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Derwent Inktense Pencils on Watercolour Paper

I’ve had a little play with the Derwent Inktense Pencils on watercolour paper. I won’t win any prizes for my drawing but it does demonstrate how satisfying it is to use these water-soluble pencils.

Tin of Derwent Inktense Pencils

Drawing with Derwent Inktense Pencils

The pencil core (or “lead”) feels quite waxy on the rough textured paper, and the pigment transfers easily. I used two different colours on each flower to see how they would blend together when wetted.

Inktense flowers

Adding Water to Derwent Inktense

When water is applied over Inktense pencil marks, the lead dissolves in the water to make an ink. These ink marks are permanent once they have dried, making the pencils useful for all types of surface decoration. In addition to paper, they can be used on fabrics such as cotton and silk.

Dissolved Inktense pencil marks

The example on the left shows two colours which have been blended with a small amount of water.
The example on the right shows the pencil marks as they are dissolving.


Using Inktense as a watercolour wash

The previous example on the left was allowed to dry and new pencil marks were made over the top. I used a very wet brush over the top of these new marks and created a wash by dissolving the pigment. Note that the original mark has become permanent. This demonstrates how the Inktense pencils can be used to create layers and washes of colour. It is important to ensure that all the pigment has dissolved between layers if you do not want the colours to run into each other.


In addition to the Derwent Inktense pencils, George Weil also offer the Derwent Inktense blocks. These are used in the same way as the pencils and allow for broad strokes of colour to be applied. They can also be used like a watercolour pan by taking the colour directly from the block with a wet brush.

“Painting” the Inktense Flowers

The true ink colours of the versatile Inktense are not apparent until water is added to the pigment. I took care to remove excess water from my brush as I traced over my drawing.

Dissolved Inktense Flowers

The Inktense pigment has dissolved in the water to make permanent ink


Bright Blue & Dark Indigo

The petals on the flower were coloured using Bright Blue and Dark Indigo


Purple flower drawn with Inktense

The petals on this flower were coloured using Dusky Purple and Dark Purple


Leaf colour Hookers Green

This surprising colour is Hookers Green


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