Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Lovin' Inktense and Circles

I had such a lovely time playing with my Inktense pencils and Sizzix shapes yesterday. I thought you might like to see a step by step tutorial on how I painted my little arty thing.

Inktense pencils are like Watercolour pencils. They dissolve easily when water is added to make beautiful blended watercolour effects. How they differ is that these pencils produce stunning vibrant colours, are very soft and blendable and are permanent when dry on both paper and on fabric. it i also possible to get very subtle colours and shadow effects if we use them carefully and we can explore both of those options in this project.

I started with a sheet of watercolour paper which I cut in half.

I ran both pieces through the Sizzix machine with the circles die and then put the circles aside to use another day. I wanted to use just the negative shapes: the bits left behind.
there is a photo of the Sizzix die on a previous post if you'd like to see it.

If you don't have a circle cutter just draw around a cup, a glass etc in 3 different sizes. And cut them out. You don't have to do this with a knife, a pair of scissors will be fine. It doesn't even matter if bits are missing. I cut around the outside edge of one of the pieces and tore around the edge of the other.

With some white glue or a glue stick glue all the pieces in layers onto another piece of watercolour paper making sure that there are some interesting spaces between the shapes.

I've also added a panel from another Sizzix die. I love these for adding some small intricate details to the piece.

Be careful not to let the glue seep through to the front if you can because the pencils wont work over the glue. However you sometimes get interesting effect when this happens, and you will see this on mine I'm sure.

OK, we are ready to start adding the colour! Grab your pencils and a brush and a little pot of water.

I've started with one of the 'holes' at the bottom of the page. I usually stat with a slightly darker colour at the bottom because it 'grounds' the artwork and gives it a bit of weight.
I've drawn around the inside ridge of the circle with Light Olive and Iris blue pencils. The joy of the Inktense is that they blend as you go so we maximize on this by adding more than one colour each time to give us joyous lively colours.

Now I've added water. I have started on the outside and am blending inwards. This gives a lovely shaded 3D effect to our circle. VERY importantly, my brush has very little water on it.
This allows the pencils to dissolve more slowly and blend properly and give a much better result.

Next I did the circle next to it in pinks and purples. I blended that and this time I used the colour that was left on my brush to colour around the circle too. From now on, I am going to use that left over colour to add to my background and dilute it further till all the colour is gone. Each time I have a new colour it will add to the rainbow effect.

I want to show you a slightly different way to add blended colour  now. This time we are going to start with one colour in the middle and another around the edge.

Then we start blending from the inside out!

It's coming together isn't it? If you keep to a colour scheme it will all look harmonious. Mine are all in the pink and purple family with accents of green and yellow.

Now for the little lacy panel...

So that's it so far. The basic colouring is done. On the next blog post I will show you how to add shadows and details.


  1. Thanks for sharing this, looking forward to the next one. The lichen piece below is just lovely!

  2. Thanks so much Emma. The next one is coming up very soon.