How I chose my favorite art mediums… Watercolor and colored pencil

Watercolor, colored pencil, or both… these are my favorites. In a previous post I talked about how my artist mom let my brother and I play with all her good art supplies. One of her favorite mediums is colored pencil, and the brand she uses is Prismacolor. Thus, I grew up drawing with Prismacolors and I’ve always enjoyed their brightness and nice texture. As a kid, eventually I even had my own big box of them to take around where I chose. I’ve never even tried a different brand. They are portable and no setup or cleanup required.

Colored Pencils

As for watercolor, I had never touched them before I took one watercolor class in junior college. I enjoyed the class, and even though somebody wound up stealing all my paint tubes out of my art locker, the paint I already had in my palette lasted forever. I still had the palette years later when I decided to take up art again so that is what I practiced with. I love the bright, airy feel of them. They can be bold or delicate. Most of my subjects are pretty delicate, so it fits the bill. Some people think watercolors are scary because they are unpredictable, but they feel like a dependable old friend to me.  You just have to get used to what they do. Again, watercolors are also portable with very minimal setup/cleanup required. They don’t take up much space. Until a couple of years ago, I never had a big, dedicated art space to work in so this was ideal.  I also was a “Stay at home aunt” for my little niece for a couple of years, so having to set up a bunch of stuff and take it down (or risk leaving it out for toddler hands to find!) every time I wanted to paint was not a good option for me.  Watercolor does not have this problem.

Watercolors Palette

I have definitely enjoyed painting in other mediums and experimenting with them, such as oils and acrylics; probably will continue to use those now and again. However, I just keep coming back to watercolors and colored pencil as the main staples. I like using them separately and also together; they can create some very nice effects.

6 thoughts on “How I chose my favorite art mediums… Watercolor and colored pencil

  1. Karen Middleton says:

    I work in pencil too, my art teacher tried everything possible to get me to use “messy” materials, even clay, but now I love pencils so much and don’t feel I use them yet to their full potential. I envy artists who use other mediums, but at the same time feel so loyal to the humble pencil that I believe they actually chose me :))
    Lovely post, thanks Carmen


    • carmenmedlinart says:

      It sounds like pencils truly are the best medium for you, Karen! Sometimes art teachers wind up trying to get students to use things like *they* do, instead of letting the student figure that out themselves. I’m sure they’re just trying to get us to explore possibilities, but I think if you really love a medium above all others — that’s going to work out the best!


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