The Creative Plan – Day 2 Liquid Pencils


Now that all the samples are done it was time to create art with them. However, I still have no idea what to expect from this medium (see Day 1’s warning).


Key-01Applying it Straight

For this exercise I used Permanent Yellow and Blue with a long-haird brush.



day2_waves_perm_wet_wet_detailW/D – It leaves behind very vibrant, dynamic strokes but also some paint residue. Although I didn’t so much as brush the paint on but rather spread or smear it. This meant I had to be a little strategic about where I’d place the glob of paint in relation to where I then planned to drag it.

– As mentioned in my paint sampling section pre-wetting the paper made painting with liquid pencil much easier and the colours blended well. However, the colours lacked the intensity of the W/D example.

Applying it in layers

For this I used Blue and Grey 3 and a long hair brush. 


day2_berg_perm_wet_dryW/D – As the paint was runnier it was more malleable. The end results don’t look much different from using watercolours. I can’t even see any graphite/pencil texture about it.

day2_berg_perm_wet_wetW/W – A lot smoother but could not get a rich dark tone. I like the colours but again felt like I was using watercolours, and the end results speak the same.


day2_exercise3Liquid Pencil comes across as a medium that can create great textural surfaces so I wanted to explore its potential.


I sourced a Barbara Hepworth sculpture online and used the Permanent paints, a mix of colours, brushes and an old toothbrush.

I put down a wet on wet layer first then when it completely dried I smudged some more on with an old toothbrush including a bit of splatter. 


This medium is so hard to manage, creating tonal depth is either really thick or washed out, not a lot of variety. 

day2_hepworth_perm_finalThere are areas where I came close but with the colour paints not having much colour to them makes it all look flat. I know I was using a short-haired brush but it was really hard to get any kind of definition regardless. It’s a medium that requires a lot of layering to get volume.

I attempted another one using a Tim Rowan sculpture. By the way, both artists’ work are amazing and worth checking out if you like bold, striking, natural surfaces.

day2_rowan_perm_base_layerday2_rowan_perm_base_detailI used the same process of layering – wet on wet then slowly building up more concentrated areas.


I tried really hard to recreate the wonderful tactile surface. The eroded gritty textures are there but mine looks very heavy and bulky and lacks the elegance of the original.

Mixing with watercolours

abu_dhabi_referenceThese next two examples were created with the idea of combining them with another medium. Watercolours felt like they would make a good balance and possibly overcome the issues I had in the last exercise.

day2_architecture_abu_base_layerThe watercolours went on first and I let them dry. To contrast the soft, mellow blues I decided to stick with a dry, short brush technique when adding the liquid pencils trying hard not to overwork it or cancel out the watercolours beneath.

day2_architecture_abu_base_finalThey worked quite well together even giving the picture lots of vibrancy and depth. It’s definitely an expressive medium, but again it is hard to create tonal range or line variation whilst retaining its gritty character.

george_st_referenceWith my second image I let the colours be the hero and the liquid pencils  compliment it, which seemed to balance the picture well. 


day2_architecture_sydney_detailAt the end of today’s exercises I’m still perplexed about how to use this medium. There are things I like about it but it feels like I couldn’t complete a picture using only them. I’ll hold off on my overall review till the end as I still have a few more exercises to go.

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The Creative Plan – Day 3 Liquid Pencil

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The Creative Plan – Day 1 Liquid Pencil

7 thoughts on “The Creative Plan – Day 2 Liquid Pencils

  1. They look wonderful in this article. Great colour combos and the texture comes through. It inspires me to have another go at them! Thanks.

  2. It is a weird medium to use, I often use it on yupo, a plastic-like paper, where it pools and dries, then I draw into it. If you would like to see some examples there are some on my blog! You have achieved some fabulous textures and tones.

    1. Hi Anna,

      Thanks for the comments. Your stuff is incredible – love the blots and botanicals, so unique. So what is it that you like about liquid pencils that you wouldn’t get if you were to use watercolours or diluted ink? is it the finish? Really interesting seeing it used your way. Can’t wait to see more! Cheers

      1. Hi Meegan – thanks, really appreciate your comments! I think it is the result that I get from Liquid Pencil that I like, its quite unpredictable, and can end up with a nice grainy texture in places, especially on the yupo. I don’t think I would get quite the range of greys from ink either, but I should try it and see what happens! I have a plan for a new drawing, so once its done I will post it, but it won’t be for a while, there seem to be too many other projects on the go at the moment! I’m enjoying your explorations, looking forward to more!

      2. Thanks Anna. Yupo – not that sounds interesting. I’ll have to look into that in the future. Good luck with the new drawing, will look forward to it.

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