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  #46   Report Bad Post  
Old 02-19-2020, 09:58 PM
Elliria Elliria is offline
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Re: Watercolor Pencil Tips and Techniques

Good point, and that would be another good way of introducing some surprises into a painting if it's done in a random way. I didn't realize it had a name. I'll add that to my ever-growing notes. Thanks.
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Old 02-22-2020, 04:32 PM
Elliria Elliria is offline
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Re: Watercolor Pencil Tips and Techniques

The following tips are a big, messy collection and some of them contradict each other, so I advise experimentation with your tools to see which apply in your case.


Layers:
  • Marcio C (in one of the WetCanvas forum threads) said that wetting the pigment saturates the paper, with each layer causing the paper to beome more slippery and resist further applications, so he recommends using diluted pigment from watercolor pencils as paint to add layers instead. This may be due to the pencils or paper or both. I've successfully added layers after the activated pigment has dried and have seen others do it, too. He uses Caran D'Ache watercolor pencils and didn't mention the kind of paper he sees that behavior with, and I've been using Zenacolor pencils and paper for my tests. Either way, it's good to be prepared to use the pigment as paint just in case.
  • You can go over dry watercolor paint with watercolor pencils and use the same techniques as you would use on blank paper. This can be used to add highlights or shadows, add outlines or other details, as a glaze to deepen existing colors, etc.
  • You can go over dry watercolor pencil areas with water and then charge new color into it as a second layer without disturbing the layer below it, or at least without disturbing it much.
  • You can go over dry watercolor pencil areas with watercolor pencils and use the same techniques as you would use on blank paper. This can be used to add highlights or shadows, add outlines or other details, as a glaze to deepen existing colors, etc.
  • You can go over dry watercolor pencil with other mediums, like gouache, gel pens, acrylic, etc.
  • When blending two colors of watercolor pencil together to mix them or create a gradient, try using parallel strokes and adding each subsequent layer in parallel strokes that go in a different direction.
  • When adding layers of the same color or different color watercolor pencil, try using parallel strokes and adding each subsequent layer in parallel strokes that go in a different direction.
  • When adding layers of the same color watercolor pencil, try using small circular motions with the pencil and slowly laying less and less pigment to fade or blend the edges so that the eye can't make out what you did.
  • When adding layers of different color watercolor pencil, try using small circular motions with the pencil and slowly laying less and less pigment to fade or blend the edges so that the eye can't make out where one color begins and the other ends. Also, if you want to soften the transition, go back over the new color with the original color to soften it (this is sort of like using the bottom layer as the mother color). You can even do that before adding yet another color when doing multiple colors. Note that all of this happens while the pencils are dry and before you activate them (if at all).
  • When layering, achieve a smooth finish by coloring each stroke in the same direction (all up and down, for instance) on the first layer and then turning the page for the next layer so that your up-and-down strokes will be horizontal (perpendicular to the ones in the previous layer). Repeat those two layers as many times as you like, each time making the strokes perpendicular to the ones in the previous layer. If you know you're going to be doing several layers, you could also add in some angled layers instead of just perpendicular ones. Note that many people color in little circles and this works fine in small areas, but for large areas, you may want to try straight strokes.
  • This is a slow medium that takes a long time to bring you to a finished result (with all the layers), so patience is required.
  • Be patient when adding layers of colors with watercolor pencils, lightly using small circular motions and covering each layer with another (often the base color in between, as mentioned above) until you get the desired effect. As long as you're gentle and don't destroy the tooth of the paper with too much pressure, you can just keep adding layers and create a very pretty look with lots of depth in the shading and blending areas.
  • When blending a new layer of watercolor pencil into the surrounding area or a previous layer, you might want to turn the paper so that the tip of the damp paintbrush is pointing toward the pencil you just added, giving you more control and the ability to lay the belly of the damp brush down into the neighboring area without applying pigment there (this is a way to use the entire brush to pull the color outward into the neighboring area as opposed to pushing it outward from within).
  • Depending on the brand of watercolor pencils you use (and what they're made of), when you activate more than one layer of color at once, the bottom layer will be the dominant color. In some brands, it's possible that the pigment will fully blend when layered, in which case neither color will be dominant.
  • Windy Iris Art always does a layer of the lighter color over a darker color when mixing two or more colors or putting two or more colors next to each other: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f28F...youtu.be&t=277
  • You can control your blends by how you layer and activate them. When you activate one layer, let it dry, and add another layer on top of it, the bottom layer will have more influence when you activate the top layer because the top layer will dissolve while the bottom layer won't dissolve or activate as much and may not activate at all. As a result, when one color is on top of another, the bottom color will peek through the top color. This can be used to your advantage when glazing, but is something you'll want to be aware of. If you want a true mixture of two watercolor pencils, you can color the area with both of them first and then activate them together or you can shave or scribble them onto a palette and activate the pigment with water, mixing them together thoroughly before brushing the mixture onto the paper.
  • Light-colored pencils have more wax in them than dark-colored pencils, making them harder to color over than dark colors. As a result, it may be easier to start with darker colors when creating layers.
  • You're generally going to go darker when layering since it's a light to dark medium, although that's not necessarily true - you might be able to layer light onto dark with these depending on the characteristics and opacity of your brand of pencils, how heavy-handed you are with applying them, and the kind of surface you're using.
  • Try to remember to always use light pressure with watercolor pencils. Otherwise, you may damage the surface of the paper and may not be able to layer colors on top in that spot any more. If you want deeper or more saturated color, you can make multiple passes over the area or introduce water or glycerin with a brush or spray bottle or use a wet watercolor pencil in that area.
  • When you want to blend two colors into one another side by side in a gradient, use the lightest possible touch with each color near the connection, barely touching the paper. Overlap color 1 very slightly with color 2 near the join and then overlap color 2 very slightly with color 1 near the join. You can repeat this in as many layers as you like, but the lighter the touch, the better the blend.
  • When blending two colors together or smoothing the edges between two colors, it can be useful to color with the first color, then add the second color, then color over both colors with the first color again to smooth out the transition. If that doesn't seem to be working as expected, add more layers, each one with very light strokes of the pencil. The more layers you add, the richer the color combination will be and the more the colors will combine.
  • When adding another layer of color over an existing layer, use sharp pencils, hold them further back rather than at the tip, and be very light-handed with each layer and use the SIDE of the pencil so that you don't move the pigment beneath the new layer too much or gouge into it with the pencil point.
  • When layering, you need to control the amount of pressure. Too light and your colors will be pale and nonluminous. Too heavy and you'll make marks that will be difficult or impossible to remove or cover later and will show through in the final piece.
  • To create a variety of tones of the same color, apply more layers in the areas where you want deeper tones.
  • You can try using a flicking motion (similar to the apparently well-known Copic marker flicking technique) with your watercolor pencils to flick pigment outward in order to blend it with the surrounding area or previous layer or to add texture.
  • Jennifer (Coloring Bliss on YouTube) uses the rule of thirds when coloring areas. She covers the entire area in the lightest color, then she adds a layer covering two thirds of the area with the medium tone of the color, and then she adds a layer covering one third of the area with the darkest tone of the color. Then she repeats the step covering two thirds of the area with the medium tone and the step covering the entire area with the lightest tone. Last, but not least, she lays down a small scribbled bit of dark gel pen at the edge of the darkest area and immediately blends it out across the entire area with her finger (you could use a Q-tip or a blending pen or a dry brush or a damp brush. She demonstrates her rule of thirds technique in this video, which is one of many she has on that subject: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ClW74f2Rj0I
  • You can use a negative painting technique to insert light areas into an existing area by first coloring in the area in a light application of pigment and then adding a darker layer in certain areas on top of it and leaving off the darker layer in the parts where you'd like the light areas to be. As an example, you could color in a leaf entirely in green and then go in again with green or a different color again for a second layer in certain spots where the leaf would be shaded and avoid anywhere where there would be veins (leave a gap between shaded areas). You wouldn't even need to add a second (or more) layer(s) across the entire leaf. Even doing this with part of a leaf gives the illusion of dimensions and veins on a leaf. This entire video by Paint Academy is breathtaking, and the very beginning of it demonstrates the leafe technique really well: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XK7MZSks5DM
  • When working with watercolor pencils as though they're paint, put multiple layers of color down instead of one mixed color to provide more dimension to your painting. In this line and wash example, Watercolor Misfit lays down yellow, then puts purple where the cross-hatches are in her drawing, and then finally, green, bringing a lot of depth to the stems in her drawing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rn72...youtu.be&t=383
  • Use the sgraffito technique: Color an area and activate it. When it dries, color over it with another color and activate it. Then carefully scrape away part of the area with an Xacto blade or other craft knife to reveal the previous layer.
  • When drawing something with a lot of small sections, like a flower with lots of small petals, Anna Mason's watercolor paint technique for doing this works just as well with watercolor pencils. You color in all the lightest tones first, then the darkest tones, and then finish with the mid tones, using each tone as a gauge for how dark to make the next tone. Once all three tones are in place, you'll see which of them need to be adjusted with an additional layer of color to darken the tone and balance the piece. Any adjustment will affect the overall painting, so you may end up tweaking each tone more than once. You can see her using this technique here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1Y5pn_le0c
  • Glazing (layering) is always done wet over dry, whether you scribble the next layer on with watercolor pencils and then activate it with water or glycerin or use the watercolor pencil pigment as paint with a brush.
  • If you want a new layer of watercolor pencil to blend with the previous layer, don't add the new layer until the previous layer is dry. Watercolor pencil marks made on wet paper are instantly permanent and very vibrant and will not fully dissolve and blend out. Fran Kekka demonstrates this in her https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_PXJ...youtu.be&t=188 YouTube video.
  • You can control your glazing blends with your brush choices. Depending on the effect you're trying to achieve with the new layer, a softer brush is less likely to disturb the previous layer, whereas a stiffer brush is likely to intentionally disturb the previous layer.
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  #48   Report Bad Post  
Old 02-26-2020, 12:20 AM
Elliria Elliria is offline
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Re: Watercolor Pencil Tips and Techniques

Dan Nelson likes to draw a line around the edge of a surface to give himself a border to work within when drawing or sketching. Part of his reason is to trick his mind into beginning to think in a designerly way and to take balance and spatial relationships into consideration. Another interesting reason is that the border gives him a safety area that he can use to expand the drawing into if his size or positioning estimate was off and he needs a bit more room for the drawing. He does a quick demonstration of that in this YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XUzeJiopHlY
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Old 02-28-2020, 09:04 PM
Elliria Elliria is offline
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Re: Watercolor Pencil Tips and Techniques

You can create a stencil from cardboard, plastic, or another stiff material and lay it on your surface. Then scribble color up to it, bumping against its edges, kind of as if it was a ruler blocking your way. Or create a stencil with a cut-out, lay it on your surface, and scribble color within the cut-out. The lady from Caran d'Ache who demonstrated this used a stencil to bump up against: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vmC1...youtu.be&t=139
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Old 02-28-2020, 09:05 PM
Elliria Elliria is offline
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Re: Watercolor Pencil Tips and Techniques

All of us who use and/or love watercolor pencils (or pencils of any kind) need this table in our lives: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9tY2GoTHkf8
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Old 03-03-2020, 08:14 PM
Elliria Elliria is offline
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Re: Watercolor Pencil Tips and Techniques

When applying glazes or layers of watercolor pencil on top of each other, consider using the dry on wet technique and wetting the paper first. The pencil layers go on very smoothly and easily when the paper is wet. This is demonstrated by derwentacademy in this YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9p_K7LthFAc
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Old 03-05-2020, 12:01 AM
Elliria Elliria is offline
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Re: Watercolor Pencil Tips and Techniques

Using gel pens with watercolor pencils:
  • You can use gel pens beneath and/or on top of watercolor pencil.
  • Gel pens can be blended just like watercolor pencils, with a damp brush, but you must work very quickly after putting the gel pen down if you want the blend to be smooth and gradual.
  • When using gel pens with your watercolor pencils, if you don't have a gel pen that's the color you'd like, get the closest one and then go over it with a watercolor pencil to change its color. This works especially well when adding white highlights that you would like to mute a bit.
  • If you accidentally get gel pen onto an illustration, get too much gel pen onto an illustration, or get gel pen onto an area of an illustration where it doesn't belong, you might be able to use a sharp knife to gently scrape it off.
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Old 03-10-2020, 10:23 PM
Elliria Elliria is offline
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Re: Watercolor Pencil Tips and Techniques

Consider any of these tools for wiping and blotting your pencil tips or brushes or for lifting pigment from the surface:
  • a paper towel
  • a cloth diaper
  • a coffee filter
  • a crocheted or knit cotton puff
  • a cut-up piece of a bath towel
  • a cut-up piece of a chamois cloth
  • a cut-up piece of a flannel sheet
  • a cut-up piece of a T-shirt
  • a cut-up piece of underwear
  • a dinner napkin
  • a dish towel
  • a feminine hygiene product
  • a gauze pad
  • a makeup remover pad
  • a microfiber cloth
  • a page from a phone book
  • a sheet of newspaper
  • a sponge
  • a sock
  • a sweat band
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Old 03-14-2020, 06:28 PM
Elliria Elliria is offline
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Re: Watercolor Pencil Tips and Techniques

A girl named April on YouTube came up with an interesting style of painting when she attempted to fix a painting she wasn't happy with and this technique could be used intentionally for some rather unique effects. She paints over an existing painting with white gouache, creating a very pale ghost of the original image. She then draws on it with colored pencil. She wasn't using watercolor pencils, but the idea is the same and it would work with watercolor pencils. She first did it in the https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nz_kK7Iq_7I video and then did it again in the https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gurz4WI0Om4 video. I prefer her paintings when they're only partly finished (with just some pencil marks on them) rather than what she ended up with in the end, because I feel she covered up a bit more of the whitened background than I would have, but you can explore this technique for yourselves and see how far you'd like to take it.
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Old 03-16-2020, 11:06 AM
Elliria Elliria is offline
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Re: Watercolor Pencil Tips and Techniques

If you're using a credit card or palette knife or other tool to scrape paint away, wait for the paint to lose its wet gloss before you do. Otherwise the paint will just flow back into the scraped area. Sterling Edwards demonstrates that in the https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0RL...youtu.be&t=511 YouTube video. Granted, he's not using watercolor pencils which tend to dry very quickly when activated, but it can be good to keep this in mind if your scraping isn't giving you the expected results, especially if you're a bit heavy-handed with the water or are using your watercolor pencils as paint by scribbling on a palette and using a brush to apply the pigment or by picking up the pigment directly from the pencils with a brush.
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Old 03-19-2020, 05:17 PM
Elliria Elliria is offline
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Re: Watercolor Pencil Tips and Techniques

Some watercolor pencils come with a coating on them when you first buy them, so they may not color very well at first. Sharpen them slightly to remove the coating. You can try wiping the tip with a damp cloth instead, but if you do that, make sure to dry the pencils thoroughly before returning them to the container they're stored in.
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Old 03-25-2020, 12:27 PM
Elliria Elliria is offline
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Re: Watercolor Pencil Tips and Techniques

If you're out of watercolor paper and haven't stocked up your supply yet, you may have your eye on some card stock or other substitute paper you happen to have handy as a good surface to temporarily use your watercolor pencils on. If so, consider using a colorless blender pen to activate the pigment. Colorless blender pens have far less moisture in them than a brush that's been dipped in water or a water-filled brush, so they're less likely to buckle paper that isn't designed for use with wet mediums.
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