making art

Test: Inktense travel set

InktenseTravel set

A while ago, my other half signed up for ScrawlrBox — an art supplies subscription box. Normally there’s a selection of pens and pencils and some paper and other odds and ends, but in August we hit the jackpot. In August’s box, there was a Derwent Inktense paint pan travel set.

Rather than put it to one side to be “used later”, I seized the moment and gave it a quick try out.

I decided to paint a simple landscape as that would give me a feel for how easy it was to lay down washes of colour and also how well I could create the detailed lines and dot texture for the tree. Letting each layer dry completely meant that I could take advantage of Inktense being permanent once dry and I could build up the depth of colour in both the sky and fields. I have used Inktense pencils in the past so I knew what to expect in terms of colour intensity, but I’ve never painted with them like this.

InktenseTravel square

This was as much a test of the little travel waterbrush that was included in the set as the actual blocks of colour. And, in fact, a test of my ability to adapt to new tools: although I have a set of waterbrushes, I never use them because I don’t feel like I have enough control over the flow of water; I much prefer to have a pot of water to dip a traditional brush in. But this is a travel set and the whole point of a travel set is to be able to create without access to the usual comforts, like running water, so I worked with what I had in front of me and, I have to say, it went pretty well.

Though I did cheat a bit and speed up the drying of the layers with my heat tool, which I definitely wouldn’t have access to away from my craft room!

For a quick test piece, I am quite pleased with how this turned out, especially once I’d added the shrubbery around the tree.

Having recently said that I don’t take art supplies away with me on the rare occasions I travel, I would definitely be tempted to put this set and a small pad of watercolour paper in my bag…

InktenseTravel swatch

At the moment, Derwent only does the twelve colours in the set in this format. I’ve seen people suggest that they have chosen the most lightfast colours first and it is true that all these have the highest rating, but there are only a handful of colours in the whole Inktense range that don’t have very good or excellent rating. The pans can be removed and Derwent does sell replacements for the individual colours; whether they add to the range will, I imagine, depend on demand.

InktenseTravel test

Derwent sells the set online for £22.99 and the refills are £1.99 each, but if you look around, you can pick the set up quite a bit cheaper: at the time of writing, it’s available on Amazon UK for £17.75 and CultPens have it for £15.95.

InktenseTravel detail


  • Colour:
    Inktense paint pan travel set
  • Paper:
    Papermill Direct – luxury artist watercolour paper

InktenseTravel display

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2 thoughts on “Test: Inktense travel set”

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