Derwent Artbars – fun on fabric!

Derwent Artbars

Derwent Artbars can be used on fabric in much the same way that the inktense pencils can however it’s possible to use them dry as well as wet. The artbars are water soluable wax crayons in a triangular form, making them easy to hold while working with them. A simple bit of fun to explore is to do a background wash on a piece of fabric.

Wash with Artbars

In this case simply wet the fabric with water and then colour the cloth with the Artbars, letting the colour flow across the fabric. The easiest way to apply is to snap off a small section and then hold that so one side touches the fabric, then sweep it across the wet surface.


Place a stencil or textured surface below the fabric and then rub the artbar across the fabric to bring the texture to the front. Rubbings are best done on DRY fabric so that the marks remain distinct.


For a bit of textural fun, after you have created your background wash and allowed it to dry, use a wet paint brush to flick paint onto the cloth from the artbar. Use the brush to wet the artbar and then with a smooth action flick the paint laden brush across the fabric. Don’t hold the artbar over the fabric otherwise you’ll get big drops of colour onto the fabris – or maybe you want this effect?!

Play, experiment and have fun! The bars do not leave a waxy residue or feel on the fabric. If you would like to purchase some then check out my store Essential Textile Art.





3 Responses to “Derwent Artbars – fun on fabric!”

  1. Chrissy Guzzi Says:

    I bought my set of 12 Artbars a couple of weeks ago and having heaps of fun with a small watercolour pad, the Artbars and a waterbrush. Each day I try a different technique or colour combo, hepas of fun without too much prep and the doodles can spark off ideas for fabric embellishment.

    • susaneta Says:

      Thanks Chrissy – the watercolour techniques are loads fun. Try it with different mediums like irridescent, opal dust or gold dust too – adds a bit of sparkle into things.

  2. Linda Says:

    Just found this as I had read the art bar is not permanent like the intense blocks did you hear set and were they permanent, can’t find any other info about using them on fabric, thanks

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