How to

How to Use Watercolor Pencils – Watercolor Pencil Techniques

Activating Colors: Unleashing the Potential

To begin, let’s unleash the vibrant colors of your watercolor pencils. Take a large nylon brush and saturate it with water, then gently activate the colors in the background. As the colors come alive, they blend together to create the beautiful characteristics of traditional watercolor.

Activating the background with water

After allowing the background to dry completely, we can enhance the colors further by applying another layer of watercolor pencils. Focus on areas where you desire a more intense color. In this case, we recommend adding additional blue and purple tones around the edges of the flower petals. Again, activate these applications with water.

Moving on to the center portions of the sunflowers, let’s infuse them with rich hues. Despite their naturally darker appearance, we’ll add some color to bring them to life. Layer a series of colors – Crimson Lake (red), Brown Ochre (yellowish-brown), and Copper Beech (brown). Once applied, activate this first layer with a touch of water.

After allowing the initial layer to dry, let’s intensify the colors by applying another round of the same shades. To add depth, incorporate Prussian Blue (dark blue) and Ivory Black.

Drawing the center of a sunflower with watercolor pencils

Following this pattern, continue to apply and activate these colors on the remaining sunflowers.

Once the centers of all the flowers have been addressed, shift your focus to the petals. Begin with a base layer using three shades of yellow – Lemon Yellow, Cadmium Yellow, and Golden Brown. Utilize Lemon Yellow in the lightest areas, Cadmium Yellow as the midtone, and Golden Brown for the darkest areas.

Activate these colors with a small round brush for optimal control. While the base colors provide a good starting point, we can enhance the vibrancy and create more contrast.

To introduce splashes of color, selectively apply Orange Chrome in areas with medium value. For stronger shadows and heightened contrast, add Imperial Purple. Although unconventional, purple serves as the complement to yellow, resulting in more natural-looking shadows. After applying these secondary colors, activate them with water.

Adding color to the sunflower petals with watercolor pencils

Once all the petals on the sunflowers are addressed, it’s time to tackle the stems and leaves. Utilize a combination of Olive Green as the primary color, Lemon Yellow to highlight areas of lighter value, and Prussian Blue for shadowed regions.

Finishing the stems and leaves with watercolor pencils

To intensify the shadows and create contrast, lightly apply Ivory Black in the shaded areas. Activate the black pigment, allowing it to blend naturally with the underlying colors.

Congratulations! Your watercolor pencil masterpiece of sunflowers is now complete.

How to use watercolor pencils

Exploring Watercolor Pencils: Subjects and Possibilities

Watercolor pencils offer endless creative possibilities. As they behave like traditional watercolors, you can explore any subject you desire. Whether it’s landscapes, still life, or portraits, watercolor pencils provide a versatile medium for your artistic endeavors.

Below is an example of a stunning watercolor pencil landscape:

Watercolor Pencil Drawing of a Landscape

In addition, we’d like to share with you excerpts from our exclusive drawing and painting lessons using watercolor pencils. Members have access to the full unedited recordings, which can be accessed [here].

Another captivating example of watercolor pencil artistry is this statue:

Watercolor Pencil Drawing of a Statue

Notice that in this artwork, the watercolor pencils are used in a unique way. Not all applications are fully activated with water, resulting in an image that is distinct from traditional watercolor paintings.

Achieving Success with Lower Quality Watercolor Pencils

While the quality of your art supplies can make a difference, it’s still possible to achieve remarkable results with lower quality and more affordable watercolor pencils. The techniques discussed earlier can be applied, although the pigmentation of cheaper pencils may be less intense.

To demonstrate the potential of lower quality watercolor pencils, we invite you to watch this video showcasing the process and results:

Drawing with Watercolor Pencils: The Magic Begins

Similar to our initial demonstration, we first apply watercolor pencils as if we were using traditional colored pencils. However, instead of applying heavy pressure, we recommend starting with light applications and layering them after activation.

Drawing With Watercolor Pencils

Activating Watercolor Pencils: Unleash Their Beauty

Once again, we activate these applications with water applied using a brush. Building up layers and gradually activating them gives you full control over the value and intensity of the colors.

Activating Watercolor Pencils

Layering Applications: Unleashing Your Creativity

As layers dry, you can apply additional watercolor pencil applications on top of the previous layers. This allows you to adjust and control the colors as you progress.

Areas don’t necessarily have to be completely dry before adding more pencil layers. Applying pencils while areas are still wet can produce fascinating effects.

Layering Watercolor Pencils

Lifting or Erasing Watercolor Pencils: Correcting Mistakes

Mistakes happen, but don’t worry! You can erase or “lift” areas using traditional watercolor methods. Simply apply water to the desired area and use a cotton swab, brush, or paper towel to lift the color. While complete removal may be challenging, you can lighten areas using this technique.

Erase Watercolor Pencils

Advantages and Disadvantages: The Pros and Cons

Watercolor pencils offer several advantages over traditional watercolors. They are affordable, portable, and readily available at art stores. The ability to sharpen them to a fine point allows for intricate detailing that can be challenging with traditional watercolor paints. Additionally, watercolor pencils can be used alongside traditional watercolors, offering endless possibilities for experimentation.

However, it’s essential to acknowledge that there are some traditional watercolor techniques that may prove difficult to replicate with watercolor pencils. Learning to adapt and embrace the unique characteristics of this medium is part of the creative journey.

With practice and exploration, you’ll discover your unique artistic voice using watercolor pencils, unlocking a world of creative expression.

Alexia Young

Hello and welcome to the world of Alexia. I am a passionate and dedicated artist who loves to create beautiful, mesmerizing art for everyone's walls. I believe in the importance of encouraging people to express their creativity and be happy.

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