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Mixed Media- CP with W/C Pencils and other media
Take powder from the pencil tip using a craft knife
Mix to a thin wash on a dish palette or on a large white plate
( You are better using two layers of thinner colour than one thicker one )
Apply loosely with a brush
This option is ideal for backgrounds and for establishing the shapes on the paper
which can later be refined and corrected with CP
You can erase any graphite pencil lines selectively once the watercolour layer is dry
and use the watercolour wash image as your guide for the CP.
Alternatively you can apply light even shading of colour directly on to the paper with
your watercolour pencils.  
AVOID firm lines at all costs as these will bed into the paper and be almost
impossible to lift or soften with water later.
Your shading needs to be evenly and lightly applied.
Masking Fluid can be used to reserve white areas, but there is also a possibility of
using a soft CP white wax pencil ( Coloursoft etc )
to lay down a protective skin of wax on areas of the paper, this can be erased later
after the wash has been applied, to reveal the white surface underneath.  
You will need to test this out with your own choice of paper/white pencil/watercolour
pencil wash, as there are many differences between brands and some work better
than others.
Broadly speaking, the process for using washes based on Watercolour pencils is the
method to use with traditional pan or tube watercolour
INK  Features
1  Permanency of colour
2  Edges of the coloured area are more intense
3  But beware some fugitive colours
4  Fine marker pens offer a contrasting line which can be
very effective when CP is applied over the top
ACRYLIC  Features  
1   Permanency with strong colours.  Most colours will be lightfast.
2  You need to keep surfaces and brushes moist as once it dries, acrylic is locked
to the surface. Brushes can become sticks.
3   White acrylic can provide an excellent base for working on black paper -
especially for images involving glass
4   Most brands will work with CP but it is well worth testing first.
You might need to add a Matte medium to some brands.
5   I have found the more liquid brands of acrylics work best ( for me ).
I use ProColor ( from a Canadian manufacturer and sold through Linda
Wain in the UK ). It works well on paper and prepared board.  
Don’t try it on canvas or canvas board if you are going to use CP on the
top. The surface will be too rough
I use a heavyweight hot pressed paper.
SEE the adjoining page ‘CP and ... ‘   for more on the techniques for CP and Acrylic
APRIL 2012
I see a new variety of Acrylic Guache is promoted by Jacksons Art in the UK.  This is
a Japanese manufactured brand called ‘Turner’ and comes in over 250 individual
colours.  It is said to be suitable as a base for a whole variety of media and will take
over metal as well as glass and other difficult surfaces.  I am not sure that it is really
necessary to have 250 plus colours in tubes, but no doubt the buying public will
decide how useful the product is.
There is an acrylic based product that provides an excellent base for CP as well as
Pastel and Pastel Pencil.  This is COLOURFIX PRIMER manufactured in Australia
by Art Spectrum.  The 250ml tubs come in a range of colours but the white provides
an excellent base for pencil work, producing a hard sanded finish which looks and
acts in a very similar way to the sanded paper and card surfaces you buy. The
primer can be brushed on to a base of mount board or card and sanded down to a
very smooth finish if required.  
One advantage of using the white primer is the fact that it can be tinted with ordinary
acrylic or even watercolour pigment and thus provide a pre-coloured base suitable
for your individual artwork
This is a good approach if you are a keen sketcher or capable drawer.
I have used a soluble ink in a fine point fountain pen and after drawing a rough sketch
to get the shapes right and everything in position, I re-draw the picture over the top
with the pen. Apply some ink shading for very dark areas and vary your shading for
intermediate areas. Your aim at this point is to get a series of lines and areas of shading
to represent the foundation stage of the picture. Don’t worry about some of the lines
being in the wrong place - if you are working on watercolour paper most of the colour
will lift when you apply water later.
once the ink is dry, erase the pencil to provide a clear background.
Next, use a springy watercolour brush to work the ink where it needs to be softened
being careful to avoid any areas where highlights are needed.
This gives you a monochrome ink study on to which you can apply wax pencil.
See the part completed image below to get an idea.
An alternative to a fountain pen could be to use a fine point fibre tip pen such as
a Stabilo 88 fineliner BUT do ensure that the ink in whatever fineliner you use is fully watersoluble
if you wish to soften the pen line. The Stabilo is waterbased but fairly permanent, so select
a mid toned colour. In my view the traditional pen and ink offers much more flexibility.
I am told that Parker Quink ink reacts to the brush and water treatment by splitting into
several colours - interesting !
This Welsh cottage scene
is on Fabriano Hot Pressed
paper ( 300gsm) and the ink is
Waterman Brown ink.
The later colour is Derwent
Coloursoft and Procolour
Wax type pencils.
There are five layers of different
greens on the sunlit grass.
I show below another ink and CP study of a Yorkshire Village where the brown ink under the
coloured pencil makes a useful stone coloured link which holds the picture together.
A more widely ink based picture which relies on the ink wash to provide an out of focus background
is this scene of an old city gate in Germany.
This is an ideal approach for landscape sketching, but I do recommend hot pressed watercolour paper rather
than cartridge paper as the W/C paper gives you more ability to correct, blend and lift the ink lines if necessary.
My preferred option is to use watercolour pencils to
establish the initial colour wash to the paper. You can
easily use traditional watercolour from tube or pan if
you prefer. The pigment is the same.  I prefer to use
the same colour choice that I will use later from the
pencils and often use the Caran d’Ache Supracolour
Watercolour pencils to produce the wash and then use
the same pencils for the dry colour.
This picture would have been acceptable by the UKCPS in open competition as a ‘Pure’ Coloured Pencil work until 2010
following which it became Mixed Media (as water was used as a solvent).
The new rules established by the UKCPS for the 2013 Open Exhibition entry accepted the use of water as a solvent,
provided that at least 50% of the surface has been completed with dry colour .  This is my reading of the rule amendment
( January 2013 ) HOWEVER, you will need to check the up to date position carefully before entering a UKCPS Society Open
exhibition with a watercolour pencil wash underpainting..
Rules in other competitive exhibitions may vary a great deal. It is always wise to check carefully with the organisers if the
entry form is in any way doubtful
Below is a sample of this process where Supracolour was used for the initial wash and
as dry pencil for the finished work. Left is the initial stage - the wash of pencil colour over the original
drawing. The graphite pencil is erased later On the Right is the finished picture
Revised March 2019
Water based paint similar in many ways to watercolour, but with a high level of body
colour in the mixture which gives it a chalky opaque look.  When dry it has much the
same surface as fixed pastel.  Designer Gouache was developed for illustrators to
use for advertising artwork which would be used once for producing litho plates and
then destroyed.  Designer Gouache colours are often not very lightfast, but they do
work as a base for CP.  BEWARE that layers of dark colours over light and light over
dark can result in bleeding of colour from one layer through to another if the earlier
layer is still damp. Gouache is not as stable a surface as Acrylic and water in a later
layer can damp down to lower levels if several layers of paint are used.
Using a hard graphite pencil will prove more successful than a soft one under
CP as the soft graphite will tend to smudge and smear as CP is applied on the top.
The very fine line shading and hatching from a hard graphite pencil can contrast well
with soft colour shading from CP.
Bear in mind that Derwent manufacture ‘Graphitint’ which is a useful variant on
Graphite that includes a water soluble colour pigment.
The original formula had a large number of low lightfast colours, but the modern
variety of Graphitint is more durable.
Under CP the Graphitint should be even more stable.
FOR MORE ON GRAPHITE WITH Coloured Pencil - see next Sub Section ‘CP and
....’  Where there is more on this Topic
Has anybody tried it ?  My First impression is that it would be a non starter.
However,I understand a number of USA based artists have been experimenting and
using a heated tablet to work on which melts the wax as well as softening the oil
Just as you can't successfully use Acrylic paint over oil paint ( but you can use
oils over acrylic ), I would expect the soft slow drying oil surface to be an
unsuccessful base for CP.  It would seem not. Tell me if you have any more information.
I haven't tried it, but I believe that excellent results can be achieved.
An 'old' or unsuccessful painting can be used as a base and a light coat of
gesso applied to dull the base colours before layers of thin tissue or rice paper are
applied whilst the gesso is still wet.  With the original image still just visible, you can
then work CP into the hardened paper surface.  
Another variant I have seen is the application of CP over layers of cut and torn
magazine content with typeface still visible.  The typeface can be at all angles but
the object is to look for colour and pattern and apply the base of cut and torn paper
to the foundation.  
These paper scraps can be secured with a PVA adhesive and I am told that provided
that the final finish of the base is not glossy, either Wax CP or even watercolour
pencil colour can be applied on the top.  I have had no experience, and would be
interested to know more.