I'm still learning how to blend colors...I love to color a variety of things, not sure I have a favorite cause I like so many different things..But I will say I have never tried to color people.. I would love to win these, I only have crayola pencils and I love them but so want to try other kinds.I just don't have anyway to get other kinds.. thank you for the chance to try to win them.

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  4. Very cool. I currently have Lyra pencil crayons and would love to play with watercolour pencils. Thank you for the generous giveaway!

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  5. Wow have heard of these pencils but have never got to use the. I am new to coloring as an adult, so I have cheep pens and pencils and crayons. I've been doing some Christmas coloring and even had our annual Christmas party with a coloring contest! Not sure at this point what I'd like to see more of just like to improve my skills of blending and fading. Thank you so much

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  6. Wow have heard of these pencils but have never got to use the. I am new to coloring as an adult, so I have cheep pens and pencils and crayons. I've been doing some Christmas coloring and even had our annual Christmas party with a coloring contest! Not sure at this point what I'd like to see more of just like to improve my skills of blending and fading. Thank you so much

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  7. I am new to adult coloring. I just have regular colored pencils and some sharper markers...love the intense colors of these. Thanks for The awesome chance to win!!

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  8. I am new to adult coloring. I just have regular colored pencils and some sharper markers...love the intense colors of these. Thanks for The awesome chance to win!!

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  9. I have a variety of coloring pages I've downloaded (with permission), and a Creative Cats book from Creative Haven. Currently focusing on Christmas pictures.

    I use Crayola pencils, Sharpies, Flair pens and Scribble Stuff gel pens.

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  10. I like coloring animals, mandalas and designs. I just started coloring a few months ago. I'm addicted already. It didn't take long. I use pencils, markers and gel pens. I love vibrant colors.

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  11. My favorite thing to color are geometric patterns, mandalas, and other such designs. I never much cared for anything realistic like animals or cities. I currently mostly use markers, but have been trying (poorly, for now) to learn how to use different types of colored pencils. I bought a few small packs of various brands just to play around with so far.

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  12. I am new to all this new adult coloring and am fascinated by it all. I have started collecting many books (including yours) and now am trying to figure out what the best pencils, markers, etc to get. There are so many it is overwhelming. LOL I would love to have a chance to try these out. They sound fun.

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  13. Oh wow these are amazing.. I would love a chance to win.

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  14. I prefer to color mandalas, zentangles, any tedious patterns that take weeks to finish and the ability to color in any palette you wish without having "real life expectations" for your color choices like most people choose for landscape pictures or other similar coloring pages. I currently use Copic Sketch markers as I can collect them over time (I have to wait until I have coupons for 40-50% off any item in the art store, then buy them in 6 packs :D ) or Sharpie Ultra Fine Electro Pop markers. I really love anything with bright colors!

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  15. I love to color anything from my Enchanted Foresf and Losf Ocean books. I love coloring something that someone has already done beautifully since I am still learning how to pick colors that go together well and someone else's interpretation at least gives me somewhere to start, even if I change up most everything!

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  16. I'm so excited that coloring books for adults are all the rage now! I need to make time to color and practice techniques. You are so kind to offer up your smaller set of pencils. They look amazing!

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  17. Love to color (with crayons)! and with these pencils, it would open up a whole new world for me.....

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  18. I love to color. I will color anything. Animals, gardens, houses, fish...anything, lol.
    Sometimes I use markers to color with or color pencils but I haven't tried using watercolor pencils or watercolor paints yet. I'm not sure if I have the right paper to do that.

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  19. I am new to coloring and am loving it! Using sharpies,crayola pencils and gel pens now. Would love to try the bright pencils.

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  20. New to coloring, just have regular colored pencils!

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  21. New to coloring, just have regular colored pencils!

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  22. I'd love to try the Intense. I currently use plain old colored pencils.

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  23. I like the mandalas because I don't feel as restricted colorwise like I do with animals or nature. I can do whatever strikes me. I use Prismacolors. I love your book. For the next book maybe put the bookmarks on the end so I can tear them off & leave the main page in the book until I decide what I want to do with the finished products.

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  24. I have been admiring your mandalas and reading the colour blog entries avidly. I haven't jumped on the band wagon yet, but seriously tempted to. Part of my reluctance is that I don't have any coloured pencils to use yet..... :)

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