Watercolour Pencil Class with Kate Johnson: Getting to know my pencils and a little mixing

May 25, 2009 | Leave your thoughts


I’m doing a class with Kate Johnson at the moment….


Continuing in the tradition set by my inktense colour chart in this post

This is the set of Faber Castell (A.Durer) watercolour pencils that I carry around with me… though I am thinking of changing a few of them. (Change always seems inevitable once I draw a set/palette!)


I bought a 24 set of A. Durer pencils a few years ago and the odd pencil now and again… I had no idea how many I had… the odd pencil does add up! This was rather tedious as I was hunting around the place to collect them all and then draw in order using the colour chart of the full 120 set and leaving a few spare squares if there was a big gap.

Interestingly some colours have changed over the years (some of my pencils are quite old)


Now the fun starts!!! Mixing time!

It seems that the order you put the colour down affects the mix – when I put blue first it was darker than blue over the top of yellow (I was trying to keep the pressure the same)


Here are the double-ups – same numbers on the pencils but different names and in one case a different colour as well.

There is something so nice and relaxing about simple colour charts with WC pencils… scribble a bit of colour and then add water!! What a wonderful explosion of colour happens!


Still playing around with my A Durer pencils and trying to see how the two watercolour paints that I use the most (maybe too much!) go with the WC pencils. I am finding it hard to know what the result of the mix will be.

Also a ‘simple’ sketch as one of the exercises (of course I had to do some complicated baroque building…just can’t help myself)

Good thing about the pencils is that you can adjust the colour afterward and get a lovely layered effect. This is fun!

Now, I know that I have to put my pen away for the next 5 weeks… going to be hard for me…but I will try!


Ok – this is my last sketch for the weekend – I am having two days break.
Here is a quick sketch of some native daises from my wildflower book – which I will surround with text in the next few days.

Notice: no ink pen! (My lamy is a bit worried of its upcoming neglect!)

Doing this page has made me realise that my application of colour is normally very loose but protected by the ink outlines – without the ink, my colouring felt exposed and vulnerable!?!!! I started telling myself should be more careful but after a long week that is the last thing I feel like doing….besides neat artwork and me don’t normally go together!

I feel like adding ink to this….. (the colours look better in real life – the scanner has over-saturated them a bit)


This is supposed to be the exercise where we lift the paint off from the pencil – only ‘take 2’ achieved this and even then I added some pencil over the top. Funny how it has scanned better than it looks in my book.
I must say that I find this technique a bit tedious and think I prefer to use the WC pencils as pencils.

Oh! this is all a bit uncharted territory for me…what fun! And of course, my aim to develop a quick and loose technique….
Where I don’t note otherwise, I am using my standard sketchbook which is Daler Rowny 150gsm cartridge.


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