There are many methods of blending colored pencil, but they can be classified in three basic ways.
Over the course of the years, I’ve touched on each of these methods in various demonstrations and tutorials. I also dedicated a few tutorials to nothing but blending colored pencil.
Because this is such an important topic—and one of the most frequently searched topics among all of you—I’d like to share basic information on blending methods in a single post.
Basic Methods of Blending Colored Pencil
This might seem painfully obvious, but the obvious is often the thing that gets overlooked most. One of the only blending methods you’ll ever need for colored pencil is….
…your colored pencils.
It’s also the method that is the most automatic. Every time you layer one color over another, you’re blending.
The most familiar way of blending colored pencil with colored pencil is burnishing. When you burnish, you use very heavy pressure to “grind” layers of color together.
You can use any color over any color, but it’s most common to burnish with a color lighter than the color you’re burnishing. Keep in mind that the color with which you burnish will affect the color you’re burnishing.
TIP: When blending colored pencil with colored pencil, be careful to match pressure with sharpness. The sharper your pencil, the lighter the pressure. Using heavy pressure with a sharp pencil is likely to either break the tip off the pencil—possibly leaving an unsightly mark—or tear the paper. If you want to burnish, it’s best to use a blunt pencil.
For the purpose of this discussion, when I refer to “dry blending”, I’m talking about blending without solvents (see below), but with a tool other than your colored pencils.
The blending tools I use most often are a couple of household items. Paper towel and bathroom tissue. Both are great for blending colored pencil and producing an eggshell smooth surface.
They’re also easy to use. Simply fold a piece into quarters or smaller and rub them over the area you want to blend. You can use very heavy pressure if you want without risk of damaging the drawing paper. Granted, the effects are light, but if all you want is a light blend between layers, paper towel or facial tissue is the tool you’re looking for.
Blending stumps and tortillons are more often associated with graphite drawing, but they also work with colored pencil. I’ve found them to be slightly less effective than paper towel, but they are very useful if you want to blend a small area.
I also use a Prismacolor Colorless Blender. It’s a colored pencil without pigment and it works great for any colored pencil. Other lines of colored pencil may also include colorless blenders. One thing to note when using this type of blending tool is that it adds wax or oil (depending on the brand) to the paper.
I use three basic solvents for blending colored pencil. In order from mildest to most aggressive are rubbing alcohol, odorless mineral spirits, and turpentine. (I have used rubber cement thinner in the past, but only sparingly, since it’s very aggressive in “melting” color. It’s also quite toxic.)
Solvents work by breaking down the binding agent that holds the pigment together in pencil form. Dissolving the binder to any degree allows the pigment to flow together almost like paint.
Before you try any solvent on a colored pencil, test it on a piece of scrap paper. You want to make sure the paper will stand up to a solvent blend. Nothing is more discouraging than to have your paper buckle or warp when it gets wet.
It’s also a good idea to see how colors react to the various solvents before blending a drawing. While solvent blends are appropriate in most cases, they may not produce the look you want.
If your paper is very smooth or heavily sized, it’s possible to remove color completely, no matter how carefully you blend.
So test first!
Blending with Rubbing Alcohol
Rubbing alcohol is ideal for doing a light blend. It breaks the wax binder in colored pencil just enough to move a little pigment around and to fill in paper holes. You need a good amount of pigment on the paper for the best results, but it also works with less pigment.
Use cotton balls or swabs or painting brushes to blend with rubbing alcohol. Because rubbing alcohol is relatively mild, you can do a little scrubbing with a bristle brush IF THE PAPER WILL TAKE THAT KIND OF ABUSE.
Blending with Odorless Mineral Spirits
Odorless mineral spirits blend color more completely than rubbing alcohol. It breaks down the wax binder more completely, freeing pigment to blend more thoroughly. Again, the more pigment on the paper, the better the results, but you can also do a watercolor-like wash with odorless mineral spirits.
For an even lighter tint, “melt” a little color in odorless mineral spirits, then wash it over the paper. You need sturdy paper or board for this kind of treatment, but the results can be very painterly and saturated.
Use bristle or soft brushes to blend with odorless mineral spirits. In later layers, where there’s a lot of pigment on the paper, you can use heavier pressure, but it’s best to use medium pressure (normal handwriting pressure) to avoid scuffing the paper or removing color.
The most potent of the solvent blends I use is turpentine, though I don’t use it very often. It works the same way as odorless mineral spirits, but breaks down wax-binder more completely. My experience has been a maximum of two blends before the solvent begins removing more color than it blends.
Use turpentine the same way you’d use odorless mineral spirits.
Make sure you use all of these solvents safely. Work in a well-ventilated space and exercise caution. Don’t work around children or pets, and make sure to clean your work area and tools thoroughly. Close containers when you finish.
Artwork should also dry thoroughly before you begin working on it again. I like to let drawings air for no less than an hour and often let them sit overnight.
And there you have it. The only three blending methods you’ll ever need for creating fabulous colored pencil work.
What method is your favorite?
Blending Colored Pencils Without Solvent
I’ve written a tutorial describing how to blend colored pencils without solvents. The tutorial is now available at Colored Pencil Tutorials. It’s ideal for artists who cannot use solvents for health reasons or who simply prefer not to use solvents.
Click here to read more about the tutorial or to buy your copy.
Very interesting. I especially like the idea of using a paper towel. It would seem that once the colors were blended properly that one could come in with pastels say for the background and not affect the pencil coloring image. I may have to try this.
Paper towel is an excellent blending tool. One of the reasons I like it is that most types of paper towel have two surfaces. One side is usually more textured than the other. If I want to do a light blending but want something more than tissue, I use the smoother side of the paper towel. If I want to do more blending, I use the rougher side.
Of course it’s also readily accessible and inexpensive!
The bigger problem you might have with layering pastels over colored pencil is getting them to stick. Especially if you happen to combine wax-based pencils with dry pastels.
My experiences with pastels are from years ago and were not happy ones, so I don’t do much with pastels. I could be wrong about this, so I encourage you to try. If you do, let us know what you find out.
Thank you for reading and for the comment. Best wishes to you.
Thank you. Good to know. I am new to coloring and there are so-o-o many nifty ideas. My first goal though is to learn colors. My background is with tole painting where books give you the colors to use (base, highlight, shadow colors) so looking at a blank picture with no idea of where to start is kinda scary but I will jump in feet first 🙂
Ah! In that case, here are a couple of demonstrations to help you get started. I always list the colors I use and in the order I use them. But if you have any questions after reading these, let me know.
I hope that’s helpful.
Thanks so much Carrie. I am truly grateful for your recommendations.
You’re welcome! Glad to be of help!
I have always used a white colored pencil for blending which works well for me. Also baby oil has worked well for me. As for the use of pastels with colored pencils: I use chalk pastels a lot when I have a large area to cover where it would be very time consuming to use a colored pencil. I put down my chalk pastel color blend and spray with a fixative, then draw in my details with colored pencils. I love the results and how much quicker it is.
Thank you for reading and commenting.
Interesting that you should mention using pastel with colored pencil. I only recently discovered an artist by the name of Elena Kolotusha who combines colored pencil with pastel, gouache, and other media. All of her work is marvelous, but I’m especially impressed with her animal art.
I’ve never considered mixing media very much, but you make a excellent point about saving time with other media.
What type of work do you do and what is your working method when combining pastels and colored pencil?
I use white pencil as well, but it can dull brilliant colors slightly, in my experience, but that is great when you don’t want a certain section of a piece to pop out quite as much (as in the background) so something else can stand out even more. My favorite white pencil is the Derwent coloursoft pencil. It lays down so easily. The wax whites are a pain. Also, the blending pencil is helpful. I don’t use tortellons with colored pencil at all, only with graphite pencil drawings. I will have to try to baby oil, but I tend to do 8 x 10 pieces for framing, and I’m afraid any oil will make a mess that I won’t be able to reverse. This sometimes happens to me in the final stages of a drawing. How much oil do you use anyway and does it work in relatively small patches?
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.
That’s a neat idea. I’ve never considered blotter paper as a blending tool, but it’s definitely worth a try. Thanks!
I have started using WD40 as a blending agent. It seems to work very well.
I hope you’re not selling your artwork or doing work for clients. WD40 is NOT an art tool and has not been tested for longevity. It may blend very well; any thing that breaks down wax binder will blend colored pencils, but I can only imagine the long-term damage it might do to paper and, eventually to your artwork.
I have had some experience in blending colours but never knew about the kitchen role trick will have to give it a try …thank you for the tip .
I discovered how much could be done with ordinary, everyday items around the house by accident. Or maybe I should say desperation, since I needed to do something specific with a drawing and had neither the time nor the money for a trip the art store. It’s quite amazing what can be accomplished with non-art tools!
Thank you for reading and for leaving a comment!
I read your post on Empty Easel tha was about using Pinterest to drive traffic to your blog (which referenced this post about blending) I’m not a colored pencil artist but wanted to let you know I found the E.E. article so informative! I plan to review & implement the steps and see if I can also increase traffic. Thanks so much for sharing your experience!
BTW, I had a featured artist article on Empty Easel a few months ago which increased traffic to my website quite a lot! (www.dorothylorenze.com)
Best of luck to you! Your work is wonderful!
Thank you for your comments. I’m so glad the article was helpful.
I did a little experiment on Pinterest the week the traffic went up so much. I created and pinned an old article. It took about two weeks, but that article is now starting to get some traffic. So don’t expect overnight success.
I’ve been writing for EmptyEasel for three years now. Traffic to this blog increased markedly when I began that endeavor and EmptyEasel continues to be a good source for traffic.
Thank you for taking the time to comment. What I did with Pinterest can be duplicated for any online business.
Thank you also for your comments about my work.
I am a new pupil to coloed pencil I paint in Acrilic , but as I grow older my hands are not as steady and I can’t see as well . That’s anough about me . Pencils are better , and thank you for the help in blending Thank You Tessa X
Thank you for reading and for leaving a comment. I’m glad you found this article helpful.
Best wishes on changing your medium, too. Have fun with the pencils! They’re a great alternative to painting.
Carrie, Thanks for the great information, I have spent almost two months finding, what I believe to be the perfect books, three different brands of pencils, added thousands of pins to my new coloring boards, starting a ladies coloring this month, & finally today decided to actually start coloring. The tip about the paper towels worked great, I was a little too heavy handed with a medium blue, so even though there was no blending, it removed some of the color! Thanks again
Sounds like you’re ready for some serious colored pencil fun.
That is one benefit of blending with paper towel or tissue that I didn’t mention. It lifts color as well as moves it around. It is possible to lay down color with paper towel or tissue. I may need to explore that a little further.
Thanks for reading and for leaving a comment.
Good info, thanks. I have an alcohol brush that works well. Also I might add an obvious to the solvents – keep away from open flame.
Thank you for adding the obvious warning. Don’t use solvents near open flame!
Gret ideas , having just come back to coloured pencils , after being inspired by methods used nowadays , such as blending with solvents . Never used to enjoy them , because I couldn’t get enough intensity of colour .
I like to use baby oil , no worries about fumes. And I make my own little tortillons , there’s lots of tutorials on this . Thanks again , always looking for new ideas.
You’re welcome. A lot of people use baby oil (and many other substances) to blend colored pencil. I haven’t tried it yet, but I don’t do most of my blending with pencils or paper towels (or tissue).
Thanks for reading and commenting!
Thank you! I’m glad to have been of assistance.
I’ve read and seen a lot of information about using baby oil and other substances for blending colored pencil, but have yet to try it. Most of my blending is done either with the pencils or by dry blending.
Thanks for reading and for commenting.
I use walnut oil to blend my colored pencils and I work on wood panels or Gesso’d hardboard. The benefit is that the walnut oil will dry to a solid film that can in turn be worked on, and then I can add more of the oil on top as needed. Basically I am painting with oil paints in separate parts. I used to use turps or rubbing alcohol, but nothing has provided me the unparalleled versatility of walnut oil, and just a few drops applied with any tool to move the oil and color around (even the tips of leads themselves) can get amazing results. Give it a try sometime, very fine results. You can work on paper directly like this, but be warned that the oil will seep into the paper and if there are any wood fibers in the paper it will likely make your work not stable in as little as 25 years.
Thank you so much for your comments.
When I oil paint, I use M. Graham Oils, which are ground with walnut oil at the vehicle. So I use walnut oil for that purpose.
I also paint on rigid supports, so I’m 2/3s of the way there already. I will have to give this method a try.
Thank you very much. I’m thrilled you’ve found this post helpful.
OMG, Carrie, you live in Newton? I’m originally from Wichita and used to catch the train all the time in Newton. Once I learned that, I HAD to subscribe to your materials. It was like a “sign” or something. Here is a concern I have. Although I also use wax-based colored pencils, I really like to use Derwent water color pencils. They produce spectacular colors. However, once they have dried, they can’t be changed, although you can work on top of what can’t be changed. Occasionally I make big blunders with these pencils. So I try to catch any blunders before using the water. Any suggestions?
I’m glad to meet you. I’ve always wanted to “take the train somewhere” but it’s never worked into the schedule or budget. What I’d really like to do is organize a colored pencil class on a train and sketch and draw while the train rocks along. Can you imagine the views from the upper deck of a dome car?
I’ve only dabbled with water soluble pencils and watercolor, so my experience correcting blunders is minimal.
The only thing I can tell you is that you might benefit from a coat of retouch varnish to restore the paper’s tooth, then work over that.
Lisa Clough (the artist behind Lachri Fine Art) is a huge fan of something called Touch Up Texture. It sounds fabulous, but I’ve yet to try it. Too many other things going on right now. It might work for you. Check out her YouTube channel. Almost any video she does on colored pencil will mention Touch Up texture at some point. Give this video a look and see what you think (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9H3hOHx-qZ8).
Thank you, Carrie! I haven’t been doing colored pencils that long, so I might ask you for more advice in the future. I’ve learned so much from doing each piece. I like portraits and landscapes. With portraits, if you have skin tone to deal with, and there are two or more areas to deal with, I’ve learned the hard way to do them all at once because say if you save the hands for later, the shade might just be slightly different, but enough to be obvious. I’ve also learned to be sure to have your original drawing well worked out because if you decide to make a major change after beginning the coloring process, you probably won’t be able to. Also, I’ve learned never use bleach to remove colored pencil that won’t erase. It will just make the paper deteriorate without totally removing the color, often causing you to have to start over.
Thank you! I’m glad to have been helpful to you.
You’ve learned some important lessons; lessons I also had to learn the hard way. That’s one of the reasons for this blog—to help other artists avoid some of the disasters I experienced.
I’ve never considered bleaching paper to remove colored pencil. Thank you so much for that tip.
And I just put the smallest amount on the paper with the one end of a bleach-smeared toothpick. Fortunately, it didn’t ruin the paper totally, but it also only lightened the color I wished to remove slightly (of course, that was an area that already had several layers of color applied).
I’ll have to do a little experimentation. I’ve used bleach to remove stains from paper before drawing and it works very well for that.
But I am intrigued by the idea of using it to lighten color. As you’ve pointed out, one would have to be very careful….
First thank you for this guide. I definitely learned some things.
Personally I blend with baby oil using stumps to do the blend. I lightly dip a stump in oil, blot it and then go to work. I color mostly in adult coloring books and the papers varie a bit. But so long as I have been careful with not over dipping and blotting I have had no issues. And it makes the colors just pop!
I also sometimes use a blending pencil. But to be honest I don’t like the look of the effect.
Thank you for the comment.
I’d heard a lot about blending with baby oil, but have yet to try it, mostly because I’m not certain about the archival quality of baby oil on paper. I will be doing some testing at some point, but just haven’t made the leap, yet.
I use colorless blenders (blending pencils) sparingly because I don’t prefer the look, either. When I burnish, I usually use the same pencil to burnish that I used to apply color, or use a pencil that’s a lighter value. The color I choose depends on whether or not I need to adjust the colors
Thank you for the comment and for the suggestions on how to use baby oil for blending. I’ll keep that in mind!
My Prismacolor blender pencil works fine for normal colouring books, but it made a mess when I tried it on a greyscale image. I was upset as I was using pinks for a lily, and when I went to smooth it out with the blender it smudged grey where ever I used the pencil. Is that because the underlying picture is grey? I have seen where others use a blending pencil, but it didn’t work for me. What is the best blending method for greyscale? Thanks, Grace
If you layered pinks over a grayscale under drawing then the colorless blender would have blended all of the layers together, muddying the pinks.
The colorless blenders works by pressing and blending all the layers together and pressing them into the tooth of the paper. The more layers of color on the paper, the less the bottom layers are affected, but they are still affected.
Based on the information you’ve provided, it sounds like your best blending option is to simply continuing to layer the top colors using light pressure. You could also use something to “seal” the grayscale layers and keep them from interacting with the top layers. For that, I suggest Brush & Pencil’s products. You will need to use either a gessoed paper or a sanded paper for those to work best.
I hope that helps.
Great conversation. I love, love blending my prismacolor pencils with odorless mineral solvent and smudge sticks. I have an empty small petal soft container with a small piece of felt soaked in the solvent. Wet the end of your smudge stick and blend away. Half the fun is rubbing your fingers over that extra smooth surface when you’re done. I love my crafts to hit on multiple sensory levels .
What is a smudge stick? I’m not familiar with that.
Another name for a blending stump……smudging the color…..
This is really neat to know
The store i buy from has only winsor and newton varnishes and mediums
can u tell me which winsor and newton medium i can use to blend color pencils!!
Thanks for the question!
You want to look for solvents for blending colored pencils. Solvents are designed to thin paint and clean brushes.
Mediums are designed to change the brush-ability of oil paint. Some also make oil paints dry faster, some make them dry more slowly, some make them more transparent.
You can use almost any kind of solvent to blend colored pencil without worrying about discoloration or staining.
I’d be very reluctant to use any kind of painting medium to blend colored pencil because of possible staining and discoloration. You can try them it you like, but test them first on a drawing that’s not important to you.
As far as Winsor & Newton products, I recommend the distilled turpentine.
Hope that helps you.
Excellent information and very interesting. In my work with colored pencils I am trying to achieve a very shiny gem like finish. Do you have any other tips to help me achieve that look? Thank you
A lot depends on the method of drawing you’re using and what you’re drawing. I use one of two under drawing methods for most of my work. The umber under drawing method is the method I use most because it’s ideal for keeping colors from getting too vibrant with the horses and landscapes I usually draw. I also like the complementary under drawing method for the same reason. If you’re not familiar with those methods, I compared the four methods I use most in an article called Comparing Colored Pencil Drawing Methods.
If you’re drawing things like water or glass or actual gems, you may not want to use a method that tones down the color.
The best thing I can tell you is to build color and value layer by layer. Begin the initial layers with light pressure (the lightest you can do and still put color on the paper.) Gradually increase the pressure and burnish the final layers.
You can also get richly saturated color by drawing just a few layers and using heavier pressure throughout, but I don’t have much experience with this method, so can’t give specific tips.
I hope that helps. Let me know if you have specific questions on technique or on any of the tips I’ve shared here.
Great website! Thanks!
I’ve heard one can use the curved side of a spoon. There’s
also an electric blending table which goes from warm/hot to cold.
The Icarus Board is reported to be great for blending. I’ve seen the work done on it and have been amazed. I haven’t tried it myself, but hope to do so some day.
I hadn’t heard about using the back of a spoon to blend. That’s a neat idea. I’ll have to give it a try.
Colored pencils, which I started to use, rival oil paints in
their richness and detail!
I use Prismacolor. I searched carefully and found
these pencils to be excellent.
(I originally wanted oil based but those companies that
produce these are German. )
I started out with Prismacolor and I still use them. They are great for the methods I use, so long as I avoid all the colors with lightfast issues.
I recently bought a set of Faber-Castell Polychromos and am learning my way around them. They are quite different to use, but I do like them. Especially in combination with the Prismacolor pencils.
I usually use Petroleum jelly, like Vaseline. I put some on a q-tip and rub it on. It takes some pressure, and you should only use a little bit, but it works for me!
I actually thought I was something wrong when drawing with colored pencil because I have never used any kind of blending technique at all except using the colored pencil and blending together as I draw. I’m glad to see you listed that as a technique. My daughter loves her blending stumps.
The method you’re using for blending colored pencil is my favorite method!
Every artist has a different way of doing things. No method works for every artist, so find the things that work for you and make the best use of them.
Thank you for reading and for commenting!
Hi, Carrie! Thank you for the article. I’m new to colored pencils and I’m coming from an oil paint/ink wash/watercolor/ Copic marker background. I have a question about the paper towel method (which I started using and enjoy):
Can I keep blending with the paper towel and then add layers and blend again/add layers/blend/add layers/blend…or am I ruining my work doing this? Is the paper towel only supposed to be used as a finishing touch? Thank you in advance!
Yes, you can blend with paper towel, then add more color. But the paper towel does tend to create a smooth surface, so you may not be able to blend and layer very many times.
You can use paper towel as a finishing touch, but it’s also useful throughout the drawing process.
Thank you for the question.
Enjoyed your artical, but one thing I didnt see. What combination of colors are used together for different shades? Colors to make sand, boards, sky, water, etc. A blending color chaft for prisamacolors.
Thank you for reading and for leaving a comment!
The colors I use for skies, sand, wood, water, and almost anything else differ from one drawing to the next. There are certain colors I use most of the time, but my palette is determined by the subject because time of day, lighting, location, and surroundings all make a difference in the color of things. A blending chart would be pages long! I’ve heard some artists have notebooks full of them because they make a different chart for every set of pencils or every drawing!
Even the sky, which you would think is the same blue everywhere isn’t. Where I live, the colors are different in the summer than in the winter. So any color combination I give you is going to be right only part of the time.
For more specifics, type “tutorials” into the search bar and scroll through the results. You’ll find tutorials on many of the subjects you listed. There will be color recommendations in those.
I hope that helps.
What brand of color pencils, have you found, if any, compare to Prismacolor Premier? I realize that folks seem 2 either “Love” Prismacolor or “Hate” them. Currently, for me personally, I’m N a Love-Hate relationship with them, I Love the pigment & the quality, I Hate the price tag. I realize that most people have the opinion of one gets what they Pay 4, but I’m a Bargain Hunter N my very heart & Soul, it’s just N my blood! But I would like 2 Thank u 4 all of the wealth of information u provide.
You’re not likely to find a high-quality colored pencil that’s any less expensive than Prismacolor. The fact of the matter is that price has been their main claim to fame for years. They are a good pencil at a good price.
As far as finding a pencil that compares to them for pigment and quality, I’ve heard the Derwent Coloursoft are comparable. They’re also wax-based and quite pigmented, so they put down a lot of color easily, just like Prismacolor. I haven’t used Coloursoft, but do have a set of Derwent Watercolour pencils and they lay down color very much like Prismacolor.
However, they are more expensive. Dick Blick has Prismacolor open stock for $1.29 (USD) per pencil. Coloursoft pencils are $1.37 each.
The only other suggestion I could make would be to try the Blick Studio pencils. They’re reported to be a high-quality, artist-grade pencil at a better price (currently $1.05 each.) I’ve wanted to try these for some time, but have yet to purchase any (though I don’t know why, since a set of 12 is only $8.99!)
I hope that helps. Finding good pencils at bargain-basement prices is very difficult unless you happen to find some on eBay or similar sites.
I( use the citrus tipe to blend work veri nice and is no aggressive God bless.
You always write quality article’s,used to have your download before all the rules changed
Thank you, Raymond.
When you speak of the “download,” do you mean the weekly newsletter? If so, you can still get that. Just click the subscribe button.
Thanks for sharing such informative article. Please let me know what is the best method of blending colored pencils??
The absolute best method for blending colored pencils is layering. You’re already adding color over color, and those colors blend visually the moment you put them on the paper. Yes, it takes time and patience, but it produces the best results for the methods I use. Blending by layering is the method I use most often.
Here’s one additional tip that makes the blending by layering method even better:
Go back and forth between dark layers and light layers.
For example, in the Portrait of Bob, I started with a very light base layer of smooth color. Warm Grey II in Faber-Castell Polychromos I think. Then I began layering darker colors over that. After four to six layers of darker colors, I blended with a smooth layer of the base color using light pressure.
Blending previous layers with a light color (usually the base color) helps fill in the paper holes much more quickly and smoothly. Just make sure you use light pressure. You don’t want to burnish. You just want to “smooth out” the color.
Thank you for reading this post, and thank you for your question.
Thank you so much for sharing this expansive knowledge. I, for one, am truly grateful. I’m not an artist. I can’t draw. I can color.
I’m so happy to have re-discovered coloring at this point in my life. My Father is terminally ill. He has a rare neurological disease. When it’s my turn to take care of him I always bring my color books and colored pencils. Once he gets settled and wants to rest (That’s my clue to sit down beside him and stay quiet. ). So while he’s resting, I color. Thanks for making it easier for me.
You’re welcome, BJ!
And thank you for sharing how you use colored pencils. They’re great for activities like what you’re doing, aren’t they?
I have been seeing different articles on blending with watercolour pencils and glycerine.
What are your thoughts on this technique and how do you go about it?
I’ve never used this blending method (or even heard of it) so I can’t help you. Since it involves watercolor pencils, you might search for this method with watercolors. You may be able to find information on it with that medium.
I wood carve dogs and other animals. I heard that you can use colored pencils on your carvings. I use basswood as the base . I am looking for information on the best type of pencil to use. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
You can use colored pencils on wood. I’ve used Maple to draw on once or twice with good results.
Soft pencils (wax-based) are going to be the easiest to use because they’ll lay down color better. Prismacolor is a good go-to pencil if you don’t mind fading colors or pencils that may tend to break when you sharpen them. Another advantage is that you can find them pretty much everywhere.
I would avoid inexpensive brands like Crayola or Prang because I don’t think they would have the pigment content to stick to wood, but the best thing you can do is buy a few colors open stock (individual pencils) or in small sets and try them.
I hope that helps.
What about using Gambling solvent-free fluid to blend Prismacolor colored pencils? Does it work the same as odorless mineral spirits?
Any solvent that’s tested for use with oils is probably going to work with colored pencils.
I use Gamsol (when I blend with solvents,) but really prefer turps. However, Gamsol is what I have.
Personal preference and availability play a large role in the solvent you chose. They all work basically the same, but some are scented and some are not, and some are derived from organic sources, and some are not.
I do suggest that you test any new solvent first on scrap paper so you can see how it performs.
I loved reading your article. Its really informative. Just wondering if the same methods work with oil based pencils as I have Faber-castell and Schpirerr Farben which I love as much as the FC. Thank you for your time.
Thank you! The methods described in this article work with any artist quality pencil. They may also work with scholastic and student grade pencils, but possibly not as well.
What’s the best solvent for fabercastell classic colored pencils?
Thank you for your question and for reading this article.
I’m not familiar with Faber-Castell Classic colored pencils, but all solvents work pretty much the same with all types of colored pencils.
I use Gamsol Odorless Mineral Spirits (when I use a solvent,) but my choice was based on price, not on brand. It just so happened that when I was buying, the Gamsol was a better buy than Mona Lisa Odorless Mineral Spirits.
So I’d suggest you check availability for your area, and then purchase whatever is the best buy, based on the choices.
Thank you again for your question and your readership!