Colored Pencil Techniques

A. Outlining: When you begin a colored pencil drawing, it is best to make an outline of your piece with a lighter shade of colored pencil.  Because colored pencil is a medium that relies on layers to create a rendering, making a line drawing and outline allows you to work from light to dark, adding the necessary layers.  I also like to make photocopies of my line drawings for later reference.  As an interior designer, I create a three-dimensional line rendering of the room I am working on. I then make photocopies and use the photocopies to experiment with color palettes.  Once I have found the right color palette I then use it on the original line drawing.  

Rendering

 

B. Shading: A side to side motion with your colored pencil gives a uniform layer of shading.  The goal is to create a smooth and even layer of pigment that can gradually be built up.  A shadow can be created and emphasized with firmer pressure on the pencil and laying color in the desired area.  Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils, Prismacolor Lightfast Colored Pencils and Prismacolor Scholar Colored Pencils are great for shading techniques.  Prismacolor Art Stix are great for shading when a broader lay down of color is desired as they are the pure Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencil pigment in a stick form.   

 

Shading

 

C. Hatching: Hatching is rapid, similar and evenly spaced lines drawn that leave small even sections of paper exposed.  It is a great way to fill space on a page without using the shading technique.  It can give your rendering or drawing a technical feeling.  You can also smooth out the contrast between the paper and pencil with your Prismacolor Premier Colorless Blender Pencil or Prismacolor Premier Double Ended Colorless Blender Art Marker.   Prismacolor Premier, Scholar, Lightfast, Watercolor, Col-Erase and Verithin colored pencils are great for this technique.  Experiment with all of them to see the different looks they achieve. 

Hatching

 

D. Cross-Hatching:  This is hatching overlaid on top of itself at right angles.  You can also experiment with using different angles.  This technique can also be done with different color layers of colored pencil.  By using different colors you can create new shades as well as start to blend.  When carried through multiple layers of your work, it has a great textural effect.  Prismacolor Premier, Scholar, Lightfast, Watercolor, Col-Erase and Verithin Colored Pencils are great for this technique.  Experiment with all of them to see the different looks they achieve. 

E. Scumbling:  This is tiny overlapping circular strokes that create a very textural lay down or color on the page.  It can be used with one color or multiple layers of color.  All Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils can be used for this technique.

 

F. Varied Pressure:  You can create different line weights and sizes just by changing the pressure you use on your colored pencil.  Whether your pencil is sharp or dull will also change the line look.  All Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils can be used for this technique.

 

G. Directional Lines:  By applying various sizes of lines inside outlined shapes and/or following the direction of lines from the outlined shape you can suggest volume and a more three dimensional rendering.  All Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils can be used for this technique.

 

H. Stipple:  This technique is created by using dots of colored pencil on the paper in different colors and sizes, great for showing patterns or textures allowing the viewer's eye to mix the colors.  This look can be achieved using Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils.

 

Stipple

 

I. Incised Marks:  Thick layers of colored pencil are over laid on each other with a lighter color laid first and darker colors layered on top.  Once the desired thickness is achieved, using a small sharp end (I like using a dull nail head) you can create scratches that reveal the lighter color underneath.  All Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils can be used for this technique.

 

J. Burnishing:  This technique is used to achieve a smooth color lay on the paper.  It is achieved once the "tooth" of the paper is filled and none of the paper surface can be seen in the area.  You can use this technique with one color or many colors.  The Prismacolor Colorless Blender is also available to burnish and fill in gaps. All Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils can be used for this technique.

K. Blending with Prismacolor Colorless Blenders or a solvent:  Prismacolor Colorless Blenders are both in the pencil form and the art marker.  Both work excellent with Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils.  My favorite technique is to use Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils on my renderings and then go over areas with the Prismacolor Colorless Blender Art Marker to create a uniform and solid color lay on my work.  I purchase a Colorless Blender for each color family so that I don't mix colors.  The Prismacolor Colorless Blender allows me to have more control of my work.  You can also use a solvent such as rubbing alcohol absorbed in a cotton swab.  This is great when blending a larger area of your work.  The Prismacolor Colorless Blender Pencil is a great tool to soften where two colors meet.  All Prismacolor Colored Pencils can be used for this technique.

 

Blending

L. One Last Helpful Tip

Experiment with all the different Prismacolor pencil products and techniques.  The paper you choose, whether the pencil/product is sharp or blunt, the pressure you apply and your different strokes will all change the way your finished renderings and drawings will look.  Save all your experiments and samples, label them and reference them in the future!