Watercolor pencils are the perfect hybrid of drawing and painting. They allow artists to draw with a dry pencil and use water, before or after, for a variety of shimmering watercolor effects. The core of a watercolor pencil is composed of pigment with a water-soluble binder. It acts like a colored pencil but is activated by water to create a saturated, painterly look. Artists can dip the tip of a watercolor pencil into water for a creamy, velvety, thick line; they can wet their paper and then draw on it; or they can draw dry, opaque lines and then run a wet brush over their marks to create ephemeral, translucent effects. Versatile and portable, easy to use and clean up, the pencils are a great alternative to paints. They work well with coloring books, cards, journals, illustrations, drawings, and paintings.