Watercolor Pencils As Regular Colored Pencils; Everything You Need to Know!

Tired of those old methods of using regular colored pencils while creating a masterpiece? Feel like experimenting and trying something new?

Have you tried using watercolor pencils instead of just regular colored pencils? Can you replace the old normal method with adapt to this? Let’s find out,

Can You Use Watercolor Pencils As Regular Colored Pencils?

Yes, watercolor pencils can be used as regular colored pencils as well as being used with the application of water.

Watercolor pencils combine both the properties of colored pencils as well as water colored pencils. They will produce exactly the same type of results!

What Paper Can I Use With Watercolor Pencils?

If you plan on using your watercolor pencils as regular color pencils (without the use of water), then you can use any type of drawing paper. If you are thinking of using them with water, then you’ll need to use watercolor paper due to its water absorbent properties.

Tip: If you plan on using watercolor pencils as regular colored pencils, then you would notice that a smooth paper would work way better than a rough one.

Reasons Why Using Watercolor Pencils Instead of Regular Color Pencils Can Be Useful

Can You Use Watercolor Pencils As Regular Colored Pencils

You may be unsure of buying watercolor pencils and then not using them for what they were actually made for. Here are some reasons that might make you want to,

  1. Quality color pencils, whether water colored or regular, can be quite expensive. It will save you from buying two different sets of color pencils. You can just buy the watercolor ones and use them both as watercolor pencils and regular color pencils.
  2. You may end up liking the texture and the results. Although they are very similar, watercolor pencils are not wax based.
  3. A wide range of techniques will be available to you. By using watercolor pencils, you can use normal color pencil techniques as well as the techniques of watercolor pencils.

Difference Between Watercolor Pencils And Regular Color Pencils

Here are some differences that I found out while researching;


Watercolor Pencils
Regular   Color Pencils   
Water-soluble pigment binder   
Wax or oil   
Designed to be diluted with water   
Designed to use dry   
Do not blend well   
Blend well when dry   

Paper Used
Watercolor paper hot or cold-pressed   
Can be used on a variety of papers.   

Color Intensity of Watercolor Pencils:

One question that people have when they think of using watercolor pencils as regular colored pencils is that;

“Do watercolor pencils have the same intensity as the regular ones?† Well there is no difference between the color intensity of watercolor pencils and regular colored pencils. You can equally blend or layer them like regular ones in order to make the color more intense.

If you find that the watercolor pencils you’re using do not have an intense result, then it is probably because you may be using the student ones rather than the artist pencils.

There is always a difference in the amount of pigments between the professional artist pencils and the student ones. Amazrock Professional Watercolor Pencils worked out perfectly for me!! I had no complaints regarding its color intensity

Different Techniques You Can Use Watercolor Pencils For:

As I mentioned before that one of the advantages of using watercolor pencils as regular color pencils is that you can use a wide range of techniques. Here are some of them:

1.     Dry Color Pencil on Dry Paper:

You can use any of the regular color pencil techniques to sketch or draw normally.

2.     Dry Pencils Made Wet:

In this, you can use the watercolor pencils like regular ones and then later on, whenever you want, can change your art into watercolor. But you’ll have to use watercolor paper in order to do this.

Note: You won’t be needing any strong color because once you use water, the color itself will become more vibrant.

3.     Tip Made Wet:

Dipping the watercolor pencils in water and then applying is also another method which you can use. This way, you can control where you want to use watercolor pencils as regular ones and where to use them as watercolors.

This method works great! But there is one con, you’ll have to wet the tip again and again.

4.     Wet Paper First:

Dip a brush into a cup of water and then run it over on the paper. You can use watercolor pencils on the wet surface. And if you want an even more vibrant color, then you can also wet the tip of the watercolor pencil.

5.     First Draw Then Apply Water

Can You Use Watercolor Pencils As Regular Colored Pencils

This is one of the most common ways watercolor pencils are used. You use them to draw images first and then apply water with the help of a brush later. In this, you can even add details into your art.

You can use the watercolor pencils to sketch in the image. You can make several layers of colors with these.

You can lay down a layer, apply water and then after it dries, you can apply another layer. Just make sure that you remember that your first layer of paint can be reactivated if you add too much water!

6.     Regular Color Pencil On Watercolor Pencil

Many artists that love color pencils hate having any of the white of the paper showing. You can overcome this by applying extra pressure when drawing.

But that is very time consuming and can cause your hand and your wrist to start throbbing.

If you use watercolor pencils first, allow the whites to appear and then draw on top of it with colored pencils. In this way, you can easily cover up the white paper that is showing.

Final Verdict

You can use watercolor pencils as regular color pencils and use different techniques in order to get the best results. There’s no inherent reason not to use dry watercolors. They are designed in a way that they can be used dry on dry or as wet mediums.

If you use student watercolor pencils as regular color pencils then there is a chance that you may not get the results you want. So it’s recommended that you use professional watercolor pencils.

You can check out our blog on the best watercolor brands that will surely give the best results.