Every medium dictates the manner in how it should be used to reveal its full potential. Every coloring tool has certain limitations and methods that are optimal for its best performance.
If you plan to purchase a set of drawing tools, it is important to understand that not all colored pencils are similar in the traditional sense. In this post, we will outline the main difference between colored and watercolor media, which usually entails questions and confusion among users.
Let’s Check Differences
Watercolor and colored pencils look almost similar, but they are totally different technically. To understand this difference, WoWPencils will consider the key features that characterize each medium. When you know all the strong points of each of these drawing instruments, this will help you determine which set can be used for your particular needs or even combined to create masterpieces.
Every color medium features a binder – a substance that holds the pigment particles together and allows the artists to transfer them to the paper. The binder is very important because it prescribes the methods the artists should apply the medium.
In different types of coloring tools, different binders are used. Traditional pencils have either a wax or oil binder. The quality of these pencils depends on the ratio of the binder to the pigment and the pigment quality. These pencils can be easily layered and mixed on the surface.
The color becomes more complex when artists apply multiple layers. Oil-based and wax-based pencils are not water-soluble.
Pencils, which contain a wax binder, are more common. Oil-based media are more expensive and preferred mainly by professional artists. Their leads are harder and easy to sharpen to a very fine point, which allows them to draw details.
Regular pencils are good at burnishing – a process of adding heavy layers to a drawing.
Watercolor media are different. They don’t overlay in the same manner and cannot be burnished. They contain a water-soluble binder, which disperses a color pigment when we add water. In other words, the pigment is activated by water. Liquid makes the drawing look like a watercolor painting. The same result is achieved when you wet the pencil with a brush before making a line on the surface or when you draw on wet paper. This helps get very attractive shades.
Both media can be used together. It is advised to apply ordinary pencils over the drawing made by watercolor media after they have been activated.
Regular pencils are available in a variety of shades. They are sold in sets of 72 or even 120 colors and are able to produce expressive and bright drawings.
Watercolor media are developed with a limited color range, and they are more expensive. Usually, they can be found in sets of 12 or 24 colors. These media are also versatile and can be used both wet and dry. Dissolved in water, its pigment forms the unique effects of a watercolor painting. The liquid spreads the color and makes it less bright than in the drawings made by regular pencils.
For people with less art experience, working with watercolor drawing tools may be challenging. Regular pencils are a better choice to start practicing drawing. Due to an array of colors, these media provide you with rich shades which are thicker and deeper on the surface. They can be easily blended with a colorless blender pencil or even with baby oil.
At first glance, watercolor media operate like traditional pencils, but they look softer when water is added. They are difficult to blend but easy to lighten by adding liquid to the pigment. As a result, watercolor pencils tend to offer less intense shades.
When we use water with watercolor pencils, we can cover a large area very quickly. This can be done easily with brushes, sponges, toothbrushes or spray bottles. The fluid brushstrokes are very helpful in coloring big sections like sky, grass or water. In addition, you can soak up excessive pigment.
This is a fast way to make a color lighter, while in the case of conventional pencils, you have to apply a few strokes to lighten the shade. It is difficult to add or change a color for large areas with them.
Try to draw with both tools to see which pencil you prefer. The admirers of water-soluble pigments may take a look at this selection of great watercolor pencils.
Paper Is Important
Normal colored pencils don’t leak through the paper. This makes them a perfect medium for drawing in books that are printed on both sides.
The situation is different with watercolor pencils, which tend to buckle thin paper when you add water. Most people use cardstock or special paper for watercolor paintings. It is durable and doesn’t buckle, so you are free to experiment with any textures. A recent invention is a watercolor canvas, which is specially designed and allows your drawing to stay wet longer.
Watercolor pencils vs colored pencils is an eternal struggle before buying a new set. Determine your goals as an artist before heading to the art store. Colored drawing tools are suitable for beginners and for people who draw to relieve stress. Watercolor media demand more developed art skills and are suitable for advanced users. Anyway, both types are unique and able to create fantastic images and artwork.