Let’s Paint a Beautiful Long Hair Cat PLUS 25 Watercolor Pencil Tips & Giveaway!!!

Howdy friends! I have seen bursting with excitement to share this project with you today! I have had a lot of requests lately to use watercolor pencils more. Watercolor pencils are versatile, portable and you can get an almost endless array of colors from just a few pencils! Today I will share a real time tutorial for painting this lovely long-haired cat (I think it’s a Maine Coon Cat) and share 25 tip to improve your watercolor pencil paintings!


Grab your supplies (or a nice cuppa) and enjoy the show!

Sponsored by Amazrock! Amazerock is giving 3 lucky viewers a set of 36 watercolor pencils in a beautiful fabric storage roll. Click here to enter their giveaway!


Here is the product page where you can learn more about these pencils and purchase them on sale (there is even an extra coupon you can get if you scroll to the bottom of the page!)



25 Top Watercolor Pencil Tips!

  1. Use watercolor paper or a robust mixed media paper for best results.
  2. Choose the right surface for your project. Hot press paper is smooth like drawing paper but will withstand lots of water and aggressive techniques. Use this paper for botanical, portraits or any time you want a smooth line and lots of detail. Cold press paper is the most common paper with a bit of tooth or bumpy texture. Choose this if you want to add lots of layers. Rough paper is the most textures (as the name implies) and it great for landscapes and other subjects that have lots of rough texture where you want a more grainy or expressive look.
  3. Tape your paper down to prevent warping and it will give you a beautiful white border when you are done if you paint to the edge.
  4. You can tape your paper to any drawing board you have or use the cardboard backing from an old paper pad or use inexpensive lightweight foam core board for a lightweight option. You can also use plywood, Masonite or a free recycled paneling sample like I do! The plywood/Masonite boards are also good if you prefer to work at an easel as the extra weight will keep your painting from rocking as you work!
  5. Always test out new techniques or colors on a scrap of paper (use the backside of failed painting or cheap paper you want to use up for this!
  6. Start with an accurate sketch. Watercolor pencil (like watercolor) is transparent so you can’t simply cover up mistakes and erasing on your watercolor paper can damage it so you want to make the mistakes and corrections on your scratch/drawing paper. After your drawing is good you can transfer it to your fine watercolor paper with graphite paper or a lightbox/window.
  7. Make a palette for your watercolor pencils by sanding a cheap plastic  palette. Color the pencils on the plastic and then wet the swatch of color with a brush and paint. You can also save broken lead on the palette and add water to make paint. No more tossing broken points in the trash!
  8. Alternatively you can pick up color from the tip of your pencil with a wet brush and create wet washes and watercolor effects that way.
  9. Remember anytime you wet the pencil lead you weaken it and it will break more easily so let it dry before trying to sharpen it.
  10. Sharpening tips! For a sharp point for drawing details use a handheld or electric sharpener. Turn the sharpener, not the pencil, to avoid breakage. To conserve lead for painting large areas use a craft knife to whittle away the wood and leave the lead intact for painting.
  11. Texture tips! You can add beautiful texture to watches you create with watercolor pencils, you can spray water in a wet wash,
  12. Add salt to a wet wash or
  13. Grate dry watercolor pencil lead into a wash.
  14. For a dark like thinner and darker than you can get with a pencil try scraping into the wet paint with the edge of a cut up credit card or gift card. Great for fur, hair and veins on flowers!
  15. Try not using water! You can draw and color with dry pencils on dry paper for a traditional colored pencil look! Try the hatching technique for fur, cross hatching for shadow or scumbling (aka scribbling) for textured effects.
  16. For darker details that won’t easily dissolve with water try drawing with a sharp dry pencils on wet paper, that’s called dry on wet.
  17. Use a wet on dry technique for stippling. Simply dip the tip of the pencil in water and dot on details (like the dots on the muzzle the whiskers protrude from.)
  18. You can also draw with a wet pencil on wet paper for bold expressive marks that will not easily dissolve.
  19. Build depth and dimension with glazes! Simply layer up veils and veils of color and shadow for realistic paintings full of depth and interest.
  20. Details are best on dry paper with a sharp pencil.
  21. Burnishing can be used to build up colors and create a smooth glassy look. To do this in watercolor pencils I suggest coloring dry on dry and liquefying the pigment with water. Then after that first layer is dry keep coloring with dry pencils until the grain of the paper is full of pigment and the color is rich and vibrant.
  22. Create highlight by scratching off the top layer paper with a craft knife. Just be careful not to cut too much paper away or cut through your paper! And don’t cut yourself!
  23. Mix your media! A white paint (or gel) pen will make quick work of bright elegant highlights!
  24. You can also add traditional colored pencil over a watercolor pencil painting as a final layer but be aware that watercolor pencil will not stick over traditional colored pencils.
  25. When your painting is done and it is time to remove your tape peel it back flat at a 45 degree angle to discourage paper tearing or heat the tape with a hair dryer to make it easier to remove.

I hope you enjoyed these 25 watercolor pencil hacks and apply them to your next watercolor pencil project! If you liked this be sure to share it with a freind or pin it on pinterest using one of the handy sharing links at the bottom of this blog post. 😀 Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Let’s Paint a Flower with New Prima Watercolor Pencils!

Hi Friends! I just got 4 of the new Prima watercolor pencil sets this week as well as water brushes from Hallmark Scrapbook. This is what I made:


I thought it would be fun to turn on the camera as I used them for the first time so you could learn along with me. I will show you how to draw and paint this flower. Here is that video!

As I mentioned there is some overlap in the colors. I have four sets and I asked viewers what color numbers were in the other sets so I could make this a handy color chart for you. Here is a list of the colors in each set:

Earth Tones: 03, 88, 86, 89, 94, 107, 109, 111, 114, 117, 119, 120
Soft Neutrals: 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 87, 88, 113
Spring and Fall: 01, 03, 08, 21, 26, 30, 34, 52, 58, 90, 97, 119
The Basics: 01, 16, 22, 25, 32, 44, 47, 64, 71, 80, 91, 120

The following sets I do not have.
Scenic Route: 05, 07, 09, 113, 88, 84, 61, 50, 54, 62, 58, 120
Julie Nutting Skin Tones: 101 102 90 89 86 09 05 16 08 91 95 120



I think it might help you to decide what sets you want to get. I was planning on buying the skin tone set when it came out to use with my other colored pencils I already had (most colored pencil sets are lacking in complex light skin tones) but Hallmark Scrapbook offered to send me these to try before I got the chance and the skin tones were out of stock! I really think I could come up with about any skin color with the soft neutrals and Earth tone sets though. I also do not have the scenic route set which contains more blues and greens for landscape art. Here are the colors swatched out and blended for the sets I have:)

swatchesI hope you find this helpful. The pencils retail for $12.99 and Hallmark Scrapbook has them for $10.99 and if you don’t see all the sets on the website it means they sold out but they get stuff back in pretty quickly (case in point, the Spectrum Aqua markers.) I really liked the quality of the pencils. I have tried almost all of the watercolor pencils out there and these are really comparable to a Derwent watercolor pencil in my opinion at half the price retail. I put the color chart together so you can spend your money on sets with colors you like and avoid too many duplicates. I’m going to put mine together in a jar so I can see them together and so they will take up less space on my desk. Maybe I will put a piece of washi tape on the pencil to indicate what set they are from so I can tell at a glance. I’ll let you know in a future tutorial:) Let me know if you have any questions. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!



A Watercolor Pencil Landscape Tutorial

Hello Friends! Do you have  a box of watercolor pencils or watercolor crayons lying around? Why not try this fun and easy landscape tutorial:

I hope you had a fun with that and til next time happy crafting!

Forget Me Not Inktense Tutorial

Good evening friends. I am in a much better mood today, I think the fact that it was over 10 degrees this morning and warm enough to walk the dog was a good thing, I got to feel the sun on my face and I have got to say the sunshine is the best mood enhancer there is. No hissy-fit from me tonight! Instead let’s paint some flowers! A reader requested forget-me-nots as they were her favorite flower. You can use any watercolor pencils you have or even watercolor crayons for this project.

I appreciate you stopping by and I hope you give this painting a try. Let me know if you have any questions and til next time happy crafting!

Make a card in less than 10! (another Inktense demo!)

Howdy folks! Want a quick and colorful card idea?

DCF 1.0

You can paint this card and envelope in under 10 minutes. I used Inktense watercolor pencils but you can use any watercolor pencils or crayons you have or even kids watercolor paint! Watch the video to see how:

BTW the large-and-in-charge butterfly stamp is made by Tattered Angles and the smaller butterfly used on the envelope is by Stampin Up. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

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.



  • 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!

Watercolor Pencils: Let’s use them!

OK admit it, you have a set of rarely used watercolor pencils buried deep in your crafting stash. Maybe someone bought them for you as a gift or you bought them for yourself with the best intentions but then got distracted by markers and other shiny new supplies that came your way.  Never fear, they are so fun and easy to use, by the end of my video today you will know how to work that watercolor!

I love the bright fresh look of watercolor pencils! It has rained the last 4 days and it looks like it will rain until Sunday and on a day like this I reach for the most bright cheerful colors for my projects. If this keeps up you will need sunglasses to read my blog come Friday 😛 I know, it is quite a change from the muted drab colors I normally choose LOL!



Supplies used:

Stamps: Vintage Cupcake set from Pink Persimmon

Watercolor Paper: Fabriano CP 90# I bought on sale here ($14.62 for 75 sheets! 9.5″x12.5″ a great deal!)

Watercolor Pencils: Inktense from Derwent (but any brand will work, Inktense is my fave)

HugSnug seam binding from Sew True (I died it with watercolors and crinkled it up and let it dry before using)

This project qualifies for the following challenges: A Spoonful Of Sugar, Claudia & Co, Clear It Out!, Everybody-Art-Challenge, Sweet Stamps , Top Tip Tuesday, Crazy Challenge, Make it Monday and Stamp with Fun

Happy crafting!

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