Week 5: Tulip Trial with Derwent Line Painters

I recently purchased a set of Derwent Line Painters to use with a new smaller watercolor sketchbook in which I plan to explore botanical imagery. I thought a small break from shells might be nice.


I was excited about the promise of a smaller more controlled line that was water-soluble and could potentially be used in combination with watercolor in a graphic way. Although I was initially a little hesitant about them I quickly started to see more possibilities as I loosened up and allowed myself to play more.


The pens were only really water-soluble when they were still wet. They didn’t dry immediately so this made it possible to use a wet brush to extend the color similar to how one would with watercolor pencils. Once dry, however, they do not activate very easily. They do create a little of a light wash after dry but the line itself doesn’t completely dissolve at that point like it does when it is moistened while still wet.


In the end I created a small study of a tulip from the bulbs recently gifted to me. I started by laying down a watercolor wash with salt. Once dry I dusted off the salt and drew the contour drawing of the tulip with the line painters and a white gelli roll pen.


I tried to wet the lines down at that point but it didn’t do much so I went back and added more of the line painter pigment and while wet, created a wash of color. I think I liked it more prior to the color but this might just be because of the background color. As a simple study to explore the range and application of the new medium I suppose it is not horrible but I’m not happy with it overall. I do see potential though.

I think that there is a lot more to experiment with and plan to do so later on when my schedule opens up a bit more. The last couple of weeks have included a lot more course prep than earlier in the year and I’ve been feeling a little weighed down come the weekends when I generally schedule my studio time. I’d like to see what they do when combined with Winsor and Newton watercolor markers and pigment markers, watercolor pencils, as well as how they perform with watercolor washes.

Next week I’ll be exploring some negative painting techniques in combination with some illustrations of mini purple roses.

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