Underglaze pencils and watercolor colors

Does anybody have experience working with underglaze pencils or underglaze watercolors? I was wondering if it was worth purchasing. Having said that, Christmas is coming, and I have been a VERY good girl…

It depends on what you are doing and the look you’re trying to achieve, but both are excellent.


I took a class in the Netherlands on traditional delft decoration and they basically used an underglaze watercolor puck that they made themselves. They wouldn’t give me the full recipe but they mentioned it contained cobalt, lime, and a binding gum. They got a lot of variety in shades just by controlling how watered down it was. To do this they made a paint palette from a glazed slab so they could brush off excess. If you do go the watercolor route I would recommend a nice fat bellied rigger brush it can make really delicate lines.


Underglaze pencils, chalks, and crayons will mimic the appearance of those mediums but will be limited in the colors available. For a thin line I use bulbs or inlay into sgrafiffito unless the piece needs that sketchy look. I’ve had good success this year putting dried chunks into a spice grinder to make a pan pastel like medium too.

I don’t spend money on underglaze watercolors. Thinning standard underglaze has the same outcome.