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Secrets for Using Derwent Inktense Colored Pencils

Robert A. Sloan is a San Francisco-based science fiction writer, art writer, art teacher, artist, artisan, and Renaissance man.

Amaryllis, 4" x 6" in Derwent Inktense on cold press watercolor paper, by Robert A. Sloan

Amaryllis, 4" x 6" in Derwent Inktense on cold press watercolor paper, by Robert A. Sloan

Get More Intense Watercolor Applications

If you've ever tried watercolors or watercolor pencils, you'll notice that the colors look a lot stronger when they're wet than when they dry.

The only reason I get bright, fully saturated watercolors now is that I finally figured out how much to overdo it when mixing a wash so that when it dries, it fades to exactly the intensity I want.

Do you know what this means, though? If your watercolor pencil or watercolor paintings are too pale and wishy-washy, one of the biggest ways to get around it is to just abandon watercolor pencils in favor of Derwent Inktense. No matter who tries them, on your first attempt, you will get extremely strong, saturated color from even fairly light applications.

Here's an example of my latest Inktense painting. (It's a painting if the whole thing is washed and all the color dissolved to turn it into a painting. It's a drawing if any part of it still looks like a drawing. This goes for watercolor pencils, pastels, and colored pencils used so heavily the strokes vanish to make it look like an oil painting too.)

About Derwent Inktense

Sometime between 2004 and now, Derwent, an art supply company whose laboratories are full of evil scientists bent on soaking up every last dime of my spending money, kept up their mysterious practice of predicting when I'd have some spending money and creating new types of pencils that no other company on Earth has.

You can draw with them like any Sketch & Wash or watercolor pencils, then apply a wet brush, and the color will dissolve into liquid paint that you can swish around and put where you want using watermedia techniques. But with Derwent Inktense, that only works once.

If it is completely dissolved, it's waterproof ink. Once it's dry, no amount of water is going to lift it off or change it at all. This is a good thing.

It means you can do underlayers and glaze over them without fear that running a brush full of pink over a dark gray shadow is going to turn a murky grayish pink. This is a joy if you want control of your watermedia.

It is a pain if you make a mistake, though, and want to change it. You can't lift Inktense. All you can do is cover it with something opaque or change what's around it to make it look good.

So treat anything you do with Derwent Inktense as if you're inking, and you'll be fine.

When dry, they do erase about as well as other colored pencils.

If you put a lot of it on, it may not dissolve completely, and you may get a surprising amount of pink coming up out of the deep red area that you've gone over several times with different reds.

If you want a light color, don't use a lot of the pencil at all. It helps to make a test strip on watercolor paper. The best surface I've found for using Inktense is cold press watercolor paper that has a toothier surface than Hot Press. It's called Not surface in the UK, where Inktense are from, as in "Not hot pressed."

Unless you're using great gobs of water, though, the 90lb (120gsm) student watercolor paper or All-Media sketchbooks paper is fine, and Inktense usually don't need loose washes to come out well unless you're scrubbing hard to make a loose wash background the way I did on this Amaryllis.

If you go light on the water, you can use them in normal sketchbooks or on cartridge paper (your basic drawing pad paper if you're in the USA rather than the UK).

Moreover, the Inktense pencils, when used completely dry, are a perfect match for the soft texture and blending qualities of Prismacolor Premier colored pencils (aka Prismacolor, aka Karismacolour if you're in the UK and can find them.)

Try the Inktense dry for all the Prismacolor techniques, and you will have a good idea of what the 132-color Prismacolor range will handle when you get them. Actually, it's 180 colors since the 48-color Lightfast range does not exactly match the Prismacolor Premier colors but has the same texture.

Here's an example of using Derwent Inktense dry. It's the same painting I posted above. I scanned it when I finished the sketch. Unlike most sensible artists, I did not sketch in graphite first to know where everything is. I also do ink sketching without penciling under it. This is a personal habit that has resulted in the habit of turning mistakes into serendipity instead of erasing them. I just got used to "play it where it lays" in sketching.

But if you don't draw that way, by all means, get a putty eraser (UK) aka kneaded eraser (USA) because Derwent Inktense erase about as well as other colored pencils (colour pencils), and if you go lightly, you can clean off a line completely with a putty eraser and some patience. It helps to squish it down and peel it off rather than rub on it; rubbing sometimes grinds color in but lifting and peeling pulls it right off.

Amaryllis painting dry on watercolor paper, before any wash is added

Amaryllis painting dry on watercolor paper, before any wash is added

Using Inktense Dry

I was proud of this one. I started sketching lightly, and where I got a line wrong, I just moved the rest of the lines to cover that faint light bit with more color.

At this stage, I had a perfect tonal drawing in color. I loved how it looked as I scanned it and seriously considered not doing anything more with it. I also considered taking a Derwent Blender to it to scrub all the colors together dry.

Derwent also makes a hard burnisher which is a clear pencil with no pigment in the binder that's used for Derwent Studio/Artist colored pencils and a blender, which is a colorless pencil made with the softer binder used in Derwent Coloursoft.

I told you, their labs are evil. They make more different varieties of pencils than any other company I've heard of, and any time I want something else, Derwent tempts me with a new must-have pencil that doesn't exist in any other lineup. Only they make colorless blender pencils in two textures, though you can also use a Prismacolor Colorless Blender or Lyra Splender Blender with the same pleasant effects.

That'd produce a textureless colored pencil painting. If you blend out all the little specks and dots of color into a smooth, waxy layer so the strokes don't show, that's another technique that can be used with just about any colored pencil.

Going over it in lots of layers first is a good idea. So is blending over light areas with lighter colored pencils. If I meant to use that method on this, I'd probably have taken white or cream or light pinks to the lighter areas and layered them before trying a colorless blender.

You can also burnish with a cardboard blender, called a tortillon or stump, to smooth out color and blend it into white areas for a very light, smooth finish. This works with any type of pencil.

This dry tonal drawing is the same as any dry tonal drawing done with a soft pencil. I went over the darkest areas more than once rather than just going heavy and only pressed hard into them after I had other layers on and knew that was where I wanted it darkest.

That's a secret of pencil work in general—don't go hard. Go light to medium until you know where you want your darks. You can change your mind easier and lighten it with the putty eraser if you go lightly.

Because the cold press paper has peaks and valleys on its surface, the strokes break up, and white flecks show except where I put lots and lots of medium to heavy layers. That makes a stippled effect that's beautiful just as it is, which is why I thought of this as a perfect tonal drawing in itself.

I was afraid to put any wash on it at all because I could ruin it and lose how beautiful this version came out. But I gritted my teeth and told myself that I could actually just draw it again if I ruined it, and it'd still come out just as well, if not better.

Then I moved on to my first stage of wet effects. That's when I found out that I goofed.

First washes on the stem and background of the Amaryllis

First washes on the stem and background of the Amaryllis

My Big Mistake and How to Avoid It

My big mistake was that I didn't just draw the outlines, including the outline of the shadow area with the gold colors I used for the background, and then wash that background, painting the flower from the negative space. I could have done a preliminary sketch to have that outline perfect and know where to fill in the background.

Or I could've done the flower first, then its shadows, then its background washing after each color area. But I had to draw the whole thing in all its colors in a perfect tonal drawing because I'm overconfident, and I've been drawing for 40 years or more. I trusted I'd be able to paint around different color areas even if I wanted a soft blurry edge into the next one, but I didn't want those dark gray shadows blurring into the golden wash dark areas away from the shadows.

So I picked up my Derwent waterbrush, a nylon watercolor round with a reservoir in the handle, incredibly useful for any kind of field sketching or sketch and wash or outdoor watercolors or just laziness when doing watercolors, and very carefully painted around everything that wasn't the blend of three different goldish colors crosshatched on the background. Painting around my signature was particularly hard, and I didn't get it perfect. Once I went back and did that, it blurred out into some of the gold stuff.

I really should've waited till the background was done and dry before signing it.

But it didn't come out too bad, and I managed to keep that intelligible.

Wash over each color area separately!

Within a color area, start by washing the lightest part of that stem, leaf, or petal first. Then work toward the darkest. A little color will get pushed by the tip of the brush, and that's fine to push from lighter to darker. It helps the gradient go where it should. Doing it the other way can put a big blob of darker color into your highlights and ruin it.

On the shadows, I held the brush at an angle to the paper with the tip at the edge of the flower at the edge of the gray area, then moved it along the shadow where the wet brush covered the full width of the shadow. This meant water saturated the outer looser edge and overlapped the last bits of gold that I hadn't wetted because I was so careful going around it. It also created the soft edges to the shadows I wanted, as color migrated out from the rich shadow area into that swish of wet color next to it.

Yes, that was deliberate and isn't a mistake. The mistake was doing the signature first and not doing and washing the background before doing anything else.

Plan your painting in layers and color areas, and you don't have to be so careful to stay within the lines. If a little background had slopped into the stem or the flowers, I could've gone over it very easily, and if it went under a shadow, it would've been invisible.

I still had to lift the brush away fast once in a while and clean it on a bit of paper towel because I'd touched the edge of a red petal or shadow while doing the background and was about to pull the wrong color out into that irregular varied wash of the background. I managed it, but it took a lot more concentration and would have been brainlessly easy if I hadn't done all the drawing and coloring first.

Try something that's easily within your drawing ability when you first get Derwent Inktense. Maybe do several versions of it on a page and experiment.

There's another secret to Derwent Inktense ink pencils that I didn't use in this painting, but I'll show you the finish again and explain it since that could've made this mistake entirely avoidable.

It was entirely an artistic decision—I didn't want outlines on this painting. But if you want visible outlines, the Outliner makes it easy to stay within the lines!

It was entirely an artistic decision—I didn't want outlines on this painting. But if you want visible outlines, the Outliner makes it easy to stay within the lines!

I Didn't Use the Inktense Outline, but It's Cool!

Derwent includes a very special pencil in the 24 or 72 color sets, a pencil you can also buy separately if you try them with just a handful of open stock pencils or a small set like six or twelve.

Incidentally, the packs of six are great for just putting a few colored pencils in your pocket for hiking and rambles. They're just as strong and great for adding color to ink or pencil sketches in the field. The colors mix as beautifully as any colored inks and the six-pack has good mixing colors—yellow, red, blue, green, brown, and black.

Derwent created the Derwent Inktense Outliner as a resist pencil that absolutely will not dissolve if you put water on it. The mark you make will stay there unless it's erased. It's a waterproof graphite pencil.

It's not ink black for hard stained-glass-looking outlines, which would be nice and I wish they'd do that as a variation on it. It's not perfectly clear as a resist pencil for permanently reserving little white bits or light colors you already laid down—and I wish they'd do one that did that.

What the Outliner does is make a clean strong graphite line like a reasonably dark graphite pencil, somewhere in the mid-soft to soft B range, maybe a 4B or 6B, and it'll stay put where you did it no matter how much water or wash or ink is sloshed over it.

If you did a little broken speckled line with the Outliner it won't dissolve, it'll stay there.

Try a normal HB pencil this way. Just sketch a little and dip a cotton bud/Q tip in water and swish around on it. You will push some murky graphite color out into the white area and if you were doing that with a watercolor brush and some color instead, your pretty colors would turn gray and muddy. The Outliner doesn't.

So this makes for a quick sketch-and-color method for using Inktense, especially if you're doing this plein air and really don't want to spend a lot of time on the piece before getting a good bright color rendering of what's in front of you. Sketch the key points and/or outlines with the Outliner, scribble a little color in between the lines, wash each color area separately and the Outliner lines will become a barrier to keep the thin wash of green from going over into the red and making brown.

It's a beautiful style in itself or has the potential for many beautiful styles. One possible style is to do most of your tonal work with the Outliner, treating it like a pencil drawing, then scrape shavings off the Inktense pencils into palette cups and add plenty of water to make thin light ink washes, paint them in with a watercolor brush and watch the soft colors mingle when shading an area with hue differences and stop short of any strong hard Outliner lines.

The graphite lines aren't dark enough to stand up visually to have heavy darks in deep colors right next to them. That can look funny unless it's the effect you want. Everything you do with these is only a mistake when it's not the effect you want.

If I had signed this with the Outliner, it would not have blurred at all.

It's also just a really good sketch pencil in its own right—one that has that extra quality of being unliftable. I actually bought extra Outliners because they work well with other watermedia and watercolor pencils.

Questions & Answers

Question: I have read several articles about using Inktense pencils on a fabric medium or aloe anywhere from full strength to 50/50 with water. What is your opinion?

Answer: I haven't used them on fabric, have seen it done well, so play with it. Experiment and find out. Then let me know! I think these things are pretty permanent, but I could be wrong. Test it and wash, or try a fabric medium or aloe and then wash.


Chris on December 02, 2019:

What is the difference, if any, between the Derwent Inktense Wash pencils and the regular Derwent Inktense pencils?

diane lake on November 11, 2019:

I love the part about Derwent filled with evil scientists bent on soaking up all my money with interesting pencils...So true.

This is a helpful article on Inktense. I had some questions about them and you seemed to answer them in this article.

I'm a late comer to Derwent. I have other brands and did not really pay much attention to Derwent until recently and I fell hard for them. I love their colors and innovative pencils.

cherisw on January 03, 2019:

Really helpful article, Robert. I've had my large Inktense pencils set for a couple of years, but this article is the first to really help me start to appreciate the possibilities for using them with other mediums. Now I am going to search for anything else you have written because I really like your style. Thanks!

Jane Lemley on June 13, 2018:

Thank you for the great article on using Derwent Inktense Pencils! It is the best article I have read to date! If you have any thoughts on using on fabrics, I would love to hear it!

Elaine on May 30, 2018:

I regret buying these waste of money far too intense not subtle its hard to control

Judy Zuchetto on December 09, 2017:

They work great on fabric Use fabric medium and use water to dilute 1/3 water to 2/3 fabric medium . Water alone will bleed. Its lots of fun to mix the colours on the fabric then add the liquid.

Pamela Wagner on November 26, 2017:

Could you use a good regular wax-based pencil for this outliner resist effect?

Janet Hammond on November 12, 2017:

LOVE the Derwent post, thank you so much for this! I love the Derwent brand too, not withstanding that I was born and have lived for the whole of my 60 years in the beautiful English Lake District - home of the Derwent company. You are right to say that Derwent are fairly new to the watercolour market, but the pencil company itself has been going in Keswick since 1832 (under various names throughout the years), and they are surely the experts in the pencil and coloured pencil field - they know everything there is to know about this medium so it isn't surprising that their labs are so innovative.

Werner Kasel on July 23, 2017:

Very informative and useful. Well Done. Thank You.

Trisha Downie on July 17, 2017:

Loved reading your post. Haven't tried them on paper but use them on fine count cotton fabric. Tricky but vibrant colours , such fun even the mistakes !! on March 27, 2017:


Victoria Walker on December 27, 2016:

Having just started with Inktense, I found this article very helpful.

I have experience with prismacolor so it is nice to know that this can transfer over while I play with and experiment with this new medium. Thank you for making it informative and easy to follow.

Bunky on September 24, 2016:

You can make sure that Inktense pencil ink doesn't spread into other colors, but coating the section with aloe Vera fell, then blending colors while it's wet. The color stays within the parameters of the aloe Vera and blends very well that way.

BOB JACOBS on September 12, 2016:


anne darr on August 28, 2016:

my fav art medium, so far. Thats 30 years worth of trying it all. oil pastel or plain ole crayons would be nice resist as well as the Outliner. fun to put over tissue collage and see it creep under the tissue for one of a kind designs. yes, i'm in love and using household to build up my supply.

anne darr

Irene Piggott on August 13, 2016: do they work on fabric

Mary on August 02, 2016:

Thank you for this analysis of intense! I've had them for a while and had a little trouble using them. I didn't know that the outliner was actually a resist. That will come in handy for highlights. I'm loving the colors. I found your write-up extremely helpful! Thank you.

Rover on November 14, 2015:

Wow! I've had a few of the Inktense pencils (about 25) for awhile, but never was satisfied with what I did with them. I have the full range of the Derwent Studio, watercolor pencils and some Colorsoft. However, after reading the pointers/ techniques, and trying out a small piece, I found them to be wonderful! Will be heading out to the art store tomorrow to pick up as many colors as I can. (They don't carry the full line except in sets.)

Thank you for all the information.

Millie King on June 15, 2015:

Well I know that this an older thread, however I am new to Intense and really don't know anything about application techniques using these ink pencils. I sure could use some pointers as I am eager to get going.

Sara on February 18, 2015:

I buy a few extras bascuee it seems like some things get lost through the year or used up before the year end. I also like to buy a bit extra for supply drives that some stores have to help children who can't afford all their supplies.

Joy Lowell on August 06, 2014:

This is really helpful. Thank you.

Kate Bull on June 27, 2014:

Good review. I purchased these pencils along with the Inktense blocks when they were first introduced at an art show in Birmingham UK. I have also been lucky enough to go to a workshop day for Inktense pencils at the Derwent factory in the lake district. I use them for all sorts. They can be painted, using water colour techniques (although the blocks are best for that) and used in acrylic paintings, although it does depend on the acrylic paint. They mix very well with acrylic folk art type of paint. I love them.

Lynsey Hart from Lanarkshire on January 28, 2014:

Great hub, think I'll be investing in a set! Perhaps you should include an ebay or amazon link to the product in your hub? I definitely think your examples would inspire a lot of people to buy and try them!

Hugo Furst from Australia on November 25, 2013:

Just what I needed to know! Thanks for writing this hub, pal.

Voted up :)

Bev G from Wales, UK on March 06, 2012:

Great review, thank you. I bought a few single crayons a few years ago and loved them. I recently purchased the full 72 set and still love them apart from one thing... the range of colours is slightly disappointing. Very few lights and many of the hues are so close to each other that the difference is barely discernible. I've had to supplement them with other brands.

Shasta Matova from USA on February 05, 2012:

I am back. I wanted to let you know that I have published a hub about the favorite hubs I have read this week, and I have included this hub on it. Congrats! I really appreciate the fact that you took the time to perform different experiments, and showed us how to properly use these pencils.

I also really liked the humor in it. "... Derwent, whose laboratories are full of evil scientists bent on soaking every last dime of my spending money ... " I feel that way about several companies as well.

Shasta Matova from USA on February 04, 2012:

These are great - I have these pencils and am going to bring them out to play with t hem some more!

robertsloan2 (author) from San Francisco, CA on February 01, 2012:

Wow, thank you for all the wonderful comments on this article! I've replied to a couple of them in the discussion but here's a big thanks to everyone who just shared their experience and enjoyed it. Go you! Inktense are fun, have a go and see if you like them.

robertsloan2 (author) from San Francisco, CA on February 01, 2012:

I haven't tried it but I don't think it would hurt them! Give it a try and maybe test it in a sunny window - cover half of a test swatch with cardboard and use the UV spray, then tape the whole thing into a sunny window. Or leave a third of it covered with cardboard to show an Unfaded example of the same swatch between them for comparison. I would be curious about the results of how good the UV sprays are - it's just I don't have a sunny window to try it, I've got a dim light well.

robertsloan2 (author) from San Francisco, CA on February 01, 2012:

Yes, Red Oxide toned with Willow will come out beautiful. Don't limit yourself to one pencil to get skin tone mixes!

They can be created even with the bright colors, using an orange or just a touch of Poppy Red into Sun Yellow with an even smaller amount of Blue will create a skin tone by mixing. Just get all the primaries into it and keep varying the amounts till it comes out right.

robertsloan2 (author) from San Francisco, CA on February 01, 2012:

Flesh tones are best described with a very thin wash of a reddish brown like Burnt Sienna. Experiment with the ones in your set with a very light tonal layer and then wash them out, or pull color from the end of the pencil till you have enough water to get the highlight color. This can be modified with other colors, either muted colors or directly using brights like orange or violet in small amounts.

Remember that skin tones are also affected by the color of the light. This includes reflected color. Someone wearing a pink shirt will have a pinkish glow in the shadows under their chin - if it's a green shirt, there will be just a touch of that color of green in the shadow. Wall color will also slightly tint the color of light, so a very thin wash of the background color over the highlights can help too.

Generally if you have cool highlights, you should warm the shadows, if you have warm highlights, cool the shadows. Yellowish light will have a violet cast to the shadows. So mixing a very VERY thin wash of bright orange-cast yellow to wash over the highlights on skin, then mixing a VERY thin wash of Violet to go over the shadow areas will make skin tones look more natural - on a reddish brown tonal base.

PersonalPencils on March 31, 2011:

I never try to use pencil to color, but I was aware that color pencil is a good coloring tool.. great hub.. I may use this on my still life..

malecai on February 18, 2011:

thanks for the info those were the ones I was going to buy next (or a 24 set of Pablos or more Lyras) - I thought The Outliner WAS going to be ink black and am sooo disappointed that its just graphite - although I am really liking the look of sketches done with 6B or even 8B graphite with white prismacolor (or lyra or polycolor) over top. (Pretty!) I heard that Inktense's colors were super intense and That's why I want them..ever tried Dr.Martin's Spectralite Acrylic Inks? I have one of the sets now Those are intense!

Artlike on November 28, 2010:

Would using a UV spray work for the colors that are not very lightfast? Anybody have any experience doing this?

LorraineB on November 02, 2010:

Such useful information! I love the way you explain things - clearly and completely. I'm not an artist. Even my stick figures would be considered pitiful - lol. I do however use various mediums to color in stamped images and find artists tips and tutorials to be very helpful. Thanks.

potteryperson on October 25, 2010:

Bought Inktense to use on fabric, but signed up to a class which recommended Prismacolour, was lost as to whether I had to buy more, thanks so much for all you've written, it was a big help

Alison on October 02, 2010:

Thanks for such an educational article Robert !

I've been using the Derwent and Prismacolor watercolor pencils in my mixed media, but not always happy with the results. I'll certainly try the Inktense, and follow some of your directions when I experiment.



patty on April 28, 2010:


I too love the Inktense and seem to be getting better and better with them. I have found a light wash of red oxide covered with willow makes a great skin tone. I have also found it useful to scribble a small swatch of the colour I am using on a scrap of watercolour paper, wet my brush and then load my brush by rubbing on the swatch. I find this gives me better control of the colour and eliminates harsh lines that are sometimes hard to remove. I use the same technique for large areas. It works beautifully. Yhanks to all for the tips.

cathy gillette on March 06, 2010:

Thanks for the info above! Got the Inktense after hearing other people saying how wonderful the colors were. What do you suggest as the best for flesh tone?? I was experimenting with it last nightand kind of mixing a bit or red and yellow and brown on the margin of the picture. Then I would pick up the color with a wet brush, and try to tint the face that way. What sort of suggestions do you have??

Gloria on January 09, 2010:

Jan, I have used them on fabric. However, I have not washed the fabric, as they are used for wallhangings. But I want it as water resistant and UV resistant as it can be. Does anyone have any information on how UV resistant they are?

Jan in NS on January 06, 2010:

Have you tried them on fabric? I have ordered a set and plan on trying some painting on fabric with them and then outlining by thread painting with a sewing machine. I was wondering about the colourfast of them?

robertsloan2 (author) from San Francisco, CA on December 27, 2009:

Carolion, you're going to have so much fun with them. Their properties are unique and they do work well with other watercolor pencils -- put in anything you want to be permanent with Inktense and then throw glazes on top with the watercolor pencils. Be careful when you do wash the Inktense to make sure all of the color is wet though, if some of it hasn't dissolved it may still come up on a second pass.

Carolion on December 27, 2009:

thanks for all the info, I am just about to by myself the BIG box and have found your info so invaluable. I can see these are going to be a great addition to my four or five other sets of watercolour pencils as they have qiute different

robertsloan2 (author) from San Francisco, CA on December 01, 2009:

I think you'll be happily surprised by Inktense. You might also try the Derwent AquaTone woodless watercolor pencils for washes that can be lifted. They seemed more intense than some of the other watercolor pencils, though don't quite get the insane super-intensity of Inktense they're closer.

Try the six-pack if you find it, the small sets in Derwent products have very well chosen colors for mixing and I wind up using them for take-along pencils.

Joseph Attard from Gozo, Malta, EU. on November 29, 2009:

Thanks that's great information. I'll have to try Inktense because my ordinary watercolor pencils give out rather faded colours, even when washed.

robertsloan2 (author) from San Francisco, CA on September 10, 2009:

Leslie, thank you! I have a pad of Yupo and I've considered trying it with colored pencil. It seemed to have enough tooth that it would work. I know it'd work liquid, but it's great to know it'll work dry as well. I'm going to have to try them. Watercolor comes out so bright on Yupo that it would be very similar using Inktense or watercolor pencils.

Lifting is very easy on Yupo too, it's fun stuff.

Leslie litt on September 09, 2009:

I just tried this set of ink pencils on YUPO, 100 % Polypropylene paper. It worked great. If you do not know op this material, nothing is permament on it so if you make an error you can wet it off. It will leave a light stain but that can be painted over it. It gave a great watercolor effect like you would have on watercolor paper with watercolors.

robertsloan2 (author) from San Francisco, CA on May 22, 2009:

Thanks! They are a lot stronger than any watercolours I've ever used. The only thing I've ever painted with that's comparable is ink -- if you paint with things like the Winsor & Newton Drawing Inks in colours it's about as strong.

Good luck on your Hubchallenge! You'll do it. You've gotten far enough now that you've got momentum and sometimes it goes very fast with some topics. Different for every writer which one but it's very doable. I dropped back to 30 and declared it done because my moving to Arkansas just went into high gear, I'll have too many days when I have no time to write to want to drop it for a week and go back to it. But you go! I'll go check out some of your hubs.

Wayne Tully from Hull City United Kingdom on May 22, 2009:

This is a great example of the Inktense range, I think that these pens are great, I've used them a couple of times now and the results most times look better than actual traditional watercolours painted with brushes.

Good luck with your hubchallenge! I've done 23 so far and then 77 more to go, it's just about pushing to get them done...

robertsloan2 (author) from San Francisco, CA on May 16, 2009:

Purr thank you! Please do give these a thumbs-up when you like them, for some reason they go down in score shortly after I post them and then start going up. Today I'm doing lots of art articles and just grabbing cool finished pieces to write about, so I should get in lots of new Hubs on technique.

I am so happy you're enjoying and using them! Ari purrs at you and sheds Cat Hairs of Inspiration on you.

And the Outliner is tremendously useful with anything wet -- it really will not move no matter what you slosh over it or how hard you scrub. It also erases like a regular pencil.

Rose Herczeg on May 16, 2009:


Thank you for such an informative Hub on the Inktense. I have a set of 24 of these and did not know how to properly use the outliner... that's really neat that it is for resist. I am so glad this is at my disposal now when I need it. You don't realize how informative your Hubs are and I know you have taken great pains to put it all together, to order the supplies, to test them all out. I remember your photos of getting all your stuff together and having the big order of oil pastels coming... I am just soooo thrilled that you have this initiative to continue on with these articles. I will be watching and hopefully creating with the articles by my side. THANK YOU!!!

Purrs and so proud of all you've done. You're amazing! xo Rose