Since water will have to be applied on the colored area, the color will not remain too bright unless the pigment is high.

Is it so? If yes, then do water color pencils have richer pigments as compared to their dry counterparts?

Does it mean that dry coloring with water color pencils will be brighter than the coloring of normal color pencils?

If yes, then does it make sense to use water color pencils instead of normal color pencils for dry coloring?

I use the color pencils with the parrot on the cover, currently.

P.S. Not referring to the artist grade colors.

1 Answer 1


Student vs professional is usually a difference in pigment and pigment amounts, the binders are typically the same. So, from that respect, I wouldn't expect a lot of difference in the important aspect of their behavior.

So, watercolor pencils are designed to be used dry on dry or as a wet medium, so there's no inherent reason not to use them for dry coloring, they just have different characteristics versus more traditional colored pencil medium and you can learn to take advantage of those just as easily. This is true in "normal" options as well, the behavior of wax-based is different that oil-based, and you can use that to your advantage.

In terms of getting brighter, this is also true of wax/oil pencils when blended with a blender. You're dissolving the binder, leaving behind the pigment, and that usually results in a brighter look. Binder differences can result in a difference of brightness dry, but that doesn't necessarily mean the pigments are richer.

The biggest difference, in my still limited observation working with Polychromos and Albrecht Dürer pencils, is that the watercolors blend together much, much, easier and I need far less layering to achieve coverage once I activate with water. In fact, for a single color, one is generally enough. It's a different look though, as it's not opaque, but that's the fun part of watercolors.

So, sure, you can use the watercolor pencils for dry coloring. Just remember that if you want to use them wet, the paper matters. Normal dry paper is probably not going to hold up that well to applying water.

  • How would I know whether those water color pencils are oil based or not? Jun 13, 2016 at 11:42
  • Depends on the company, but I'm not sure why it matters. Is this in context to my answer? Because that is in reference to traditional colored pencil.
    – Joanne C
    Jun 13, 2016 at 11:45
  • Have added a question in the op, please answer that. Jun 13, 2016 at 12:53
  • 2
    It is generally bad form to ask multiple questions in one or to ask a new question in the old after the fact...
    – Joanne C
    Jun 13, 2016 at 13:10
  • The question body basically revolves around pigment rich leads and their brightness. These questions are about one topic - the difference between the lead types of both pencils. Jun 13, 2016 at 13:21

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .