How to Paint With Colored Pencils

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Things You'll Need

  • Watercolor paper

  • Water-soluble colored pencils

  • Small container

  • Water

  • Paintbrushes

  • Masking fluid

Water-soluble colored pencils let you combine drawing with watercolor painting.

Painting with colored pencils can allow artists more versatility than either painting or drawing alone. Colored pencil paintings can also help beginning watercolor artists produce images with more control than they might have over a brush dipped in paint. The process is more like drawing than painting, but requires an understanding of both techniques. The key to colored pencil painting is to use water-soluble colored pencils, often called watercolor pencils. Standard colored pencils will not work for this project.


Step 1

Outline the basic shapes of your drawing on watercolor paper using a light-colored water-soluble colored pencil. This creates a guideline for you.

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Step 2

Work from the lightest colors to the darkest colors in the background of your drawing, allowing individual pencil strokes to remain visible, rather than shading objects completely.

Step 3

Apply masking fluid—available at arts and crafts supply stores—with a paintbrush over any sections you want to keep as colored pencil strokes. This ensures that the water will not blend out the colored pencil while you work in nearby areas. The masking fluid can usually be rubbed or peeled off when the drawing is finished.


Step 4

Dip a brush in water, wipe off any excess water and brush it across your colored area, moving from the lightest toward the darkest colors.

Step 5

Blend the entire section with water, working with small amounts at a time and carefully staying within your lines. Allow the section to dry.


Step 6

Repeat the process with each object in your drawing, working in small sections each time and keeping the water carefully controlled.

Step 7

Allow the paper to dry completely on a flat surface. If you want to change anything or create more depth in the drawing, draw with the colored pencils over the already-blended areas, then either blend them out again or leave the pencil strokes for more definition.


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