Derwent is a famous UK manufacturer of art materials with a heritage dating back to 1832. The company name is a synonym of quality products across a wide range of art categories. Regardless of the stage of your creative journey, you’ll always find world-class supplies for artists at Derwent.
In this post, I’m reviewing Derwent Inktense pencils that have drawn my attention by their unique characteristics and remarkable coloring effects. This is a popular choice among artists who specialize in cartoon graphics and animation and for people who prefer expressive and bold drawings.
Best Derwent Inktense Water-Soluble Pencils
The media come in different packs that allow meeting individual artistic requirements. Users can buy a 6-pencil starter pack or enjoy a collection of 72 shades.
Features of Derwent Inktense Pencils
The Inktense series from Derwent offers unique coloring tools. They are designed for artists who prefer watercolor effects and need to add more intensity to their artworks. The instruments are highly pigmented and used in combination with water. Due to intense color pigmentation, they are suitable for detailed work as well.
The media can be used on any type of surface – paper and fabric (cotton canvas, silk, etc.). They show supreme lightfastness. This means the colors don’t fade fast when exposed to light. To prevent professional paintings from fading, you should use some sort of UV fixative that will help protect your artworks.
The pencils are suitable for both wet or dry applications, which doesn’t affect the lightfastness rating. By adding water, artists can achieve a gorgeous watercolor effect because liquid adds vivid shades and an inky gloss. Due to bright and rich colors, these tools can be used in animation (for example, for drawing or coloring manga, anime, or cartoon characters). It can be a potential drawback for users who want to create light shades. Hence, if you need a lighter hue for your illustrations, use a different type of colored pencils.
Aside from getting intense colors, artists have the ability to blend the colors easily and apply them over a large area.
The pencils feature a deep blue barrel with a colored end for easy shade identification. The specific information is stamped in gold on the barrel (the type and the color of the pencil). The tools come with a 4 mm core and an 8 mm external barrel, which is round.
The soft lead core is a water-soluble binder with an ink-like texture. The media are easy to sharpen, but they are easier to break than oil-based media.
The pencils have a long shelf life. Also, these coloring instruments are available in blocks.
The manufacturer sells Inktense pencils in various collections – 6, 12, 24, 36, 48, and 72-pencil sets. These are good offers because artists on a budget can buy a smaller kit to test the media. The set of 24 colors is one of the best-selling.
Each pack includes a color chart. The larger sets include a white pencil as well. You can make your own color swatches with both wet and dry sample strokes rather than relying on the pencil end that tells the color.
Those users who are not satisfied with a color selection can blend the colors for creating new shades. Some artists complain the palettes don’t include light shades. This is true since there are lots of pink, orange, and yellow hues. There are no color skin tones, but using a combination of white, orange, yellow, and pink, you can achieve the colors you’re looking for. Practice a hue on a paper sheet before putting it on a painting.
Derwent Inktense vs Watercolor Pencils
It is important to understand the peculiarities of the Inktense series vs regular watercolor pencils from Derwent. Actually, the Inktense media include water-soluble ink that becomes permanent after you put it on the surface and activate it with water. However, the paintings do have a watercolor look. When the colors dry, you can put other layers without lifting the previous ones.
On the other hand, pencils from the Watercolor series are similar to the Inktense media, but they are non-permanent. Besides, they look less intense after they are applied to the surface.
Design of Packaging
Smaller pencil sets are available in cardboard packs, while larger color selections come in metal tins or wooden boxes. This type of packaging is good for displaying all the media and arranging them in any preferred order. The tools in tins are arranged in plastic trays with individual slots. They prevent the instruments from breaking during transportation.
There are some sets that include a water brush, a paintbrush, a spritzer, or a pencil wrap.
Quality of Drawing and Durability
After these Inktense pencils dry, they remain permanent. So, it is important to apply the colors carefully and lighten or blend them while they are wet.
You can apply them dry directly on the paper and then add water, or you can make a mixture using water and a paintbrush. As the pencils are not so waxy, the application is a bit hard when you color them dry. The strokes are strong and highly pigmented.
You can create custom shades by mixing several colors together. After the ink dries, it doesn’t lift up. You can apply another color layer without fear that the two colors blend. If you need a detailed guide, multiple YouTube videos explain how to use, blend and seal the media, and share the secrets of the shading techniques and instructions of using them on fabric.
Pros and Cons
Based on my own experience and thoughts of other users, I’ve highlighted here some advantages and disadvantages of the Inktense pencils.
- The colors are intensive
- Good at blending
- Suitable for coloring large areas
- The sets in metal tins are a good gift idea
- Affordably priced
- Can be used on various types of surfaces
- There are few light colors even in large sets
- Require careful sharpening
- Look dull on paper if used without water
- Due to a round shape, the pencils can roll off the desk
- Some pencil points don’t look like the colors put on paper
Best Place to Buy Derwent Inktense Pencils
The best place where to buy these amazing pencil sets is Derwent’s official website. There are other online vendors specialized in art supplies and materials that offer these media for sale as well. You can find them at the best price in craft stores such as Hobby Lobby, Michaels, Dick Blick, Joann, Office Depot, and others. Large supermarkets like Target and Walmart and huge traders like eBay and Amazon offer multiple options often at the lowest prices.
The Derwent Inktense pencils are exceptional coloring tools that allow you to achieve unique watercolor effects with extreme intensity and brightness. As they belong to mid-priced art supplies, you can have them in your collection as a support for a traditional watercolor pencil set. They are great for making a spectacular visual and considered the best in the business, but they can be too vivid for regular drawings.
- Derwent Pencils Inktense– https://www.derwentart.com/
- How to Draw with Inktense Pencils – Lesson Excerpts – https://www.youtube.com/
- Coloring Fabric with Inktense Pencils – https://www.youtube.com/
- Derwent Inktense Pencil Review+Tips and Tricks on Layering – https://www.youtube.com/
- Quick Tip – Derwent Inktense Pencils – https://www.youtube.com/
- Colouring Tutorial: How to Use Inktense Pencils – https://www.youtube.com/