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An Easy Watercolor Pencil Tutorial

Posted by Laura Serino on

We challenged illustrator Christine Mitchell Adams, the artist behind many of our watercolor icons including our Star Coins girl, to come up with a tutorial that children from age 3 to 13 can enjoy!

Watercolor pencils are a wonderful first foray into the world of watercolor painting. The pencil allows you to make a really specific shape or mark and by adding some water with a brush, you can play with textures and blends.

For this tutorial, pick some dandelions on a walk outside and bring them in as your still-life model. 

Watercolor Pencil Drawing Tutorial

This tutorial uses our watercolor pencils, a jar with water, a paintbrush, and watercolor paper. Christine suggests using scraps of paper to play with because then it’s not as intimidating as a big fresh new piece of paper. The goal is to have fun!

Use scrap cardboard or the cardboard back of your watercolor pad of paper as your work surface so you don’t have to worry about the surface below your painting. 

Watercolor Pencil Supplies - Drawing Tutorial

Before we get started, let’s take a look at how watercolor pencils work. You can make any shape or mark you want with your pencils: long, sketchy, round. The harder you press and the more you layer your marks, the more vibrant the color will be. The lighter you press for the pencil marks, the lighter the color. 

Faber-Castell Watercolor Pencils

Dip your paintbrush in some water. You can slide the brush against the edge of the jar to let some of the extra water drip off into the jar.

Now, brush over your pencil markings. Try different types of strokes - circular, back and forth, zig zag. Also, try using less or more water.

Doodling is a great way to explore how these work.

Dandelion Watercolor

When you're ready to draw the dandelion, grab yellow, green, and blue pencils and draw my dandelion in the grass with some blue sky. Look at a dandelion and how the petals look like a burst of yellow lines starting in the middle and moving out.

Color a yellow circle and then sketch lots of lines from the center of the circle out in all directions until it makes a bigger circle of bursting lines. Remember, the lines don’t have to be perfect. They can be straight, curved, zigzag...

Draw a Dandelion - Watercolor Pencil Tutorial

Once you've put down pencil lines, grab your paintbrush and dip it in the water a bit. I do a light wash in each section. Between colors, blot the brush on a piece of paper towel so the colors don’t bleed together. You can start to see the lines soften and blend!

Move the brush in the same direction as the lines for the dandelion and grass to keep the shape and detail. For the sky, blend it all in to with a wet brush using big strokes back and forth.

Dandelion Drawing

Once the paper has dried a little (about 5 minutes), go back over the watercolor with the pencils again to add a little more detail to my painting. Add some orange and light brown to the dandelion petals and different greens to the grass. 

Watercolor Drawing Tutorial - Moon Child Blog

Again use a wet brush again to blend the new pencil marks. Add a bit more blue to the sky too to make the dandelion pop a little more in contrast with the blue sky. For the grass, use less water on the brush so as not to blend all the sketched lines to make it look more realistic.

Dandelion Drawing - Final

Go back over the drawing with your pencils again. This time you can add little leaves at the base of the dandelion petals and a little more water to the sky and brush it again so it is blended more. 

The great thing about drawing with watercolor pencils is that you can keep working on your drawing and build more color and details until you're satisified!

Thanks to Christine for this sweet tutorial! You can follow her on Instagram here. Be sure to share your drawings with us using #bellalunatoys

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