The Combination of watercolor - Colored pencils

by Marjolein Gulinski


Hi There everyone,

The thing what is most asked on my gallery is: How did you make it?!?!??

So this is the moment you can learn HOW to make it. You need a lot of time, perseverance and a lot of willpower to get a good result. And of course a lot (and a lot) practicing.

I will explain the technique of the coloring with, watercolor in combination with colored pencils, in reference to my own painting "Autumn":


In the first place, what do you need?

I will tell you the materials I used, most of that stuff is very expensive, so ask in the shop for something that is equal to that:

  • Watercolor paper Arches: Hot pressed, 100% Cotton. 140 Lb (300 g/m2)
  • You can also start with other watercolor blocks. You only have to look at this: Hot pressed, 100% Cotton. 140 Lb (300 g/m2). Please use NO rough paper.
  • Water soluble Colored pencils (Aqua): I use Caran D'ache Supracolor.
  • Watercolor. You can buy them in different colors. (Skin-color, Brown are needed in THIS pic.) You can buy them separate so if you need a color you can buy them easily.
  • A Pencil/Graphite pen
  • Eraser
  • Sharpene
  • Pencils (different sizes)
  • Water
  • Light box. (or you can use a window at home and use the sun as light)

Let's Start...

Step 1

Before this step you made a sketch of the picture you would like to color. Sometimes I color the sketch to see which colors will work in the picture. And sometimes I decide that while I sketch.

Make the sketch clear by (It's a option) using a black pen and only draw the outlines of the sketch. This is a step you must do careful because this is the leading picture of the following colored version. (when you look in my gallery you will see more of those pen-pics) Erase the pencil.

This picture will be used on the light box.

Trace this pic with the light box on the watercolor paper. With an H pencil. (2H or something)

Please don't press hard on the pencil.. the picture on the watercolor paper must be very light.

After that can the coloring begin...

Use a brown color pencil to add the first shadow on the picture(I always start with the girl her skin) Look on the Step 1 picture to see how I did it. You will see that I didn't color the whole skin, but some places)


Step 2

This is again a difficult part. Now you will need the watercolor. The skin-color.

Remember that you have to color the skin in one time. If you quit when you aren't finished you will not have a smooth result.

When I make this step, I always look in the picture to al small piece (her feet) to try out.

Use a lot of water this time, and less color. I always color the face least.

When finished you will see result...this is fun right?

Leave her eyes white!!! That is important. Otherwise you can't get them white again.

Step 3

Now the same with her hair. On the left you see only the colored pencil (step 1) and on the right color pencil with watercolor (step2).

In this step I use brown watercolor (with also al lot of water)

Step 4 - 5 - 6

Now you will see that I always use step 1 and 2. Also with the dress. And the Toadstools.


Step 7 - 8

In this step I will not use only one colored pencil before I use the watercolor, but 3 colors: brown, and brown-red- and brown-yellow.

And finished the colored pencil also with brown watercolor (with a lot of water)

I also color the wings in this stage.. (less color pencil to make the transparent look)


Step 9

The border...That is done with full watercolor. Only to make the straight line I used the water soluble colored pencil. Only the line!!

Than I mixed water with the brown water color, end colored the border. To make the border darker and lighter, just use more color. Try this first out on another watercolor paper and see what more effects you can make..

In other pictures you can use more colors. You can look on my gallery to see how I used more colors in the same border.

Use a lot of water (only water, no watercolor) to color the wings..


Step 10 - 11 - 12

It's time to make the first step of the background. The leaves. Because the pencil is light I use brown color pencil to show the leaves better. And add a bit shadow.

Now use more colors on the leaves: dark brown, brown-red, brown-orange and green (a little)

And finish it with watercolor (brown with a lot of water)


Step 13

The same with the leaves behind and the tree.

I think you can do this on your own now...


Step 13b

This part is the most difficult. Detailing the whole picture. Add more shadow, and use some darker color pencils. Try to use no more water. This step took me 5 hours.

You see on this picture that I detailed the right site of her hair a bit more.


Step 14

Here you will see how I detailed the picture. In the detail you really see the color pencil.




  • Always wash your hands before start with the coloring.
  • Wait until the watercolor is dry. Otherwise the color pencil will not work well.
  • It's cool to use salt on wet watercolor. (not on wet colored pencil)
  • Try this!! It's very cool. (look for different short of salt, because some salt will work better than another)

Have fun!!!!!


Good luck!!


Marjolein 'Disneylover' Gulinski


5 months ago
Art / Colouring

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