Coloring with colored pencils

Coloring with Colored Pencils

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How to color with colored pencils

Some colored pencils can lack life and color which is a common complaint among artists. Whether you are looking to liven up your drawings, or hoping to gain some tips on utilizing colored pencils, we have the basic beginners guide you’re looking for. This simple colored pencil guide will help to improve your skills, answer some questions and provide new techniques. Find your favorite coloring page, ensure your pencils are sharpened, and get ready to see how this guide works for you.

Pay Attention to Quality

It’s difficult to compare one brand of colored pencil to another – colored pencils aren’t created the same. Pigments are what create the rich hues we appreciate throughout artwork, and they vary greatly from cheap pencils to more expensive options. For example, cheap colored pencils have high levels of hard wax in the lead, and less pigment – which tends to break easily.

Faber Castell or Staedtler both offer mid-range pencils with a soft application. A soft lead enables artists to get more color onto paper, producing more vibrant art. The chance of white flecks showing through on the paper is reduced overall, while the softer pencil lead provides better blending and shading.

Colored pencils best brand

Derwent or Prismacolor brand pencils are typically the best quality, and that typically comes at a price. More expensive brands use soft wax in their pencil leads, with higher concentrations of pigment for bright colors. Soft wax leads enable artists to shade and blend with a higher degree of accuracy, however some brands use oil based leads, such as Faber Castell’s Polychromos. Because the pencils are soft, they work well to cover each fiber found within paper.

Beginners don’t have to fork out significant amounts of money for their colored pencil set. Staedtler and Faber Castell pencils produce good results, when compared to bargain brands, with bold colors capable of blending and shading. With the proper techniques you can create top notch pieces of colored artwork using even lower end and modest tools.

Tips for coloring with colored pencils

Since we have gone over which pencils are best for coloring, it’s time to move onto our tips and trips. Everyone who picks up a colored pencil to draw should at least know these colored pencil techniques, or look into them before getting started.

One Sheet of Paper

Utilizing a stack of paper to color on is a common habit – some prefer two or three sheets underneath. However, this practice makes it difficult to color properly, and doesn’t provide a smooth surface. Because the soft tip of a colored pencil will emphasize every dent, divot, or grain texture. It’s best to place your paper on a hard, smooth surface, rather than a stack of paper.

Sharpen Pencils

Pencil lead needs to be sharpened on a regular basis, especially in regard of pencil quality. Maintaining needle sharp tips enables the addition of smaller details, as well as precision in intricate design areas. A thin point also provides more control over the color, while fat round ends make it difficult to include bright colors. Never use a knife to sharpen your pencils, instead, you can invest in a moderate to high quality pencil sharpener kept aside just for colored pencils.
Make sure you have the best sharpener and the right technique for sharpening.

Remember the Basics

No matter how long you have been coloring, remember to keep it simple. Colored pencil shading techniques, details, texture, and burnishing are not exactly for beginners, and you may need to focus on remaining between the lines for now. Block coloring may be an especially helpful practice, as you work on filling one area at a time completely, and evenly, before moving on. Take some time to become familiar with your own tools, such as the weight of our pencil, and then start to perfect it.

Maintain Pressure

In order to produce an even color throughout your art, keeping an even level of pressure makes all the difference. For example, if you need dark coloration, you might push a bit harder on the paper with the pencil – a light pressure creates light color. However, while it is tempting to put immense pressure on your pencils, it’s not an advisable practice. You will be more likely to break pencil leads, and your art will lack a smooth finish, if you push too hard.


For brighter results, try applying a little less pressure on your pencil, and draw in a small circular motion, instead. Although it will produce a lighter color, less pressure requires layering for dark hues. Once you have become a master of staying in the lines, alongside an even shade, you can begin to attempt layering. Layering is done by going back one or two times over the same area, in order to create darker colors. One particular benefit of adding layers is filling in any white grain that was missed on the first pass. You might always add subsequent layers by coloring in different directions, for a smooth finish.Colored


This guide was created to serve as a simple rundown of improving your color techniques, and to help beginners. While it is true that investing in higher quality art supplies is a fantastic step, it’s better to begin by invest time into practicing coloring techniques first. High quality colored pencils are worth the money, but come with a hefty price tag for a reason. It’s best to remember that one of the biggest mistakes you can make is to rush your art, rather than to relax and keep regular pace. Coloring can be a peaceful hobby, and should be done in a way that isn’t stressful.

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7 thoughts on “Coloring with Colored Pencils”

  1. I like Prismacolors but the leads break so easily. Some pencils are impossible to sharpen. Any suggestions?

    1. 1. Set them in a warm window where the will soften. It melts the lead of the pencil to the wood potion of the pencil. 2. When sharpening keep the sharpen steady and move the pencil.

      Helped with mine.

  2. AdultCreativity

    Unfortunately, we had to start the back up yesterday and we lost the comments posted by readers within the last 24 hours. We apologize.

  3. When it comes to what are the best cheap colored pencils, it will always depend on what your budget is and what kind of product you’re looking for. If you’re looking to create a gift for someone else, then you should consider using an online auction site.

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