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!


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!

Playful Color

Now that our friend Jonas has packed up and moved on, and the sun shines once again, I just felt the need to have a play with some color!   Let the sunshine in!


This is Inktense blocks and Neocolor II crayons, with a little help from a white Gelly pen in my 9×12″ Strathmore mixed media journal.  I’d be very curious what Jill of Jill’s Art Journal and Lin at Breathing Space would do with something like this.    They are wonderful mixed media artists.    Maybe I need to just sit on it awhile?   I’m tempted to add large-ish circles.  In white.   I don’t know.   Would love to know what you all think.

I can’t believe it’s already Thursday.   The week is flying by!    Happy Friday eve, everyone…….I hope to roll out a raptor for tomorrow.   🙂

Redbird …. or not? (#18): 100 Face Challenge

I want to thank Kathy at Backyard Bird Nerd once again for inspiring me with a lovely photo of a cardinal.    I almost didn’t add color to this, but I did think to take a photo beforehand this time.  🙂

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What do you think?   Better with, or without?  It’s nice when we can look back at an image, or see the stages along the way.   I often go into a creative trance and forget to take photos during the process.    I love color, but sometimes those pen lines look fine as is, and the color can be a bit much.   I’d love to hear your thoughts.   I believe this was Graphitint and Inktense watercolor pencil, and a General’s sketch and wash (water-soluble graphite) pencil.   With Copic 0.1 mm fineliner underneath.

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And I hope we are all joining the birds today in whistling a happy Friday tune!    Peace and pigskins (that’s football for my friends outside the States) to all!

Pine Warbler (#16): 100 Face Challenge

If you ever need a bright spot in January, just head over to Kathy’s place at Backyard Bird Nerd, where I was met with yet another stunner last week.

011316Birds were the first thing I became interested in drawing when I got started over a year ago, and I think they are still my favorite subjects.    I got help from Derwent’s Graphitint and Inktense lines of watercolor pencils with backup from a General’s Sketch and Wash watersoluble graphite pencil and a touch of Polychromos colored pencil to finish!    Not to mention an amazingly clear, crisp shot of a wing-ed masterpiece!

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a pine warbler in real life.   Isn’t he a beauty?    Thanks again, Kathy!   Happy Wednesday to all.   May yellow birds of happiness follow you everywhere you roam today!    Peace.

Birdies in my Reader: 100 Face Challenge (#14)

There are many photographers here on WP whose work I’m privileged to see daily, and one of my very favorites is Kathy at Backyard Bird Nerd. Her recent post of three stunning bird closeups had me itching to grab a sketchbook.


I’m focused on faces this year, but I really liked the perspective of the bird in Kathy’s photo, so I sketched a quick outline, then went back with Derwent’s Graphitint and Inktense watercolor pencils to liven it up a bit. I also used a General’s Sketch and Wash water soluble graphite pencil for a bit of depth in the eye and beak.   (I really like those pencils in particular just for sketching with Strathmore’s mixed media paper.   Lovely creamy feel to that pencil.)

I want to thank Kathy for her friendship and encouragement, and for helping me and many of the other artists here out with reference photos for Draw a Bird Day every month! So I’ll be featuring several of her photos this week.    I also want to thank my friends Kerfe and Nina at Method Two Madness for hosting January’s edition of Draw A Bird Day.   If you’d like your artwork to be included in the compilation this month, post a link to your work here.   We like to celebrate our winged friends on the eighth of every month!

Happy Monday, and just think…..the days are getting longer every time the sun rises and sets. Spring will be sprung before we know it! Peace and plumage to all.

Painted Art Quilt (progress post)

I have finally made some progress on my art quilt. You might remember the unbleached muslin panel I painted from this post. I added some layers of pigment to deepen some of the tones since then, cut it into three pieces (a scary prospect at the time), and I’ve finally assembled the quilt top!   (Click on the image if you’d like to see it more closely.)

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It is fairly small right now at 9 1/2″ x 12″, and I’ve added some hand quilting, but I haven’t bound it off yet. Not sure if I should add another border to it?     ***EDIT:   I’ve now removed the sculpture due to early feedback!***  The small white sculpture between the first two panes was made out of Sculpey (polymer clay) and fired, but not yet painted. I’m also thinking of possibly making small seagull beads from Sculpey and adding them to the top.   And might add a funky beaded fringe to the bottom.  Not sure if I’ll stop there or not!   The border fabric is a primarily dark green and blue batik fabric – not black, as it may first appear.   Here is the fabric next to an ivory piece, so that you can see the colors a bit better:

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I’d love to get your thoughts on this. As always, constructive criticism is helpful and most welcome. I would really like to open an online shop before Christmas and sell this kind of thing. I’ve wanted to do it for years, and just starting to feel the urge to really DO it. If you think it needs something added (or subtracted), please do let me know! Thank you so much!   Happy glorious almost Autumn weekend to all!   Peace.

Quick Roses

Just another quick one from my art journal. We had a couple of new little buds, one each on the red and pink bushes. So I decided to sketch them both in ink and go back in with my Cotman watercolor travel palette.


The other rose was my warm-up in Inktense pencil with a bit of watercolor paint added later. That ink definition adds so much!

Happy Thursday to all…..Anyone else looking forward to some fall-like temps?   Can’t wait. Peace.


The peace that passes understanding (Phil. 4:7). That’s what I carry in my heart tonight, for my precious love.

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God bless this little soul, who shared just about her entire life (16 years) with us. Thank you, my love. Thank you for sharing your light with us.


Forever love never dies; it only changes form. We will see you again, sweet child of my heart. Until then, walk in the light, and rest in His perfect peace.

Abstract Kitty Love

I’ve been doing tons of Penny-sketches lately, which has been slightly easier than normal with a kitty under the weather. They do move constantly, but a fraction less when they aren’t feeling so well.


I’ve grabbed a quiet moment here and there to sketch her with an Inktense pencil, and decided to paint this one with my Cotman travel palette later that night, adding a few whimsical interpretations that express my joy in sharing 16 years with my good old sassy girl.

Wishing everyone a wonderful Friday eve, some new dance moves …. and art supplies, too! (Kirk and Charlie, that was pour vous!)    Peace and paint puddles.