Bluebird of Happiness in Inktense Watercolor Pencils (and 100 Face Challenge #67)!

In yesterday’s post, we took a look at Derwent’s Graphitint line of water soluble pencils, which is ideal for subjects in the natural world, because water-soluble graphite is included along with colored pigment in every pencil. Welcome to Inktense, Derwent’s vibrant line of water soluble ink in pencil form!    Thanks once again to Kathy at Backyard Bird Nerd, for her lovely bluebird image that allowed me to sketch this beauty’s head closeup, using only three colors from the set!

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I find watercolor pencils a quick, fun, and easily portable way to enjoy art anywhere.   Simply sketch your subject as you would with a pencil, liquefy with a brush, and you can be on your way in no time.    Pigment lifts much like watercolor, with a dry brush or a bit of paper towel.    The interesting thing about Inktense pencils is that they are made with water-soluble ink.   This means that once they are liquified and have dried, they are now permanent on your surface.   So if you’d like to layer on top of them with more Inktense or, for that matter, any other medium, the underlying layer will not move on you.   This is a nice bonus when you’re used to working with watercolor!

Inktense Tray One

For a better buy per pencil, the sets start at 6 to a pack and go all the way up to the full range of 72 pencils.   They are also available open stock, so if you’d like to try them without buying a whole set, browse my color charts for colors that look good to you and build your own set with singles!    The best per unit deal of all of the sets at Blick right now is the set of 24 for about $26.    The colors are very vibrant, so a little goes a long way!

Inktense Tray Two

These pencils work well with so many different kinds of subjects, and I find the ink in these is often more vibrant than watercolor paint.    They are also a lot of fun to use in mixed media work, art journaling, etc.   They also come in block form, and are ideal if you’d like to color fabric, or if you need to cover large areas quickly.   The blocks are also great for mixed media work, and come in roughly the same color range.   (There are a few small differences.)    Are we getting ready for World Watercolor Month?     I’m starting to get pretty excited!   I hope you are too!    I would love to encourage anyone and everyone to come and join us.   Remember, for less than $20, you can pick up a watercolor journal and a small watercolor palette box, which includes paint and a brush, and three mixing wells too!   It does not have to be expensive or complicated to have fun and to sketch in color.    Check out Monday’s post for details!    (Note:   As a Blick affiliate, purchases from these links help to support my site.)

Can anyone smell a barbecue??   I can hear the band starting to warm up for a lovely Fourth of July weekend and weenie roast!    Who’s with me?   Peace and paint puddles to all!

69 thoughts on “Bluebird of Happiness in Inktense Watercolor Pencils (and 100 Face Challenge #67)!

    1. Thanks, Debi! Boy we are both color (and art supply) addicts! I’m pretty sure there’s a correlation there! Glad you like this little birdie. Kathy’s birds are so expressive. I try to capture their little spirits in their eyes. I may try a painted face for July. Not sure though! And yes, Inktense are my favorite of all of the watercolor pencils. The colors are clear as a bell and so easy to turn out a nice result with them. 💜

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      1. growing up my mom fed the birds in winter; we had our bird books out constantly, so much fun watching and studying them. I love robins, bluejays, goldfinches, + hummingbirds! over here… too many, of too many colors to have favs. You really are able to convey alot, in their eyes Laura! You must have been a bird watching kid too! 🙂

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        1. I was! My mom was the same way and we had bird books too! One of the books had a little plastic record section and you could put them on a turntable and hear the different bird songs too. I just loved that book and I really enjoyed watching the birds. We had a tree book too and we’d identify trees by their leaves and bark. We were always nature nerds, but we totally loved it. Your birds over there are amazing! So beautiful and vibrant. Inktense birds! LOL

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          1. THAT explains, how you are So good with Birds!!!
            here, there’s some tiny birds- blue fairy wren; willy wag tail; pardalotte (sp.)? that are sooo Cute!! willy wags his ‘tail’ its so funny.
            we never had the bird song book! wish we did though 🙂

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  1. That little bluebird takes my breath away! Your ability to capture animals artistically is exquisite. The eyes always give me a glimpse of your tender loving soul and spirit. To create the life in an eye like you do is like a mirror of your beauty.

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    1. Jodi, you are way too kind! What a sweet thing to say, you’re a doll. I do love to draw eyes, I could do that all day because that’s where the spirit lives. Thank you so much, I’m so glad you enjoyed my little birdie. Or I should say, Kathy’s little birdie! 💛

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        1. Thanks so much, from my heart, Jodi. Beautifully said. ❤ I do get a special feeling approaching any animal eye, but particularly dogs and birds. I think dogs first! And then cats would come after birds for me. Something about a dog's eye……haven't sprayed Charlie yet, by the way, and thinking about putting the sketch in a folder and sending it to you that way – or wait until the weekend and ask Hub to spray him for me with the toxic stuff lol. Just love your Charlie; he will probably always be one of my favorite subjects. And again, your photos shine! Charlie=the greatest ❤

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  2. Laura – I LOVE this one. This would make the perfect note card. One day, when you have oodles of free time on your hand, you need to do a whole set of nature note cards with close ups like this one. I will be the first customer!

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    1. Kathy, if I ever do them they will be free to you, as without your photos, I couldn’t do them! Your work is amazingly detailed and your birds, as I always say, have personality plus! They make everyone want to look at them. I have actually thought about doing a series of close ups, and I really appreciate your encouragement in that regard. Would be glad to send you a box on the house! Thank you again. Really glad you love this one so much! I’m not sure that the texture of the paper helped me much with this one. I’m thinking about hot press paper for the next go-round. It is much, much smoother. I’d love to get your thoughts on this, Kathy.

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      1. I don’t really know what hot press paper is, so I will have to compare the two when you use it. I kinda like the rougher paper though – I think the texture is what made me think note card. If you were doing a drawing/painting to hang on the wall then I would think smoother paper.
        And again…I know you are gifted in all kinds of art, but I honestly think anything with eyes is your forte!

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        1. Hot press paper is almost perfectly smooth. You can see the texture in this one, but I don’t think you would on the HP paper. I think the HP would make it easier for me to do any type of detailed work. For wet paint from the palette (vs. from these watercolor pencils), I think a textured paper like this is better because there’s so much more liquid involved. Thanks re: your comment about the eyes. I do think I prefer subjects with eyes to almost anything else. I don’t feel as confident painting things with eyes though, and I’m addicted to color. That’s where I run into a snag. The pencils do help with precision, but I’d love to be able to feel like I could paint any face, and do justice to it. That would be the ultimate, for me. Thanks for your thoughts, I appreciate it!

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  3. Wow, Laura, such a beautiful painting! Inktense blend so well yet are terrific for layering for more detail and depth, like you expertly did in the rust-colored feathers. I love my Inktense pencils and started with the smallest set, but I have added to it slowly with open stock. I am so happy that you are pointing out that art can be approachable and affordable. This medium allows a bit more control, making it perfect for beginners. Happy Wednesday!

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    1. Thanks so much, Carol, and I agree with you – so much easier for the beginner to start with these, or something like them, depending upon how vibrant they’d like their colors to be. Maybe I should go for the trifecta and show my standard Derwent line of watercolor pencils too, which is between the Graphitint and this Inktense line in terms of intensity. Honestly, if I were more talented and practiced, I have seen artists do amazing things with watercolor pencils. But for the beginner…..so much easier than trying to figure out how to mix the colors, etc. Although that’s not really hard either! But it can be a lot to learn all at once. Thanks again, Carol.

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      1. I tried WC pencils at the very beginning but was not happy with the intensity, but I love the boldness of the Inktense. Now I appreciate both of them for different reasons. Mixing colors of paint can be a little daunting, but making a color chart of the colors I had helped tremendously. (I think I spent a whole day on it!). Now what did you tell me about talent???? We all have talents and need lots of practice to hone out skills, or something like that :P. 💖

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    1. Aw, thanks, Michael. I am really not all that good with them; I was just telling Carol that I’ve seen artists (like Cathy Johnson, for one example) do amazing things with watercolor pencils. I’m trying to encourage beginning artists to join us for WWM in July, and, for me at least, wc pencils are a good opener for pans and tubes. Thanks for stopping by and commenting, means a lot.

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    1. Thanks, Dawn! I love drawing dogs too, if you ever felt like sending me a photo of your dog, I could try him/her. Just get a good shot of the eye and we are all good. ❤ createarteveryday@comcast(dot)net if you felt like sending something 😀

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      1. I will post a pic of my little boy dog Larry for you. You don’t have to draw him, but you got to see his pet. If you wanna draw him, his eyes are good in this. I will post it now for you.

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    1. Oh yay! So exciting! Oh, you will love them. Of all of the wc pencils I own, those have had the most use. You really can’t beat the colors and the permanence! And Derwent has a really good name, been around for centuries I think! Hard to go wrong with them!

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      1. Hey I’m curious if you have visited Peta Hewitt’s website or YouTube channel? She has some wonderful Inktense tutorials. La-artistino.com I think you might enjoy it. I’m also curious if you can recommend a decent watercolor set? I’ve been looking at the Sakura field set or the koh I noor color wheel set. Big price difference but I’m looking for a paint that will layer and mix colors unlike the chalky cheap set I have now. Any thoughts?

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    1. Thanks, Snehal! I was wondering what you’d think of the Inktense line. Much brighter than the Graphitints, and then there is another line somewhere in the middle – which was the first set I bought when I started out in art. I may do a bird in those too hehe. They are not as bright as these, and are not permanent when dry as these are.

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  4. You really do paint happiness in your birds, Laura! ❤️ Amazing what you do with Inktense pencils! I have a set of 12 but haven’t used them much. I have the blocks too and do love using them on fabric as the fabric remains soft to the touch and colors stay pretty bright. I also didn’t know you could lift the color before it dries. Thanks for the tip! 😃🎨💕

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    1. Thanks, Jill! I was reading some articles about these today, and apparently they are even erasable before wetting them. That was news to me. Nice bonus! Love the colors in this range. Glad you like my little bird. I mean to say Kathy’s little bird! 🐔🐥🐧🎨

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  5. Gorgeous blue bird, the pencils added some very nice texture to the feathers…another frame worthy piece. Thank you for the information on the Inktense pencils, very interesting. As always, you do inspire, thank you for sharing.

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