Watercolor Pencils

The lead of the conventional colored pencil is either wax-based or oil-based. On this basis, pigments and dyes that provide color are included. In watercolor pencils, special compounds that are soluble in water are used (wax and oil are not).

Painter Jay Greig indicates that the water solubility of watercolor pencils allows amateurs or artists to touch up the drawings with a damp brush to mimic the pictorial effects of watercolors.

Watercolor pencils offer great freedom of artistic expression to painters, illustrators, and hobbyists. Watercolor is considered one of the most difficult techniques to master due to its limited margin for correcting errors and its excessive fluidity. However, Greig points out that with watercolor pencils it is possible to achieve a similar finish to watercolor without the difficulties associated with this painting technique.

Features of watercolor pencils

The exterior appearance of a watercolor pencil is not much different from that of a conventional one. Wood, enamel, color, are qualities that both share. The watercolor pencils differ from conventional pencils because of their mine, which is soluble in water. Greig, who is a member of Educause, indicates that the color pigments used dissolve completely, if enough water is applied. The colors, however, are resistant to the action of sunlight and reflect or absorb light in the same way as classic colored pencils.

In addition, some brands, such as Faber-Castell, use a larger mine diameter in their watercolor pencils. For example, Polychromos oil-based pencils have a mine caliber of 3.8 mm, while Albrecht Dürer, the Faber-Castell watercolor series, include a thicker mine: 5.3 mm.

Jay Greig shares that the main characteristics of these pencils are a smooth line, a tear resistant mine and the solubility of its pigments. The traces of these paintings can come to dissolve completely or only partially. This depends on the amount of water and the type of drawing paper used.

The more water absorbing capacity the paper has and the more we drain the brush before touch-ups, the less the stroke will dissolve.

To learn more about watercolor pencils, contact the painter, Jay Greig.

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