Watercolour pencil experiments with a chunky pencil and more

July 1, 2009 | Leave your thoughts

Ok – these are just really quick sketches which I didn’t focus on greatly(I am exhausted tonight!)… to get the feel for sketching in pencil  – something I never do unless I am using my chunky architect 5.6mm lead clutch pencil(which I used to use quite a bit…mmm need to try it again)

I found the pencil(HB) a bit fuzzy to use but much preferred the sketch before I added the WC pencil. I think I need to go back for a bit more definition and that I should have used a softer pencil! Ha! using something different is so much fun?!

The ink version I did in a very lazy mood (made a mess of the colonnade…as I said …lazy!) but without realising it, I  was bolder with the colour for the first stroke – the crispness and strong ink lines frees my use of colour- no doubt about it.

Now I want to try a thick pencil one and a watercolour version with some WC for texture – but maybe tomorrow night (I have had it tonight – as you can tell from my rambling notes!)

Ah! SO NICE to get my chunky pencil out again! I have had this pencil since my 3rd year architectural students when it was the absolutely coolest instrument to do preliminary design sketches with. (not that I was the coolest student but I had the pencil that only a few elite had!)

I have been telling myself for the past year or so that I am a real ink person and don’t like pencil … But a review of my travel sketches from 2007 (see links below) has reminded me that I have used this thick pencil for real quick sketches for many years – some of my favourite sketches in past years have been quick ones done with this pencil. When travelling in 2007 I used it when I only had under 5 minutes to sketch (because at the time I didn’t have the confidence to do ink sketches without pencil setups)

So really enjoyed this one – though I simplified the portico and missed two columns as there was no way that I would be able to fit them in.(shameful!?) Also, I really felt like splashing paint on this and not using WC pencil… So I suppose I have another version to do tomorrow night!

I thought I might get sick of sketching the same scene four times but I didn’t one bit! Maybe because it was a fairly easy form but probably because I left the one I expected to enjoy the most to last!!!

My previous use of WC pencils used to be to hide a bad watercolour job… So this is one of the first times I have used it with purpose. I can see that the pencils could be extremely useful to create texture that I don’t want to do in ink. Also they are great for adding life into shadows!

A few quotes on the side for those that are interested…. Last time I went to Venice I spent three months researched and created my own architectural guide by supplementing a very basic architectural guide I bought with a whole lots of extra notes I collected during my research – so it was a real treat for me tonight to pick this one book up and read three different opinions of this building.

Another aside – I like listening to music related to the place I am visiting, reading about, sketching so I have been listening to Vivaldi tonight at the same time and just realised that the piccolo concerto is on at the moment.

Also I made a typo in that quote – it should read”I have seen churches without domes before, but I’ve never, until now, seen a dome without a church.”


I think might be the final article related to Kate Johnson’s wonderful watercolour pencil course – I learnt so much! thanks Kate!

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