Drawing hints for color pencil beginners
- To avoid smudging, use glassine or scratch paper.
To avoid resting your palm directly on your drawing and perhaps smudging it, place a scrap of paper underneath it as you sketch. (I realize that many of you already know this, but I’m still presenting it for the art novice.)
- Use only scraps of decent paper.
The nice paper in my scrap folder allows me to test colors by layering, blending, and other techniques. This lets me to see how the colors will appear on the same (good) paper that I’m using for my work.
- Be careful when stacking.
I started out using a fairly heavy hand and immediately discovered that I was losing the paper’s teeth and was unable to add more colors. You can add more color later if you start out subtly.
Additionally, the paper I was using wasn’t the best. Now, my preferred surfaces include Art Spectrum Colourfix Smooth, Clairfontaine Pastel Mat and Pastel Mat Board, and Strathmore Bristol Smooth 300 series.
- Work your way from light to dark
In order to make my colors blend well and avoid having a muddy appearance, I like to work from bright to dark. There is always an exception to the rule, so you could choose to work from dark to light on a pastel mat, for instance.
(However, even on Pastel Mat, I often work from light to dark.)
- Combine using an OMS or white pencil.
You can go over pencils with to make them merge and look more painterly:
• A white pencil • A blending pencil (Prismacolor Premier white is very good)
• A paler shade (ie light pink to blend over darker pinks and purples)
A tortillon; odorless mineral spirits as Gamsol or Zest-it;
In general, I favor mixing using a white or lighter-colored pencil while applying intense pressure. Once more adding color, use your darker pencils.
- Get over the “ugly duckling” phase.
I detest using the word “ugly” to describe art, but there are definitely times when I feel frustrated and that my work is terrible. I’ve discovered that all I need to do is keep adding layers of color; eventually, the drawing will show itself, and I’ll feel relieved and eager to carry on.
- Fixative for a tooth that is additional (if needed)
Even a light hand paper can occasionally cause tooth loss. Fortunately, there are effective fixatives that can be used to give the paper some teeth. Another powder from Brush and Pencil might enhance teeth.
- PanPastel is fantastic for underpainting.
Put down a layer or two of PanPastel on your drawing before beginning with colored pencils to save time. They can also be used to delineate zones of light and darkness.
- Study the best.
Online artists have taught me many worthwhile lessons. Here are some locations and artists I suggest:
Bluprint (previously Craftsy.com) (formerly Craftsy.com)
- Use resources that are copyright-free.
Drawing from a reference image is usually simpler than drawing from your imagination.
The History of Colored Pencil Art
The use of colored pencils as an art medium can be traced back to the early 19th century, when artists began experimenting with wax-based colored pencils. These early pencils were made by mixing pigments with a wax binder, which allowed for greater control and precision in drawing. In the 20th century, manufacturers began to develop new types of colored pencils, such as oil-based pencils and watercolor pencils. These new pencils offered a wider range of colors and effects, and allowed artists to create more complex and dynamic works. The use of colored pencils as a fine art medium has grown in popularity in recent years, with many artists using them to create highly detailed and realistic works. Colored pencils are now widely used in illustration, portraiture, still life and landscape painting and other forms of art.
What Kind of Art Is Best for Colored Pencils?
The best things to draw with colored pencils are portraits, still life, and illustrations of plants and flowers. They can also be used for landscape and architectural illustrations, as well as for creating brightly colored drawings, like abstract or pop art.
Techniques of Using Colored Pencils for Art?
Here are some techniques for using colored pencils in art:
- Layering – building up color by applying multiple layers of colored pencils.
- Blending – mixing colors by lightly layering and blending with a blending tool, such as a blending pencil or paper blending stub.
- Crosshatching – applying parallel lines in different directions to create value and texture.
- Stippling – applying tiny dots to create a textured or gradient effect.
- Burnishing – using pressure to blend and smooth colors together.
- Scraping – using a sharp tool to scratch off or remove color to create highlights or texture.
- Glazing – layering a transparent color over an existing layer to adjust the hue or value.
Learning Colored Pencil Art
Here are steps to help you learn colored pencil art:
- Familiarize yourself with different colored pencil brands and types, such as wax-based or oil-based.
- Choose a subject to draw, such as a still life setup or portrait.
- Start with a light touch and build up color and pressure gradually.
- Experiment with different techniques, such as layering, blending, crosshatching, stippling, burnishing, scraping, and glazing.
- Study color theory to understand how to mix and harmonize colors.
- Practice regularly to improve your skills and try new subjects and styles.
- Study the work of other colored pencil artists for inspiration and to see different techniques and styles.
- Get feedback and constructive criticism from other artists or art instructors to help you grow and improve.
Famous Colored Pencil Artist
Here are some famous colored pencil artists:
- Paul Immel
- Debra LeBlanc
- Julie Duell
- Barbara Benedetti Newton
- Sheri Jones
- Karen Hull
- Ann Kullberg
- John Yardley
- Jane Davenport
- Darlene Olivia McElroy.