Learning to use watercolours has always been on my creative bucket list. I’ve always been a bit overwhelmed by them, as they seem really difficult to manage. I later found out that watercolours don’t always have to be done with paints. You can actually use watercolored pencils. So when I found a nice and cheap set of watercolored pencils from Tk Maxx, I picked them up and started practicing.
Watercolored pencils are basically pencils that are water soluble. To use them you simply draw what you want in pencil and then use water and a paint brush to blend the colours. This gives a watercolored paint like effect.
As soon as I got the pencils home, I rushed into having ago. I drew a very small flower doodle. I was really pleased with the first attempt and carried on doodling, then suddenly disaster struck. My lovely flower doodle wasn’t blending colour and the paper started to rip and turned into a pile of paper mush. I realised that you need special watercolour paper to absorb some of the water to stop tearing.
Starting the Bigger Projects
Once I realised I needed special paper, I started to practice in an A3 watercolored sketch pad. I decided to jump right in with a larger project. I first drew a quite basic outline of a large flower, and shaded the petals and the leaves. I then went on to add another. I shaded the petals with three similar colours going darkest to lightest. When it came to blending the colours together this time there was no tearing or paper mush. I was actually really happy with the outcome.
If you’re starting out with watercolored pencils, I’d really recommend using quite a basic outline to begin with. As even though watercolored pencils are easier than watercolored paint, getting water to do what you want it to do, can be quite difficult. It requires quite gentle and controlled brush strokes.
For my second project I wanted something with a background colour, I didn’t know what I wanted to draw. I knew just wanted a multi-coloured background. It’s sometimes nice to start a drawing with no expectation at all. I ended up drawing a sort of abstract flower scene. I outlined the petals in silver acrylic paint.
I still haven’t decided whether this drawing looks best landscape or portrait. I started it landscape, but now really like it portrait too. I’d love to get these two pieces framed so I’ll have to decided at some point which way round I want it. Which do you think looks better?
I’ve really fallen in love with watercolour pencils. One thing I’d like to try next is some still-life work such as drawing different fruits and realistic flowers. Then I’d like to move on to learning to use watercolored paints. I’ll be sure to share any new projects.
Thanks for reading,
Something I’ve been doing to improve my techniques is watching YouTube tutorials. I thought I share the ones I liked in case anyone else is interested.