Derwent Inktense Blocks

Featured In / June 2020 ScrawlrBox

We realise you may have never seen or used products like this before so we have put together a few hints, tips and techniques to test out and get the best from these supplies.

 Derwent Inktense Blocks are highly versatile, water-soluble pigments which create a vivid ink-like medium when combined with a little water. Once dried after application, Inktense becomes permanent, which enables you to work over the dry areas without affecting the original layers of colour.

 These satisfyingly chunky blocks produce vibrant and saturated colours, that are extremely adaptable and can be used for a wide range of creative effects. You can use them like pans of paint with a wet brush to gather the pigment or dip the blocks directly into water to apply a saturated colour to paper. They can also be used dry or applied to wet-washed paper for instantly vibrant and intense colour

Things To Try...

~ When Inktense is activated with water, it creates the vivid ink-like colour. However, even though the glow of the colours is most pronounced wet, they can also be used dry and are just as striking. When used dry you can also create more subtle details in your work.

~ Inktense is a very versatile medium and it can be used with many different techniques so be sure to experiment with different tools for some brilliant results. For instance, try using an old toothbrush or an old paint brush to flick Inktense ink onto your artwork. Be sure to use a piece of paper to mask any areas you don’t want affected.  

~ Try washing clean water over your paper before drawing with an Inktense Block. This will give a rich and saturated colour, and bold flowing lines.

~ When dried, Inktense becomes a permanent layer which means it is a perfect medium for layering colour onto it. Once dry, you can layer light or dark colours on top of any coloured base without smudging or lifting any of the previous pigment.

~ The Inktense blocks can be mixed and blended together using a variety of techniques such as cross hatching, layering and rubbing. Your can also scrap of pigment from the blocks and add a small amount of water to create a seamless colour blend.

~ Inktense can also be used on fabrics as well as paper, so if you have any old clothes that you would like to brighten up, the blocks can be used directly onto fabric surfaces.

Notes From The Artist

Alice Coles

I used multiple techniques to create the piece. When I started, I used the blocks directly to lay down the background colours. When laying down with the blocks directly on paper, it’s best to make sure you’re paying attention to the direction of the strokes, as they may still peek through. 

I sprayed the entire thing with a spray bottle of water and allowed the colours to bleed together naturally. While it was wet, I took a damp, clean paintbrush, and used that to blend certain colours and create more detail in the area. 

Once it had all dried, I then used the blocks as paint “pans,” dipping my wet paintbrush onto the blocks and then painting directly onto the paper with the paintbrush. This allowed me to create more subtle, unique colours, and lay down lighter washes of colour with less texture than before. 

I recommend using layers in an intentionally manner, as well as allowing the colours to blend together on the paper.

I used the black pencil to add in detail and depth at the end, and water to blend that in. 

Use a variety of different techniques when creating your work to give more depth and visual texture!

As featured in the June 2020 ScrawlrBox

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