I've had problems with Arches paper too. Good to know it wasn't just me! I'll have to look for the Fabriano brand next time I'm out.
The hubs just bought me the full 72 piece set of inktense pencils, so that may be a shopping trip held sooner rather than later.
Tim - Have you used a waterbrush? I came across this on Amazon:
Amazon.com: Piston Filler Waterbrush/water Brush Pen with Metal Cap - Set of 2: Kitchen & Dining
I thought they might be a good addition to the Inktense pencils in my field kit when we're out on the go for T-Ball season.