Color with me – Toucan from Magical Jungle with Inktense

So, hopefully the light is a little better now. Not perfect still, I’d need to upgrade my camera really. Anyway still good enough to see better then before, I hope.
I picked the toucan from Magical Jungle by Johanna Basford since many of you seem to own the book. If you’re now thinking “omg, a toucan? Really? I can’t do that”, be at ease, neither can I 😀 Come, lets have fun and possibly fail together! I am showing you this as I go along, I’m really not sure where we’ll end up with this but that makes it more fun anyway.
We’re going about this with Derwent Inktense this time to encourage those of you who haven’t dared to try them out. If you don’t have a specific color shown in the video, don’t fret, you can substitute many of the colors with a similar tone and it will be just fine. The lighter greens in particular come in multitudes. Just test out the combination on a spare piece of paper first before committing to it.
So lets get started, shall we? Todays session wasn’t all that long, I didn’t have much time to color today so lets do some leaves to get warmed up.
I am using Kuretake water brushes but you can use other brands as well or a regular brush just as well.

Thoughts and tips:

  • Most important tip: be fearless! It’s okay to screw up. As you can see, I did just that with the grass on the right. Inktense is not regular watercolor, you can’t pick it back up if it happens to go to the wrong place. But so what, I’ll try to make it work in the end, we’ll see how it goes 🙂 You can often transform oopsies. Plus I think it’s part of the charm with water solubles, that they’re a little messy
  • You don’t have to be super careful when shading, it will blend when wet anyway
  • It’s best not to have the brush too wet, otherwise you won’t be able to control gradations well, plus it will buckle the paper for sure. If you get it too wet, wipe it down a bit on a tissue paper
  • If you’re not happy with the smoothness of the gradation, clean your brush on the spare piece of paper FAST and go over the still wet area with a clean damp brush, it will smooth things out. Once it has dried too much, you can’t do it so be quick
  • My tiny brush is very wet as you can see, it’s a little screwed up, it tends to give out too much water so that’s not intentional, I’d much rather prefer it drier, more accurate. So if you can, do it drier and you’ll have an easier time then I do with it
  • You can get a sense of what is going on with your brush when you brush it against your hand to test. You can tell how wet it is, plus if you squeeze your waterbrush, it’s best to run it on your hand first to make sure you got the correct amount of water flowing
  • Wipe your brush after every gradation or you will transfer dark color to the next light area, keep a sheet of scrap paper close for this. Don’t use tissue paper, it will dry your brush up and you’ll struggle to get a nice even flow
  • Always start wetting from the lightest, moving to the darkest. Otherwise you will risk losing your lights because you’ll just move the dark over it
  • When choosing a picture, choose one that is not full of fiddly little details

So this is where we end today:
_dsc3841If you happened to screw up at some place like I did, don’t worry, we’ll figure it out in the end. Oh and note the oopsie number two, I mistook the flower buds on the vine for leaves so that’s that 😀

All parts:
Day one – leaves
Day two – more leaves, some flowers
Day three – orchids, part of the toucan
Day four – finishing the toucan, background, done

2 thoughts on “Color with me – Toucan from Magical Jungle with Inktense

  1. Hiya Iris,

    I’m learning to really love my inktense pencils and absolutely enjoyed watching your video. Next time though I’m getting my supplies out and joining you!
    Anyways, my purpose for sending this was I made a wee boo boo (I’m still learning to make correct colour choices, even with a colour chart) with my inktense pencils yesterday and quickly grabbed my white gel pen, I added this to my mistake then blotted it with my paper towel. I found I could do it a few times to well and truly tone down and almost darn well bring it back to white paper.
    Hope this helps cos I tell ya, I even surprised myself!!


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