Watercolor Crayons: Part 1!

I love using watercolor crayons so I thought I’d share what I’ve learned about them in the next few posts.

For those who’ve never heard of a watercolor crayon, I’d describe them as very soft crayons that are activated like watercolors by water. You can draw on paper with them and then go over the marks with a wet brush, wet a brush and pick up color from the crayon that way, and you can also color directly on a rubber stamp with them — that’s what I’m going to describe in this post!

I’ve found that more crayon “sticks” to the stamp and you get better color depth if you start off by wiping your stamp with a wet paper towel or baby wipe.

After the stamp is damp, color all over the rubber with the crayons. You can pile one color on top of another — here I used two greens on the leaves, pink and purple on the flower petals, and light orange, dark orange, and brown on the cone of this coneflower. I put the darker colors along the edges. Note — you can click on any of these pictures to see them larger.

Next give the stamp a good misting with a water mist bottle — I usually give it a good 7-10 mists. Hero Arts has a great water bottle for this, or you can use any water bottle that sprays a fine mist. Just don’t do what I did — the first time I tried this technique I used the water bottle I use when ironing clothes — the water droplets came out too big and made blobs all over the stamp — didn’t work at all! You want the stamp to be completely covered in fine beads of water — more is better than less!

The main tricks here are to keep the stamp level so that the colors don’t run, and let the mist gently fall on the stamp — don’t spray it directly. I hold the stamp in my left hand and spray with my right — this way I can easily move the stamp under the mist. I keep my hands about 18 inches apart.

Now flip the stamp over and stamp it on heavy cardstock or watercolor paper — again, keep the stamp level — don’t tilt the stamp when you’re figuring out where to position it on the paper or the colors will run together — or right off the stamp!

I like to use “hot press” watercolor paper because it’s smooth and the details of the stamp show up well. Once again, Hero Arts has some awesome watercolor paper. I’ve also found that Fabriano hot press watercolor paper works great — you can get it in tablets where the edges are all stuck together so that the paper doesn’t warp as it dries. You can also get large sheets of hot press watercolor paper at Michael’s — it’s over by the posterboard.

You can keep misting and stamping at least 3 times before you have to add more crayon to the stamp. This picture of the stamp was taken after misting and stamping 3 times, and I think I could probably get another 2 good images out of it.

You can add color right to the stamp when it’s at this stage if you like and keep on going, or you can clean it off and start over — just depends on how neat you want to be! Experiment and have fun!

Drop me a comment if you have any questions!

My next post will be more things you can do with watercolor crayons.

Supplies: Hero Arts watercolor coneflower (F3854 ), thanks a bunch (LL084), watercolor paper (PS439 ), pink notecard (PS424), and water mist bottle (WM101). Ribbon by American Crafts. Green paper layer by Bazzill. Ancient Page Chocolate ink (for the saying). I’ve only tried Lyra Aquacolor watercolor crayons — I got mine at Jerry’s Artarama. If you have Lyra Aquacolors, the numbers I used are: 13076, 13070, 13068, 13034, 13028, 13015, and 13013.

32 Replies to “Watercolor Crayons: Part 1!”

  1. WOW , what an awesome tutorial Lisa ! Your instructions are easy to follow and the pictures are wonderful !
    I love your finished card as well ! Thank you for always sharing your time and talent so freely . :-)


  2. Nan (CraftyPeach) says:

    Lisa, thank you so much. I have the crayons, and never knew the best way to use them. Great lessons. Nan

  3. I just bought the Hero Arts hyacinth and now will have to try it with watercolor pencils. I’m hoping that will work out as well as it does with watercolor crayons. Thanks for this totally easy to follow tutorial!

  4. Hi Ann! I love the HA hyacinth for the watercolor crayons technique! It also works good using the HA paint wheel.

    Not sure if you could use watercolor pencils for this technqiue — might have to get the stamp really wet first before drawing on it with the pencils. Let me know how how it goes!

    — Lisa

  5. Great pictures and description….it is one of the ways I use my watercolor crayons but I’ve not seen it so clearly explained before. Can you let me know when you post more tutorials like this? Thanks.. Martha

  6. Great instructions….I have taught this technique for years and it is my very favorite. Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to seeing what else you discover to do with them!
    (I do not think wc pencils would work…..I don’t even like the look of wc pencils directly on paper….just my two cents worth. You can scribble on a plastic plate with the pencils or crayons and use that to paint with a brush, etc.)

  7. BarronessTerri says:

    Outstanding explaination! I’ll send my classes over to have a look. I know they will love it too.


  8. These instructions are wonderful, thank you.

  9. Great instructions! The pictures really help.

  10. Makes me want to get out those wc crayons. I agree you did a great job on the pictures the card and the tutorial.

  11. Louise Burns says:

    Great information. I tried those crayons and got a big mess. With clear instructions I think I’ll have better results. The pictures are awesome and will help, too, with this technique.

  12. After reading this, I will have to dig out those water color crayons again! Thanks.

  13. Very nice tutorial. I read it this morning and this afternoon dug out the watercolor crayons we have (of not great quality) to give it a try. It worked well, even with our crayons and I’m glad to know of this technique.

    Thanks for sharing this information.

  14. Kathleen (KJF) says:

    I love the tutorial. Makes me want to get out my crayons and go to work. Got to find them first. LOL

  15. Marnie Reiske says:

    Oh Wow, thank you for this very clear tutorial….up til now I have never been able to understand how to do this particular water colour technique.

  16. Lee Ann Vincent says:

    I must say these are the most detailed instructions I have found.  Thank you so much for sharing directions with those who have never used watercolor crayons.

  17. I am definitely going to try this one it sounds wonderful

  18. how well do the colors remove from stamps?

    1. Hi Mary, some of the colors may stain your stamps but they still work fine. Hope that helps!

  19. I would like to make a copy of how you are using the crayons on your cards but I don’t see any place I can click on to print. Any suggestion? My memory isn’t as good as it used to be so I make copies of everything I can.This looks like so much fun and I really like the no black outerline. I’m anxious to get those crayons and start playing. Thank you so much for any help you can give. Marlene Gabrielson

    1. Hi Marlene,

      You should be able to print the page from your web browswer — hope that helps! xo

  20. Hope Goodrich says:

    Love your work!! Thanks for fantastic directions using watercolor crayons. You have inspired me!

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