We've tried watercolor pencils before a few times and they've never worked well for us, but I recently ordered some watercolor crayons to try and we are all thoroughly impressed. Daphne, Maia, her friend Marlise, and I all spent much of the afternoon drawing with them yesterday and then painting over the drawings with water to create the watercolor effect.
They really work! And they are easy and fun to use.
The watercolor crayons are by Faber-Castell (I ordered ours from Stubby Pencil Studio) and I understand that there are versions made by other brands as well. These particular watercolor crayons feel and draw more like oil pastels than traditional crayons which is a plus in my eyes. They glide on smoothly and the colors are vibrant. They are also rather easily breakable as you can see from the photo above. Two of the crayons are broken after one afternoon of drawing. But that doesn't faze us. It just means two people can use the same popular colors at the same time.
First we drew our pictures with the crayons. Here, Maia is drawing an underwater scene for Marlise.
Then we painted over our drawings with water. You can see from this picture the smooth transition from drawing to painting. This effect worked best if the watercolor crayon coverage was thoroughly and evenly applied and if the water was painted on thoroughly as well. When the crayon coverage was spottier or the water brushed on quickly, the effect was different (you could see the crayon lines underneath) but still attractive and effective.
Daphne enjoyed painting water over many of her marks.
Marlise painted water over her drawing of outer space (complete with a black hole and various planets that she described to us in detail).
You can see the crayon lines under Marlise's drawing/painting of a princess.
And here's Maia's experiment with multiple colors of the watercolor crayons scribbled all over the paper then painted over with water.
I think we have a new favorite art material in the house.
Have you tried watercolor crayons? I'm curious if other brands of watercolor crayons work as well as these. I'd also love to hear if you use watercolor pencils and like them (maybe we just haven't tried the right brands...).