Creative Prayer Book: Inktense Pencils


Welcome to the fifth lesson of the Creative Prayer Book. I’ve built up several layers using watercolor, graphite pencil, collage, watercolor pencil, and ink in previous lessons, and I was originally thinking of using collage for this lesson. But as I worked with the ink this past week, I felt like I wanted at least one more layer before diving back into using collage.

To create this layer, I pulled out my Derwent Inktense Pencils, which I discussed at length in this week’s Materials Monday. The Inktense are used just like watercolor pencils, but they are all very transparent since they are water-soluble ink instead of watercolor. This makes them perfect for layering over other materials.


My main goal in this lesson is to use the Inktense pencils to reinforce the structure of the pages. Last week, I used lines and shapes drawn with ink to experiment with layout and composition on my pages, and this week I use the Inktense to create contrast that will heighten the structure and make the pages more dynamic.

Since the Inktense work just like watercolor pencil, I use my technique of shading around shapes and fading the color into the background with plain water. This gives me a chance to shift the colors on my pages by give adding a tint of one color or another, and allows me to make shapes and areas pop out. The darker color in certain areas fades into the background making the lighter areas stand out more.


Try experimenting with water-soluble pencils to see if you can reinforce the composition of your pages, and if you don’t have water-soluble pencils, watercolor crayons will work just as well. You could also just use watercolor paint to create a similar effect. No matter what, have fun building layers!


Happy creating!