I was more than a little intrigued by the name of this new art product. Liquid Pencil…wait, what?  It was such an oxymoron I couldn’t resist trying it.

I ordered a bottle of sepia shaded liquid pencil and spent an afternoon playing with it. The bottle is pretty small but it did go a long way. There are two versions, permanent and water soluble (the manufacturer calls this “rewettable”). The permanent doesn’t erase and the rewettable only erased for me with an electric eraser. 

The product has a smooth and buttery texture and can be thinned with water or acrylic mediums. It can be used with a brush, nib or other art tools. You can build up color similar to a watercolor glaze using lots of water to liquid pencil, then more liquid pencil and less water as you go along. You can also vary the gradation and it comes in six shades.

My uses are a bit different from the artist who draws with pencils. I love to do patterns and backgrounds for my ink drawings and paintings. I thought the properties of the pencil would invoke a particular atmosphere and decided to experiment with it.

I thinned the liquid pencil with water and used it with various tools on watercolor paper. It was great for mark making and covering large areas with graphite. One interesting feature is being able to take a soft cloth and burnish it without smudging. The clean up was easy. 

When I tried to use the liquid pencil the following week it had dried up in the plastic bottle and was unusable. The next time around I would buy the tubes.

Liquid pencil acts like watercolor with the sheen of a pencil. It’s a “genuine imitation” of a pencil and “definitely maybe” worth a look.