I must admit, I can be a bit of a watercolour snob! When trying new supplies, I am always a little sceptical that they will meet up to the standards of my current favourites. However, I greatly respect Tim Holtz and the products he puts his name on. The Distress line is key in my creative process, so I was intrigued and optimistic about the new Distress Watercolour Pencils.
I’ve linked all supplies with compensated affiliate links used where possible at no cost to you.
tim holtz distress watercolor pencils
Simon Says Stamp kindly gifted the three sets of new watercolour pencils to me, and I quickly set up a swatch card to try them out. I have to say, I was very impressed! I scribbled the pencil onto the swatch card on the right side of each rectangle and then used a damp watercolour brush to pull the colour across to the left side of each rectangle, diluting the colour as I went. If need be, I used the damp brush directly to the pencil and added the intense pigment to the right side of the swatch area to deepen the colour.
I was anticipating that the pencil, when scribbled onto the card, would not fully activate with the water and you would still see pencil lines. However, I need not worry because the pencils, on this card, Fabriano Artistico Extra White Watercolour Card, did fully disperse. I think the card you use is important, so I feel it is best to try the pencils on several options. I do this with every new supply I get. I try them in my sketchbooks, where the paper quality is lower. I try them on student-grade paper and artist-quality card too. Unsurprisingly, I often find the higher quality card gives the best results.
The pigment, as you can see, is also very intense and bright. The paler colours were a little chalky, but that is the nature of the beast when trying to create pale or pastel colours.
beautiful deep embossed snowflakes
Having swatched the pencils, I was keen to try them out in the real world. I was inspired by how, when I swatched the pencils, I touched the Seedless Preserves and Prize Ribbon together, and the colours blended beautifully.
I pulled these two pencils out of the Set 2 tin and scribbled them over a piece of watercolour card that I had embossed with the Glistening Snowflakes embossing folder. I have to say how lovely and deep the embossed image of the folder is. So elegant and truly Christmassy. I scribbled the pencils over the raised areas and then diluted the colour with a damp brush. To deepen the colour, I also scribbled the pencils onto the wet card to give a more intense lay down of pigment.
To finish off, I splattered liberally with the pigment left over on my brush and also with Perfect Pearls solution for a little shimmer.
The Glistening Snowflakes embossing folder also comes with a matching die. I embossed a second piece of card and then used the die to cut the intricate snowflake from the middle. I attached it over the snowflake on the card but at an angle so that you could still see the snowflake underneath. For the greeting, I stamped and white heat embossed a sentiment from the Let It Snow set on a Navy card, trimmed out and foam mounted over the snowflake. I finished off with sequins, clear droplets and Honeysuckle drops.
You can find links to the supplies I’ve used below; click on the picture or shop icon to get taken directly to the product. Where available I use compensated affiliate links which means if you make a purchase I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you! Items marked with an asterisk (*) provided by a store or the manufacturer. You can read my affiliate and product disclosure here. I genuinely appreciate your support.