First Attempt at Watercolor Sketch using Prismacolors exclusively

Prismacolor Watercolor Pencil experiment

Today, while Art I students were busy with their collage experiments, I made a couple of attempts to sketch in watercolor, using only Prismacolor Watercolor Pencils.  Naturally, I couldn’t focus the way I wished, with 25 students buzzing in the same space as I, but I enjoyed this effort  nevertheless.  I only discovered this product this past summer while teaching at the Eureka Springs School of the Fine Arts.  I purchased a fistful and used them to finish out a number of plein air and studio watercolors created over the past four months.  But I have never used them exclusively.  I’m used to blocking in large areas with Winsor and Newton pigments, and occasionally reaching for the Dr. Ph. Martin liquid watercolors.  I’m still struggling with how to block in the larger areas.  I struggled somewhat with the sky portions and the ground neutrals of the tree bark. But again, once I’m alone in the studio, I’m sure I’ll be able to concentrate better.

I think I’m going to enjoy this new foray into watercolor experimentation.  I’m feeling too settled right now for my own satisfaction.  It’s time to return to the studio.  Unfortunately, I have a cursed 4-class high school load today, followed by a meeting, followed by a workshop, followed by preparations for tomorrow’s classes.  Maybe I’ll see the studio by midnight.

Thanks for reading.

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4 Responses to “First Attempt at Watercolor Sketch using Prismacolors exclusively”

  1. Linda Halcomb Says:

    I like your first attempts. I see your experience. I like watercolor pencils but they are a tool that has limited applicability. I use them to finish my paintings and when I need tight control. When I use them for large areas I can’t seem to get rid of the stroke lines. I use CP paper. Maybe they would disappear on HP?


    • davidtripp Says:

      Thanks for the comment, Linda. After several attempts now, I realize that I have to use these for small compositions if I am using them exclusively. I certainly cannot “calm down” the sky or any other area demanding flat color. I don’t want to do the Vincent Van Gogh thing on all my skies. Lately, I’ve found these working better over the top of the Winsor & Newtons, like you described–more as finishers rather than starters. But I’m still way behind the learning curve.


  2. Dena Hill Says:

    Hi David,

    Makes we want to pull out my WC pencils and experiment. I have a full set of the new formula Derwent but have not used them much. Need to try!


    • davidtripp Says:

      Thanks for responding, Dena. I’ve used Derwent and Albrecht Durer watercolor pencils in the past for detail work, more as “finishers.” Now I’m trying, with Prismacolor, to push the pencils further than before, and to see if I can do a watercolor exclusively from this product. It is certainly taking me in new directions.


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