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How to Use Watercolor Pencils

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Watercolor pencils are an easy and effective way to add beautiful color gradations and shading to you artwork. This is a guide about how to use watercolor pencils.


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9 found this helpful
January 13, 2017

Watercolor pencils can be very versatile, and can be a great way to express your creativity. They can also be a wonderful tool for adult coloring pages.

Here are four ways to use these pencils:

  1. Use a dry pencil. Press a wet brush against the dry pencil and then apply the brush to dry paper. Keep wetting the brush and pressing it against the pencil until the whole design has been colored. The wetter the brush, the softer the colors will be.
  2. Use a dry pencil on dry paper, and color the image as you would have done with normal coloring pencils. Afterwards, apply a slightly wet brush over the design to soften and blend the pencil strokes.
  3. Paint the design with a wet brush, and afterwards color the design using a dry pencil. Note, this effect will work better for backgrounds ~ when using it on a design, it can easily flow outside the lines of the design and create a smudge effect.
  4. Dip the pencil in water and shake off any excess water. Then, apply the pencil to dry paper, using the pencil as you would have used a brush.

Source: My art teacher, Helena van der Nest

Comment Was this helpful? 9
January 14, 20172 found this helpful

Thank you, perhaps I can get more motivated.

Reply Was this helpful? 2
January 17, 20171 found this helpful

Link fixed - I voted for you. :)

Reply Was this helpful? 1
January 18, 20171 found this helpful

Thank you Carol W.!

Reply Was this helpful? 1
January 22, 20170 found this helpful

Double check your pencils first! Many better watercolor pencils don't supposed to be wet directly. It ruins their use.

I just don't want anyone to ruin good pencils!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
January 23, 20170 found this helpful

Hi Donna!

I have used these techniques with both Staedtler and Marco Raffine watercolor pencils without any problems, but thanks for the warning!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
March 18, 20170 found this helpful

I am going to buy several sets and use them and give them as gifts! Thank you!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
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