It was my birthday yesterday and we needed something to distract Miss M from the excitement of the impending candle blowing and sugar high. Having little interest in creating a big crafty mess to clean up on my birthday, I thought i’d introduce minimal-fuss watercolour pencils. While liquid watercolours might normally be the preferance for more established artists, “emerging artists” (i.e. toddlers) can find pencils a little less delicate and fiddly. And, there is something magical about watching ordinary pencil scribble transform into that fluid, washed out watercolour effect.
While there are a few more complicated methods out there, the simplest way to use watercolour pencils (especially with kids) is just to draw and colour using the pencils, then paint over the drawing with water. Easy! Remember to use thick (300gsm) watercolour or artists paper.
When painting the water on, try to follow the lines and contours of the drawing to control the effect and minimise unintentional blending of colours. Also, try to avoid your little one brushing too hard or for too long, as the wet paper will damage. Having said that, if your little one is under 3, nothing will be very intentional or careful, so let them scribble away and go nuts with the water. It will still turn out prettier than a regular pencil drawing, in my humble opinion.
Finally, i’ll leave you with a birthday happy snap. Clearly, it isn’t a birthday without pink party hats!