Watercolor Pencil Tutorial on how to paint a realistic drawing of a maine cat
A collaboration project with Lindsay Weirich aka “TheFrugalCrafter” (popular artist blogger on Youtube). We are excited about this work of art as Lindsay reveals hot tips on how to get the best results of watercolor pencils with dry and wet painting watercolor techniques.
- Watercolor pencils (Amazrock)
- Hot Press Watercolor Paper (Arches)
- Masking tape
- Board to tape paper to
- Water bucket
- Golden taklon paint brushes
- Plastic palette
- Pattern of cat you can print and trace
- Reference photo
Watercolor Pencils Tutorial – Full Length Video on how to paint a Maine cat with Amazrock Watercolor Pencils
10 Watercolor Technique Tips | Watercolor Pencils Tutorial with Amazrock Art & Craft
1. Watercolor paper or a robust mixed media paper is recommended for the best results.
Go for “Hot press paper” for its smooth like surface drawing paper. It will withstand lots of water and aggressive techniques. Use this paper for botanical, portraits or any time you want a smooth line and lots of detail.
You may consider “Cold press paper” if you would like your drawing paper with a bit of tooth or bumpy texture. Choose this if you want to add lots of layers. Rough paper offers more textures (as the name implies). As such, it is ideal for painting landscapes and other subjects where you want a more grainy or expressive look.
2. Try taping your paper down for warping prevention.
You can use any drawing board you have. Alternatively, you can recycle the cardboard backing from an old paper pad or inexpensive lightweight foam core board.
The plywood/Masonite boards are also great if you prefer working at an easel. The extra weight will keep your painting from rocking as you paint!
Taping the paper down will also give you a beautiful white border if you paint to the edge.
3. Start with an accurate sketch on scratch/drawing paper
Why ? You would want to make mistakes and corrections on your scratch/drawing paper rather than the more expensive watercolor paper or mixed media paper.
After your drawing is good you can transfer it to your fine watercolor paper with graphite paper or a lightbox/window.
4. Pick up color from the tip of your pencil with a wet brush.
This is one way for the wet brush to easily pick up color from the tip of the watercolor pencil. Once you have the required intensity or concentration of colors, you are ready to create wet washes and watercolor effects.
You can also make a palette for your watercolor pencils by sanding a cheap plastic palette. Color the pencils on the plastic and then wet the swatch of color with a brush and paint.
Don’t throw away broken lead – No more tossing broken points in the trash! Instead, you can save them and use them on the palette. Add some water and you are ready to paint.
NOTE. Wet watercolor pencil lead tends to weaken and becomes more prone to break more easily. Do be advised to let the pencil lead to dry before trying to sharpen it.
5. How to sharpen your artist colored pencils ?
A handheld or electric sharpener can be used to sharpen your artist colored pencils. However, do note to turn the sharpener and not the pencil. This helps to avoid breakage.
You can also use a craft knife to whittle away the wood and leave the lead intact for painting. This simple act conserves lead for painting large areas.
6. Watercolor pencils can be used like traditional colored pencils.
Just use your watercolor pencils like dry pencils to draw and color on dry paper for a traditional colored pencil look.
– For fur effect, try the hatching technique
– For shadow effect, try cross hatching technique
– For textured effects, try scumbling (or known as scribbling) technique
Have you heard of “Dry on Wet” drawing technique ? Try drawing with a sharp dry pencil on wet paper for darker details. This is known as the “Dry on Wet” technique.
NOTE. For bold expressive marks that will not easily dissolve, do explore how to use a wet pencil to draw on wet paper (known as Wet on Wet technique).
7. Use a “Wet on Dry” technique for stippling effect.
Just dip the tip of the pencil in water and dot on details to create the cat’s muzzle. (from which the whiskers protrude)
8. Details are best on dry paper with a sharp pencil.
How do we build depth and dimension for the drawing painting ? To achieve realistic paintings with full depth and interest, you would need to master the technique of layering colors and shadows !
NOTE. See the video tutorial on how to produce the effects with your watercolor pencils and mixed media.
9. Burnishing is used to build up colors and create a smooth glassy look.
Are you looking to create a smooth and glassy look ?
To achieve this effect with watercolor pencils, do explore coloring dry on dry and liquefying the pigment with water. It important to wait for first layer to dry first!
Next to complete the burnishing effect, keep coloring (or layering colors) with your watercolor pencils “Dry” until the grain of the paper is full of pigment and the color is rich and vibrant.
10. Mix your media for a full range of effects !
A white paint (or gel) pen will help create bright elegant highlights!
You can also add traditional colored pencil over a watercolor pencil painting as a final layer. Do be aware that watercolor pencil will not stick over traditional colored pencils.
REMINDER. When your painting is done and it is time to remove your tape to reveal the white border that adds the appeal to the beautiful painting.
Do peel it back flat at a 45 degree angle to discourage paper tearing or heat the tape with a hair dryer to make it easier to remove.
Commentary by Lindsay of TheFrugalCrafter
” I hope you enjoyed these watercolor pencil hacks and apply them to your next watercolor pencil project. Thanks for stopping by and till next time happy crafting! “
You may also be interested in another watercolor tutorial
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