For our prompt of “Pencil” today, I decided to sketch some colored pencils in a glass. The only pencils a I could find for a reference were a set of watercolor pencils that I used only once. I quickly realized that while colored pencils are super fun, for me anyway, splashing around watercolor paint is much, much faster. Or, at least I could figure out the right hacks to make it go faster. As a kid, though, I preferred colored pencils to crayons and they felt like I was leveling up and getting to use something a real artist might use. I adored seeing a fresh set of them and all of the various colors with their sharp pointed tips. I called them “rainbow pencils” back then, and now that I’m thinking about it, I’m not sure why I stopped. Though I would use them in my coloring books, the fact that I was holding a pencil would quickly make me want to grab a white sheet of paper and make my own drawings. I just really loved sketching stuff, even back then, so it’s nice to be back in the habit today.

While I don’t use colored pencils today, I’m a huge fan of those who DO! I adore looking at art made with colored pencils, particularly hyperrealistic art, and I’m quite often astounded by some of the artists I see using them. For a time, I entertained the idea of trying it myself, but soon realized you needed lots of time and tons of different colors to get the effects that I was seeing so I just stayed a fan boy instead. Indeed, I’m really just a huge fan boy of all types of art and adore seeing what others make. Even if something is done in a medium that’s different than the one I prefer using, I’m always inspired by what I see. And, well, more often, just really humbled by all of the amazing talent I see in the world. For me, these pencils just send me back to childhood and wonderful memories of the past. And also, they remind me of a time when I was never humbled, only enthusiastically inspired to create.

Today, I’ll share whatever happened each day in my sketchbook with the pride of a young boy. And before I show all of you what I created, I proudly show Philippe just to get an initial reaction. It’s usually a good one, but sometimes it’s a bit shy on the praise. Horses and unicorns are something he doesn’t care for, so I don’t expect an enthusiastic reaction from him when those appear. I’m not entirely sure I’ve ever uncovered the issue there, but I’m now making a mental note to inquire again. Sometimes, when Philippe is busy and I have to make my post, I’ll show our dog Phineas instead. This is something I regret almost as soon as I do so, because Phineas is a bit judgy and temperamental. He usually just sniffs at it and I have to snatch it back before his sneezes mess up the color. But no matter what my own little peanut gallery has to offer me, you’re still seeing the one thing I made each day. And I’m always just as proud as I was all of those many years ago when I was just a little kid, playing with rainbow pencils.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Hansa Yellow Medium, Gold Ochre, Vermillion, Leaf Green, Quinacridone Red, Cobalt Turquoise, Opus (Vivid Pink), Terra Cotta and Indigo. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with black ink  in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!
Colored Pencils In Glass Cup Watercolor Painting Illustration Sketchbook Detail


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26 thoughts on “Rainbow Pencils

  1. I’m like you, I love the look of colored pencil art, but it looks too time consuming and technical to do it. I do have a big tin of pencils I bought years ago. If I ever get the urge, I’m ready! Lol

  2. And you should be proud! Even when you’re hurried, your work is lively and cheerful. It always makes me smile or go ‘Wow! And may I commend you on your bravery? Allowing Phineas to judge? Do you count your fingers afterward – not that he bites, but basenjis can sheer things in half with judgemental gaze!

  3. j’aime beaucoup – c’est simple mais très beau – vous dites, faire voir à Philippe ou à vôtre chien vos dessins – pourquoi, ne pas faire parfois évoluer ici, pour nous vos ami(e)s du monde – en nous faisant des vidéos de vos dessins, vous voir réaliser vos aquarelles, nous apporterait beaucoup – Cathy de France

    1. Merci beaucoup, Cathy! 😃💕 Aww… I only have a time for one little sketch and bit of writing each day. Have thought about doing videos, but would have to wait until I’m retired I think to have the time to commit to them! 😊

  4. Wow! That is so cool. If I was sitting next to you right now, I’d ask, “How’d you do that?” 🙂 I agree with you regarding colored pencils, they take more work than I have patience for. But they sure are pretty to look at……says the girl who owns lots of them.

  5. Hello Charlie,

    What a lovely lovely sketch! It made me want to pick one of those pencils up from the glass and color something in – even if just a color swatch. And Rainbow Pencils! WOW!!! You could be a brilliant children’s story writer – if you aren’t already writing for kids, that is. Please continue to be proud, prouder, proudest of your daily doodles. 🙂


  6. Rainbow pencils, showing off their star-of-the-show status by the shadow under the glass. Yep, every kid’s dream tools – a rainbow of colored pencils. I still own the first set of Talens Fijne (yes, this is how it’s spelled) Pastels I was given when I was about 8 years old, my first adult art supply. Still in the wooden box with the tiny metal catch. My grands love markers in a million colors. We artists are all just little kids playing with colors. I suspect Phineas’ judgmental temperament is because of his frustration at being color blind.

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