Watercolor Pencil Technique Illustrated Demonstration

A few months ago, we discussed watercolor pencils and some different techniques you can use if you’re just getting into watercolor pencils or you’re looking for something new to try. I didn’t actually demonstrate these methods in the blog post, but have been meaning to show you some of them for some time. So today, I’m going to create a painting using only watercolor pencils (and water, obviously) using many of the techniques I wrote about in the first blog post. You’ll see a lot of people use watercolor pencils to paint still lifes or single fruits or vegetables, and there’s a good reason for that: it’s easy to show a variety of techniques with one simple subject. And it’s fun. And because it’s fall now, I’ve gone with an autumnal theme. Read to the end to see the finished piece, which will also be available for purchase on Redbubble.

I began by using the method of applying the pigment to the brush. I used a lot of water and the base is very light. This is for two reasons: I don’t want it to be a distraction from the rest of the piece and I can easily draw over it later on.

I then used the method of drawing on dry paper. Be sure to really build up the pigment, or else it will look less vibrant than you’d like. You can shade with a darker shade of the same color (like I did on these two) or with the complementary color (that’s coming up). When you add water to these, start in the lightest area first, and the darkest area last. If you don’t, the colors can get either muddy or too similar.

I then used the wet pencil onto dry paper technique for some leaves and vines in front of the arrangement. The darkest parts are the lines I drew on the page. I then took just a little bit of water and created the lighter leaves by drawing pigment out from the darker vines. You can also see here the after-water stage of the apple and pear.

Once the apple and pear were dry, I could draw the other two subjects, the pumpkin and smaller apple. I don’t need to draw with my pencil right up to the edge of the apple and pear, I can fill in those spaces with the brush. You can see on the pumpkin that I’ve shaded using blue, which is orange’s complementary color. So on the pumpkin, I have three layers, the lightest orange, the heavier orange where the color will be the most vibrant, and the blue, which will be the darkest area of the pumpkin. I’ve used the same techniques from the first apple on the second one.

And here you can see the result of adding water to that. I’ve been able to eliminate white spaces between the subjects, and I don’t have to worry about re-activating the pear and first apple. Once the paint dries with these pencils, it won’t be activated again, which makes it easy to do what I just did but difficult if I were to make a mistake. And you can see that the blue and orange blended to create that dark brown-orange at the bottom of the pumpkin.

I finally used a dry pencil on wet paper technique for the vines and leaves atop the pumpkin. Because the pumpkin had dried, I was also able to add those few vines in front of it. I used the wet pencil on dry paper method for the brown stems of the apples and pear.

And that’s it! I hope you found this interesting. If you like this piece, be sure to check it out on Redbubble for yourself or someone you know. Let me know if you like these types of blog posts. If you do, perhaps read this one. Thank you so much for reading and until next time, goodbye!

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