Can you add colored pencils on gouache

As a professional artist, I’m using this technique quite often. Adding colored pencils on top of gouache painting is great for fixing values, adding textures or details. Gouache and colored pencils share the same kind of binder and will mix very well. 

Fixing values

For fixing values, you can add white colored pencils, or a complementary color to darken. It may help softening a transition between two colors, or enhancing a color. It’s better to have your pencils in different shades of the same color. For example: red, orange, yellow and white. This way you’ll be able to get more subtle variations of the same hue.

Adding textures

If you want to add textures, it’s better to have some kind of textured paper. This is really great with cold pressed watercolor paper, as the color will sit on the bumps of the paper. It works well with drawing paper as well. The only paper you want to avoid is the smooth one, like bristol or Kraft.

Adding texture with colored pencils on gouache

TIP: sharpen your pencils very often, it’s easier to apply!

Adding details

Drawing details with colored pencils is really cool for portraits: hair strands, eyelashes for example. Also, you can add details like make up, tattoo or freckles with colored pencils. I like it for hair, it’s really blending very well in the gouache paint. This is also good for landscapes, florals… everywhere you need to add details easily.


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Drawing eyelashes with colored pencils on gouache

You can add colored pencils on gouache, it requires that the gouache is really dry. This will take only a couple of minutes!

Cecile Yadro

I believe that art can help you express yourself, find your voice, and discover who you are. And I want to help you do that. I've seen how powerful my classes can be for more than 20,000 students. In my classes, I focus on giving you the tools you need to express yourself and make your creativity take flight!

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