Inktense takes some getting used to, but I’m becoming more and more fond of it as a pencil and paint medium. The pencils can seem overwhelming when water is added because their color is so intense. The blocks can seem difficult to use because they don’t spread out in water like watercolor and they tend to granulate.
Now that I’m spending more time with them both, however, I’m really pleased with my paintings. I can layer colors over other colors and not end up with mud. I can top off an area with pencil to get thin lines and highlights.
I really love the painterly effect, too, especially with this little wren. I put more effort into the background and branches with that one, too. With the crow, I nearly skipped the background, but I focused on creating an inky black with emerald green, gold, and blue highlights.
Yes, it’s a still a bird but at least I broke my streak of posting fountain pen sketches. This time around a used a Wikimedia Commons photo and my Inktense pencils and blocks. I’ve used Inktense a lot but almost always as a background with pastels or colored pencil layered over it. I had forgotten how wonderful they are to use from beginning to end. They layer beautifully, create interesting washes, and the white can be as translucent or opaque as needed–a real treat for someone who’s always struggling with saving white paper for highlights.
I love how this crow turned out and wish I would have gone to the trouble to use better paper with this one.
Some fruit, heavily burnished.
The photo shows a handsome crow. My sketch makes it look a bit heavy.
Most of the animal photos I’ve been using come from Paint My Photo.
Many of my quick sketches are in a Strathmore gray toned sketchbook using a set of Prismacolor pencils bought twenty years ago. They’re no longer made by Berol, so once I use up this set of twelve, they’re gone. And that white is very nearly gone. I have Caran D’Ache Luminance and Pablo sets, so I’m in no way suffering for lack of fine pencils, but it will be sad all the same.
I’ve been surprised at how hard it is to draw deer. I thought they’d be more like horses, but they’re their own thing with huge eyes and ears, delicate legs, and narrow faces.
I used all three versions of Blackwing pencils for these. So far, my favorite sketching pencil is the Pearl, which has a medium hardness. A close second is the regular, inky dark Blackwing, but I use them all and they’ve become my favorite drawing pencils.
I’m trying not to spend more than about 20 minutes on these, but the other day I wondered what it’d be like to do an entire drawing in graphite instead of only using it only in sketches. I’d certainly have to learn how to draw backgrounds.