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!

11 Responses

  1. Thanks for the tips on the stamps at OTC, I will have to look those over. I love working with watercolor pencils…I need to get back to them. Great tutorial!

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  2. Thank you so much. I love the way you explain everything in detail. And the picture tutorials are great.

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  3. hi Lindsey…gene bowden here,,,,,read your lesson on water pencil drawing and learned a lot,but one thing isn’t clear to me..how do you wet the pencils to start with? what a nice free lesson this is..i will never forget the good times we had at the senior center,it will always be in my memory…..your old friend ,,gene

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    • Hi Gene, good to hear from you. You don’t wet the pencils, you use them dry they tou wet them at the end with the blender pen or a damp round paintbrush. You would like watercolor pencils Gene, especailly for your detailed pen and ink drawings;) Take care old friend;)

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  4. I find that so funny that there is actually a stamp of a sock monkey ice fishing with a birthday present. Who would have thought to make one? I love, love to watercolor with pencils, also. Simple to do. And yes, less expensive.

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    • I am smiling Phyliis because there is not an ice fishing sock monkey stamp, I stamped the monky then I stamped the gift on his hand and I drew in the fishing pole with a black pen;) I’m glad it looked like it was all one stamp tho (that is what I was hoping for;) I lso stamped the hat/scraf on a scrap of PP and glued it on. All the stamps I used were from the stamp set i linked to, it has cute accessories to stamp on the monkey, it is so fun! And anything else you meed you can just doodle on;)

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  5. Great card Lindsay! Thanks again for sharing more of your wonderful crafting knowledge with us. Have a fun Sunday!

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  6. Thank you so much for your great tutorial. I dig my crayons out once in awhile but since you explained things so well they may see the light of day more often.
    Myrna

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  7. by golly this is a wonderful example of a “HOW-TO” that I’ve seen in a LONG time. once again informative, NEEDED, and very to the point.
    the display w/the the “cautions of “what not to do”cause this could happen,…is very WELCOMED info. Thanks. Gives a person the confidence to actually try it out!
    Thanks if this is a review! For thoses who have had this lesson THANK
    You for tolerating the “newbies”

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  8. Great tutorial – thank you. I was reading the comments and had thought it was all one stamp too. Thanks for sharing an easy to understand tutorial. Loved the card.
    Alison xox

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  9. Thanks, I haven’t used my water color pencils in years. They look great in a project and I’m going to find my sock monkey stamp. I don’t have a huge set like yours, but I now remember why I bought it in the first place. Cute project and good ideas.

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