Tom Benson Creative Writer and Artist
Tom Benson           Creative Writer                                      and Artist

Watercolour Pencil - Loch Lomond

This is an experimental piece since I've never before used these pencils for this purpose. I'll leave this example onsite until I produce another. Although I'm not completely satisfied (there is nothing new there), I believe it gives a fair idea of what is possible. There are many techniques for the use of watercolour, just as their are many variants of the medium: pencil, tablet, tube, etc

1. Materials required / suggested:

Watercolour Pencils.

2H pencil

Putty eraser


Gummed tape

Suitable brushes (mine are Gold Taklon)


Watercolour paper

A smooth drawing board and a support

In my case, a tea towel under the board to protect my desk. 

2. Preparation:

Either tape the watercolour paper along the length of the four edges, or as I've done, tape the corners.

Use a soft broad brush or sponge to wet the paper

Leave to dry before applying pencil

3. When the paper is touch dry, use the 2H pencil to create feint guidelines for the main areas or objects of the subject.

Hold the pencil high, like a brush to ensure the lightest touch on the surface.

Don't overdo the pencil work - it's a simple guide for the main areas of colour.

4. Using the same grip on the pencils, apply a light layer of the main colour groups.

I have avoided the use of masking fluid for this trial which means if any area is to be white, it should be left alone.


When satisfied that the colours are represented with a light touch, apply water with an appropriate brush, working from the top of the sheet downwards, and blending in the lightest colours first.


5. When the first blending session is achieved, leave the work to dry before attempting the next.

I worked over several areas which speeded up the process, but care must be taken to avoid the colours bleeding into each other with the wet areas of the paper.

6. When the surface is dry, touch-up areas which require a heavier colouring.

There are several methods of applying colour.

I experimented with three methods.


- using the pencils directly onto the paper.


- using the wet bristles of a brush to 'lift' the colour directly from the pencil tip.


- using the wet bristles to 'lift' the colour and add it to water in a pan of a watercolour palette.

7. When the main bodies of colour are achieved, leave the piece to dry, and then repeat the addition of extra colour where required.

To create the tree shadows and lighter areas, it's a good idea to water down the colour so it fades to show the base colours underneath. 

Leave to dry again before the next stage.

Decide whether to use a pointed brush, like a 'rigger', or go for mixed media and use a pigment pen.

For the detail of the tree branches I would suggest a pen.

8. When satisfied that all main bodies of colour are represented and of the correct tone, look for areas which would benefit from a touch of depth.

The rocks and the main bodies of the trees are suited to the use of colour taken straight from the pencil by using a wet brush.

A light brushing with an almost transparent colouring enhances surfaces like the mountains.

Colour taken directly from the pencil is good for dark ripples on the water.


Saturday 6th January 2018


My most recent publication

A Life of Choie: Part Five

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