Watercolor pencils and crayons include any sketching media with water-soluble pigment inside. They come in a variety of forms – encased in wood or wax paper or just sticks of pigment – and in many sizes.

They combine the vibrancy and fluidity of watercolors with the accuracy and portability of colored pencils. They can be used to ease into painting with normal watercolors or as a medium in their own right. With a wide range of techniques available, watercolor pencils are a good investment for an artist on a budget.

With the benefits, however, come some downsides. Artists need knowledge of two very different media to use watercolor pencils to the fullest extent. While you need to know how to blend colors as you would with pencils, you will also need to know how to stretch paper as you would before watercoloring.