Art Drawing Materials: The Thrill Of Water-Soluble Graphite Putty

Photo caption: Art drawing materials don’t just stop at pencils. Using graphite putty gives you a different look than other doodling and drawing materials. Image by Lynn Greyling from Pixabay.

New art drawing materials.

These are three of the most exciting words you’ll ever hear as an artist, and the thrill of playful discovery is indescribable. 

If you’re a bit confused while reading the title, then you’re in for a new and fun surprise! Water-soluble graphite putty is pretty much what the name suggests: graphite in soft, kneadable form that can be activated with water. 

It’s an innovative spin on the more traditional doodling and drawing materials. Because of its traditional, perhaps even boring reputation, graphite is often overlooked by artists, particularly by painters. However, the unique and freeing design of this material can open up a world of possibilities for your art. 

Even though just about everyone has used a graphite pencil before, not many people have been exposed to the graphite pencil’s quirkier sibling, graphite putty by ArtGraf.

Here’s what you need to know about water soluble graphite putty: 

  • The consistency of is like modeling clay, and it does get drier over time. The packaging that it comes in doesn’t really keep the putty moist, so it's smart to have a resealable bag or container to store the graphite in. 
  • The dampness of the product is enough to warp light papers, so it’s best used on multimedia paper or watercolor paper. You can also use this product on canvas of course, which adds interest to the painting process. 
  • This graphite is a very customizable tool; You can break off smaller pieces for details or add water to a small chunk and apply it like paint. Using a paint brush to create patterns is incredibly easy with this graphite. It’s also an easy way to use the putty to achieve finer details. 
  • It’s worth considering wearing gloves because this is a messy tool, but that’s also part of the fun of it! 
  • You can stamp the putty through stencils for unique impressions of the designs. This is a perfect supply for art that involves abstraction because of its impressionistic qualities.  
  • This dries fairly fast, so it’s good to keep adding water to it to maintain the pliable consistency.
  • Because this graphite is kneadable, it’s perfect for organic shapes and patterns, and adds a perfectly imperfect look to your artwork. 
  • Graphite can be sealed with a fixative, so it’s possible to use in your underpaintings.  
  • The more water you add to the putty, the darker the graphite will be. You get such a wide range of values with this one product. It’s so easy to add powerful depth to your piece with this putty. 

Water soluble graphite is an art drawing material that fully engages the senses. It’s a perfect supply to use when you want to be free and play! 

Like artists, this art supply is delightfully weird, strange, and unexpected. It’s something that reminds creators like you to enjoy trying something new, and that play is productive and life giving. 

If you’re thinking about whether it’s worth a try, it definitely is! Even if it doesn’t become a go-to tool in your process, it has so much potential to lead you to techniques that could be. Think of water soluble graphite as both a silly and practical investment. 

If you’re looking for other drawing and painting materials, check out our art supply store. 

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