Watercoloring with Watercolor Pencils and Aqua Painter™

by Cindy Lyles

This is a wonderful easy way to make it look like an artist colored your image.


  • Watercolor Pencils
  • Aqua Painter, wet watercolor brush, or blender pen
  • Waterproof Ink
  • Cardstock
  • A detailed stamp set


  1. Step 1

    Stamp image with waterproof ink onto cardstock.

  2. Step 2

    Visualize a light source. I chose one coming from the top right. This means that some of my darker tones will be at the bottom left.

    Apply Watercolor Pencils to darker toned areas, opposite the light source, where color would naturally be darker.

  3. Step 3

    Using an Aqua Painter™, begin in the dark colored areas. Slowly pull the watercolor pencil colors inward toward the lighter areas.

  4. Step 4

    Using a watercolor pencil (I used gray), add lines for shadows to the outside of the stamped image, opposite your light source.

  5. Step 5

    Using the Aqua Painter™, going in one direction, pull the gray color away from the light source. Do not use a back and forth (or seesaw) motion, but rather pick up your brush and go back, pulling outward. For shadows I usually use gray. However, blue and purple colors can look natural too.

  6. Step 6

    Finish your card!

Questions and Comments

We'd love to get your feedback or questions. Leave your comment below.

I love how simply you describe this technique! I am using it for an upcoming event and this will be very helpful for my demonstration!
Stacy  |  Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:48 AM
I appreciate the tips in this tutorial, however, when I watercolour with my watercolour pencils, I take the colour right off the pencil an on to a very small brush - say a 0 or a 1 sized brush. I find this to be a much more controlled method of water colouring for me.
Just a thought for your watercolourists!

I find that way I can control the flow of water much more easily, and the depth of colour - as well as making it much easier to stay within the lines.

Just my preference!
Deborah  |  Mon May 12, 2008 at 12:38 PM
Have you ever used the Stampin Up metallic pencils? If so, how?
Jan  |  Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 4:55 PM
I have trouble using my aqua painter - I always seem to get too much water on my paper and then the paper goes funny. Any advice?
Darlene  |  Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 2:12 AM
Beautiful tutorial - will have to get myself some of those pencils! Wasn't sure how to use them before I read this.
Amanda  |  Wed Nov 26, 2008 at 3:22 PM
very good instructions, especially explanations on visualizing light source to create realistic shading and shadows. I will try this technic and be able to use the information in other projects as well. Thank you
Karen  |  Wed Nov 26, 2008 at 9:28 PM
Cindy: Thanks for the step by step instructions, I have been hesitant to use my pencils with the water coloring technique, but not anymore!

Julia  |  Wed Jan 19, 2011 at 10:01 AM
This is great information. Thanks a lot.
Jeanne Henson  |  Sat Jun 15, 2013 at 5:02 PM

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