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When y'all say you used colored pencil, do you mean the oil color pencils or something like prisma pencils? I've not tried the oil pencils, but would love to see them.

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Let me complicate this some more, Melissa. LOL. There are 3 types of colored pencil used on gourds.
Regular type (including Prismacolors which is a brand name)
Oil pencils - like Walnut Hollow brand - which can be used with or without Liquin to emulsify the somewhat waxy pencil
Water color pencils - like Derwent and other brands - which can be used with or without water to turn the pencil into a water color wash.
So...you have a very valid question; and we all need to be specific when we describe our mediums and techniques.
OK, I have prismas, dollar tree pencils, watercolor pencils, so just need to buy the oils now!
I have tried several brands of oil pencils and keep coming back to the walnut hollow brand which are fairly inexpensive for a set. The down side is they are only sold in a set but they will last you a good while and they have great colors that layer nicely. Like all pencils they should be sharpened with a good electric sharpener rather than a hand shapener. Oil pencils tend to break easier than regular or water color. An electric shapener prevents that.
The Ocean drum I have up on site here was done with oil pencil. Water color and regular colored pencil are interchangable...only difference is you can wet the water color but, in general most pencil artists use both together to create layers of color to get the effect they want.
Colored pencils. That is new to me. How in the world does one convince the colors to stay in place when sealing or varnishing a completed work. Once upon a time, someone suggested hairspray after I attempted using soft pastel sticks. Bad idea.

So what seals the colors without smearing, or removing??
You need to use FIXATIVE..a spray that seals pencil(all types), pastels and charcoal, you can still add more color after you have sparyed it on if you wish but, you need to spray your completed work with fixative, I use Krylon brand but there are several.
In working on gourds with pencil, after the fixative dries I add a few coats of Krylon acrylic sealer, matte, satin or gloss depending on what finish I want. Its harder ( more protective) than any water based product and it dries fast and doesn't run like some of the lacquers do, the fixative is not a proper finish for the gourd by itself but it seals the pencil etc.
not sure if walmart would have it..lowes might, but best place would be a craft store
Its usually found in most art departments, most craft stores carry it. Any place that sells pencils should have it.

Hi Ashley

In my classes we use workable fixative to seal the color pencil or pen and ink work we've done. Once your project is complete you can use any water based sealer. Min-wax with the blue label either spray or brush. If you use an oil based product on waxed based color pencil it will dissolve the wax and destroy your art work. So stick with the water based finishes.

There are also grade of waxed based color pencils out there. Student grade are the cheapest and have more wax than pigment in the pencils. Then there's a standard pencil like Prisma or Fiber Castel and they are good every day use pencils. But if you want to work with some intense color pencil. Iknor makes a woodless professional grade pencil that's wonderful to work with. They only come in 12 or 24 count boxes and they can be found at Micheal's or Hobby Lobby in the art department. These pencils have no shell of wood around the color they are all color so they last ten times longer. They have the most pigment to wax and will lay down color much faster and will let you build up color fast too. It's all we use in my classes. I have both Prisma and Fiber Castel and use them with my Iknor pencils.

Stick with the water based finishes for your color pencil work you'll not have any issues with smearing.


The Prismacolors will dilute and almost fade with wipeclothe full of acholol. I have done it many times.
To use a final finish when using pencils you need to use a spray so you don't smear the pencils. Krylon is not one of my favorites but for spra I love the Americana.

One thing I have to add is that you can use the Walnut Hollow pencils and blend with turpenoid/turpentine also to create a "wash". It's a nice effect. You can also get a blending stick to blend the colors.

I'm with you Nedra about Americana!! I use it when I want a flat varnish. Their finishing spray will keep watercolors, etc. from fading and running. I'm not an expect with the pencils, but I'm slowing learning.
Hellen, I don't use watercolors but I do use it on acrylics and dyes as well when I want a natural finish with no sheen what so ever. It's so much nicer than Krylon. I use the gloss on my ornaments that need that glossy appearance.



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