Color Pencil Tips
These are some tips I have learned over the years through books, magazines, articles and other artists. More tips will be added to this list as I learn and read from other artists.
- Remember to keep your pencil points sharp it will help keep your drawing crisp and clear.
- Explore by using more than one color pencil for a colored area in your drawing. Try using several layers of different colors together, to add some spark and life to your drawings.
- Beware of over saturating your paper's surface with too much color, the color will start to no longer adhere to the paper's surface. It will also start to wear and possibly tear the surface of the paper or board.
Be careful when applying heavy pressure, such as when you burnish, sometimes pencils tend to flake. To remove the flakes, I use a drafting or make- up brush and/or tissue.
To remove and prevent wax bloom (a build-up of wax on the surface of the paper), wipe the surface of the paper with a soft tissue and then lightly spray the drawing with 1 to 5 layers with Krylon Workable Fixatif Aerosol Spray. The fixative will prevent wax bloom and also protect your color pencil painting.
To create vivid intense colors, try using a solvent (turpenoid natural, liquin, Berol Prisma colorless blender markers, bistine, mineral spirits, baby wipes.
- It is important to add a good range of values throughout your drawing. Remember the more layers of color and the heavier the pressure, the darker the colored area on your drawing will become.
- To add life to your work, try varying the color intensity, saturation and hue in your artwork. Check out this link for an interactive color wheel http://r0k.us/graphics/SIHwheel.html
Try creating different moods, by drawing on different colored papers, such as Canson Mi Tientes.
- When working on a tonal drawing, work from dark to light.
- Keep pencil strokes even, and consistent in pressure and in direction, the lines of the strokes will be less visible and will blend into the layers of color.
- Start off with light pressure when adding layers of color and gradually increase your pressure.
- To create, a rich dark black, try layering Prismacolors indigo blue, crimson, sepia and black grape.
To keep areas on the surface of your paper white, try using a frisket film, liquid, frisket or frisket masque pen.
- Keep a color key of your drawing, for future reference, in case you decide to take a break from your artwork.
- For fine or small detail, try using Prismacolor Verithins. Rex Art has an open stock of them available http://www.rexart.com/verithin_open_stock.html
- Practice using only a single color to help improve your blending, layering and graduating skills.
- Try using different pressures (light, medium and heavy), to achieve different depths of color and tones of color.
- Try using a light colored pencil, from your color palette, to draw out your sketch.
- Try using a pencil extension for your pencil stubs, or try gluing pencil ends together with superglue when your pencils become to small to sharpen.
- Always keep the surface of your paper clean, brush away debris with drafting or makeup brush.
- Remember to wipe tips of pencils off, before applying color to lighter areas to prevent smearing and smudging of debris and dark spots.
- Try using complimentary colors in shaded or dark value areas to give an illusion of depth.