Get the Color Without the Mess using Colored Pencils

The Inside Scoop on Colored Pencils

Many of us haven’t picked up a colored pencil since middle school and yet, coloring with colored pencils is a great way to develop sketching form and still get a burst of color in your artwork. Without the mess of paint or having to wait for it to dry, Colored pencils are a vastly underrated art form, especially for the more casual artist. They do take finesse though, and if you want to make something like this below, you’ll have to know how to use them.

First, if you want to create anything like this, you’ll need some artist grade colored pencils. These pencils will have a high concentration of pigments and should have a good lightfastness rating– a rating based on their resistance to UV rays in sunlight. Breakability, water resistance, and core durability are also features to be noted when looking for artist grade colored pencils. We at Jerry’s like Cezanne Premium Colored Pencil Sets. They have a smooth, buttery consistency that glides across paper and cover well when shading. I used the Cezanne Colored Pencil Set of 120 which has more variations of color tones than those sets with 150 or more!

Colors are rich, bold, and very durable; soft enough to blend beautifully, yet sturdy enough that they won’t run down quickly or break easily.“-Kim Maselli, professional artist

Cezanne Premium Colored Pencil Sets

After you have your colored pencils, start coloring. You’ll grow by practice. Try exploring the paper with more than one color pencil for a colored area in your sketch. By using different layers of color together, you can add some vitality to your drawings. However, be careful of over-saturating your paper with color, because the colors will adhere less as you build it up. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes in the beginning, you’ll get better with time, but if you do make a mistake, a good eraser can be an invaluable tool. The Vanish 4-in-1 Artist Eraser is the strongest eraser we know of and can actually clean up after itself. It reabsorbs any crumbs it makes.

To shake things up when you’re drawing with colored pencils, try including a good range of values. Vary your layers of color and the amount of pressure you use when putting the pencil to paper and you’ll find all kinds of colors and tones you like. When you do find a combination of colors you like or a shade you like, mark it on a separate sheet of paper as a color key, this you can go back to that combination or reference the colors you used at a later time. If you’re working on a subtle, tonal drawing, say a sunset or sunrise, work from dark to light. 

Hope that quick overview was helpful. If you have any colored pencil tips, let us know in the comments below!

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