Watercolor {pencils} made easy!

How do I love watercolor pencils? Let me count the ways:

  1. They are inexpensive (esp. compared to Copics!)
  2. They last FOREVER!
  3. I can let me kids use them and not worry about them getting damaged.
  4. They blend with ease.
  5. I can control them in my tiny stamped images much better than traditional watercolors.
  6. No mess!
  7. And they look great even on cheap cardstock LOL!

Here is a quick card I made for my son to take to an ice fishing birthday party yesterday:

 

I love sock monkeys and that particular stamp is from Oriental Trading Co.(I loved it so much I paid full price for it!) One thing I want to mention about the $15 stamp sets from OTC is that they are huge! You get a 8.5″x11″ sheet full of stamps and they come on a 3 ring hole punched sheet that I can put directly in my binders and they have good sales too, many of the huge sets I have purchased from them have been between $3-$7 and if there is a problem with anything (like a stamp missing-it happened once) they send out a replacement ASAP. And I am not being compensated to say that;)

OK now on with the show…

Today I want to show you how to color and blend with watercolor pencils. I am using inexpensive Georgia Pacific cardstock, Derwent colored pencils, Stampin Up Basic Black ink and a Stampin Up blending pen. Use what you have. Any watercolor pencils, smooth cardstock and archival ink will work. I’ve tried many blending pens and I find SU to be the best as the nib does not wear down. If you don’t have one you can use a round nylon paintbrush. Dip it in water then blot it on a towel before blending.

 

Tips!

  • Most watercolor pencils are good, in fact, Staples office supply sells a set of 24 in the drafting section that are very nice and since you can blend you do not need that many colors. I had the ones from Staples before I received the set of 72 Derwents (pictured) and then I gave the staples set to my niece.
  • You will get darker colors on a rougher paper because the tooth of the paper will grab more pigment, it will also wear down your pencils quicker. But don’t let that worry you because they last for YEARS! I’d use the blender pens only on smooth cardstock because the rougher watercolor paper will fray the tip of the blender pen. Try a nylon (the gold or white bristle ones) paintbrush for watercolor paper work. You need a firmer brush for watercolor pencils than traditioal watercolors.
  • Don’t overwork the cardstock, blend it once and leave it, if you keep going back you might “pill” the paper. You will get the feel of how much pencil to add before blending after a few tries. Practice!
  • If you like the ease of watercolor pencils but want more intense color I recommend the Inktence line of pencils by Derwent. They are super vivid and you can layer colors over each other without lifting up the first color. I use them more often than my traditional watercolor pencils because I like the bright.

 

So, what do you think? Are you ready to dig out your watercolor pencils yet? I hope so! If you have any questions leave a comment and I will answer. It is going to be a very cold windy day in Maine today so I think I will hunker down with a cup of tea and my watercolor pencils, how about you? Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

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