I rely heavily on a water spritzer to activate trees and other foliage sketched with water-soluble pencils. It’s one of my most useful watercolor pencil techniques. I’ve tried many spritzers over the years, and my all-time favorite originally contained The Honest Company hand sanitizer. It releases a fine, reliable, mostly consistent mist that’s easy to direct and control. My only minor complaint is that it takes up more space than I want it to in my small, streamlined sketch bag, so I’m always looking out for smaller spritzers.
When I was placing my order for the new Derwent Inktense colors at CultPens, I spotted a spritzer that was being promoted as a useful support for Inktense pencils. Its slender profile looked promising, so I popped one into my shopping cart.
Indeed, the Derwent spritzer is the same height but significantly slimmer than my usual Honest Co. spritzer.
For my first test, I scribbled a couple of swatches with Caran d’Ache Museum Aquarelles in a Hahnemuhle Akademie watercolor sketchbook (below). I held the book about an arm’s length away and gave the top swatch two spritzes with the Derwent. Then I did the same with the lower swatch with the Honest spritzer. The Derwent put out a wetter stream that was a bit harder to direct.
|Two spritzes each|
In a real-sketch situation, I would wait a few seconds for the pigments to activate, then spritz again as needed. Shown below, right, is the result. I gave the Honest spritzer two more spritzes to get the amount of activation I wanted. I didn’t spritz the Derwent swatch again – it was more than wet enough – so what you see is the dried result of the two original spritzes.
|At left: Two spritzes from each spritzer, then dry pencil scribbled into each puddle.|
At right: Spritzed dry swatches.
On the left, I spritzed the paper twice with each spritzer – Derwent on top, Honest on the bottom. Then I ran a dry pencil through each puddle. The results are similar, but the Derwent puddle is larger and spread out further.
Next I took it out on our back deck for some real sketches (which you saw in my messing-around post about Derwent Inktense Blocks). I used the Derwent for both sketches because they were relatively large areas being spritzed, so I knew there was less risk of over-spraying. It worked fine in these cases, but I’m concerned about smaller areas that I tend to spritz in my A6 sketchbook.
|In these relatively large sketches, the Derwent spritzer worked out OK.|
Overall, the Derwent spritzer puts out more water per spritz than the Honest, so it’s more difficult to control; it’s easy to over-spray. However, its spritz is acceptably fine enough that I think I could learn to adjust my technique to accommodate it. I’m going to carry it around for a while and see if it works out long-term. (I’ll update this review as needed.) I definitely prefer its size as a daily-carry.