Art Journaling Tip: Watercolor Pencils

Hanging out with art pal Lynn T. today, we were talking about making it easy to take along a journal and use it. She reminded me of a handy trick I haven’t used in a long time. It’s a great idea, so I’ll share.

Blending on the left, creating a palette on the right.

You’ve played with watercolor pencils in your journal. Depending on the quality, you may see some pencil streaks after you apply the wash. (See the left side of the page.) I was playing with blending colors. Supposing I want to take a journal with me, but not pack a lot of watercolor pencils or watercolors. On the right side I used my excellent-quality Caran D’Ache (pronounced to rhyme with Baron Wash)  and scrubbed them heavily directly onto the page in small squares.

Work from light to dark, using the squares of color as paint.

Using a travel watercolor brush with a reservoir, I used the squares as you would a half-pan of watercolor. Wet it with the brush, and use the color to paint the vine.

Detail of color blendsIf you work quickly, while the first color is still wet, you can blend in a second color with great results. In the photo above, I’ve marked the leaves with the squares I used to blend the colors.

You can use the back pages of your journal to create a palette. You can use primaries, or as many as a page or two will hold. Then you pack your journal and your traveling water brush, and you are ready to go!

–Quinn McDonald is an art journaler and color lover who always wondered what to do with the last few pages of a journal. She now makes them into instant palettes.