Friday, 30 September 2016

Painting with Derwent Inktense Blocks & Pencils

These water soluble drawing blocks and pencils can be use in countless different ways to create colourful artwork. Just add water to Derwent Inktense Blocks or Pencils to produce deep and vibrant permanent, waterproof ink colours on paper or fabric. If you choose to draw on fabric, your designs on cotton or silk will be hand washable at 30°C.

Different Ways of Colouring with Inktense Blocks & Pencils

Inktense can be used "dry on dry". When used on textured paper, the soft creamy consistency tends to grab at the peaks while leaving lower areas without colour. To improve coverage, build up the colour in layers and blend with a tortillion, paper stump or blender pencil.Derwent Inktense Blocks

Transform the dappled effect of the dry drawing by painting over with a brush and water. This will dissolve the pencil marks and turn them into permanent ink. Subsequently the colours can be moved around with the brush to blend and completely cover the surface. When the ink is dry it will become waterproof so that further layers of colour can be added.

For permanent lines, use the Inktense Outliner pencil. It is made from non-soluble graphite and can be used with Inktense to provide permanent shading or outlines. In fact, this useful pencil can be utilised with any water-soluble media.

Used in the same way as a watercolour pan, ink colours can also be lifted directly from the Inktense Block or Pencil with a wetted paintbrush. Altenatively, the paper or fabric can be brushed or sprayed with water and Inktense applied directly onto the wet surface. Rubbing an Inktense Block with sandpaper creates fine dust which immediately dissolves into puddles of colour on the wet surface.

Painting with Powdered Derwent Inktense Blocks

The Derwent XL Sprinkler makes light work of grating a little powdered colour from an Inktense Block. Place the sprinkler over a palette dish or saucer to collect the powder and gently rub the Inktense Block over the grid.

Either add water to the powder and mix to make a solution or wet a brush to dissolve a little of the powder from the palette. Remember, the powder only becomes permanent ink once it is has been made completely soluble by the water.

The smooth cartridge paper below has buckled from the water. Choose a good quality watercolour paper for the best results.

Visit the George Weil website to browse the full range of colours from Derwent Inktense

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Natural Dyeing & Felt Making Courses in Scotland

Wild Rose Escapes run craft, wild cookery and relaxation holidays and courses in the heart of the Highlands of Scotland. Their courses include natural dyeing and felt making. We invited owner Rosie to tell us a little more about their craft holidays.

"I have been running craft courses in the Highlands of Scotland for over 7 years now and since the very beginning I have been buying materials from Fibrecrafts (George Weil & Sons Ltd). I started off running felting and natural dyeing courses and after buying my own small flock of Shetland sheep, we started running our Fleece to Felt weeks and Dye to Hand Spin courses. We teach the whole process - guests watch Alex hand-shear our Shetland sheep, they learn how to wash the fleece, make natural dyes, and learn how to felt a final piece. We also teach spinning and eco-printing using flowers and leaves."

"I always use Fibrecrafts and always recommend the site to participants on my courses and holidays. They do a great natural dye starter kit, which is a real help to beginners, with a little bit of everything in it. Living where we do, a lot of retailers will add an extra cost if they are sending goods to the Highlands - Fibrecrafts never do, which I so appreciate."

"Although we do order ancient dyes in, such as Indigo, Madder and Logwood, it is also fun to forage for dye plants and make our own dyes. Each season has something to offer. We are lucky living in the Highlands as we have so many dye plants on our door step. In the Spring we forage for Gorse and Broom flowers, and Bracken fronds, then Meadowsweet, Birch leaves and many more in the summer, moving onto berries, bark and fungi in the Autumn. Like dyers from earlier times I like to mix foraged plants alongside ancient imported dyes creating a rainbow of colours."

"Working outside is such a joy and because we live in a woodland I am lucky enough to be able to dye outside over fires, as we have a never ending supply of wood. However, although this is the way I love to dye it is not the only way and it is easy enough to set up a little dye workshop in a garage space or patio, all you really need is the enthusiasm to experiment."

"You can see from our photographs some of the stunning colours that can be created from nature." Visit Rosie's website to find out more about Wild Rose Escapes. If you would like to have a go at any of the crafts mentioned by Rosie, you can browse the George Weil website for Natural Dyeing, Felt Making and Spinning.