Watercolor pencils are the perfect hybrid of drawing and painting. They allow artists to draw with a dry pencil and use water, before or after, for a variety of shimmering watercolor effects. The core of a watercolor pencil is composed of pigment with a water-soluble binder. It acts like a colored pencil but is activated by water to create a saturated, painterly look. Artists can dip the tip of a watercolor pencil into water for a creamy, velvety, thick line; they can wet their paper and then draw on it; or they can draw dry, opaque lines and then run a wet brush over their marks to create ephemeral, translucent effects. Versatile and portable, easy to use and clean up, the pencils are a great alternative to paints. They work well with coloring books, cards, journals, illustrations, drawings, and paintings.
1. Arteza Professional Watercolor Pencils
Take your art to the next level with Arteza’s Professional Watercolor Pencils. The set contains 120 highly pigmented pencils in a wide range of colors. These pencils have a 4mm cores that apply color in thick, creamy, smooth coverage; they are break resistant and sharpen to points without crumbling. The colors are vibrant when applied dry; adding water with a brush makes them painterly and even more brilliant. The colors are not traditionally named but have creative, fun names instead. An easy-to-reference color chart is printed on the lid of the sturdy metal storage tin, so you’ll learn the names your favorite colors quickly. The pigments blend well with water, allowing for a variety of stunning watercolor effects including translucent layering and blending. Once they have dried, you can draw over top of the painterly areas to add details. The pigments reactivate again when rewetted. They are nontoxic, making them suitable for children as well as adults.
2. Castle Art Supplies Watercolor Pencils Set
Effortlessly create impressive drawing and watercolor effects with this substantial, solid set. Its 72 colors offer an exquisite range of hues created with high-quality pigments. The watercolor pencils’ versatility and effects will delight you as you experiment, aided by a printed tutorial included with the set that outlines five techniques for use. Apply dry to create layered, textured, complex color and details. Wet the tip of the pencil for soft, thick, saturated lines. Go over the dry layers of pencil with a wet brush for a more traditional, transparent watercolor. The pigment load isn’t as heavy as you get with more expensive watercolor pencils, but the colors are vibrant and true. Each pencil is hexagonal, easy to grip for hours of comfortable drawing.
3. Crayola Watercolor Colored Pencils
Teachers and students love these watercolor pencils. Their cores are softer than Crayola’s regular colored pencils, delivering brilliant color coverage when used for drawing. But they’re harder than other watercolor pencils, perfect for beginners learning how much pressure to use for different effects. This set of 24 pencils produce creamy, intense color after the tips are dipped in water. They are also great for blending and creating gradations when applied dry and then brushed with water, or when applied to wet paper. Affordable and nontoxic, these watercolor pencils are perfect for classroom use. They can also be used at festivals and parties as face paint: just dip the pencils into water and carefully draw on skin, avoiding eyes and mouth. More precise than face paint, the pencils are easier to transport and clean up. Crayola’s pencils are every student’s and teacher’s dream.
4. Artist’s Choice Watercolor Pencils
Do you want to try watercolor pencils but don’t want to break the bank? This set is affordable, with a rainbow of 72 colors that go on in smooth layers. The cores are harder than most watercolor pencils, which makes them perfect for drawing fine, precise lines. The pigment load is not as high as with more expensive pencils; the color is subtle. The set comes with a brush as well as a convenient, trifold plastic case with a slot for each pencil. The case folds up for storage or for traveling. These pencils are excellent for beginners looking for an economical set to try out.
5. Prismacolor Premier Color Pencils
Create scintillating, translucent, watery effects plus precise lines with Prismacolor’s 36-color pencil set. Prismacolor is renowned for its superior colored pencils, and these watercolor pencils, with their superior mixing ability, are no exception. The pigment load is high, with a binder that is water-soluble for smooth drawing and satisfying effects with a wet paintbrush. The hues are richly saturated and light-fast, corresponding to the Prismacolor palette. These pencils are perfect for drawings, paintings, illustrations, and coloring books. They come in a nice metal tin for easy use and storage. Prismacolor watercolor pencils are the superior watercolor pencil.