Artists love using watercolour pencils because they offer the best of both worlds. Using pencils, you can get the vibrant colours of watercolours while maintaining the control and precision of using watercolours. 

Using watercolour pencils to achieve consistent results in your artwork is the topic of this article.

Make sure your paper is stretched well by taping it on a stable surface. Use watercolour pencils to draw the design. Activate the paint by applying water to a portion of a watercolour brush. After the first layer dries, add another.


1. Sketch your rough idea.

Sketch your rough idea.

Your drawing should be sketched out with a pencil. Colour it again or add another layer of paint after it has dried.

Work in sections by dipping a brush into water and lightly painting over an area where you’d like to add more colour.

2. Use watercolour pencils to add the base colours to your sketch.

2. Use watercolour pencils to add the base colours to your sketch.

Alternatively, you can use watercolour pencils to colour all over, making sure to colour within the area you wish to colour. Don’t colour the areas where you want the lighter colour.

3. Use a wet brush to activate the watercolour pencil.

Watercolour brushes should be dipped in water. If you use a water cup, wipe off any excess water at the side.

Use the wet tip of the brush to activate the watercolour pencil. It may be best to use a bigger mop brush if you’re working on a bigger area. Make sure you blend the colour well, covering any lighter areas.

After the first layer has dried, apply more layers. The entire area should be dry within 30 minutes, depending on the size of the painting.

4. Increase the layer count.

After the watercolour paper has been dried to the touch, add more layers. Next, a new colour or more intensity will be added to the first layer. Repeat this process until the desired result is achieved.

5. Include the details.

Watercolour pencils can be dipped in water to add details, then drawn directly on the painting. Detailing brushes are useful for this process.

Making a colour palette on a piece of thick cardstock or palette paper is another technique. Using a slightly wet detailing brush, add the details you need.

Frame the watercolour pencil drawing after it has been dried.


1. Make a sample swatch of each colour

Especially if your set is new, you should make a sample colour swatch showing how you use watercolour pencils. 

Use high-quality watercolour paper to make 48 rectangles for each of your pencil colours. Half an inch by one inch will work well. 

You can see the intensity of the colours by filling the rectangles with a monochromatic gradient.

2. Managing the intensity of colour

By applying pressure to your watercolour pencil, you can control the colour intensity. You can observe the same effect with colored pencils or ordinary pencils by applying more pressure.

Changing the density of your colouring is another way to achieve this. In contrast to drawing widely spaced lines, drawing many closely spaced lines produces more vivid colours. When the pigments of the watercolour pencils are activated, the result is evident.

Watercolour pencils look professional when dipped in water. The watercolour pencil should be sharpened to a point prior to using this technique. If you want to avoid damaging the wooden casing on your watercolour pencils, only dip the colored core into the water.

Colour lines should be reduced when adding colours so you won’t have trouble blending them.

3. Color mixings

Other effects can also be achieved by adding colours differently to watercolour pencils.

As a result of the first one, there is a distinct separation between the layers. Watercolour pencils are applied, activated with water, then dried before further layers are added.

Second, the colours are applied before they are activated by water. This yields a blended effect without a distinct layer separation. Making a new colour is the best use for this technique, though.

4. Introducing new colours

Watercolour pencils can be used to create tints, tones, and shades with the correct technique. I find it fascinating how different colours can be achieved by just tweaking the colour combinations.

You can add more dramatic effects to your watercolour pencil art by knowing how to do magic with the fundamental colours.

Add white to your colours to create tints. Take pink, for instance. You should begin by mixing white and gradually add hues until you get the right intensity and shade.

Because a tone is a blend of grey and pure colour, it is darker than a tint. Add grey sparingly to your colours since it dulls them, and you cannot enhance the effects of grey. To obtain the tone you desire, gradually add the grey to the pure colour.

Adding black to a colour creates shades, which are the darkest. Be careful not to darken your hues when adding black, as you would when adding grey. Make sure to add black gradually so your lighter hues aren’t overwhelmed.

5. Pouring water

When water is added to a watercolour pencil, the pigments are activated. A paintbrush or a spritzer can be used to add water to your watercolour pencil artwork.

Artists usually use a flat brush to blend their watercolour pencils with a brush.

Spritzing a water bottle with water on a watercolour painting is another method. Compared to the watercolour brush, this technique is less aggressive, resulting in a softer look that focuses on a specific part of the painting rather than the entire painting.

6. Lamination

Two effects can be achieved through layering – darkening the colours or blending them with a different colour to produce a new one.

Add layers of colour to watercolour pencil when applying it to dry paper until you reach the desired intensity.

A wet brush was used to apply the watercolour pencil to the paper after activating it with water. This gives the artist the ability to create new colours. A purplish colour was created by mixing blue and reddish-pink.

7. Adding speckles

After wetting the paper, scrape colour from a watercolour pencil with a knife or sandpaper to create a speckled effect to create a snowflake effect, stars at night, or water drops.

When a dry brush is used over the slightly wet painting, it makes streaky textures across many surfaces (such as a snowy landscape).

An alternative way to create a speckled effect is to dilute some watercolour pencil with water and apply it by picking up pigment with a brush and sprinkling it over the painting.

8. Using watercolour pencils to lift or erase

By blotting it with a dry brush or paper towel while still wet, you can “erase” or lift a colour that is too dark. You can also use this technique to remove excess paint from your watercolour painting.

Is it possible to paint over a dry painting? You can use a paintbrush or spritzer to dampen the area, then dab a piece of paper towel over the painting.

9. Designing gradients

It is important to understand how to control the colour intensity to create gradients, especially when applying monochromatic gradients. Adding colours gradually, starting with the most intense colour and working your way down to the faintest.

If you want this colour scheme to work, start with the faintest colour, then move on to the more intense ones.

You need to blend some colours while keeping the other ends of the gradient distinct for two-toned gradients. It can be done by colouring directly on paper, keeping the two colours slightly apart so they blend.

Yellow is the lighter of the two colours, so start with it since it is the first one you see. By blending the colours slowly, only touching some blue while working more on the yellow side.

If you use a slightly wet paintbrush to lift pigments from paper, you can create a two-tone gradient. Use the lighter pigment first, then the darker.


In addition to being creative tools, watercolour pencils can also be used for painting. Make sure you test out pencils and their pigments on a separate piece of paper. 

Here are some methods of applying watercolour pencil to paper.


When wet paper is added to a dry pencil stroke, we can observe how the color reacts. You’ll notice that the lines appear lighter and brighter as the paper absorbs water.

Steps to follow: 

1.    To prevent the paper from curling when it dries, tape it to a flat surface.

2.    Use a slightly wet mop brush to moisten the paper (not dripping wet, but just moist).

3.    Your design should be drawn on moist paper. Watercolour pencils change their intensity when they come into contact with wet paper.

4.    You should apply your colours while the paper is still moist, since if you wet it again, the paper will have a different effect. When the paper is wet again, the pigments reactivate, resulting in blotchy effects.


Using a watercolour pencil with a colored core and then making marks with it creates a gradient effect. Beginners may find this technique more challenging, however it provides them with an alternative way of using their pencils when trying out new techniques.

Steps to follow: 

1.    You can use an easel or top of a flat table to mount a dry watercolour paper.

2.    After sharpening your watercolour pencils, dip the tip of the colored core in water.

3.    On dry watercolour paper, draw the wet watercolour pencil.

4.    By changing the pressure of the watercolour pencil, you can control the intensity of the color.

5.    When the watercolour pencil feels dry, dip it into the water.



A dry watercolour pencil can be used to draw on dry watercolour paper. The result will be a nice clear line, but it won’t look washed out like a watercolour painting.

If you press harder and apply it like traditional colored pencils, you’ll get more saturated colour.

Steps to follow: 

1.    Draw on dry paper with your watercolour pencil.

2.    Apply layers of colors to make them more intense. Avoid overpowering the painting by intensifying one area at a time while you adjust the colours as you work. 

3.    Add more layers to create more colors.


It is easiest to use a dry-on-dry technique with watercolour pencils, then brush over with a wet brush. The beginner prefers this technique.

Steps to follow: 

1.    Just like you would with a colored pencil, use the watercolour pencil on your drawing.

2.    By pushing some pigment with the brush, you can achieve an ombre effect.


Using wet on wet (wet brush on wet paper) will help you to create an impression of depth and dimension.

Steps to follow: 

1.    Spray or mop the paper with water.

2.    Use a palette paper to apply your watercolour pencil.

3.    Apply the pigment to the wet paper with a watercolour brush.


Watercolour pencils can be used as paint instead of traditional watercolour paints. It is also possible to change the saturation of a painting by adjusting the pigment amount. This makes the lines appear more defined.

Steps to follow: 

1.    Apply a small amount of pigment to your wet watercolour brush by rubbing it on the pencil.

2.    Using the brush, apply the paint to the watercolour paper.

3.    You can allow the watercolour to dry before adding more layers, or you can add more colours and let them dry together.

4.    Add fine details after the watercolour paper has dried.


The purpose of this article has been to examine the many benefits of using watercolour pencils. Moreover, we gave you some tips on how to use them efficiently and effectively to ensure that your artwork looks great. 

Putting these methods to the test and observing their impact on your art will now be your responsibility. We’d like to hear how these techniques improved your work.

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