How to Use Watercolor Pencils

Some call it watercolor pencils. Others call it water soluble color pencils. Whichever description works for you, you probably know how important this tool is for your coloring.

When it comes to art, watercolor pencils help you to create beautiful works of art. They can be also called the perfect substitute for the use of paints. But you need to know how to use your watercolor pencils, where to use it and where not to use it.

You can read also my another guide about Top rated watercolor pencils

They are tools that give you the best of both worlds: the world of painting and the world of drawing. They behave very much like coloring pencils but when water is added, they behave differently. This is as a result of its pigment being held together by a water-soluble binder.

5 Points need to be clear about how to use watercolor pencils

watercolor Pencils using guideThis knowledge is the only way you will be able to produce a fine piece of art with it. Anything short of that and you will be wasting a lot of money because both the watercolor pencil and the material you use it on will get damaged.

Instead of having a piece of art, you’ll end up with a piece of garbage. To avoid this, here’s how to use watercolor pencils.

1. Should be used on heavy board

From its name, watercolor requires the application of water. Applying it onto an ordinary piece of paper will cause it to tear. To use watercolor pencils, you need to have a very thick piece of paper, heavy board on which to draw or paint on.

heavy boardIf you can find any of these options, you should try illustration boards. Not only are they thick enough to handle the application of water, they also have a smoother surface than the usual watercolor paper has.

One way to use color pencils effectively especially when using coloring books is to attach extra pieces of paper to avoid spoiling the book. This only works for wax-based pencils.

You should not try to use it for watercolor pencils because it would end up smearing not only your drawing but also most of the book that you’re using.

2. The brush

If you’re looking to use a watercolor pencil, you need a brush. You see, these pencils are designed to be used with water. But you need a medium with which you’re going to apply the water. And this medium is a brush (usually a soft one).

The process of applying water after making marks with the pencil is called activation. Once this is done, it acts like watercolor.
If you can’t get your hands on a brush, you can as well try hair brushes too. Nylon brushes as well as sponges also work well.

3. Layering

Your art may require that you use more than one color. As such, you will need more than one watercolor pencil. The process of mixing these watercolor pencils is called layering.

For layering, you first apply one color. Then you go ahead to layer an application of a second color. This can be layered either over the top of the first one or right next to it. Go ahead to activate the area with water. Once done, the colors will mix together.

Of course, this is not only limited to just two colors. You can do it with a lot more.

For additional color and addition mixing, you must allow for the first layer to dry up completely. Once done, you can repeat the process explained earlier.

NB: It is important, at this stage, to note that you should not layer too many colors at the same time to avoid muddied color and a shabby looking piece of art.

You can also have a piece of paper on which to first test the color mixtures before applying them to the piece of art. This leads us to the next point.

Know more which are the difference Watercolor Pencils vs Colored Pencils

4. Experimenting

Whether you’re a pro or you’re a beginner, you want to get it right the first time. Whichever one you are, you need to understand that experimentation is important.

As mentioned earlier, you should try mixing your colors first to see what it will look like before trying it on the coloring paper. Also, you should try applying the pencil to areas that are saturated with water.

This helps you to create beautiful effects and is some sort of bold application of color.

Read my another guide for Quick Facts About Watercolor

5. Different Applications

There are more than one ways through which you can apply the watercolor pencil. Asides applying it directly to the surface, you can take the pigment directly from the pencil. This can be done with a wet brush.

Once used on the tip of the pencil, you can apply it directly onto the drawing surface with the brush. This style is reminiscent of the way traditional watercolors are used.

Keep this tips at the back of your mind when next you want to make art using watercolor pencils.

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