Although I prefer Prismas, you can use any brand of colored pencil when following this colored pencil instruction. The techniques are totally the same! To learn more about the different brands available, check out my Guide to Colored Pencils.
Even though they are a medium in their own right, if you have any experience with drawing in charcoal or graphite, coloured pencil will feel intuitive to get to grips with quickly as there are many overlapping techniques.
Because artist grade oil pencils are made from soft wax or oil binders, it gives artists the ability to blend and layer colours. By using techniques such as blending, artists can achieve sophisticated and realistic results in their drawings. Some coloured pencil artworks can even appear similar to oil or pastel paintings.
Pencils that contain wax and oil give the best results, as they are soft and release the binder smoothly onto paper. A variety of techniques can be achieved by using artist grade colouring pencils. For a more thorough look at different brands of pencil, check out our best coloured pencils review.
For better control, hold the pencil near the tip. This is great for detail and precision work. Other techniques that require more pressure, or small sharp motions (like scumbling) work better when you hold the pencil closer to the tip.
The general rule of thumb is to start with lighter colours, then gradually build up the darks. To emphasise the brightest highlights, go over with a white or light coloured pencil at the very end. However, in this butterfly drawing, I layered light yellow over mid orange for the lighter tones in the inner corner of the hindwing, to lift the tones.
This is the most common of all the coloured pencil techniques used for shading. To achieve even coverage, hold the pencil at a slight angle and run it back and forth across the page so that pencil marks meet and none of the white of the paper shows through.
Blending is a technique that most beginners are keen to learn how to do. There are in fact several ways to blend colour, each method yields a different effect. For a more in depth look at blending, check out our tutorial on how to blend coloured pencils.
Hatching and cross hatching are both shading techniques that are used in pencil, coloured pencil drawings and etchings. Parallel lines are drawn, more heavily concentrated in darker, shadowed areas and less concentrated in lighter areas. With cross hatching, perpendicular lines are drawn over the hatched parallel lines. The closer the lines are together the more intense the effect.
The frottage coloured pencil technique involves applying pressure to the side of the pencil tip on the paper to pick up the surface texture. The pencil marks will reveal patterns in the grain of the surface. Alternatively, place a textured object beneath the paper, then rub over the paper to reveal the underlying texture of the object.
I highly recommend creating a quick value sketch before proceeding to colored pencil applications. Is the object lit from above or does the light come somewhere from the side? A preliminary sketch allows marking the lights and darks beforehand, so you can focus on the techniques, colors, and textures later on.
Watercolor Wash: Break out your watercolor paints for this mixed-media approach! Begin painting a layer of watercolor on your paper. Once dry, use any one of the coloring techniques with colored pencils on top of it.
We are showing you how to do parallel and cross-hatching. For both techniques, you need to hold the pencil at a steeper angle. The inclination determines whether lines are drawn finely and precisely or broader.
The drawing techniques we have presented offer endless possibilities for creating extravagant pictures. If you are looking for even more room for variation and you love mixed media pictures, experiment with exciting combinations of other materials and tools from the Creative Studio range. You could, for example, use the Pitt Artist Pen with waterproof ink for preliminary sketching. The interplay of soft and oil pastels with the Goldfaber drawing pencil also delivers great results.
As the name suggests, pressure shading is a coloured pencil technique where varying levels of pressure are applied to create lighter or heavier tones. Holding your pencil with a light pressure will produce a light shade and a heavier hand will produce darker shades. This technique is great for blending or creating gradients, simply by using a lighter hand when it comes to your coloured pencil shading.
Like hatching, crosshatching is a similar technique, but instead of drawing in one direction, crosshatching crisscrosses lines over one another in a vertical, horizontal and diagonal direction. This particular coloured pencil technique is great for creating shadows and textures. It can also add depth and weight to objects, depending on the layers created and how far the gaps within the lines are.
Stippling is a coloured pencil technique for creating light and dark areas using dots. Shadows can be created by drawing a number of dots close together (like Pointillism) and lighter areas will have fewer dots further apart to show the white of the paper. You can also try using two colours in the same area for a nice mix of hues.
On completion of this workshop I hope you will have gained an understanding of the materials and techniques I use for basic colour layering and you should have an understanding of the following basic skills:
Welcome to the vibrant world of coloured pencil artistry, where pencils can be a medium for fine art. Whether you're an experienced artist or just starting out, mastering coloured pencil techniques can open up a whole new world of possibilities.
When it comes to coloured pencil artistry, the tiniest detail can make a world of difference. Even the sharpness of your pencil tip can have a dramatic impact on the marks you create. With blunt tips, you can achieve soft, gentle pencil strokes, while a sharp tip can create crisp, clean lines that bring your art to life. You can lay down parallel lines or employ cross hatching to add interesting textures.
But the magic doesn't stop there. As you glide your pencil across the drawing paper, the pressure of your hand can also produce a mesmerizing array of values and tones in coloured pencil drawings. By experimenting with different pressures and layering techniques, you can add depth and dimension to your artwork that makes it truly stand out.
The number of textures that can be produced with coloured pencils is truly remarkable. From smooth gradients to rough textures, the possibilities are endless. With a little experimentation and practice, you can master the art of mark making.
While underpainting is a traditional technique used by oil painters, it is equally effective for coloured pencil artists. In fact, underpainting can produce stunning results in pencil art, helping to create a solid base for subsequent layers of colors. By applying a layer of pencil in a single color, pencil artists can achieve the same benefits as oil painters, including enhanced depth and texture in their work.
One option is to use a colorless blender pencil, which is specially designed to smooth out the pencil lines and create a more polished, painterly effect. But you can also use a white or light coloured pencil for the same purpose.
But don't let their simplicity fool you - blending stumps and tortillons are true multitaskers. You can use them to create a wide range of effects, from subtle shading to bold textures, making them an essential tool for any colored pencil artist. It is also possible to blend coloured pencils using cotton swabs.
This book by Lisa Dinhofer is more of an introductory guide to coloured pencils. You'll learn about the tools you need, paper and types of pencils. The author uses Prismacolor by the way. Some colour theory is included. There are also instructions on how you can mix your own colours, create your own colour grids.
The tips and techniques mentioned are elementary but the illustrated examples provided are very beautiful. You're a beginner so how are you going to be able to create those beautiful artworks shown? This book lacks step by step instructions and pictures. The book has plenty of examples that show you the potential of coloured pencils and the effects you can create with them, but it doesn't teach you how to apply what you've learn to create your own art. So after you've finished creating the colour grid, how are you going to use that to draw an apple?
The book did not even go through how you're supposed to shade with coloured pencils. Sure it's foolproof to use a pencil, but there's actually a specific way to lay down the pigments so that your shading can look even and soft. That's by shading with your pencils in a circular manner. I can't believe that wasn't mentioned as well.
So this book is good only as an intro to what coloured pencils are, and their characteristics. If you want really want to learn how to draw with coloured pencils, I recommend you check out other books, such as The Encyclopedia of Coloured Pencil Techniques by Judy Martin, Masterful Color: Vibrant Colored Pencil Paintings Layer by Layer by Arlene Steinberg or Colored Pencil Painting Bible by Alyona Nickelsen.
Session two is all about the combination of permanent coloured pencils and watercolour pencils. Melanie will show you how to combine both mediums and will introduce you to their advantages. Mel will create a magical flower forest and will take you along for this easy but pretty drawing.
Watch Melanie draw a cute squirrel with watercolour pencils. Going layer for layer in this drawing, you will find it is not as difficult as you may think. Just start our with easy basic shapes and from there, take it further. And always remember: practice makes perfect.
I have used paper towel ,but I have found as a reliable alternative, is go to your art supply store and buy a sheet of blotter paper. Cut it to the sizes you want and go over your coloured pencil drawing as you would with paper towel. I find it gives a nice soft blend. Give it a try. 781b155fdc