Watercolor pencil drawing of an otter

I knew I was taking on a challenge when I decided to draw this otter. Water is not easy to portray.

Things were simple enough as I drew the part of the otter that is out of the water. It seems each time I draw with watercolor pencils, I learn again that:

  • it’s a collaboration between me, the medium and the paper
  • I can’t add light over dark
  • I can’t add too many layers of medium
  • watercolor pencils do not make bright marks

I will know I am comfortable in the medium when I don’t have to learn these things each time I draw.

This drawing also is an example of how one shouldn’t change one’s mind part way through the piece. I planned to stylize the water and the purple lines across the otter’s chest are an example of that. Having done those lines, however, I didn’t like the way they looked, so I tried to indicate the water with smooth lines across the belly. I like that much better.

Next time, I’d like to do a drawing that is more colorful. I think that may mean either drawing something that is not found in nature or not being as realistic in my drawing.



Posted on

March 29, 2017


  1. Trudi Hahn Pickett

    I’m certain that if you consider certain plumage or petals you will find your more colorful earth nature.

    Thank you for my first laugh of the day: “I can’t add light over dark.” Solves a lot of issues of life.

    • Kate

      I should have said “I can’t add light over dark in this medium.” If I were painting in acrylics, I could. Art can teach us a lot about life, but it’s often complicated – just like life.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *