How to Use Watercolor Pencils

Drawing, coloring and painting are incredibly fun pass times, especially during this pandemic situation that we are all going through.

Whether you are a child or an adult, drawing and coloring can be a great hobby that allows you to get creative and create interesting art.

Many children love coloring using pencil color. As a matter of fact, pencil colors are what children use to start coloring in the first place.

Which is also why children (and adults who have used pencil colors while growing up) have a particular attraction towards pencil colors.

What if we told you, you can use pencil colors to paint? Watercolor pencils allow you to fill in color using a color pencil and then convert that into watercolor. 

In this article we will be talking about everything you need to know about watercolor pencils. We will show you how to use watercolor pencils and present to you special methods by which you can make your drawings even more beautiful.

If that interests you, continue reading this article.

What Are Watercolor Pencils

Watercolor pencils are a special type of pencil color that that produced using water soluble inner leads. Typically they do not look any different from regular pencil colors. But when they come in contact with water, the color can be blended using a paint brush. 

Specialty of Watercolor Pencils

Watercolor pencils have various features and specialties that make them an ideal choice for using them on their own or along with other media. As you can sharpen the watercolor pencils, they allow you to draw fine details that can be tough to achieve using a brush and might be excessively prominent if used with ink.

One amazing thing about watercolor pencils is that the pencil strokes let you add texture while still providing a watercolor paint effect. This provides a unique hybrid look which allows you to add depth and detail at the same time.

Watercolor pencils allow you to cover a large area of the paper much more easily compared to typical color pencils. As long as the color is still wet, you can lighten the color applied with watercolor pencils, which is not possible with regular pencil colors.

The best part about watercolor pencils is that they can still be used dry like regular pencil colors, if you have no access to a brush and water at the moment. Watercolor pencils are portable and the only mess they create is some pencil shavings.

Supplies That You’ll Need

How to Use Watercolor Pencils

Step 1: Getting Watercolor paper or Heavy Board

Grab a watercolor paper or a heavy board on which you can paint using water color. These papers and boards are easily available in stationery supplies stores.

Generally the papers are pretty thick and don’t easily tear upon applying too much water. This is why these are ideal to use watercolor or watercolor pencils for that matter.  

Step 2: Use Regular Pencils to Outline the Drawing

Before we get into the coloring and blending process, it is necessary to draw an outline of what you will be coloring.

Whether it is for scenery drawing or figure drawing, you will have to draw an outline of your subject in order to color it later. For this step we will be using regular pencils. It is recommended to use 2B pencils for the best results.

Step 3: Color Using the Watercolor Pencils

Now that you are done drawing an outline, you can start filling in the colors using your watercolor pencils. Similar to painting using water color, we will be doing it in 2 or 3 washes. For the first wash we will use the pencils to fill in the lighter parts of the page. Make sure to leave the parts which you want to be the brightest, blank.

And then after blending it (which we will explain in the next step) you can add another layer of colors to blend it a little more. You can continue this for up to 3 times to provide a depth to the painting.

Step 4: Using Water for Blending

After you have filled in the colors for most of the parts of the painting using the watercolor pencils, it is time to use the brush and water to blend the colors. As watercolor pencil dissolves in contact with water, all you have to do is wet your brush and stroke it on the color to liquefy it and blend it as you wish. 

Step 5: Adding Depth

This is to be included in step 3 and 4, but we kept it as a separate step to make you understand better. What you need to do is, fill in the colors using the pencils and blend it using the wet brush. 

When it dries up a bit, add some more shading to the darker areas, and then blend it again. And then you can draw in silhouettes of the most detailed parts of your painting in order to create depth. 

Special Tips for Using Watercolor Pencils

If you want to create some amazing paintings using watercolor pencils, you need to make sure you are doing it right. Use washi tape or masking fluid to draw borders so you don’t apply colors outside your canvas.

Learn to blend colors smoothly. Stroke the brush firmly without applying so much pressure that it ruins the page.

And lastly, add some fine details using the watercolor pencils to add finishing touches, in order to make your pictures come to life (metaphorically)

Bottom Line

We hope this article helped you learn how to use watercolor pencils properly.

Follow the steps correctly and experiment with different colors and shades and have a fun time coloring.

So what are you waiting for? Go right ahead and start painting using water color pencils today!