6 Neat Ways to Use Watercolor Pencils for Your Cards

Last Updated: March 16, 2023

Are you looking for a new way to add fun and colorful flair to your paper crafting projects? Watercolor pencils might just be the perfect tool! Whether you're creating birthday cards, wedding invitations, or unique art pieces, they can offer a fantastic array of vibrant colors and effects that will surely take your creations up a notch. 

Practice making your watercolor art with this beautiful coloring book!

Exotic Blooms Marker Coloring Book

Watercolor pencils may look just like your regular coloring pencils at first glance, but once you spritz water on them - the magic begins! In this blog post, we'll talk about how to use watercolor pencil art to spruce up your cardmaking designs. So if you want inspiration on watercoloring, bring out your watercolor pencils, and let's go!  

How Do Watercolor Pencils Work? 

Watercolor pencils are a coloring medium that combines both the properties of watercolor paint and colored pencils. The pencil lead of a watercolor pencil is made of a water-soluble pigment, meaning that when it comes into contact with water, the pigment dissolves and spreads like watercolor paint.

When using watercolor pencils, you can create a wide range of effects depending on the amount of water you use, how wet or dry the paper is, and the pressure you apply to the pencil.

The more water you use, the more colors will spread and blend, creating a softer and more diffused effect. Conversely, using less water and applying more pressure to the pencil will produce a more defined and vibrant color.

Find the best watercolor pencils for coloring, painting, and crafting here at Altenew!

Woodless Watercolor Pencil 24 Set

To use watercolor pencils, you can either apply the pencil directly to dry paper and then activate the pigment with water or wet the paper first and then apply the pencil.

The latter method creates a softer and more diffused effect, while the former creates a more defined and vibrant color. Apart from these, you can also take pigment from the pencil tip with a wet paint brush and paint with that!

You can use watercolor pencils on various paper surfaces, such as cardstock. However, it's preferred to use watercolor paper, as regular paper may not handle the water and may warp or bleed. Using high-quality watercolor pencils is also recommended, as they will produce more vibrant and consistent results.

Overall, watercolor pencil art offers a versatile and convenient way to add color and texture to your artwork, with the added benefit of creating watercoloring effects without the mess of traditional watercolor paint.

6 Fun and Easy Ways to Use Watercolor Pencils on Cards

Watercolor pencils are a versatile tool that can add a beautiful touch to all your cards. You can use them to easily create stunning watercolor effects, adding depth and dimension to your designs. 

If you're looking for new ways to use your watercolor pencils, you've come to the right place! Here are six fun and easy ways to use watercolor pencils for your cardmaking projects: 

Make Fun Watercolor Backgrounds and Washes

Discover watercolor pencil art ideas on the Altenew Blog for crafters!

Baby Shower Stamp & Die Bundle

With watercolor pencils, you can quickly make stunning watercolor washes! Plus, you can also make more detailed strokes and patterns using the pencil before adding water to turn it into beautiful watercolor art. 

To get started, simply color a light layer of your desired color onto your paper, then use a wet brush to blend the pigment and create a watercolor effect. For a more vibrant look, add more layers of color and blend until you achieve your desired shade. To make other fun effects, you can also experiment with different application techniques, such as wet-on-wet or wet-on-dry.

Pair Watercolors With Some Heat Embossed Stamp Images 

Did you know that once you heat emboss your images, it creates tiny, water-resistant walls that can help your watercoloring? Heat-embossing your stamped images ensures that they're good to go for watercoloring and add stunning sparkle to your project! 

For your next watercolor pencil idea, why not practice coloring with some heat-embossed floral images?

Enchanted Roses Stamp Set

This technique works particularly well with floral or nature-themed stamps, as you can highlight the delicate lines and details of the images with your watercolor pencils. By using a light hand and building up layers of color, you can create a beautiful, watercolor-like effect that adds depth and dimension to your stamped images! 

Experiment With Various Textures and Color Blends 

Thanks to the detailed tip of watercolor pencils, you can experiment with different shading and coloring techniques that can produce different textures. Some of these include: 

  • Cross-Hatching: With this method, you create tiny, overlapping lines in a specific direction. It works well for creating a rough, scratchy texture.
  • Stippling: Instead of using strokes and sweeping motions to color, you use small dots or dashes to create a texture. You can create a range of fun textures, from fine and delicate to rough and gritty!
  • Blending: This technique involves using multiple colors to create a smooth, gradient effect. 

Pair your watercolor pencils with these gorgeous sunflower stamped images!

Paint-A-Flower: Sunflower Outline Stamp Set

Add Some Lovely Watercolor Calligraphy to Your Cards 

Have you ever wanted to try doing calligraphy with watercolors but found it too difficult to do with your regular brush and pan set? Well, now you can do it easily with the help of your watercolor pencils! Using watercolor pencils, you can create lovely lettering with a soft, watercolor-like effect.

To start, lightly sketch out your calligraphy with a watercolor pencil, leaving enough space for the letters to spread when you add the water element. Once you're satisfied with your sketch, use a damp brush to blend and activate the color gently. As you work, you can adjust the intensity of the color by adding more or less water. The result is a delicate, hand-lettered message that adds a personal touch to your cards! 

Learn Basic Glazing Techniques for Your Floral Designs

 A stunning watercolor card by Erum using watercoloring pencils

Woodless Coloring Pencils

There's no better way to color flowers than with watercolors! If you're curious about how to color floral images with watercolors, then you need to master the art of glazing. Glazing is a technique in painting where a transparent or semi-transparent wet layer of paint is applied over another dry layer, creating a luminous effect. 

It's a technique many crafters use for floral images because glazing can be a great way to add depth, dimension, and vibrancy to your petals. Glazing helps you produce more realistic-looking flowers since they mimic the play of shadows and highlights by blending dark and light colors. Compared to other watercolor mediums, you can easily learn this technique with watercolor pencils! 

Add Details With Fine Tip Pens and Markers

Last but certainly not least, once the watercolor pencils have dried, you can add details using a fine-tipped pen or marker! This will give your card a polished and professional look. Just ensure the ink is waterproof and the watercolor image is fully dry, as regular ink may smudge or bleed when it comes into contact with water. 

For a fun and unexpected twist, you can use white ink or gel pen to add highlights or accents to your design! This can create a beautiful contrast against the watercolor pencils and really make your card pop.

Spritz on your watercolored cards with the perfect mist bottle - Fine Mister!

Fine Mister - Perfect Craftroom Companion

Have a Blast With Watercolor Pencils Using These Tips!

All in all, there are so many creative ways to use watercolor pencils for your cards. Whether you use them flat as regular colored pencils, blend them for gradients and washes, or apply less water over the top for more vibrant colors - there's an endless array of possibilities with what you can do with this versatile medium! Feel free to experiment with different styles and colors; who knows, you might discover your own signature style over time!

If you're looking for more great ideas with watercolor pencils or other crafting materials, remember to check out our All About Crafting blog at Altenew. Have fun creating beautiful cards with your new knowledge of watercolor pencils!


  • Altenew

    Hi Cynthia! We hope you get to try these watercolor pencil techniques soon :) <3 Looking forward to seeing your projects on social media!

  • Cynthia Johnson

    I would love to try this

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