Hello and welcome to another episode of media studies.
So we're back to pencil for this one, but I've taken a slightly different tact. Rather than pencil over watercolor, this time things were reversed. Also I gave things a try on my usual pencil rendering paper rather than watercolor paper to see how it would hold up under the water.
Before I started I was very concerned that the pencil rendering would simply smear all over the drawing as soon as I got it wet. I used a full range of pencils---usually up to 8 or 9B---and the drawing surface smears easily. I work with a piece of tracing paper laid over things just to protect the drawing. Just to be sure I made up some scrap papers with thick pencil marks on them just to see what would happen. To my surprise the pencil was very stable, even under some moderate brush work. In fact, the major difference is that areas saturated with graphite repel the water, so colors tend to sit on top and pool like painting over masking fluid. There is some loose graphite that at least gets on the brush, but it didn't seem to effect the drawing at all.
This approach makes it a little easer to control where the color is going to go---as opposed to laying washes down first. However it does tend to darken the tone of the drawing as a whole, so I'm still going to need to compensate in the rendering process. Now that I've tried things both ways I think I can easily mix the two methods, laying down some base colors over all first, then coming back in later with spot color applications. Isn't learning fun?