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How to Use White Crayons, Colored Pencils, and Watercolors

Why are there white watercolors, crayons and colored pencils? It may seem odd given that much of the paper you usually draw on is already white. But there are some very good reasons to use the color white in your art work!

Colored Paper?

The most obvious use for white crayons, colored pencils and watercolors, is for when you are using colored paper.

White Watercolor

Where you are adding detail to a composition – white clouds on a blue sky or white wave tops on a stormy sea – the white is useful to add the detail. Another use may be the gray and white whiskers of an old man.

Be aware that unlike all other colors, white watercolor is an opaque color and the others can been seen through the white. Therefore applying white over another colors will blot the underlying color out.

White watercolor can also be used as a way of softening other colors by mixing them on the palette. If you want a lighter shade of red or even pink, the white watercolor can be added to achieve that for example.

White Crayon

Just like watercolors, white crayons can be used to blend other crayon colors and even mix them. For example, you use white crayon to soften a red to a pink color. White can also be used as part of lights and shadows to convey shape.

A white crayon can also be used to protect the paper from other watercolors. If you color in a patch that is meant to be a cloud with white crayon, the blue watercolor will "sit on top of" the crayon’s wax.

White crayons are great at providing detail on crayon image. For example, if you want the outline of an object or animal on a darker background, then the white crayon can provide that detail. White crayons can also be used for white hairs and whiskers too.

White Colored Pencil

As with watercolors and crayons, white colored pencil can be used to soften other colors and to add details. For example, white colored pencils can be used to show the white wave tops of an angry sea or the whiteness of a cloud.

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