A watercolor painting can be a beautiful work of art, but painting with watercolors is messy. Watercolor pencils, however, allow the artist to be more precise in applying the color and that saves cleanup of both the artist and the workspace. The following steps will help you get started drawing with watercolor pencils.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Watercolor pencils
- Watercolor paint
- Watercolor paper
- Masking or artist's tape
- Brushes, swabs and clothes
- Kneaded eraser
Begin with watercolor paper. Tape it to your work surface. You can simply tape the corners or you can use long strips of tape along all four sides, which will create a white border around your work.
Stretch your paper. Using a large brush, thoroughly wet the paper and allow it to dry. At first the paper will buckle, but as it dries it will lie flat again. If you want your work to have a tinted background, called a wash, add some watercolor pigment to the water before wetting the paper.
Use light colors first. Then add darker shades.
Blend and set your work with water. Dampen a brush, cloth, cotton swab or any other object the right size and shape and carefully apply water to your drawing. The colors will blend and spread slightly.
Allow your work to dry, then make alterations as desired.
Experiment. Once you've mastered the basic technique, you can try drawing on wet paper, drawing on dry paper with wet pencils, shaving the pencils onto the paper or picking up pigment from the pencils with a brush.
Mat and frame your masterpiece.
Tips and warnings
- Try not to rest your hand or arm on the paper while drawing with watercolor pencils because oil can transfer to the paper. If possible, use an easel to draw after stretching the paper, then transfer your work to a flat surface to add the water.
- Nothing will ruin your work faster than forgetting to stretch your paper. After you've made your drawing with the pencils and begin to blend with water, the paper will buckle, causing your colors to run.
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