Monday 31 August 2015

Derwent Art Bars, Aquatone, and Inktense

  Last night, I had a bout of creativity at around midnight... And I decided to play around with some Derwent loot. Before you ask, Derwent Art Bars, Aquatone, and Inktense (both the blocks and the pencils) can be bought from Art Friend.

  I wanted to do background washes with the products so that I could tangle on them. I used Fabriano postcards as my support (the paper). It's 300gsm, cold-pressed paper; and it takes watercolours and ink beautifully. I also love these postcard papers because they marry the awesome quality of Fabriano paper with just the right size of a postcard. Plus they even print a few lines and a space to stick your stamps on the back of each postcard. How cute. ^-^

  First up was the Art Bars. Basically, Art Bars are triangular bars of solid, highly pigmented wax-based colours. Their entire Art Bar line is split into four categories- Brights, Pales, Earths, and Darks.  I only have the set of 12, which contained; 

Process Yellow, Tertiary Orange, Primary Red, Process Magenta, Tertiary Purple, Primary Blue, Process Cyan, and Tertiary Green

Raw Umber

Darks: Paynes Grey, Black, and Opaque White

  I'm actually quite intrigued by what the "Mixing Bar" would be like. I imagine it to be like a colourless blender for coloured pencils.  But anyways, I laid on some colour onto the paper. The sticks did stain my hand and fingers, so I had to be careful of where I placed my hand in order to not get transfers of colours onto places I didn't want them to be. The colours washed off my hand with soap and water, though.

You can see the tooth of the paper really clearly.

The Art Bars felt almost like oil pastels. Really creamy. Beautiful vivid colour, even when dry.
And then I added water.

Gorgeous bright colours. The red looked warmer in real life. In the picture it almost looks orange...

  Whilst I let that dry, I did another, this time using the Aquatone. Aquatones are pure sticks of watercolour. (Think "watercolour pencils minus the wood casing on the outside".) I don't have a "before adding water" picture for this piece... But what I can tell you is that the Aquatones felt almost like pastel pencils on the paper- a sort of scratchy, really dry feel to them. The colours they put out are also no where near as vivid as the Art Bars. However, I can imagine building up colour with multiple washes, or making sure that your paper is saturated with colour before adding water to ensure a more solid fill.

This is how the Aquatone looks like with just one layer of colour.
The yellow looks really delicate and beautiful. However, I wanted the purples to look darker.

  I was, however, too lazy to build-up the colours. So instead, I switched to my Derwent Inktense blocks. I have the 72 sets of both pencils and blocks from the Inktense range, so you can tell that I really REALLY love them. The Inktense blocks look like pastels. They're drier than the Art Bars but produce equally vivid colours and they're permanent once dry. 

  I liked the softness of the yellow, so I left it alone. Added purple and pink tones, and...
Ahhh~ So so much better. Look at that contrast!I might do a side-by-side comparison of Art Bars and Inktense blocks some time in the future, maybe.

Note to self: Don't use Inktense blocks on your white study table without laying some newspaper/scrap paper on the table first.. Otherwise you get ink stains that don't wash off afterwards. *sighs lightly* 

  So that's about it for this post. I'll show you how the final art works look like when I'm done. And if I do more of such projects, you'll be sure to see them on here at :)

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