After last week’s super detailed tiger in graphite, and in getting ready for the upcoming sea turtle which is even more detailed, this African Elephant in Derwent Inktense was SUCH a great break. This guy took me about an hour to complete, so the demonstration isn’t quite as fast as normal!

The first thing I did when starting this guy was to give myself permission to absolutely fail. It was ok if I had to start over. This gave me the freedom I needed to play around with brush strokes I don’t usually use.

I started by drawing out my design with Faber-Castell water soluble graphite. The reason I don’t use the graphite pencil that comes with the inktese (the outliner they call it), is that I don’t want my lines to show through the ink! I want those lines I draw in graphite to completely work into the painting. From there, I used the following supplies (amazon affiliate links)

Inktense blocks 
Inktense pencils 72 
While I am using the whole set, you can mix colors easily with these so if you just want to try them out for the first time, the 12 pack of blocks is a decent set to start with.

I used a #14 round watercolor brush
1/2″ filbert (gold taklon bristles)
#4 synthetic hog hair liner brush
#1 white taklon bristled flat brush
I worked on Fabriano Artistico extra white Hot Pressed 300lb watercolor paper

My reference photo comes from



The 1-hour, real time version of this tutorial is available for supporters on Patreon to watch now!!  If you’re unfamiliar with Patreon, you get access to my 1-2 hour long tutorials every single week for as little as $4/month!