Pots of Geraniums in Watercolor Pencil

Today I decided to do a little composition of sketchy geraniums using watercolor pencils. These are traditional Faber-Castell Albrecht Dürer pencils, which are easy and uncomplicated to use.


To paint these Pots of Geraniums in Watercolor Pencil – easy loose style – I wanted to do something that would work on ordinary sketch paper, so I chose some 100g paper such as the Strathmore sketchbook paper. Whatever you have to hand will do nicely for this little sketch. I am lucky enough to have the big set of 100 pencils, and the only problem with them is choosing which color to use, but as well as that I used a medium sized (7) round nylon brush to activate the pencil drawing once it was done.

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Method for Pots of Geraniums in Watercolor Pencil – easy loose style

I used a loose, sketchy method of scribbling the flowers and leaves in watercolor pencil, and then using the brush to loosen further and continue the drawing.

Using a light grey I sketched in a support for the pots and wetted it to make it look like a windowsill or a stone bench.

I then chose several earth colors to do the pots in – I used Venetian Red, Burnt Sienna and Terracotta, with Burnt Umber for the shadows.

For the flower colors I used Rose Carmine and Scarlet Lake, and for the leaves I used several greens at random – Apple Green, Sap Green, Leaf Green, Light Green, Moss Green, Grey Green….

I didn’t do a preliminary sketch as I wanted the pots to organically grow out of the support. And then the flowers grew out of the pots!

Once the colors were scribbled in I used my brush with plain water to just loosen the colors. It’s very exciting to release the color of watercolor pencils, which seem so subdued when they come from the wood, so to speak, but which burst into life when you wet them.

The pots particularly were interesting as the color awoke.

You can pick up some of the color as you release it and use it elsewhere on your painting, so you have lots of options.

Then I let the painting dry, and after that you can go in again with more pencil, or if you want, you can easily add pen work to sharpen it up, if that’s what you prefer. On this occasion I decided to leave it nice and loose without any pen work, after having tried it on one pot.

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Here’s a another geranium I did in pen and wash – this was a single flowered geranium which was a bit different to approach. More Pots of Geraniums in Watercolor Pencil – easy loose style.


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