They are what they say on the tin, pencils and intense in colour but unlike normal watercolour pencils these are soluble ink and once they dry they are permanent. You can layer over the top of them with other colours and not disturb, or reactivate, the colour underneath. These pencils are great for various surfaces too, wood – not so easy as the wood does need sealing with gesso but can be done, silk – I haven’t tried fabrics but there are plenty of tutorials on line for this and of course paper. I LOVE paper!
With all my coloured pencil art I like to use smooth hot pressed paper, although the colour swatches above have been done on cold pressed watercolour paper so you have the texture coming through the swatches. In fact all the drawings, as they are quick samples in this post have been done on cold pressed papers.
The first thing you notice with the pencils is their translucency, you can adjust this slightly by adding less water but I like to layer my colour and with these pencils you can layer and layer and layer… just make sure the layer underneath is dry before you start layering the next colour. With the illustration above I first drew the outlines in water-fast ink then layered the colour over the top. There are approx 4-5 layers of colours on the face of this dog.
With the set of 72 pencils you get an outliner pencil which is supposed to be water-fast but I did find it was a little soluble when I did my colour swatch in the first image but the little blue bird above did keep many of the sketchy lines. I used contrasting colours to create layers as I was working out how the bright colours lay over the darker colours. As you can see because the Inktense pencils are so vivid this works well. I also did this with a few of the colours at random in the colour swatches, it is worth playing around to see how the pencils react with each other. The one thing I did find is A LITTLE GOES A LONG WAY!! Just a dab with the tip of the pencil will give you lots of coverage. I used only two colours, Sienna Gold and Peacock Blue in the little bird and by using varying amounts of colour and several layers you can create a lovely effect.
As well as prints and cards of a larger size I have been playing with creating bookmarks, pendants (no photos yet sorry) and various other little novelty gift ideas for a fair in October – I can plan for that but am no where near ready for the Glass Flame Off Show in June!
It is no secret I love pencils but I hate watercolour and have yet to master that medium no matter how hard I try, I am a whizz at making mud with the colours but with the Inktense they give you the ability to layer colour without creating mud and gives me the vivid intense colour that I love about glass. I would love to see if anyone uses them on fabric, if you create fabric art I would highly recommend having a go and do post your photos on the Art Element FB page so we can see.