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Pencil works

Make the most of watercolour pencils and a variety of techniques to produce effective landscapes with ease, by David Bellamy

Watercolour pencils


Practise handling watercolour pencils using a variety of methods

Try sketching ideas to build confidence and fluency

How to mix watercolour pencils with watercolour and ink

Are you one of those people who have a box of watercolour pencils lurking somewhere at the bottom of your art box and are not quite sure what to do with them? After all, how can they possibly compete with true watercolour paints with their exciting, flowing washes?

Watercolour pencils have been part of my sketching kit for many years. There is no reason at all, however, why you cannot use them to create a full painting, apart perhaps from large-scale work. You may well feel that the pencils give you greater control over the work than pure watercolour, especially if you enjoy drawing. Many of my sketches are carried out with watercolour paints and these are often combined with the darker watercolour pencils drawn into wet washes as in the Marloes’ sketch (right), although sometimes I work entirely with the pencils. They are especially useful when working overseas, supplementing my usual watercolours, and vital to my techniques in the Arctic and other places where I may be working in below-zero temperatures. Should I lose my watercolour box, I can still work effectively in colour.

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About Leisure Painter

Welcome to the December issue of Leisure Painter. We have a plethora of styles, media and ideas for you to follow this month. David Bellamy introduces his techniques for using watercolour pencils when sketching landscapes, and Hazel Soan completes her series on painting wildlife in watercolour with three exciting demonstrations, culminating in the lion's head you see on this month's front cover. Charles Evans offers a step-by-step demonstration of a snow scene, which is just perfect for a Christmas card, and Judith Milne gives ideas and inspiration for producing floral cards for this time of year. There is a tutorial on painting reflections in different types of water, good composition ideas and an array of tips, techniques, practical advice and demonstrations to inspire you. Enjoy your month of painting.