How to Create a Vibrant Landscape Artwork
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How to Create a Vibrant Landscape Artwork

Difficulty Intermediate
Budget £30+
Time 1/2 day +

It's easy to learn how to use Derwent Inktense Blocks and Pencils in order to create a vibrant and energetic landscape! Follow the below guide by Robert Dutton, an award winning Artist who's distinctive and expressive pastel paintings jump from the page.  Highly versatile and easily layered, Robert shows us how to create vibrant and expressive landscapes using Derwent Inktense Blocks and Pencils. Inktense is water-soluble ink and should not be considered a straight 'swap' for watercolours. While watercolours are 'washable ' across a broader page, Inktense creates bolder, more vibrant colours.

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How to make

Top tip! For larger scale work, the shaving technique is extremely useful. By following the step above, add more water to the ratio of Inktense pigment to achieve the desired tint. The more pigment, the stronger the colour. The more water, the finer and translucent the tint.


Using lots of wet in wet techniques with Inktense helps create the first and most important foundation stage on to which to build this expressive, colourful river scene.

Using different pressured strokes the colours just melt onto the sheet or delicately compliment the surface texture of the paper; further extending creative expression for finer details. Due to its permanence Inktense can be worked over once dry without affecting previous layers of vivid colour.

Using a sharp craft knife or scalpel, you can create your own bespoke colour tints with fine shavings from dry Inktense Blocks. They are easily shaved whilst maintaining their shape due to the high pigmentation. Do not over-do the amount of pigment you use! The Inktense range is so vibrant and a little dab of colour goes a long way!


You can layer Inktense without smudging or lifting previous layers. Start with the lighter colours at the bottom before adding the darker colours over the top.

Continuing with the layering process, after the initial foundation structure is dry, mix a little Permanent White Gouache into the Inktense colour to give a heavier body and more intensity to the opaque mixes. Use Inktense Pencils to build up the details at this stage too.

Top tip! For water media techniques on a grand scale, Inktense Blocks themselves can be stirred into wells of water and very quickly mix together to create large scrumptious volumes of lovely premixed colour. Time to get those big brushes out!


Bring the whole painting together using Inktense Blocks on their side; one over the other, to highlight textures in the foliage. Use dry Inktense Pencils (no water) to add the final linear details –

especially in the foreground grasses. You can also add detail by running a wet waterbrush over an Inktense Block or Pencil.

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