Watercolor Pencils for Nature Lovers (and 100 Face Challenge #66)!

If you’re a little insecure about working with watercolor paint, but you enjoy natural subjects as I do, then watercolor pencils may be a medium to consider.

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These Graphitint pencils by Derwent, swatched out on the sheet above, were on my Christmas list last year.    This YouTube video by The Mind of Watercolor (great channel, by the way) sold me on these pencils.   The full set contains 24 pencils, but they also come in a starter set of 12, which are the colors in the top half of the photo.  Each pencil is water soluble, and contains a bit of graphite in addition to the watercolor pigments, lending an organic feeling to your work. Watercolor pencils were the first artist quality supplies I purchased nearly two years ago, because they gave me a feeling of security and control  as a watercolor beginner.    Sharing in case this may help someone else out there, too!

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I began with a quick sketch of my bird, using only three colors from the set: Warm Grey, Midnight Black and Chestnut.    Then I dampened a small watercolor brush, and liquified the color.   You’ll see the color becomes more vibrant after water is added, even though the painting in the photo below is fully dry.   As a beginner unused to mixing my own colors, watercolor pencils made it easier for me to gradually slip into the world of watercolor.   Thank you, Kathy at Backyard Bird Nerd, for another wonderful image of a tufted titmouse that helped me big time with my little sketch last night.   🙂

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Blick is offering free shipping on orders of $35 or more through Friday of this week, which saves you $4.95, their flat rate shipping charge.  The set of 12 Graphitint pencils is priced at about $16.50 at Blick, the full set, under $38.    A sweet deal, as these pencils will probably last me at least 10 years or so, probably more!   (Note:   As a Blick affiliate, purchases from these links help to support my site.)     Are you gearing up for World Watercolor Month yet?   Can you believe it starts on Friday?!   Followed by a loooong holiday weekend in the States!   So exciting!    I may review the Derwent Inktense line of water soluble pencils tomorrow.    The colors in that set are really bright and vibrant, and have some unique properties I think you’ll be glad to hear about, too!   I hope you have a wonderful Tuesday, and that you do something special for yourself today.   You deserve it!   Peace.

81 thoughts on “Watercolor Pencils for Nature Lovers (and 100 Face Challenge #66)!

    1. Thank you, Haunani. I may not have ever tried painting if it weren’t for watercolor pencils! WWM is bringing out the WC mom in me, apparently. lol. Although I have a lot to learn about all of these mediums myself, still. Taking help where I can get it, that’s my motto. 🙂 Glad you enjoyed. 💛

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Another sweet bird.
    As with Neocolor, I like to dip my watercolor pencils in water and draw. You need sturdy paper though. I don’t know why I resist painting over a drawing, but I don’t like to do it.
    These are beautiful earthy colors…I can see why you love them. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. great share for people who want to see the wide range of colors and how they handle, Laura; and I really LOVE Inktense blocks, or the pencils!!
    your bird sketch is so sweet and cute; very expressive face. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The blocks are great, too! Oh, I have way too many art supplies lol! Glad to know you enjoy them also, Debi. And glad you like my bird. Titmice come to our feeders all the time and it was the first kind of bird I ever drew. (Not counting all of my seagull attempts prior that were the size of a small peanut. lol.)

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      1. Laura, one has to acquire these ‘resources’ in order to explore them and let others know how those ‘good fields’ are! (so, really… we are doing the community a service…) are you laughing yet?!! ps loved your “size of a small peanut” comment. Cute. 🙂 ((LL))

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Cathe, and glad to hear you love them too! I bet you could make them look like a million bucks. They would be wonderful for someone wanting to do landscape work. I’ve actually combined the Inktense and these Graphitints in one painting, and been happy with the results, so I thought it might be nice to show those too. If it weren’t for watercolor pencils, I don’t think I’d have ever been brave enough to try painting!


    1. Thanks, Kathy, and I agree! The first one had a swollen beak and looked ridiculous, I had to turn the paper over and start again. Your photo was so crisp! If I had been working in pen, I could literally see where to crosshatch. An artist can ask for nothing better than that. Thank you again! 💜


    1. Lol, me too, Teresa! This was my third set. Oh, so addicted to art supplies. I like water soluble graphite too, so a colorized version seemed to be a good idea! I’m preparing in advance for the inevitable WC fails. Hoping pencils save my buttsky a time or two. 💜

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      1. a long time ago but I am an aggressive painter who gets insecure with anything less than a bold and juicy “I am here!” approach. To me when I used line and wash it was too insipid….(for me) oops, I am not judging here. I am a person that uses a red pen to write with because blue or black is not bold enough! maybe it is a psychological thing…..who knows. I can see where it was be a good entry point for you….baby steps in.

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    1. Hi, you’re welcome. I have three sets of Derwent pencils and I think in terms of vibrancy that the Inktense are the most intense, then my Derwent standard wc pencils (which may be the same set you have?) and then these Graphitint pencils are the least intense, with the graphite included. If I have time, I’ll try and come up with an Inktense pencil review tonight and post in the morning. Those colors are amazing! And they dry permanent, which is a big bonus in water soluble media, I think.


  3. Beautiful sketch Laura 😍Yeah i’ve been following The Mind of Watercolor since few months on you tube, his tutorials are really helpful 🙂
    I never tried Derwent products but I’ve Staedtler watercolor pencils but Derwent pencils are real tempting!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There are so many different kinds out there, but I do love Derwent brand. I’d like to try Faber-Castell’s as well. Hoping to show the Derwent Inktense pencils tomorrow. They are my favorite. Mind of WC is great, glad to hear you love him too! Just discovered Peter Sheeler on YT today and really love him also.


      1. Oh, yes! People ask me, where’s Jack?! (Like I’ve never heard that one before…lol!) So I named him, Jack which is also perfect since he is black. Now when people ask me this question, I say he is ar home on the couch! 😉

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  4. Well, that was a few interesting rabbit holes! Loved the video about the pencils. I love my Derwent Inktense pencils. We got the set of 72 colors for the coloring club I hosted at my art center in Wisconsin. They were fabulous and didn’t completely overlap with my set of 24 colors! I may have to get my own set one of these days… I love the idea of World Watercolor month and I think this year I will be mostly a spectator. Your watercolor prompts were really fun in case I get stuck! So many exciting things. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks for this review and your sketch as always is amazing! I love derwent products…they are blessings to an artist. I especially love their graphite pencils and inktense blocks and pencils. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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