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Watercolor Pencil 101 Tutorial Video and Printable

Watercolor pencils are my favorite art supply and I use them regularly in my nature journal. Over the years I have learned a few techniques for using watercolor pencils in a variety of ways…each with its own effects and advantages.

I will share them here but for a more detailed look at how to do each technique, watch the handy video below: Watercolor Pencils 101 Tutorial.

Color and then brush with a wet brush:
Use your watercolor pencil to fill in a space, then add water.You can use your pencils to blend and layer color before or after adding water. I especially like to use this technique in my nature journal because I can do my sketching in the field and then add the water later…even much later at home.

Dip the watercolor pencil in water first:
Dip the tip of your pencil in water and then use it to fill in your sketch.This is a nice technique for sketching in the field since you don’t need to take along any paint brushes. You don’t even need to carry water with you if you have a source in the field like a lake or stream.

Wet the paper first:
Try wetting your paper first and then adding your watercolor pencil. This works well for filling in larger areas of your sketch like the sky. Just remember that if you are working directly in your nature journal that this technique may warp your paper when it dries.

Use a wet brush on the pencil tip:
Use the tip of your watercolor pencil like a paint palette by brushing it with a wet paint brush.

Wet brush on broken watercolor pencil pigment:
Collect all those broken tips and use as a sort of paint palette by stroking with a wet paint brush. Use this technique if you break off a tip when sketching in the field and you don’t have a pencil sharpener to make another point on your watercolor pencil.

Watercolor Pencils 101 Tutorial Printable – Give it a try with your children! Remember that watercoloring on printer paper is different than using watercolor paper. Try both and have fun!
I use a mixed media paper sketchbook for my nature journal and watercolors do make the pages a little wavy. I don’t mind the results but you may wish to work on watercolor paper and then adhere it into your nature journal

You can watch more of my YouTube videos on my YouTube Channel

Nature Journal Cover Watercolor Pages @handbookofnaturestudy

I used a mixed media journal so when I use watercolors directly on the pages they end up a little wavy. This doesn’t bother me because I love the character it gives my journal.

You may be interested in adding art and music appreciation into your week using my plans from Harmony Fine Arts. I invite you click over and see all the things available from grades 1-12.

How to Get Started with Harmony Fine Arts


9 thoughts on “Watercolor Pencil 101 Tutorial Video and Printable

  1. This is very helpful. I didn’t know a couple of them.

  2. We *love* the technique with the broken tips; we seem to have many of them.

  3. This was an awesome tutorial, Barb! I especially appreciate the technique for utilizing the broken tips – thank you!

  4. I was interested in learning more water color pencil techniques. Thanks for posting the tutorial! 🙂

  5. Love this!! Printed 5 copies to enjoy this week. Thank you!

  6. Thanks for this great tutorial!

  7. Thanks for the tips, Barb! One note on the last technique, another way to store the broken colored pencil tips is in one of those tiny bubble gum sized egg cartons. (After you’ve chewed the gum.) You can keep the colors fairly separated and using a tiny brush, wet them in their little compartments. Now (Easter) is a good time of year to find the bubble gum egg cartons in most stores.

  8. I wish I had seen tutorials like this when we were homeschooling! I just showed my daughter your video, in hopes that she might use some of the techniques when she’s out foraging.

    1. It makes me happy that this was helpful to you and your daughter. 🙂

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