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Watercolor Pencils Step by Step. And Some Sketching.

Updated on October 8, 2014

Watercolor Pencils - Step by Step and a Few Tools.

Below is a picture of my "Dream Project."

It's so hard to do; I feel like I'm wasting paper; no, they say, this is practice.

I'm not quitting, but I want to. I'm not doing much watercoloring, because I can't get perfection the first try.

My fear of failure keeps attacking.

I've paused from watercolors and have experimented with doing some Photo Shop Elements water coloring. See Below.

I've been teaching myself how to paint with watercolor pencils.

Learning watercolor pencil on-line and using some informative books.

I'll be highlighting the stages step-by-step that I go through to accomplish a final project.

I'll be as transparent as possible, and feature all my tools I purchase or discover.

People found this article by searching on these phrases:

Watercolor drawing step by step projects

Step by step with watercolor pencils

Watercolor pencil flower

Pencil watercolor inspiration

Brush for water color pencils amazon


Welcome to my GIANT learning curve journey of Watercolor Pencils.

Here is a picture of my pencils. I've been doing several practice sessions out of the book called "Watercolor 1 Beginners Guide Book One by Walter Foster.

What is it about sharpening pencils? - When I'm finished with a project - I sharpen them - to get ready for the next inspiration.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Shavings! A beautiful site!
Shavings! A beautiful site!
Shavings! A beautiful site!

I love water coloring, and watercolor pencils are so versatile.

Once I'm done "creating" I have to sharpen the pencils and put them in RAINBOW color order for my next project.

My watercolor pencils have served me well.

Some of my favorite tools.
Some of my favorite tools.

What an awesome tool. The pencil can be used simply as a pencil, or you can shave the pigment off the pencil and get the shavings wet to use as a palette, or scrub some of the pigment onto a paper you're not using and get that wet with a brush and paint, I like all the varieties of painting strictly with the pencil. Spatter painting is a great technique. I've learned from books and from YouTube how-to videos.

DREAM PROJECT - I want to watercolor this photo!!

DREAM PROJECT - I want to watercolor this photo!!
DREAM PROJECT - I want to watercolor this photo!!

Step by Step Watercolor Step One Sketch

Step by Step Watercolor Step One Sketch
Step by Step Watercolor Step One Sketch

Step by Step Watercolor Step Two - Mask and start background wash

Step by Step Watercolor Step Two - Mask and start background wash
Step by Step Watercolor Step Two - Mask and start background wash

Step by Step Watercolor Step 3 Details

Step by Step Watercolor Step 3 Details
Step by Step Watercolor Step 3 Details
My first attempt - I over painted.  (from my photo)
My first attempt - I over painted. (from my photo)

A trip to the art supply store with a gift card to spend.

Yep, that's how all this started.

I knit! I weave! I ride a motorcycle!

I love colors, I love scenic nature, taking pictures, and simply sitting and enjoying the open air. I took a gift card to Michaels to shop for yarn (what else?) and ended up in the painting aisle. I honestly was thinking of my daughter-in-law who paints with mixed media and wondering if there were items she did not have, or would enjoy adding to her selection of tools.

In that aisle, holding a gift card and a 40% off coupon for Derwent pencil sets, I caved.

I'm now the proud owner of the 24 Watercolour watercolor pencils, along with a Artist's Loft basics watercolor Art Case with the square cakes, watercolor paint tubes, brushes and sketching pencils. A vinyl eraser, double metal sharpener and plastic palette.

I bought a small visual journal that had watercolor cold press paper 140 lb.

I've added a picture of one of my first paintings in that spiral book.

Sketch from the book Drawing Masterclass
Sketch from the book Drawing Masterclass

I Went Straight to Watercolor Pencils ...

Then Regrouped and Started Sketching.

If I had quit with the sketch and some light colors, along with some highlights and shading, I would be happier with my first painting.

Frustrated I went to Barnes and Noble and bought a big book called "Drawing Masterclass" by Barrington Barber. It impressed me because the introduction says, "If you want to make the most of the art of drawing, look no further ... "

It has a DVD that literally steps you through drawing 101 ... literally.

For example, the photo here is my first sketch!

A watercolor flower I painted early on in my learning process

This is the Book I Used to Learn Technique - Buy this one on Amazon

I actually found this one on sale. It was $12.98. It is worth 4 times that much with the DVD.

Drawing Masterclass
Drawing Masterclass

It starts with simple shapes, and shadow, then goes into detail, lighting, faces, etc. It makes the process seem so simple and is easy to follow.

 

Yes I Watercolored This Flower. - When I finished it I sent a photo of it to my sister who paints professionally.

Mortified that anyone would take this wrong!!
Mortified that anyone would take this wrong!!

PhotoShop Watercolor Touch Up of the Bear Country Clouds photo below

PhotoShop Watercolor Touch Up of the Bear Country Clouds photo below
PhotoShop Watercolor Touch Up of the Bear Country Clouds photo below

Watercolor with the Wacom App for iPad

I'm all about learning step-by-step online. Free online courses. - Learning from Mark Crilley videos on Youtube.

This is my first attempt using his videos.

Just search Mark Crilley on Youtube.

One of my favorites by Mark Crilley - See ya later, once you start his videos you'll never return here.

I'm so fascinated with his method and teaching style. Great instructor.

Clouds looming over Bear Country in South Dakota

Clouds looming over Bear Country in South Dakota
Clouds looming over Bear Country in South Dakota

Ahhh! The scenery in Arizona.

Ahhh! The scenery in Arizona.
Ahhh! The scenery in Arizona.

I see a crowd - do you?

I see a crowd - do you?
I see a crowd - do you?

Watercolor Pencil - Field of Flowers

Watercolor Pencil - Field of Flowers
Watercolor Pencil - Field of Flowers

I learned the flowers and crowd techniques here:

Some people are just natural talents, others have to be trained. - I'm the one who needs classes.

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    • Fiona Jean Mckay profile image

      Fiona 12 months ago from South Africa

      I just got a set of Inktense pencils, now I know technically that they are ink and not watercolor but they work the same and I am loving them. I like all the photos you've added here - it's interesting to see other parts of the world as well.

    • carol2 profile image

      carol2 4 years ago

      My one daughter started using watercolor pencils when she was about 15, and by the time she started college she had done about 24 beautiful drawngs. You have given me the idea to make a lens with her pictures.

    • TheLittleCardShop profile image

      Malu Couttolenc 4 years ago

      Woww you are so talented! I used to paint when I was a child but I quit as I grew older. My mom used to paint and sketch she was amazing. Now I have her color pencils and all her painting stuff I really want to get started again. Your page is very inspiring :)

    • Just4Luck profile image

      Justin 4 years ago from Slovenija

      I just watch. I suppose this can be learned too.

    • profile image

      cmadden 4 years ago

      I've usually used small tubes, but would like to try the pencils sometime!

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 4 years ago from Central Florida

      I bought some colored pencils and tried keeping a nature sketchbook. Some look pretty good, so I'm encouraged. I need to keep trying though.

    • GregoryMoore profile image

      Gregory Moore 4 years ago from Louisville, KY

      I am definitely a novice, but it comes naturally to my daughter. I wish I had her ability.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I keep buying these water coloured pencils but by the time I leave a place, I have not used them so off they go to someone else. Procrastination is a virtue-mine.

    • TolovajWordsmith profile image

      Tolovaj Publishing House 4 years ago from Ljubljana

      I am not particularly interested to learn drawing, but certainly enjoy a beautiful picture. I also enjoyed your step by step presentation which i found very inspiring. You are right - some are natural talents and others need training. I have to add I believe we all have talents and all talents have to be trained. My call is storytelling and i excelled in this since i was a kid but only after A LOT of practice I got the the point where I can make a living with this. So we are still at 1 percent of inspiration and 99 of perspiration:)

    • endamclarnon profile image

      Enda McLarnon 4 years ago from Belfast, Ireland

      Mark Crilly is an exceptional teacher I find. I started water colours many years ago and was very frustrated until I started to understand the techniques. Patience is a virtue they say.

    • Gayle Dowell profile image

      Gayle Dowell 4 years ago from Kansas

      I love watercolor, and have been painting for about 10 years, but I had to grow to like it. It can be very frustrating if you try to control every aspect of the painting. If you learn to enjoy the happy accidents along the way it brings much more joy. Watercolor pencil gives you more control and you have put together a great lens on your journey. Keep up the great work!

    • CherylsArt profile image

      Cheryl Paton 4 years ago from West Virginia

      I love watercolor pencils. Both for watercolor painting, and as a sketch for filling n with acrylic paint. I love to paint. I enjoyed reading about your experience.

    • sunny saib profile image

      sunny saib 4 years ago

      Totally.. I've always been bad at art so I started to give up on it from childhood. But i like to use different kinds of colors every once in a while. It's fun

    • profile image

      MintySea 4 years ago

      Your artwork is very nice. The girl you drew and the flowers were good.

    • Escapes2 profile image

      Escapes2 4 years ago

      Very nice art work. I can see how much you enjoy it.

    • ShariBerry profile image

      Sharon Berry 4 years ago from Michigan

      I can't wait to show this lens to my aspiring granddaughter...she is young but loves art and I think this lens will be very aspiring. Thanks for sharing.

    • CNelson01 profile image

      Chuck Nelson 5 years ago from California

      Very good art! I deal mostly with digital art now but took art in high school and a little in college. Interesting lens and a medium I was unaware of.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Returning to enjoy this excellent tutorial once again!...*

    • firstcookbooklady profile image

      Char Milbrett 5 years ago from Minnesota

      Learning... great lens! Mainly, I paint with acrylics on saws and such.

    • BLemley profile image

      Beverly Lemley 5 years ago from Raleigh, NC

      I am definitely learning! Your lense is a good starting point for learning the water color pencils ~ you are an inspiration! Keep it up, I think you will be a brilliant artist! I love that you're in ministry, too! God bless! B : )

    • intermarks profile image

      intermarks 5 years ago

      I think photo shop can really do a very good conversion to look like a water painting. But always, manual painting is always the best.

    • myraggededge profile image

      myraggededge 5 years ago

      I love that you shared your watercolor journey. I have a new boxed set of Inktense on the way!

    • profile image

      smsr0100451 5 years ago

      Awesome.

    • TransplantedSoul profile image

      TransplantedSoul 5 years ago

      I am amazed how talented some people are with art! I was not blessed in this way :(

    • yayas profile image

      yayas 5 years ago

      I so wish I could do the beautiful work you do with your art. Drawing is not one of my talents, but I know that with enough practice I will one day be able to at least recognize what I draw. I love the water colors an' I keep working with 'em, so this page will be very helpful. Thank you so much.

      I have so appreciated your visits to my pages an' it was really nice of you to sprinkle Angel Dust on my Things You May Not Know About South Dakota page. Your Angel Blessing serves to make me wanna' do even better. Thank you so much.

    • profile image

      getmoreinfo 5 years ago

      I like watercolors and I want to draw this summer for fun.

    • dogface lm profile image

      dogface lm 5 years ago

      I'd like to get watercolor pencils as the results are oftentimes dream-like (and beautiful, of course). I'm not just sure if I would use them as I already have many art supplies waiting for me but you know, I'm too lazy. :D

      Also, you can get nice effects using PS Elements (or another software), but nothing beats traditional handcrafted art!

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 5 years ago

      I'm an avid pencil sketch artist. My 92 y/o grandmother gave me a watercolor painting book with paints for Christmas. So now I have a new venue to express myself. Looking forward to seeing what I can come up with.

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 5 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      I need classes too. I have some watercolor pencils but haven't really played with them yet. Thanks for the help!

    • bikerministry profile image
      Author

      bikerministry 5 years ago

      @Gayle Dowell: I simply love your lens style. It is truly from the heart. Thank you for checking mine out. I'm still having fun.

    • Gayle Dowell profile image

      Gayle Dowell 5 years ago from Kansas

      I think we have a lot in common. Felting, watercolor, and God to name a few. Great lens.

    • bikerministry profile image
      Author

      bikerministry 5 years ago

      @JoshK47: Um-m-m. You're welcome to join me in this venture, I don't get much paining time till winter sets in now, but it sure is fun to learn. Thank you for coming by my Watercolor lens. Blessings.

    • profile image

      JoshK47 5 years ago

      Wonderful advice - I've always wanted to get into some sort of drawing.

    • bikerministry profile image
      Author

      bikerministry 5 years ago

      @giacombs-ramirez: Let me know what you think. The videos really helped me. I so love creating with the pencils ... there are so many techniques. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

    • bikerministry profile image
      Author

      bikerministry 5 years ago

      @Formosangirl LM: How's the watercolor pencil journey going?

    • giacombs-ramirez profile image

      gia combs-ramirez 5 years ago from Montana

      I've just started learning to watercolor (I'm good with the washes), but I've been fascinated with watercolor pencils so I can't wait to get going with the great tips in this fun and informative lens!

    • Formosangirl LM profile image

      Formosangirl LM 5 years ago

      I have watercolor pencils. You've inspired me.

    • bikerministry profile image
      Author

      bikerministry 5 years ago

      @Bellezza-Decor: Thank you MiaBEllezza. It's pretty fun learning a new art.

    • Bellezza-Decor profile image

      Bellezza-Decor 5 years ago from Canada

      Great guide to teaching steps in watercoloring.

    • bikerministry profile image
      Author

      bikerministry 5 years ago

      @ajgodinho: Well, thank you so much. That's a great compliment. Thanks for stopping by!!

    • ajgodinho profile image

      Anthony Godinho 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      You've taught yourself very well and done wonderful work on that painting. It looks better than the original photograph...great job...blessings! :)

    • bikerministry profile image
      Author

      bikerministry 6 years ago

      @anonymous: ShirleySunshine I'd love to take a class now, and I'm with you on "time" being the only thing keeping me from "additional training." I'm getting set up on Zazzle, hoping to eventually make it work for us financially!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      My mother was an art teacher for a while, so she helped me a lot. I have always loved drawing and painting, and may go back to that one day, when not so busy on Squidoo and Zazzle. I have sold a couple of oil paintings in the past. I think most people benefit from some training, if they can get it, no matter how good you are, there's always room for improvement!

    • bikerministry profile image
      Author

      bikerministry 6 years ago

      @PromptWriter: Oh my goodness. I deleted that flower picture - and it didn't go away. That is not my flower, it's the one I used as a "model" out of the book. I was mortified when I saw it was still on my Lens. So weird, I can't find it to delete it under edit, but it shows on my Published Lens. I'll post the one I actually drew so you can see the HUGE difference. So glad you visited my Lens today - I may not have noticed it's still there.

    • PromptWriter profile image

      Moe Wood 6 years ago from Eastern Ontario

      I think the flower below is a type of amaryllis but I could be mistaken. Watercolor pencils is something I haven't mastered. I tried them once and have avoided them ever since so kudos to you.

    • bikerministry profile image
      Author

      bikerministry 6 years ago

      @paperfacets: I'll check out your Adventure ... Thanks for stopping by and liking my lenses. I'm honored. Had a painting lesson with my awesome artist sister yesterday and learned much more about shading - and about quitting before you mess up your work!!

    • paperfacets profile image

      Sherry Venegas 6 years ago from La Verne, CA

      I am skill level Beginner, although I had three years of art in high school. I have a new drawing book for kids and I did a few drawings a few years ago. I will practice again someday. I have a lens called Adventure in the Mirror that needs a nose soon. L

    • bikerministry profile image
      Author

      bikerministry 6 years ago

      @anonymous: Thanks. That really is my nature - to show that I'm still learning and encourage others. Sweet observation, Tipi. Your Lenses have encouraged me!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I love how you are just always encouraging others by the way you do things!