How to Use Water Color Pencils

Written by jessica reed
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How to Use Water Color Pencils
"Watercolour Pencils" [Online image] (

Watercolour pencils combine the beauty and control of coloured pencils with the texture and rich colouring of paint. They make it easier to create a masterpiece without the mess or lack of control that simple watercolour paints can create. There are a variety of ways to use watercolour pencils, and each creates its own unique look.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Watercolour pencils
  • Paper towels
  • Paintbrushes

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  1. 1

    Draw your picture on paper with the watercolour pencils. Color and shade in the drawing, but don't worry about making it perfect. Adding water will cause the colour to spread out and become more evenly textured. You may wish to create a light outline first to help visualise how your final picture will look.

  2. 2

    Dip your paintbrush into clean water and apply it to an area of your drawing. For best results, go over all the areas that are the same colour. Add more water to thin the paint and spread it farther. Mix areas together to create smudging. Rinse the paintbrush in a separate cup before dipping it in clean water and moving on to the next colour.

  3. 3

    Add details by colouring on a scrap piece of paper with the colour you wish to use. Then roll the wet paintbrush across the smudge of colour to pick some up. Apply it to your drawing as needed. Wait until your drawing has finished drying first to keep the colours from running together.

  4. 4

    Dip the tip of the pencil in the water before colouring to create a smudged paint look. Color as you would with a regular pencil to create your picture. It will look painted, but appear thicker than it would if you coloured first and then added water with a brush.

  5. 5

    Create a blurred effect by using the paintbrush to apply clean water to the paper and then colour over the top of it with your pencils. This will be harder to control and works best for creating backgrounds or abstract drawings. The colour will spread over the wet areas as you work.

Tips and warnings

  • Watercolour pencils work dry just as well as they do wet. They can be used as regular coloured pencils as well.
  • Always wipe off the tip of your watercolour pencils when you are done to remove any water or other colours they may have picked up.

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