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  • Writer's pictureAlexandra Benson

Watercolor Pencils

I tried out 4 different brands of watercolor pencils

I used drawing paper, watercolor paper, newspaper and black Artagain drawing paper.

I also reference "Exploring Studio Materials" by Mary Hafeli

Watercolor Pencils use a binder that dissolves when water is added ( Hafeli, p. 51)


  • apply to dry paper, use a wet paintbrush for effects

  • apply to wet paper

  • dip pencil into water before applying to paper

  • vary pressure

  • create values

Here is my dry examples:

I made a video showing my attempt at adding water and mixing the colors:

Mixing Video:

Adding water on the black drawing paper:

I found that Faber-Castell almost completely disappeared when I added water, a bit disappointing and defeats the purpose! The consistency was almost like a chalk pastel. The Xonex, though it doesn't have good reviews, I found to be decent enough but not as superior in fluidity and vibrance as Prisma or Derwent. I was also less than impressed with any of the watercolor pencil choices on the black paper.

When inserting the pencil into water, it came out on paper so buttery and smooth but required frequent rewetting to keep the lines consistent. See videos below:

This video shows the fluidity when starting off with wet paper and a dry watercolor pencil:

The following videos are my works in progress using all the varieties of watercolor pencils:

Adding water and details:

This is my next project, a mixed media with watercolor pencils, mixed papers, newspaper, paint pens, and paint.

work in progress:

Final Projects:

Overall, I recommend all the watercolor pencils except for Faber-Castell. Watercolor pencils are a great addition to your studio toolbox and for use in a classroom. They are even capable of being used on fabric and heat set with iron or dryer. They mix/blend nicely and you can easily use them wet or dry and get neat variations.

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