Friday, January 6, 2012

I N K T E N S E Sketching

I've managed to squeeze in a couple more pages of head studies this week. The first was a page of 16 women's heads, which was then followed by a page of 16 boys' heads. Derwent's Inktense water-soluble colored pencils are great for these kinds of exercises. I can layout a relatively simple application of contour and value, and then, using a water brush, I can gently dissolve and manipulate the pigment as if it were watercolor. The slight advantage these pencils have over normal water-soluble pencils is that they have the permanence of a waterproof ink once they dry. This allows me to go back over them to reestablish values and details that might get lost in during the first pass with the water.

I am working in a Strathmore 9" x 12" spiral bound sketch journal, which comes with a thick, sturdy paper reminiscent of Aquabee's Super Deluxe sketch pads. The main difference is the smoothness of the surface in the Strathmore pad. Although both have an irregular, pulpy surface that I find myself fighting against, even with a well-sharpened Inktense pencil. Fortunately, the surface absorbs light applications of water well, and once dry retains enough tooth for applying more dry pencil work. Although, I am finding that applying the material to large areas may result in patchy areas that look like someone took an eraser to them.

I always welcome the ability to combine the control of colored pencils and the transparency and looseness of watercolors. With practice, I hope to be able to use this unique drawing tools with greater speed and confidence.

No comments: