If you’re looking for some new watercolor pencil drawing ideas, we’ve got your back. I have compiled a list of 5 terrific watercolor pencil ideas for beginners that include natural items such as leaves, still life (flowers, fruits and vegetables) and even food! There are endless possibilities to explore with beautiful colored pencils. Explore them all and find out which one resonates the most with you!
I want you to push your skills and take them to the next level. I don’t want to just offer up 5 mindless watercolor pencil ideas for beginners just to keep you busy, I want you to learn and build your skills up. At the end of this post I will also provide a short guide on how to draw with watercolor pencils for beginners.
Remember, drawing is more than a hobby for most people, and it can be frustrating when you are stumped on what to draw. This blog post will give some great ideas for things to draw with watercolor pencils, take a look below. Let’s go!
Watercolor Pencil Ideas For Beginners
Watercolor Pencil Idea #1 – Round Things
Drawing round things as a watercolor pencil drawing idea may seem like a weird first choice but hear me out. Round things and spheres are one of the most used shapes in art and mastering how to draw spheres and other types of round shapes with not only pencils but watercolor pencils is a great skill to master.
Balloons, balls, marbles, or even grapes–round things are such interesting watercolor pencil ideas for beginners to learn. These things are also very easy items for beginners to sketch. One thing that makes these objects so interesting is that you have to indicate the way that the light reflects off of a spherical surface.
Watercolor pencils will blend the sketched lines into a solid block of color and help you shade your drawing a bit more subtly.
Of course, a marble or a balloon will be pretty easy to start with. But, as you build your skills you may want to increase the difficulty. Instead of drawing a bowling ball, you may want to try to draw something with a texture, such as a baseball, tennis ball, or basketball.
To indicate texture with your watercolor drawings, you may want to allow the wet page to dry, and then add details to the final drawing with a finely sharpened pencil.
Watercolor Pencil Idea #2 – Leaves
Leaves provide food for plants, and they can provide inspiration for your watercolor pencil drawings. Leaves are beautiful bits of plant material that are simple subjects for sketching.
The variety of leaves is astonishing, and no matter where you live, it can be simple to find a handful of leaves to draw.
If you live close to a nature preserve, you may be able to find lots of different kinds of leaves even within the same tree family. Different kinds of oak trees or maple trees have slight variations in their leaves, and when you learn to draw them you can capture all of their distinctions.
Many think that fall is the best time to capture leaf drawings, but leaves are pretty almost all year. Even when they are tiny in the spring, you can try to capture the soft, bright, spring greenness of the leaves with your colored pencils. Summer leaves are deeper in color, bold, and mature.
Fall leaves have crisp edges, and are beginning to curl up and drop from the tree. Many varieties change from green to red, yellow, bronze, and orange in the fall and are beautiful to draw.
Watercolor Pencil Idea #3 – Fruits and Vegetables
Artists have been using fruits and vegetables for inspiration for centuries, so why not follow suit? Go to the supermarket, pick up an assortment of various items, and sit down to draw them with your watercolor pencils. Remember that the fruits and vegetables do not have to be perfect.
Part of what is charming about using natural objects is that so few of them are in reality perfect. Capturing the blemishes, the asymmetry, and the imperfections is part of art.
Don’t only capture the reality of whole fruits and veggies. Experiment with displaying them in different ways. You may want to sketch a tray or platter of sliced strawberries or bell peppers. Arrange a sliced apple alongside a selection of whole ones. Take your time as you set up your still life arrangements before you start drawing.
Watercolor Pencil Idea #4 – Flowers
They are beautiful for just a few days before the fragile blossoms fade away. Flowers capture the lavish beauty that adorns our planet, and part of what makes them so lovely is that they are so temporary. You can capture their temporary beauty forever by sketching flowers with watercolor pencils.
As you sketch flowers with your watercolor pencils, experiment with the various angles from which you wish to view the flowers. Of course, everyone enjoys a top-down view, but maybe you should draw them from the side.
An interesting series of drawings would capture the flower from bud to bloom. You may even want to capture the fading of the blossoms. Simply snip a flower from the outdoors while it is tightly curled into a bud, and sketch it every day, slowly capturing the transition. You don’t have to purchase expensive flowers from the florist.
Simple blooms from the yard are pretty too, even the humble dandelion. Watercolor pencils are the perfect medium for drawing flowers since they can give a dreamy, soft appearance to the drawing.
If you need help learning to draw flowers, I have the perfect post for you – 12 easy to draw flowers for beginners – drawing flowers step by step where I cover how to draw 12 iconic flowers in 3 simple steps for each flower.
Watercolor Pencil Idea #5 – Food
Along with fruits and vegetables, drawing food is another classic option. If you are wondering what should I draw with watercolor pencils for beginners, you can’t go wrong when you choose to draw something delicious.
You could start with a humble loaf of bread, a stack of pancakes or waffles, or a basket of dinner rolls. Then, you could move on to something a bit more complicated like a hamburger or a doughnut with frosting and sprinkles. To take a walk on the sweet side, a slice of cake or pie might be a delicious addition to your watercolor pencil sketchbook. Brush your drawing with water to make the colors blend well as you draw food items.
Practice with Drawing a Color Wheel
The color wheel is an essential tool for artists of all levels to use. It not only allows you the ability mix different colors together, it also gives direction on how those paints should be layered based off their hues and tints/shades with each combination having its own unique meaning when applied in various media such as watercolor pencils or gouache paint which can then get even more complex by adding other mediums like ink – think about what this means!
I actually have a post that covers drawing a color wheel in a bit more detail here.
How to draw with watercolor pencils for beginners
Now that you have 5 terrific watercolor pencil ideas for beginners, how do you put these ideas into action? You will need to know how to draw with watercolor pencils for beginners. This section of the guide will show you how!
Watercolor pencils are a versatile medium that can be used for both drawing and painting. They are perfect for beginners because they are easy to control and allow you to create beautiful art with just a few simple steps.
Here is how to draw with watercolor pencils for beginners:
Choose your paper: Watercolor pencils can be used on any type of paper, but it is best to use smooth, heavyweight paper that will not buckle or warp when wet. Cold press watercolor paper is a good option for beginners.
Prime your paper: Before you start drawing and if you have not purchased watercolor paper that is already primed, it is important to prime your paper with a layer of water. This will help the pencils glide smoothly across the surface and prevent them from skipping or catching and will also prevent the watercolor paper from warping as it dries.
Select your pencils: Watercolor pencils come in a wide range of colors, so take some time to experiment and find the ones that you like best. It is also helpful to have a few different types of pencils on hand, such as fine-pointed pencils for detailed work and thicker pencils for bolder strokes. If you are totally new to this I would suggest buying a cheap set from your local dollar store, art shop or online. Do not spend more than $10. If you find you love drawing with watercolor pencils, then by all means go and invest in a good set as you will notice the difference.
Begin drawing: Once you have your supplies ready, it is time to start drawing! Remember to take your time and experiment with different techniques. You can start by using a light touch to create faint lines, or go bold and add layers of color. I would start with a fine line and light drawing using a 2H graphite pencil as these are easy to erase if you make any mistakes.
Once you are happy with the initial drawing then start applying the watercolor pencils.
Start lightly and go heavier as you add more layers.
Add water: To bring your drawing to life, add water to the pencil strokes with a brush or with a watercolor pencil brush or water brush. The amount of water you use will vary depending on the effect you want to achieve. For example, if you want soft, fuzzy edges then use more water; if you want sharper lines then use less water.
Let dry: Allow your drawing to dry completely before adding any more layers of color. This will help to prevent the colors from running together.
Experiment: Have fun experimenting with different techniques! You can create all sorts of effects by varying the amount of water you use, the type of brush you use, and the pressure you apply to the pencil. So go ahead and experiment until you find a look that you like.
Now that you know the basics of how to draw with watercolor pencils, go ahead and give it a try! Remember, there are no rules when it comes to learning how to draw with watercolor pencils for beginners so feel free to experiment and be creative. There is no right or wrong way to do it. Just have fun and see what happens!
Watercolor Pencil Drawing Ideas – Wrap up!
We hope you found some inspiration in this post for your next watercolor pencil drawing. Let us know which of these ideas appeals to you most or if there is anything else we can help with! If you’re looking for more creative ways to use colored pencils, check out our blog “What to Draw with Colored Pencils – 5 Ideas to get you inspired” where we explore more ideas for you to draw.
Remember that the possibilities are endless when it comes to beautiful art made with colorful, easy-to-use materials like watercolor pencils! What’s your favorite? Share on Instagram with me so others can see too!
Joseph Colella (Joe Colella) is an Editor and Writer at WastedTalentInc. As a frustrated artist with over 40 years experience making art (who moonlights as a certified Business Analyst with over 20 years of experience in tech). While Joseph holds a Diploma in Information Technology, in true wasted talent fashion he spent years applying for various Art degrees; from the Accademia di Belle Arti (Napoli), to failing to get into the Bachelor of Arts (Fine Arts) at the University of Western Sydney. While he jokes about his failures at gaining formal art qualifications, as a self-taught artist he has had a fruitful career in business, technology and the arts. His goal is to attend the Julian Ashton School of Art at The Rocks Sydney when he retires from full time work. Joseph’s art has been sold to private collectors all over the world from the USA, Europe and Australasia. He is a trusted source for reliable art advice and tutorials to copyright/fair use advice and is committed to helping his readers make informed decisions about making them a better artist.
He also loves all things watches (ok it’s an addiction) so show him some love and visit his other website https://expertdivewatch.com