Wokingham Art Society
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Paul Howard demonstration
Inktense Pencil (landscape), 17 November 2009

See more of his work at Art Profile. Contact him at paulhowart@live.co.uk

Webmaster's note: I adjusted my camera before the demo started and was fooled completely when the white lights were all switched off leaving just one incandescent bulb. The white paper now looks too beige. Sorry
You may remember Paul's two previous visits, some years back. He was into night-time fairground scenes then, like the acrylic on the right here.

This time it's something completely different - pencils.

He seems not to bother much about the differences between watercolour pencil brands, but Derwent's Inktense pencils are something different. Once you have moistened the pigment it behaves more like acrylic than watercolour, becoming totally waterproof as it dries. This means that you can apply glazes without fear that the later washes will mix with the earlier ones.

It takes Paul more than a 2-hour demo to do a complete painting, so this time he had already got started.
He had first drawn the outlines for this picture of boats at Samos in ordinary pencil (blunt, so as not to dent the paper). Then the perspective slabs in ordinary insoluble coloured pencil (not watercolour pencil). Last he'd virtually completed the sky with Inktense and started into the hills.

It is possible to rub all these pencils out with an ordinary hard rubber, provided the paper is tough enough to stand the rubbing and the pigment has not been wetted enough to soak in. Bockingford 200lb is good for this - nice and heavily sized.

Just before the demo started he was adding more of what we thought was masking fluid. Not so. Pebeo watersoluble drawing gum is much more forgiving and doesn't damage your best brushes (looks pale olive green here).
Paul flipped the paper over so show how he'd done the sky: wet the paper, lift pigment off the end of the Inktense pencil with a damp brush and paint it in as you would ordinary watercolour. For smaller areas you can make a patch of dry colour off to one side and use it as a mini-palette.

Make sure the paint is absolutely dry before you go in again with another colour, eg some yellow into the whites of the sky.

He was very frequently drying his work, using a craft tool (very hot "hair dryer").
Paul used both Inktense and ordinary w/c pencil but stressed that you can't add Inktense on top of ordinary.

"Take from the box all the pencils you plan to use for a particular painting." "Re-sharpen them frequently, not just to make sure the end is not left wet but also to ensure the reliable point you get with a sharpener."

If you're going to apply the pencils directly to the paper you need practice to learn the different effects you get from dry on dry, dry on wet, wet on dry and wet on wet. You will ususally want to soften hard lines - apply very little water with a squirrel brush and then don't touch it until it is dry.
The sea had multiple glazes, starting with an intense green and then, once there was enough of that, modifying it with some blue. Such glazing give you better control of colour intensity than you would get if you tried to mix it up at the start.

The Trees were done wet on wet, dab, dab, dabbing with the point of the pencil and softening it a bit if it seemed necessary. Lemon yellow was put over the ochre beach to give a sunlit effect. Blue-violet gave some interest to the slabs.

Once the Drawing Gum had been removed the brighter colours of the houses and boats were put on dry and then spread around with a rigger.
Altogether a most interesting demonstration of the overlap between pencil, acrylic and watercolour techniques.

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