Colouring with Inktense – Flat Colour

The pencils that I primarily use are Derwent Inktense, these pencils can be used dry just like regular colouring pencils you can also use water and a brush after putting the colour down to bring out the really vibrant ink tones. The colour is also fixed with water, making them permanent and can then be worked over further or even used on a variety of surfaces.

Onto Colouring

Pencils work best if you don’t apply too much pressure and build up layers of colour.

The four colours I used on this piece were;

I also use a blender pencil or a water brush.

Starting with field green I apply a light layer to both blades of grass following the direction of the line art. I then applied a second layer to the blade of grass that is further in the background, this gives the impression that there is light and dark areas to the piece but keeping all the areas of colour as flat colour.

Next using leaf green I follow the line of the stem and the leaf, while the stem is mostly straight the leaf has a definite curve to it, following the natural shape of an area will give even flat colour a defined shape.

For the centre of the flower a simple yellow, as this is naturally quite a light colour I used three layers of colour to intensify it, colouring in a circle to follow the shape.

The main petals of the flower are all done in thistle, because of how I am used to colouring with promarkers I still work in logical sections, firstly the petals at the front. For these I used just one layer of colour and kept the strokes of the pencil linear to follow the crease line in the centre of the flower.

Onto the petals at the back and I used the same principle as I did with the grass blades, two layers of colour here make the rearmost petals darker and appear in shadow while still having an even colour within the area.

While you could say at this point the colouring was complete because of my light application of colour the tooth of the paper has left a texture to the colouring making the tone appear lighter that it should be or look incomplete.

Rather than add extra layers, which could end up more time consuming, or use more pressure to begin with I finish all my pencil work either with a blender pencil or water. This smooths out the colour and provides an even finish.

Finishing with a Blender Pencil

The blender pencil is incredibly easy to use. Colour each area of the picture with the blender pencil as you did with the coloured pencil, between each colour make sure to wipe off any pigment that remains on the blender pencil on a black sheet of paper or it will transfer into the next colour. If areas remain where there are gaps in the colour lightly go over with the blender pencil again but colouring in a circular motion. It can leave you with a wax bloom but it will just blow off. I always blow this away as if you sweep it off with your hand it can add pressure to it which will cause smudges.

Finishing with Water

You don’t need a lot of water, just a damp brush is enough to work areas in colouring books, with your brush lightly go over the area you have coloured, the pigment will go ink like and give an even coverage. As you work across an area the pigment will gather in your brush and leave a slightly darker area where you finish so when I work with water I make sure I finish the brush strokes at the base of an area, or in a place where shadow might happen.

Both methods give a different appearance to the finish. More layers of base colour leave a more vibrant colour after finishing.

using derwent inktense coloured pencils

final stages of colouring with derwent inktense pencils

The methods of colouring can be applied to any coloured pencil, though not all work with water and it is normal that with other water colour pencils the final colour is not as vibrant as with the inktense.

Happy Colouring

A Trip to the Pencil Museum

pencilsI’ve been a bit quiet as we took a trip up to the lake district last week for the half term holidays. But I won’t bore you with all the other details of our holiday but on Thursday afternoon we popped up to Keswick to visit the pencil museum.

A Pencil Museum?

Yes, a pencil museum. Keswick has a long history of making pencils, in fact the Cumberland Pencil Company were home to the very first pencils after a discovery of an abundant graphite mine. Now known as the brand Derwent.

The museum isn’t huge but it does make for an interesting family afternoon. A family ticket costs £12.50 (or if you buy a family yearly pass for £17.50 you also get 10% off in the shop) As we were visiting during half term there was a quiz for the kids to complete and children’s workshops running through out the day.) There was a parking charge too as the car park is run by the council but the museum do discount your entry by £1.50 on presentation of the stub from the ticket.

Walking in the museum goes of to the left and the shop to the right, as I was waiting in the queue I saw the wall of books, a whole wall of books and it was huge. I spied Enchanted Forest and Animal Kingdom as well as some titles I had not seen before.

First the museum though. My lad had his quiz sheet and I told him he had to find all the information himself, I wasn’t going to help. After some initial complaints of not being able to find things, he did rather well and managed to complete the whole quiz.

elephant pencil sculptureEach of the sections had large displays with very easy to read information, though I have to admit I wasn’t that taken by much of the process of making pencils. The secret map pencil was rather interesting and I also found these beautiful pencil sculptures.  I spent a while looking at these, though the elephant was my favourite. There was also a Batman one that I had to point out to my husband.

The kids did discover the little colouring table. While my youngest sat in her buggy with the clipboard and a bit of paper and just scribbled my lad sat there very happily, he was only dragged away when they announced a workshop which he happily galloped off to while I browsed the shop.

vintage pencil tinsWhile they were colouring though I wandered the displays again, The worlds largest pencil (over 7ft and yes it is a proper pencil.)  There were also lots of cases filled with pencil collections, including some of the newer commemorative collections and lots of vintage and antique collections too. I loved these ones as they had beautiful lakeland scenes on the tins.

Onto the shop, which is around the same size as the museum section, filled with every type of Derwent pencil and lots of useful accessories. My husband even managed to get me a beautiful wooden pencil box that holds 72 pencils. It was an empty one but now I have the joy of filling it, he also bought me a sketch book and a little intro kit that has a CD of techniques a smaller sketch book and a set of 6 Inktense pencils. My husband was a bit sneaky as he didn’t tell me he was buying them for me, he just appeared with them.

I did buy myself Enchanted forest and a couple of little bits and pieces. My son came out with a set of 12 Aquatone sticks, a water brush and some water colour paper. I was quite impressed with what he learnt from a free workshop and he was equally thrilled with the results. For completing the quiz he also got two coloured pencils, one form the coloursoft range and another from the watercolour range.

The afternoon was certainly enough for us, if we had been there any longer I think it would have just cost us more as I discovered more and more things in the shop.