Let’s color! (A quick demo of Intense pencils)

Happy Tuesday! First off I am so very happy to report that I cleaned all day yesterday (yuck) and my house is still clean today (yay!) No thanks to my dog who thinks all of the rainy ditches along the side of the road are her personal wading pools. I can go to my studio today feeling virtuous as I play with paper, beads, paint or whatever else strikes my fancy. That is If I don’t pull something with all of this patting myself on the back, ha ha! Today I am going to share a card I sent to a friend of mine who had her appendix out last week, I thought the colors would cheer her up 🙂

DCF 1.0

I stamped the image with Stampin Up Basic Black (because I happen to be one of the rare birds who like that ink) and colored it with inktense pencils. If you have never used them before they are wonderful, they are a watercolor pencils but super vivid and once you wash over them with water they become semi permanent meaning you can paint over them (gently) and the color won’t lift…watch out for the reds though, they can smear a bit if you are not careful. These are my favorite pencils and they cost about the same as other artist quality pencils. That said you can do the same techniques with any colored pencils just be careful when you go to wash over the colors that you don’t smear everything underneath. Watch the video to see them in action:

With markers being all the rage right now many stampers forget about the humble watercolor pencil but I urge you to try them again (or for the first time!) They are inexpensive vs. markers. One watercolor pencil has 100 times the ink/color as a marker and a pencils costs $1.50 or less vs. $3-$7 for a marker. They blend easier so you don’t need as many colors and they are great for kids too! If you are looking for a less expensive, but quality watercolor pencil set the Karat brand is good and I think you can get a 24 pack at staples for under $20. You can find the Inktence at the big craft stores as well and use a coupon but I think if you want the big set you  are better off checking Blick Art Materials, Cheap Joe’s or ASW Express and see what deals they have going;)

DCF 1.0


To simply finish this card I layered pattern papers from the Floral Fair stack (DCWV) onto a kraft card base and threaded a length of baker’s twine (papermart) through a bunch of buttons and used glue dots to adhere it to the prepared card base. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

11 thoughts on “Let’s color! (A quick demo of Intense pencils)

  1. That card is wonderful. The coloring is gorgeous. I have lots of house mouse stamps and need to try this and see if I can do it without messing up. Thanks for the video.


  2. Beautiful card! Thanks again for teaching us a new /old technique. I love your blog and appreciate each post you make!!


  3. So cute!! I bought the inktense blocks, I hope they are easy to use; otherwise, I’m going to cry! JK I’ll just have to invest in the pencils too!

    Thanks for the lovely video!


    Carmen L


    1. Let me know how you like them Carmen. If you need to sharpen them for detail or ease of use save the shavings in a watercolor palette (or pill box) and spritz them with water and you will have a matching paint palette for larger washes! I do that with my watercolor crayons and it is great (I have to waste the perfectly good paint shavings LOL!)


      1. I couldn’t find the pencils anywhere in Winchester today.. guess it will have to be Dick Blick. did find a lot of other stuff there but no Gelatos at the book store.


  4. Thanks for an excellent tutorial on the Inktense pencils, Lindsay. I agree with you that they are the absolute best – and what’s more, they are British too!!! They are made in the North of England in our beautiful Lake District National Park. We have been round the Pencil Factory Museum which is fascinating – they even made pencils with maps inside them for spies and escaping prisoners of war in WWII.

    My hubby gave me a set of Inktense pencils for my birthday last year and I mostly use them for colouring my Zentangle art pieces. I haven’t much experience with markers and have never been attracted to that sort of thing, but having watched various Youtube videos on them, they seem a right pain to blend nicely, and take a lot of skill. These pencils are much more intuitive to use, and I love the amount of control you get – you can use them with a very light touch indeed, or heavier for more intense colour. I particularly like how you can blend the red and yellow to get a wonderful gradation to orange – I did this on my clown fish which you can see in my Zentangle Art tab on my blog.

    I tend to use water brushes – those plastic ones that you fill with water, which flows down through the brush – you don’t need a water pot, and if you need to clean off the pigment, you just paint onto your hand or a scrap piece of paper. They are brilliant for blending, and portable! All my drawing pens, brushes, pencils, stumps etc. for Zentangle are in a small pencil box which sits on top of the Inktense tin.

    I like your idea of sharpening them with a knife, so you are only scraping away the wood, and not wasting the pigment. Great tip! Also to save any shavings which can then be used as paint. You’re living up to your Frugal name lol!!

    Thanks again for a brilliant tutorial!



  5. Loved this post. Lindsey, I would be curious to know if you used watercolor paper or regular card stock. I am definitely going to gibve it a try.


    1. watercolor paper, you can use either but the colors blend better and are brighter on watercolor paper!


  6. ADORABLE!!! I love Intense pencils. I have just a small set and I am still able to do all that I want with them. Thanks for sharing your coloring techniques!!!


  7. Woo Hoo…I already have these pencils – have not used them much as I usually reach for my Copics….you just changed that – will be giving them a try! Thanks Lindsay for the inspiration and tutorial!
    Paper Hugs,


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