Skills

 

There are a myriad ways to use the pencils.

The most obvious would be to draw with them as you would with regular colored pencils. After laying down the pigment, you can apply water with a brush, using the strokes you'd use with watercolor paints. This is the simplest method to use watercolor pencils.

You can also wet the tip of the pencil and draw with it. Lines made like this are bold and may be difficult to blend with a brush. These striking strokes work well to outline, highlight and sketch. Be sure you want these lines to be seen in the end product, however.

Another painting method involves applying color to the brush. This technique is the closest to actual watercolor painting, with the added benefit of portability. The strokes resemble watercolor paints and the colors can be mixed right on the brush instead of on paper.

As with watercolor paints, you can also "resist" the color -- that is, leave a color showing through, even after painting over it. Usually this is done with lighter colors for highlights. This effect can be achieved through using wax or graphite pencils, Wite-Out or even masking fluid, which is designed for such uses. Using resists is an exercise in patience, requiring trial and error to achieve a desired effect.

Before beginning to paint, however, you should decide whether you will use water with the pencils. If so, you will probably need to soak your paper in water and stretch it so it won't buckle. To do this, you submerge the paper in water, allowing it to soak up as much as possible. Then, place the paper on an art board and sponge the excess water off of it. Stretch the page as tautly as possible and tape the edges to the board, keeping the paper smooth. Note that you don't need to bother with this step if you are practicing on cartridge paper.