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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Watercolor or Watercolor Pencils?

Are you in a hurry? Here's something to consider...

Of course this is not a slow, careful and controlled buildup of color, as you can do so well with watercolor pencils, but it is something to think about, depending on how you like to work...

This was done for my upcoming mini-class on watercolor pencils, but since it's on Joseph's YouTube, I thought I'd make it more widely available here!

Let us know what you think, and how YOU like to work!


  1. Wonderful video, I never thought of idea wet watercolor pencil later, after you come home. I also use watercolor pencil applying it first on the lid from soup container, dry or in drops of water and then lift it with water brush to paint with. This how I use Inktense pencils because they insanely bright.

  2. Very informative video. What is the paper you are using here?

  3. Glad you like! Nik, what a wonderful technique, thank you for sharing. I sometimes scribble a patch of color and then paint from it, too.

    Karen, I believe it's either a Stonehenge pad or an Aquabee Super Deluxe. Not watercolor paper, but both take a wash reasonably well.

  4. Hi Kate!
    I like watercolor pencils for just the reason that I can "wet" them when I get home. I like to draw during my mini-breaks at work.
    Nice, quick tutorial!

  5. Hi Kate.....love this little video....

    Can I ask you something completely off subject? How do you set up your camera for videos....tripod? a helping hand? Your videos always look so nice :) xox Laura

  6. Lotus, that IS nice! I've done that too, when I didn't have a waterbrush or access to water.

    Sure, Laura--it's not really off subject! I use a tripod, now, usually, though occasionally I hold the camera in one hand, the journal in the other, and my pencil in...oh. Waitaminnit...

    I usually have to set it up to reach THROUGH the legs of the tripod to get a good shot at what I'm trying to shoot. There's gotta be a better way...

  7. I think I'm sold on trying watercolor pencils. I've been thinking about getting them for a while now, but am uncertain of the coverage. This video was very helpful. xx

  8. Great video! You can do this with watersoluble coloured graphite as well, and I often blend the graphite with the regular watercolour pencils to subdue the colours, for shading etc. You can get some interesting effects this way. If you add watersoluble pastels to the mix, the possibilities grow even more. Its so much fun to experiment!

  9. Glad to help! And Spinning, that sounds VERY cool. Do you have any graphics/Flickr links whatever to share?

  10. Dion Dior, I have the Albrect Durer watercolour pencils by Faber Castell. They are a bit more expensive than other types but I think they are by FAR the best ones on the market. I used to work in an art shop and I'm a f/t practicing artist who is slightly obsessed with supplies of all kinds, so I have tried everything. They are the best and WELL worth the extra investment. Best of all you should be able to buy them separately thus you can build up your collection as your budget allows :)

    Nikira, if I could keep only one type of pencil for the rest of my life they would be Inktense. I LOVE them but agree with you about the brightness. Some tips I've tried is to press VERY lightly when applying them dry an using a paper towel to absorb some of the colour out when you apply the water. Try to get plain white paper towel without coloured patterns or fancy imprints - cheap is best!

    Hope that helps!!


  11. Your right Faber Castel are the smoothest melting wc pencils I think. Many others are a bit grainy and don't melt well. I like Inktense also but they are really staining so lifting errors can be difficult. I like to use a paper for laying down color and then use it like a palette with my wet brush. Graphitints are nice also but not as lightfast.

  12. Kate! Lovely video, THANK YOU so much! Wow those reds are intense! So eye-catching and juicy. Is that an Aquabee sketchbook??? I can't get my Aquabee to take washes like that. It must just like you better. Now I want to get my FC-AD wc pencils out and play!

    Lately I've been enjoying sketching with Stabilo 88 Fineliner pens. They are water soluble like watercolor pencils. They help make sketching fast for me, and help me to loosen up.

    I can't pick up color directly from the tip like a wc pencil, but when I really want to do something like that I just scribble some ink on a piece of Sheer Heaven and then pick it up with my water brush. Its fun to sketch with different colors an mix then on the paper.

    I have found that once I've completely wet/washed a line or area of color and let it dry it doesn't really spread or mix if I go over it again; so that makes layering really fun and interesting. Oh My GOSH! It would be so much fun to use these WITH my Faber Castel Albrect Durer wc pencils! WEEEEEEE!!

    Stabilo 88 are handy pens,and fairly inexpensive. The only real drawback for me is that I wish there were more than 25 colors, especially greens. They are very light weight, small/compact, and lay color down smooooothly! They are also great as highlighters, I use them in my appointment book to color code things. I haven't had any problems with bleed through on any paper I've tried them on so far.

    I also like Tombow Dual Brush pens...also water soluble, with a great brush tip on one end, and a pen tip on the other end. These are bigger so I only cary one or two around and the rest stay at home. I only have a few because they are more expensive, but there are LOTS of colors- over 100!

    Anyone else out there use either of these pens?
    :o) Wendi

    PS I've been having trouble posting comments to this blog. I just post as anonymous because I keep getting a message that says my account can't access a certain page, even though I have a blogger profile. Any suggestions?

  13. Yay! I think I fixed the blogger/google sign in/posting problem I mentioned above.

  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

  15. Thanks all...one advantage to buying open stock is that you can choose the most lightfast colors available. Even Albrecht Durer has some that aren't, but they grade them right on the pencils, so the ones with the most stars are the most lightfast.

    Wendi, glad you solved the problem, and yes, Aquabee or Stonehenge, not sure I remember which but both are good.

    I've got a small set of Stabilos too, they ARE fun.

    Gloria, some of the Graphitints are lightfast, but others REALLY aren't, I'm afraid that's true of the Inktense, too. If that's important to us, we need to do our homework...

  16. Art, the use of skill and imagination in the creation of aesthetic objects, environments, or experiences that can be shared with others.
    It encompasses a diverse range of human activities, creations, and modes of expression, including music, literature, film, photography, sculpture, and paintings.

    Your blog totally matches this definition and I promise I'll come back. I also suggest you check out this blog I just saw, I think it's great as well: Drawings Paintings Prints
    Will be coming back,

  17. I'm trying to expand my abilities in art, and I've decided to use watercolor. This is extremely helpful, thank you!

  18. I hope to get into a college for art, this video helps my confidence with watercolor to try some new things too!


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