Tim Holtz Distress Watercolor Pencils

Hello friends! Today Tim Holtz had a YouTube Live where he shared all about his latest addition to the World Of Distress...Distress Watercolor Pencils! If you missed it, make sure to head over to his channel and check it out! 

In this blog post I'm going to share with you my first thoughts on the brand new Tim Holtz Distress Watercolor Pencils. I'm so excited that I was able to work with them and I couldn't wait to share my thoughts about them, so I put together this blog post and a short video for you.

Do What You Love Card by Juliana Michaels featuring Tim Holtz Distress Watercolor Pencils

If you would prefer a video, head on over to my YouTube channel to check it out or watch it below.


These watercolor pencils are woodless which means the entire pencil is pigment. The wrapper is not removable, but when you go to sharpen the pencils, you can easily sharpen right through the wrapper. They come in 3 sets of 12 colors and each tin has a rainbow of colors...making it perfect to color all the things with just one set if you're just wanting to try them out before investing in all 3 sets.

Tim Holtz Distress Watercolor Pencils

On my card, I stamped some images from the Floral Outlines Stamp Set onto Distress watercolor paper using Archival Ink. This ink is perfect for using with watercoloring because it's permanent and won't bleed when you add the water or ink. When doing watercoloring, I prefer to use Distress Watercolor Paper because it holds up well to the addition of water and ink AND it has a smooth side if you don't like the traditional bumpy texture of most watercolor papers. The only other tool I'll be using is a waterbrush, but you can also use a paint brush to blend out the pigment.


You might not think you need watercolor pencils, and maybe you don't. Watercoloring isn't for everyone and there are a lot of options out there if that is your thing. I'm no watercolor expert, but I love to do a bit of amatuer watercoloring every now and then. In the past, I've done it using Distress Ink Pads by tapping the pad onto my craft mat and using a waterbrush to pick up the ink and apply it to my paper.

One of the first things I love about these pencils versus the ink pads is that I'm not wasting so much ink. With the pencils, you can color just a tiny bit right where you want it and use the waterbrush to spread it over the area.

Next, I love that I can get a lot of pigment right where I want it. When I colored these flowers, I apply the color where the darkest shadow area is and then use the waterbrush to thin it out and create the variation in dark and light. Having that control with smaller areas is really great! To get that much color with the ink pads usually requires making sure that your brush doesn't have too much water on it or the color gets washed out, which then requires applying more layers of ink. Which is fine, but doesn't make it a very fast process.

For the background I stamp the text image from the Professor 2 Stamp set with Tea Dye Oxide Ink onto Distress Watercolor paper and smudge the ink with a paper towel before it dries. Next I spritz the paper with water using my Distress Sprayer to activate the ink and dry it using my heat tool. I then blended a bit of Salvaged Patina Distress Ink using a foam blending tool to the center of the panel.

The next thing that is great about these Watercolor Pencils is that after fussy cutting the flowers, I was able to use the pencils to apply color right where I wanted it...in the spaces that I couldn't get to with my scissors! I used the Salvaged Patina Watercolor pencil to match the Salvaged Patina Distress Ink blended area that I created behind the floral bouquet.


This ability to color match leads me to my next and probably favorite thing. These watercolor pencils are part of the Distress Line so they match the Distress Line! Salvaged Patina is Salvaged Patina! And in my book, that color matching is everything! So if you're already a Distress color lover these pencils are a perfect fit if you're looking for a matching coloring option!

The next step on the background was to place the Polka Dots Layering Stencil over the image. I then used the Kitsch Flamingo watercolor pencil to add some color in the openings of the stencil. After applying the color, I used the waterbrush to blend the ink. It's a subtle effect but I love what it adds to the background! To make it pop just a bit more, I added a little Picked Raspberry to some of the polka dots and then blended it out using the waterbrush.

As I mentioned earlier, you can easily sharpen the pencils using a pencil sharpener. I have the Prismacolor Pencil sharpener which works perfectly and it's not very expensive.


Here's a look at a second card I created using the Tim Holtz Distress Watercolor Pencils. I used them to color the butterfly from the Perspective Stamp Set and I also used them to add some polka dots to the background like I did in the first card.

Adventure Awaits Card by Juliana Michaels featuring Tim Holtz Distress Watercolor Pencils

The background on this card using the watercolor stamping technique that Stacy Hutchison uses so often. I sprayed some Gathered Twigs Distress Spray onto my craft mat, spritzed it with water and then stamped the text image from The Professor 2 Stamp set into the ink and then stamped it onto my paper.

I repeated this same technique using some of the Floral Elements Stamp Set with Old Paper, Peeled Paint and Shabby Shutters Spray Stains. I finished off the panel by ink blending some Salvaged Patina Distress Ink to the center, splattering some Salvaged Patina Spray Stain and inking the edges with Vintage Photo Distress Ink.

I hope I've answered some of the questions you might have about these Tim Holtz Distress Watercolor Pencils. If you have a question that I haven't answered, feel free to ask. I'd be more than happy to answer any questions you might have!


Below you can find the products I used to create these cards featuring the Tim Holtz Distress Watercolor Pencils. Each product is attached to an affiliate link with Scrapbook.com. When you shop through the links below, I receive a small commission from Scrapbook.com. These links are at absolutely no cost to you. The commission I receive helps me cover the costs of my blog and other expenses and it allows me to continue to provide you with FREE inspiration and tutorials. If you want to learn more about what an affiliate link is, you can see my full affiliate and product disclosure statement here. Thank you so much for your love and support!


  1. Love the cards you have shared the pencils are an exciting addition to the range cant wait to play with them now I have seen your pretty results xox


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