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Digital Subscriptions > Leisure Painter > May-19 > Coloured pencil basics

Coloured pencil basics

Part 5 How and when to use water-soluble pencils along with solvents for your coloured-pencil work, by Judith Heilbronn Crown
Under the Sea, Albrecht Dürer Watercolour pencil, 7x51⁄4in (18x13.5). I used the pencils dry then added water over most of the surface with a brush to enhance the colour.

Water-soluble coloured pencils can be used dry, but for light and bright colours there are often great differences in the appearance of the colour after water is added. When drawing landscapes working with dry colours, a little water and a very small wet brush will bring out the brightness of individual grasses, or enhance the darker shadow areas. The method smooths and blends out areas where the pencil lines show. On coloured papers, using water would fade the colours into the paper.

I use water-soluble pencils dry on dark paper, but for bright highlights I touch the point of a sharp white or yellow into a drop of water and gently tap onto the paper where needed. I use this method for the brightest white areas of waterfalls, and the brightest yellow leaves. If you try this, make sure that the wood of the pencil does not get wet, and that the lead is completely dry before you sharpen the pencil.

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About Leisure Painter

Welcome to the May issue of Leisure Painter. This month we have practical advice, step-by-step demonstrations and instructional features on drawing and painting with watercolour, acrylics, ink, oils and coloured pencil. Try 12 confidence-boosting exercises to help you draw and paint figures, be inspired by the travel posters of the 1930s to produce contemporary-looking poster-like paintings, and learn to paint a plethora of subjects, including landscapes, animals, birds, flowers, seascapes and more. Enjoy your month of painting with Leisure Painter.