KEIGHLEY Art Club was attended by Mark and his daughter Chloe of Skipton Art Shop, which is located near the zebra crossing in Newmarket Street.

They are part of the family team in the shop, which opened 20 years ago. Last year, a staff member gave us a creative insight into various materials.

This time Mark and Chloe set out their range of Derwent pencils which we saw were no longer the straightforward coloured lead-type pencils that many people will recognise.

To start with the club members were shown a DVD on the full Derwent manufacturer’s range of pencils, including the history of the Derwent company.

The company has made pencils for 185 years and the factory in Cumbria included a museum of pencil making.

Now the factory has been relocated to Workington and was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II. Each week 1.2 million pencils are produced there.

It was explained to us that there were two categories of pencils, wet and dry.

First the ‘Inktense’ pencils, which are stocked in the Skipton shop, were described and shown to the audience.

Inktense are water-soluble pencils and comprise of ink-based colours. They are dry until water is added, when they take on the vast intensity of wonderful colours.

The interesting aspect is that Inktense can be applied to fabric silk for unique, creative drawings, patterns or logos, and once wet the garments become machine washable, which could prove very useful.

Keighley Art Club was shown the full range of pencils, including pastels, Coloursoft, graphite 9H-NB, tinted charcoal, line makers, water brushes, and the new Pro-colour.

Pro-colour pencils are not as waxy and are less oily, but are not water-soluble.

The full range of pencils was demonstrated, then the pencils were passed to our members with paper in order to try the products.

Mark answered questions from members, and several sales were made on the night.

Information about these pencils and many other products can be seen on Skipton Art Shop’s website, or by personally visiting the shop, which opens from Mondays to Saturdays.

The era of single based pencils is long gone and it is worth exploring the numerous other products available.

This is especially useful if a person wishes to try a new approach or even to add mixed media to their artwork for contemporary or unusual effects.

Visitors to demonstrations or weekly practical sessions at Keighley Art Club are always welcome.

A small charge is made but new innovations are often demonstrated, such as this informative evening by Skipton Art Shop. The Internet is a useful tool, but seeing experts reveal intricate properties is really beneficial.

We meet on Wednesdays at 6.45pm in Keighley Healthy Living’s premises, on Scott Street behind Keighley library. Our next professional arts demonstration will be by David Starley on February 21.

David’s work is can be seen in Cliffe Castle Museum as part of the Aire Valley Artists, and it will remain there until January 14. There are also further paintings in a barbershop window near Saltaire’ tramshed, until February.