Grace, from Windthread, asked me about my experience working with Derwent Inktense pencils on cloth, which excites me because Grace is so talented with both cloth and drawing. I would love to see what she might do using cloth, drawing and Inktense pencils together. She wanted to know specifically if the color was permanent. If you aren't familiar with them, Inktense pencils are actually colored pencils that become permanent ink when water activated, similar to watercolor pencils. The water activated colors are very vibrant, especially on paper. You color an area with the dry pencil, then take a paintbrush loaded with water to that same area to create the ink. You can also take a wet brush to the colored end of the pencil, then apply the wet color to paper or cloth. I'm far from an expert, but I've enjoyed playing around with them.
This is a drawing I wanted to recreate in cloth.
I placed a sheer piece of cotton fabric over the original picture, and used a light board to trace the original drawing to cloth, using a fine point (I like using an 01 or 05 size), black Pitt pen or other permanent archival ink pen. I know the Pitt pen won't bleed when it gets wet. Then I colored the drawing with my dry Inktense pencils.
Next, I brushed each colored area with water. If you enlarge this photo, you'll notice that the color did bleed in some areas. I don't have a solution for preventing the bleed.
I simply outlined my drawing using a back stitch and black embroidery floss. This helped define the drawing on cloth and detracted from the color bleed. Good enough for me.
I've done more stitching since this photo. Still deciding how I will use this block along with several others that tell a story specifically about my mom, but generally about women who have helped me along the way. I've seen some beautiful examples of booklets that I'm tempted to try, (visit Handstories to see what I mean), but also have thought about maybe tackling another story cloth. As long as the story blocks keep coming, I don't feel I have to decide.
If anyone reading this has tried Derwent Inktense pencils on cloth and has some ideas to share, I would love to hear from you!