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I have been noticing a lot od the really good customs use watercolor pencils and pastels.  I have a few questions.  
What is a good brand (I don't have a lot of money).  Would a cheap brand work as well for practice?
What brand  of pastels and would a cheap brand work for practice?
How do you seal it?  Can you use a brush on or will it wipe away the watercolor and pastel?
What happens if it gets wet or damp before it's sealed?

Lastly what is a good brush and brush size?

thank you

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I can answer a few of those questions:

I use Derwent watercolor pencils.  They are really high quality and just brilliant!  I love using them.  They aren't cheap, but you really want to use high quality materials or else they won't work well.  On Amazon, you can get a 24 pack for about $20, and you get a nice range of colors.  I prefer the 36 pack, but that is $40, so it really depends on how much money you have to spend.  They will last you awhile, though, if you mostly use them for face-ups.

What I love about watercolor pencils is they are easy to get rid of should you make a mistake.  You just dab them with water and they are gone, much better than using an eraser that has a potential of leaving behind residue.  However, that means that if you get water on them before sealing you can end up losing your work, so work and layers.

For pastels, I can't tell you too much, but they must be soft pastels, not oil.  I own the Reeves's brand of soft pastels and they work relatively well, but they aren't the best.  That's about all I can say on the subject since I'm still experimenting, but like the color pastels, whatever you get will last a LONG time if used mostly for face-ups, so if you need to buy a more expensive brand, it will  be worth it.

Finally, sealants.  You can not use brush on sealants with pastels.  You will ruin your work.  The sealant I use is Luquidex.  It is non-toxic, though you should still be outside when spraying with it and something to cover your mouth and nose wouldn't hurt.  It works well, and it only costs about $25 for a large spray can.  You can pick it up at your local Michaels.  It's safer than using MSC, which is the preferred doll customizing brand.

Thank you! When I hear everyone talking about the price I am thinking like $50-$60. $20 I can do! So I have to use a spray sealer which makes sense. Thank you so much!


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