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Colorful Resistance: An Expert's Guide to Mixing Colored Pencils and Watercolors

Let’s do another resist background technique for our artist trading cards or to add to collages. Check here for all my resist techniques.

The technique is simple, but it’s another one with seemingly magic results. All you need are colored pencils (especially white) and some watercolors.

I’ll show you step by step below.

Colored pencil resist tutorial

Again, the supplies are:

Step 1

I started doodling on my paper. Just random little designs.

It was difficult to really see what I was doing, so I kind of had to doodle while looking at an angle so I could see the marks better. I think has something to do with shadows and the light reflecting off the colored pencil or something.

You can sort of see here:

Making doodles using white colored pencil.

Step 2

Once my paper was full of doodles (I didn’t use a whole piece of paper), I took out my watercolors. I decided to use watercolors that come out of a tube because I just got them. But you can use whatever watercolors you’ve got.

I chose three colors to mush around that I thought would be complementary.

Getting ready to watercolor over the colored pencil marks.

Step 3

I started laying on the paint. I added all three colors next to each other, but without completely mixing them together. I just let them run into each other.

You want to make sure the Watercolors are really saturated because we’ll be washing some off in a little bit.

Paint with saturated colors for this resist background technique.

Cover the whole paper in the colors:

Saturated paper for resist technique

Step 4

Let your water-colored paper dry completely.

Step 5

Once dry, turn on the cold water and stick your paper under it and let the water gently run over it.

The colored pencil appears after washing away some of the watercolors.

Rub the paint off super gently, just enough for the pencil to magically appear (I couldn’t take a picture while rubbing it off under the running water.)

Wash the watercolor off to show the colored pencil resist working

Let it dry.

And then you’ve got another awesome background to add to your collection.

Resist background paper

And check out how I also used colored pencil along with white. It turns out just as cool.

Here are all the papers I did using this technique:

Papers made using colored pencil resist technique

Now be sure to check out my other resist techniques.

Buy the supplies on Amazon:

Colored pencil resist technique

Colored pencil resist


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