MY ENEMY ART SUPPLY?! – Giving Watercolor Pencils a Chance
Well. Today’s the day. Am I finally going to see if I can love Watercolor pencils? ✨Oooohh.✨ They’re beautiful. But can I love them? Faber-Castell sent me this 120 pencil Watercolor set- No, that’s not it. No not one, but three layers of watercolor pencils. We’re going to do some tests. I’m going to look up tutorials I’m going to try techniques and I’m going to complete an illustration. But I want to try to like watercolor pencils once and for all. Or not…? I don’t know.
¯_(ツ)_/¯ Let’s find out. I may or may not have dropped all 120 pencils on the ground before I did this and had to reorganize them in order. So they had this little booklet that comes with it and it lists all their names and whatnot. And I thought these names were silly. “Dark flesh”, “Medium flesh” and “Light flesh.” I actually couldn’t find two of those but here they are…
Oh oh opp. I found “Light flesh.” There you go. Actually looks like mine. But I couldn’t find “dark” and “medium flesh.” Silly name for some colors. So it looks like they renamed those to “Coral” and “Salmon.” So if you can’t find “dark” and “medium flesh” it’s because they’re “Coral” and “Salmon” now. Let’s just put those back. Alright, let’s watch the most fun part of any new art supplies. [Music] [Still music. Don’t panic.] So there is our 120 colors swatched. They’re amazing. Sorry to those of you who notice that I skipped the final line when putting water on them. I just got really into putting water on them. It was so relaxing and what can I say? Anyways, we have a huge range of lovely yellows. We have some beautiful reds, blues. They have it all in this set and I love it. I love this set. Let’s just hope I love the pencils. Okay, let’s learn a few techniques and then get to illustrating. But before I jump into using these guys I need to educate myself on how to use them and do a better way to being the sponsor of this video Skillshare. If you want to learn how to bake, paint a lake, or illustrate- Ha! That rhymed. Skillshare has you covered with thousands of classes covering any creative skills and more! It’s incredibly affordable an annual subscription is less than ten dollars a month and because Skillshare is so generously sponsoring my attempts to learn how to art, You can sign up at the link in the description to get a two month free trial. I was thankful to find Kate Amedeo’s classes on watercolor pencils. She goes in-depth covering several techniques blending, applying, and even how to use a pencil sharpener…? Hold up. Okay, now I’m interested. She has a separate class on how to complete an illustration starting from your lights working to your darks and adding highlights. So thanks to Kate I’m feeling a little more educated a little more confident and I’m ready to give watercolor pencils the chance they deserve. So let’s do it. So as someone who doesn’t use a lot of pencils and I actually use a mechanical pencil to draw with, I was really curious about this tip. She said that we aren’t sharpening our pencils wrong. She says don’t put the pencil in and rotate the pencil she says you should put the sharpener on the pencil and then rotate the sharpener like so and apparently that’s the correct way and will make less breakings. All right, let’s test out some techniques. Let’s create a little teacher here to guide us. He’s like “Yeah. just do the thing.” That’s a hat teachers wear, right? Probably..? So the two techniques of blending a gradient watercolor pencil together is 1. You create a block of color. And the other is you manually make a gradient with pencils yourself and then you go through with water and you blend that together. So now we take some water and our brush and we’re just going to blend them. So let’s try our block of color technique and see how that goes. Maybe I like one technique more than the other. I definitely think you get a stronger color putting down color all the way through but I can see maybe how you would want something a little more subtle. There’s also the technique of just putting down a single color wash and having it fade to a darker more pigmented color to a lighter section.
So let’s try that. Again, we have two different techniques. You can fill the whole square with a lighter color and gradually, press down harder and harder to get more pigment and again we can do Just a solid block and then have it to gradually fade away to our white paper. We want to start off light, otherwise you’re going to have a very dark blue coming into our light colors. Obviously you definitely get a smoother gradient when you don’t have watercolor pencils under your gradient throughout. But I can see the appeal here if you’re into texture. I think Kate has some really interesting techniques. One is to put your wet brush directly on the pencil and that way you have pigment. You can also use your colored pencil as if it were a swatch of color. So if you put a color down on like a scrap piece of paper or something, you then bring in your wet brush pick up that color and then you can paint with it. And if you’re feeling particularly brave you can get a cup of water and just dip the very tip of your pencil into the water and then you can get some very dark pigmented direct color. There’s also a few other fun techniques if you take your pencil and you take a wet brush You can actually flick color onto- Oh gosh. Well, I tried to stay within the circle, but wow, look how cool that looks! She said that this would be a really good effect for maybe fields of flowers, but all I can think is “Use red and you can get some blood splatters in there!” You can also go ahead and make your space wet and then take your pencil and draw on top of that and just let the water do its thing and create an unpredictable gradient. And here’s a fun one if you want to do something a little different, Take a wet brush, Color your pigment onto the brush directly, as you can see the brush is soaking up that yellow and then take blue on the other side All right. Let’s see if we can create a gradient. OOOhh. Now that’s a fun effect! So these were a lot of fun, but let’s see if we can’t create a ball. And we’re going- Wow. Can I draw a circle? Maybe not. Our light source over here and we’re just going to create a sort of round gradient to suggest that this is a round ball thing and there’s light on it. Okay. So I also want to add a little bit of purple to aid in our shadow. So it’s not perfect. There’s a lot of texture happening with our sphere there, but I do think that was a really- A good test, I guess, to see how comfortable I am with these watercolor pencils. I think I’m feeling a lot comfortable now that I’ve done some different tests and fun things with these watercolors. So, let’s see how I can really incorporate these art supplies that I’m not used to into a finished illustration. Can I do it? Let’s get into it. So, I decided to sketch with a light blue watercolor pencil knowing that when I added water to the Illustration that light blue was going to mix into the color that I put on top. I wasn’t that worried because I knew that the amount of light blue was really small and If anything it would add a light blueness to the whole illustration. I just knew that I didn’t want there to be a gray pencil marking in the background of whatever I created. And going into this illustration I did think I was going to end up working lineless, although I ended up using the pencils to create the line art. [Music] I ended up working on this illustration in chunks of color. I would put one color down and then go back over that color and add water even though in Kate Skillshare class, She put down all of her colors and then went over it with water to smooth everything out. I don’t know if it just didn’t feel natural to me because I’m used to watercolors or if I just felt like I could get a smoother less fuzzy edged illustration? I have no idea. I’m not experienced with watercolor pencils. So I was just doing whatever felt natural to me and I guess doing each color separately felt easier and more natural. It did work for me and for whatever reason I felt like I was able to get a smoother chunk of each color, if that makes sense, than if I used normal watercolor. And I felt like I could do a lineless style. Though I really love the look of colored pencil line art So I really wanted to embrace that.
It gives it a nice soft colorful look. This is something that I’m always telling myself that I need to do because it just really adds something to your illustrations. Something that a black liner just doesn’t add. I tried using the pencils directly on the paper at the beginning but as time went on and I started to shade I made a swatch of colors off of camera and then picked them up with my brush as- As if they were a paint. I did however use her flicking technique to suggest that her hat was kind of falling apart as she flew through the air. But maybe I just couldn’t get in the habit of using the pencils as pencils. So overall, I enjoyed the process of using watercolor pencils, but I just don’t think I see the appeal to them. The whole time I was creating this piece I felt like it was just an unnecessary step to put down pencil and then go back over it with water. Whereas with watercolor like an actual paint you can just go in with one motion and be done with it. But I do think there is something here. More saturated colors. Different effects. Something I could definitely bring back into my regular illustrations, but maybe not something that I would make into my primary used art supplies. Overall, I do think this flower witch is really cute and I am happy with the result! [Music] Well, I did everything I could to learn how to use watercolor pencils. I gave them a solid try but I just don’t think they’re for me. But don’t be sad! You can still get a two month free trial of Skillshare by following the link in the description. Thank you so much to Skillshare for sponsoring this video. I’ll continue to mess around the watercolor pencils and see if I can’t find a way to enjoy them somehow.. I’ll figure it out one day. For some reason I don’t want to give up on them. Until then, Thank you guys so much for watching. I hope you enjoyed it. Stay golden! Bye. [Music]