Monday, October 10, 2011


I had not been drawing in what feels like ages, so when my big box of inktense pencils arrived I figured it was time to get out the sketchbook and play a little. This weekend I found some time to do this.

I made a fantasy landscape with some big flowers in the foreground and a little town on the horizon. I made the drawing with two drawing pens, one with a medium point and one with a brush point. After the drawing was done it was time to ad the color and what better way to do that than with my brand new inktense pencils. I started coloring the hills and sky first and that led to this:

I must say that I liked the effect of the black and white on all that color so much that I was very tempted to leave it as it was right then. But of course my artistic inability showed. I mean my inability to leave white spaces or just spaces of any kind if I can help it. I am in total awe of people who can do that, you know: minimalists and those that say that less is more. I can say it and I believe it, but I can hardly ever apply it. But just to compare which was best I decided to at least take a picture of the half colored drawing.

And then it was back to coloring with my pretty pencils. Full color this time! By the way all the colors were wetted after applying them to paper, to really make them pop. Here's the final version of the drawing:

I think I do like the full color one better after all, but frankly it's a close call. There's something different about the half black and white one that I might like to explore in future drawings. Tell, me blogsy people, which version do you like best?

In working with the pencils I found out that the Derwent people have not exactly been very precise with the labeling of these pencils. By that I mean that the color on the pencil is not always representative of the color of the pencil. So I decided to make a color chart for the pencils in my sketchbook.

I drew a circle for every color and colored them in and then wetted them, so I would get the full color, cause the colors are not so bright until they are wetted. I put the number and name of every color beside the circle, so I would be able to find it again in the box. And by doing this I found out that in naming the colors the Derwent people were a little off sometimes too. For instance 'light olive' is anything but light.

In fact if you look at the color chart you may agree with me that apart from the yellows (and the white of course) there's not really any light colors at all. Even the yellows aren't really light if you look closely. This I found a little disappointing.

It seems the Derwent people think that light and intense don't go together. But to prove them wrong I wish they would just take a look at acrylic paints or the beautiful Neocolor II  watersoluble crayons. Instead of all those dark browns in the second column from the right I would rather have invested in some cool pastel colors, some light blues, greens, reds and pinks. I would also love some light greys. In a box with 72 pencils I expect more diversity in color and the funny thing is that I also have their big box of colorsoft pencils and there the color range is fantastic.

So, Derwent people, if you ever read this: I love love love your inktense pencils and I am by no means sorry I splurged on the big box, but if you want to make me really happy, make an extension set or something in light colors. I think I will not be the only one you will be pleasing with that.

On a very different note I want to tell all of you how happy I am with all the responses to my butterfly book giveaway. To know that so many of you would like to own it just rocks my world! Thank you!
For now I wish all of you a wonderful and artsy week!

Tuesday 11 October - Afternote
I have sent a link to this blogpost to the Derwent people. I'll let you know if they respond.

a short while after that:
Wow! I must say kudo's to the Derwent customer service! They responded very quickly. I like that.
Here's what they had to say:

Dear Carin

Thank you for your email and the link to your blog; your review is
great. The Inktense range is designed to be bright and vibrant. You can
achieve more paler/subtle shades by applying less colour to the paper
and diluting it more by adding water. We have no plans to change or
extend Inktense at the moment but if you would like more lighter/paler
shades then I would suggest using Inktense with our Watercolour Pencils.
Our Watercolour range has 72 different colours that are lighter/paler
than Inktense and both of these ranges work well together. Please visit
our website where you can find out more about our Watercolour pencils
and download a colour chart.

If you have any more questions let me know.

Many Thanks

(I left the name of the writer of this mail out for privacy reasons.)
I had kind of expected this answer. I replied (after thanking them for their quick response) that I choose the Inktense pencils because they are waterproof after washing, which can not be said for watercolor pencils. I also hope they will change their minds about the lighter colors. Who knows, maybe someday they will. Keeping my fingers crossed. ;-)


  1. Caatje, ik zou zeggen stuur een mailtje naar Derwent want je hebt absoluut gelijk wat het ontbreken van lichtere kleuren betreft! Mooi zijn ze overigens wel....

  2. I like the full color version best...but it's a close call!!! LOVE them both.
    And...if I were you, I'd copy and paste the Derwent info and email it to them with a link to your blog. Never know what might happen.
    How do you wet the colors?

  3. I have some of these, the smaller box and like them but can't say I've used them much. I love your picture though! And I may like actually prefer it with white. Great creative job either way!

  4. The white flowers is where I place my vote there is a nice contrast. I completely agree not only Inktense but most materials need charts. I use Copic markers and Prismacolor pencils and run into the same problem.

  5. Supermooi! Ik ben benieuwd naar wat je verder gaat maken.

  6. Wow! What a gorgeous drawing! I am a fan of the full-color version. I just think it's so gorgeous. Great color chart, too, by the way. Interesting observations regarding no light colors...I would definitely contact the company about what you feel is lacking in their set.

  7. You know I'm a sucker for color charts, so I enjoyed seeing yours. Plus, this has been on my wish list for a while. I have about 4 of these pencils I bought individually to try out. When I find a good deal on a set, I will snap it up, because I love them. Sometimes I take a wet brush, wipe it on the tip of a pencil just to add shading to something.

  8. Laura: ik ga voor de wit uitgespaarde versie. ik hou van het contrast
    altijd een goed idee om dit in je journal als voorbeeld te maken.. het geeft een beter beeld van hoe de kleuren werkelijk zijn..en het is altijd weer een mooi gezicht ;-))

  9. Slim inderdaad... en dat was me ook al opgevallen, de roze (crimson) is lang niet zo roze als hij op het potlood is inderdaad, meer rood. En zo ook met de andere kleuren. Goed idee!!

    xx Tessa

  10. I like the first painting best although it was a close thing!
    Interesting to see your colour charts...lots of nice bright blues there. I hope you'll show us some more work with your new pencils?

  11. They are both very good, but I think I prefer the white flowers. That is really eye-catching! I'm glad you thought to copy it!

  12. Lovely designs, and such a fun way to play with colors. I much prefer the top one if I have to pick, but yeah it's smart to have varieties and options

  13. Hi! I discovered your blog because I was looking for color charts for this product line. I wanted you to know that I found your color chart circles to be very well done and particularly helpful in my deciding which blocks to purchase. Thanks!

    1. Glad they were of help to you. Thank you.


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