Prismacolor Watercolor Pencils

Prismacolor Watercolor Pencils

Prismacolor Watercolor Pencils are water-soluble and made of professional artist quality grade pigments and precisely match the color palette of Prismacolor’s other products – Premier, Verithin, and Art Stix.  Prismacolor Pencils are sold individually or in sets of 12, 24, and 36 pencils.  Used with or without water, the smooth and rich colored leads lend themselves to creating dynamic drawings.  The technique to using water-soluble pencils is up to the individual artist’s imagination. There is no wrong way to use these pencils, except to avoid over saturating paper with water, which can lead to tearing, especially when using light weight paper.

Artist grade watercolor paper is recommended, rather than drawing paper. An alternative to watercolor paper is cold press illustration board, which is a thick, high rag content paper similar in thickness to cardboard. It has what artists call, tooth, which means that the surface is textured and not smooth. The textured surface will absorb water better, allowing for greater artistic control. A smooth surface will cause running, because there is no place for the water to go. Pencils in general work much better on a textured, porous surface. When purchasing either watercolor paper or cold press illustration board, be sure to check that it is made from 100% cotton fiber and is acid free.

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Why This Artist Prefers Prismacolor Watercolor Pencils

Why This Artist Prefers Prismacolor Watercolor Pencils

I have been creating art all of my life, but when it comes to drawing, I prefer Prismacolor Watercolor Pencils to other brands.  Based on my experience and the opinion of other artists and instructors, Sanford has consistently improved and expanded their line of Prismacolor pencils.  I find Sanford pencils offers the consumer both superior quality and value for all of their art supplies.  Secondly, they are continually trying to engage their customer base, and have recently expanded their online community of artists – even expanding their services to include the digital artist community.  Just in case you haven’t visited their site in a while, it is well worth the time.  Recently added is a digital color coordinator that matches digital colors to their products.  If you are involved with desktop publishing, digital color charts, and color printing, you will probably appreciate this digital chart.  It is based on the two standard color printing processes – 4 color (CMYK) and 3 color (RGB).  Furthermore, it also outputs the HEX code to any color or hue you produce.  HEX code is a standard for digital colors, particularly used for the Internet.

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Prismacolor Watercolor Pencils

Prismacolor Watercolor Pencils

If you have been following this blog, you may have noticed that I alluded to using Prismacolor watercolor pencils in my last article, “Prismacolor Colored Pencils Drawing Techniques.” Prismacolor watercolor pencils are made up of water-soluble materials, which enable an artist to create watercolor like effects within a drawing.  By applying a damp paintbrush to a composition drawn with water-soluble colored pencils, rough areas can be gently smoothed away.  Rather than use an eraser to try to remove or lighten areas of a drawing, applying a damp brush to these so-called mistakes, can actually enhance a drawing.

Here is an example, suppose you are drawing a landscape.  Rather than worry about having to cover a large area, such as the foreground, simply color the area gently with pencil, and then apply your brush to smooth out the spaces.  You can also draw on top of the water brushed area, but make sure that your paper is not too wet, or the paper will tear.  An alternative would be to wait until the paper is dry, and then apply a second layer of pencil to the drawing.  This may only be a few pencil accents made with yellows, violets, or reds to indicate flowers.  Once you have drawn in your flowers, use the damp brush again to blur and smooth the area.  You will find that brushes will pick-up some of the Prismacolor watercolor pencil pigment, so you can use that color to add additional color and texture to your drawing without having to put your pencil to the paper.  Remember always to keep a cup of clean water near your drawing area, in order to rinse accumulated pigment from your brush.  Dry it gently using a soft rag; paper towels will come apart and leave pieces in your brush.

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