Artistcellar Blog

Imagine. Create. Enjoy.

Hello again!

Today I’m playing around with the Faber-Castell graphite aquarelle pencils. They’re like watercolor pencils, but in greyscale and better for creating different values than colors. They’re really fun to use! 

I used them to draw a few faces just 'cause faces are my favorite thing to draw. I first wanted to make a quick sketch to test them out on thinner paper but I got really carried away and it turned into a full drawing… here’s the steps I like to take with pencil sketching.

First, I do a loose sketch in a light pencil, like HB. (Remember the H is harder and lighter, then B’s are softer and darker, and the higher the number in front of the H/B is, the softer/harder or darker/lighter the pencil is.)

After that I went in with 4B to define everything. This set has HB, 2B, 4B, 6B, and 8B if you want to use every one for really even shading. 



I used an 8B then to make really deep shadows. I think that these pencils make really nice sketch pencils on their own without the water, they get really nice and dark and feel a bit more like colored pencils.

Then I went in with water. I used a normal brush like the kind that comes with the pack, but I think a water brush would be great to use too. If you’re really into watercolor, you’d be great at this step, the pencils act a lot like watercolor does. 

The darker pencils create a darker black once you wet them, which is why it’s good to use the different pencils rather than to use one pencil with different pressure. I tried to push the water along with the lines I made to control the shading, it's hard to make it look neat! Putting one big wash over it keeps the darker lines and creates an even gray layer, which I used more around the outsides and on the hair. I think these pencils would also look great and be easier to use with a more loose style. 

Since the paper got a little bubbly, I tried another drawing on watercolor paper and repeated the same steps for shading as before. 

The watercolor paper definitely worked better with the water. You can also go back and add in more details with dry pencil again on top.

I experimented with colors after that… I tried alcohol markers on one, and just put a layer of even color on top since the pencils already create the value. I think it would work better if I had less aquarelle pencil underneath because it came out a little muddy. Or maybe even a marker base and the pencils on top?

I also added colored pencils to the other one. I bet that using watercolor pencils on top or even also as a base layer would be a cool look.

I liked playing with these pencils and there’s so many ways you could use them! I’d love to see even more combinations with other mediums and styles. Overall they’re pretty great pencils and lots of fun to use.

Good day Artistcellar fans! How are you doing?

Do you feel like a little art journaling session is in order?

Grab your favorite supplies: a mixed media art journal, Artistcellar stencils, a few markers, acrylic paint, a brush, a jar of water, and the Faber-Castell Graphite Aquarelle set.

Today I’m playing with the Faber-Castell Graphite Aquarelle Pencils. I used one pencil in particular from the set-the 8B, along with the included paintbrush.

Let’s begin!

First, scribble some lines through the openings of a stencil. I used the Tracks Stencil from the Marked Series.

Tip: Blot with a paper towel before removing the stencil.

Remove the stencil to see the design.

To continue with the art journal pages, I used a stencil from the Halftone Dots series and some turquoise paint.

TIP: To get more on your background, clean the stencil with a baby wipe on the blank side of your page spread.

Now it’s time to add some journaling. I am a big believer in the power of writing, and I also love how handwriting looks in an art journal. What’s fun about the Faber-Castell Graphite Aquarelle pencils, is that you can easily blend out some of your words so it’s illegible to other people.

To make the writing even more difficult to read, I made a line grid over the words and added more water with the paintbrush.

Use markers to add patterns or anything else you want to include on your pages.

For me, this page spread is complete. I love creating backgrounds while playing and experimenting with art supplies!

Thanks for reading this post!

Blessings to you,


PS For more mixed media art ideas and inspiration, visit me at

Hello my lovely squishy arty friends! I am so excited to show you my playtime for this week!

I wanted to try something out with a couple items I got in my design team boxes, so I pulled the Faber-Castell Graphite Aquarelle pencils and a couple of the Dina Wakley Heavy Body Acrylics, I wanted to try 2 things, could I use the pencils as a cheater way to add shading while creating  a watercolor effect with the heavy body acrylics, and the answer is yes, yes I can!

It was so fun to try this out and see if it would work, I grabbed my homemade journal made with hot press watercolor paper and sketched out my alien with the HB and the 6B leads in the pack, using the HB for the rough sketch and the 6B to add darker shadow and lines.

I then used a plastic lid as a palette for my paint and mixed it with water until it was very thin, and filled her face with color activating the pencil as I went.

I love how the watery paint looks like water but I can layer it and not worry about lift or making mud, and the pencils activated and created the shadows I was looking for.

For the rest of the page I knew I wanted a Space theme but wasn't sure how to go about it, so I just decided to wing it, I made circles like a bulls-eye with the Aquarelles then filled them with the watery color, I then went and grabbed a make-up sponge and a couple stencils one from the Water Series and one from the Sacred Geometry 2 series just to add some random texture over the circles.

I then made another wash of color using black acrylic paint and painted over the background leaving glimpses of the background to create the stars and planets, then outlined them in white. I added a friend for her and I was done!

I love how this page turned out and love the eyes on my alien girl! I hope you enjoyed my process summary!

If you would like to watch the video of my process check it out below!

Big Hugs and Mushy stuff!! - Shana Banana