Basic Tips for Using Watercolor Pencils

Art materials on the table

Watercolor pencils, also called water-soluble pencils, are an exception crossover between painting and drawing. Basically, you use them just like a standard pencil. The magic happens when you wet your drawing, see the color spread, and transform into watercolor wash effect. What’s more, they are fairly affordable, user-friendly and easy to clean up.

What Exactly Are They?

These watercolor pencils are created with a water-soluble binder. They are available in a broad assortment of colors and plain graphite. It is vital to note that they do not have grades like graphite pencils, and their softness and hardness differ from one brand to another. Generally speaking, however, the softer it is, the easier you could put down color on paper and manipulate your lines.

How to Use

Using these pencils is much like using any kind of pencil. They are erasable as well. It is when you wet what you have drawn on paper that you get to really see their effect.

There are various ways to see this unique effect. You could paint using plain water over what you have drawn. Once you have painted over your drawing with a clean wet brush or a water brush, you could see your pencil lines blend to get that watercolor effect. You could likewise get watercolor from the pencil using a brush and then paint on your paper or simply wet the pencil before you draw on your paper.

It is also important to note that the intensity of the watercolor wash that you could produce depends on how much color you apply. So if you want subtle tones, apply with a light hand, and if you want bolder tones, apply with a heavier hand.

Try Using Them on Wet Paper

Dampening the paper before applying the pencil would result in broad and soft color lines. When doing this, you need to be careful not to damage the paper, so avoid using very sharp pencils. You could dampen the pencil’s tip by dipping it in water or using a wet brush. Doing so would give you more intense color. Keep in mind that as your pencil dries, the lines would also become thinner and lighter, so wet you are the pencil you are using as needed.

Exercise Caution

You need to exercise caution with areas you want to turn into watercolor washes. Think about this, if you transform every inch of your drawing into a wash, you might as well draw with watercolor paint in the first place. If you want to put a certain color on your paintbrush, use the tip of the pencil as you would a pan of paint. Wet the paintbrush and simply use its tip to get color from the pencil.

Watercolor pencils are excellent drawing tools for your artistry, whether you have just started to dabble with watercolor or are a budding artist. So find your inspiration, get in the zone, and keep these tips in mind so that you could use these pencils properly and make the most of the unique effect they offer.

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By Mike Smith

Mike Smith, a talented writer and devoted art enthusiast with a deep love for tattoos. As a creative soul, Mike's passion for arts, culture, music, and lifestyle shines through his engaging writing. With a keen eye for detail, he delves into the world of tattoos, exploring their rich symbolism and captivating stories.

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