Dawn DeVries Sokol


{Color Me Happy}

Happy Monday! FINALLY, I am going to conclude the Marking Tools series with this installment about colored pencils and watercolor pencils.


I LOVE using colored pencils. Some call them pencil crayons (you say tomato, I say tamado)...they’re the same thing. I mainly use Prismacolor pencils because they have a vast rainbow of colors and are widely available at art supply stores. I buy them open stock because there are certain colors that are so much yummier, at least to me. I tend to use A LOT of chartreuse green, pinks, teals, and light blues. There are cheaper alternatives to the Prismacolors, but I think this brand is truly worth it...they spread on your paper really nicely. And don’t forget to buy a blending pencil. I  didn’t realize for quite some time how valuable the blender is...If you’re looking for less pencil texture and a softer, creamier look, it will help ya. I use it over the colored pencils to smooth out the color and to also blend colors together. Hmm...I guess that’s why they named it that.

I don’t think I’ve ever used colored pencils over acrylics. I do use them over watercolored backgrounds.

And speaking of watercolor, there are pencils that provide just that. Again, Prismacolor makes quality watercolor pencils. Sometimes I just wet my fingertip and smear them that way. Depends on the effect I’m going for and what I have on hand, a brush or my finger! Caran d’Ache’s Supracolor II pencils also are good, but some of the colors don’t work as well when watered down (at least not in my experience). Plus, they don’t mark as smoothly as the Prismacolors do. I’ve found both of these brands in sets and open stock at art supply stores. Dick Blick carries an awesome selection at their downtown Chicago store.

Derwent makes Inktense, which I recently tried and DO like. I just haven’t used them as much. The chartreuse ROCKS! And they spread REALLY well with a wet brush and smear well with a wet fingertip. The colors are extremely vibrant, but they don’t carry as wide of a range of colors as the other brands. I’ve found these sold in sets and open stock at art supply stores.

Another brand are Faber-Castell Art Grip Aquarelle pencils. I think I only have one or two of these in my arsenal. They work pretty well with a wet brush or fingertip. Again, art supply stores carry them. I bought mine as open stock.

And Creatacolor Aquamonoliths are watercolor pencils made without wood, meaning they’re not like an ordinary pencil. They are heavier in the hand and a little fatter, plus they BREAK if you drop them on a hard surface. They have a good variety of colors, and I’ve bought them open stock at Jerry’s Art-a-Rama.

So, that’s what I know about colored and watercolor pencils. Have fun and play hard!