Using water soluble pencils as a watercolour

by Mar 2, 2021Art Supplies

Artists can be staid and follow specific rules they have set for themselves or they can be flexible and adapt. They can enjoy using their creative abilities in more than just the art they create.

Today Jane tells us about using water soluble pencils as a watercolour when there are no watercolours to hand.

Use water soluble pencils instead of watercolours

If you want to do a painting in watercolour but don’t have any watercolours you may think that it’s not going to be possible….

But, wait a minute, you have got a set of watercolour pencils, so can you use water soluble pencils instead of watercolours?

The answer is…. yes you can.

Are water soluble pencils the same as watercolour pencils?

Water soluble pencils are designed and manufactured with a binder that dissolves in water. Watercolour pencils are of a similar manufacture but the pigment used is stronger just like watercolour paints.

What you need:

  • Sketch book
  • Paint brushes
  • Pencil
  • Watercolour or water soluble pencils.
what you need

Draw a cylinder

All I’ve done is to draw a cylinder and picked two coloured pencils to use.

the outline

I started by wetting the area of the cylinder with my brush and water.


wet the area

Turn to paint

Next dip the brush in water and wet the grey green and watch it turn to paint.


turn to paint

Then, using the grey green, transfer the colour to the cylinder. Then do the same with the juniper green.

putting the greens on

I’ve added some more colours to the page, making a note of the colours so when I refer back to this page it tells me what colours I’ve used.

adding more colours

Here are some other colours of water soluble pencils and how they look when wet.

more colours and how they look when wet

Once you have put down a base of water soluble pencils you can then use the same colours to enhance your cylinder. This is a good example to practice using water soluble pencils as a watercolour.


I find the best paper to use for this sort of project is watercolour paper, as this is designed to handle watercolour. You can choose whatever surface you want to suit your drawing. Read more about papers for watercolours

Give it a go

So if you have a set of water soluble pencils at home give it a go and see how you get on.

a cylinder

Gadsby’s do sell all of the art materials and supplies necessary for creating pieces of art like those created by Jane.

You have to supply the artistic talent and dedication to make the pieces you love. It is hard work, but it is amazing fun too.

Jane is a member of the Gadsby’s team. She has a wide knowledge of the arts & crafts products and materials sold by Gadsby’s both from the perspective of an advisor in the shop and, for many of the products, from personal use too.

Please note that this is not a service that Gadsbys offer to clients – just an example of the private work done by one of the highly skilled and knowledgable Gadsby’s team shown for your interest.


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