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Colored Pencil Drawing Art: Unleash Your Creativity! (2023)

Colored pencil drawing is a captivating art form that allows artists to create vibrant and expressive artwork using a versatile medium. With the wide range of colors and techniques available, colored pencils offer endless possibilities for artists to unleash their creativity and bring their ideas to life on paper.

Whether you are a beginner or an experienced artist, colored pencil art techniques can be learned and mastered with practice.

From layering and shading to blending and creating texture, there are numerous techniques that can enhance the depth and visual impact of your artwork.

  • Colored pencils are a versatile and affordable medium for creating vibrant art.
  • There are different types of colored pencils available, including wax-based, oil-based, and watercolor pencils, each with its own unique qualities and benefits.
  • Consider the type of art you will be creating and your own preferences when choosing colored pencils.
  • Popular colored pencil brands for artists include Crayola, Prismacolor, Faber-Castell, Caran d’Ache, Derwent, and Arteza.
  • Use heavyweight, smooth-surfaced paper for optimal color application and blending.

Colored pencil drawing is not only a creative outlet but also a rewarding and enjoyable process.

Whether you are exploring your artistic side, looking for a new hobby, or honing your existing art skills, colored pencil art offers endless possibilities to express yourself and create stunning works of art.

Exploring Colored Pencil Techniques

Discovering and mastering different colored pencil techniques is essential for creating stunning and visually captivating artwork. With the right techniques, you can achieve various effects, from vibrant and smooth color blending to intricate details and textures.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced artist, learning these techniques will enhance your colored pencil drawings and take your creativity to new heights.

One technique to experiment with is layering. By layering different colors on top of each other, you can create depth and richness in your artwork.

Start with lighter shades and gradually build up to darker hues, blending them together for a seamless transition. This technique allows you to achieve a wide range of tones and create realistic shading.

Another technique to explore is burnishing. Burnishing involves applying heavy pressure to the colored pencils, resulting in a smooth and polished finish. This technique is great for adding a glossy sheen or a soft, velvety texture to your drawings.

To achieve the best results, use a colorless blender pencil or a white colored pencil to burnish the layers of colors together.

Creating texture is yet another exciting technique that can bring your colored pencil artwork to life. You can achieve texture by using various strokes and marks to mimic different surfaces, such as fur, wood grain, or fabric.

Experiment with crosshatching, stippling, or circular motions to add depth and interest to your drawings.

Colored Pencil TechniquesDescription
LayeringBuilding up colors gradually to create depth and realistic shading.
BurnishingApplying heavy pressure to achieve a smooth and polished finish.
TextureUsing various strokes and marks to create texture and mimic different surfaces.
colored pencil techniques

These are just a few examples of the many colored pencil techniques you can explore. Remember to experiment and find your own unique style. With practice and dedication, you’ll be amazed at the beautiful effects you can achieve with colored pencils.

Choosing the Right Colored Pencils for Your Artwork

Selecting the appropriate colored pencils for your artistic endeavors is crucial for achieving the desired effects and bringing your creative vision to life. With a variety of options available, it’s important to understand the different types of colored pencils and their unique qualities.

Wax-based colored pencils are known for their smoothness and blending capabilities, making them a popular choice among artists. They offer excellent color saturation and are easy to layer and blend, allowing for seamless transitions between colors. If you enjoy creating vibrant and detailed artwork, wax-based colored pencils may be the perfect choice for you.

Oil-based colored pencils offer rich and vibrant colors that can make your artwork truly stand out. They have a smooth and creamy consistency, making them ideal for creating bold and expressive strokes. Oil-based pencils are also known for their lightfastness, meaning your artwork will resist fading over time.

Recommended Colored Pencil Brands

  • Crayola colored pencils: Crayola colored pencils are a popular choice among artists of all ages. They offer a wide range of vibrant colors, excellent durability, and erasability, making them perfect for both beginners and professionals.
  • Prismacolor: Prismacolor colored pencils are renowned for their soft, creamy leads that produce smooth and vibrant colors. They are a favorite among professional artists for their high-quality pigments and excellent blending capabilities.
  • Faber-Castell: Faber-Castell colored pencils are known for their rich pigments and superior color vibrancy. They are highly blendable and offer excellent lightfastness, ensuring your artwork will last for years to come.
  • Caran d’Ache: Caran d’Ache colored pencils are a top choice for professional artists. They are made with high-quality pigments and offer exceptional color intensity and lightfastness. Caran d’Ache pencils are perfect for creating detailed and realistic artwork.
  • Derwent: Derwent colored pencils are known for their wide range of options, catering to different artistic styles and preferences. They offer a smooth and creamy texture, allowing for effortless blending and layering.
  • Arteza: Arteza colored pencils are an affordable yet high-quality option for artists. They offer a wide range of colors and are made with durable and vibrant pigments. Arteza pencils are perfect for artists on a budget who still want to achieve professional-looking results.

Consider your artistic needs, budget, and personal preferences when choosing colored pencils. Experiment with different brands and types to find the ones that suit your style and help you bring your creative vision to life. Remember to also select heavyweight, smooth-surfaced paper for colored pencil drawing, as it allows for optimal color application and blending.

colored pencils
Colored Pencil BrandFeatures
CrayolaWide range of vibrant colors, durability, erasability
PrismacolorSoft, creamy leads, excellent blending capabilities
Faber-CastellRich pigments, superior color vibrancy, excellent lightfastness
Caran d’AcheHigh-quality pigments, exceptional color intensity, lightfastness
DerwentWide range of options, smooth and creamy texture for blending and layering
ArtezaAffordable, wide range of colors, durable and vibrant pigments

Mastering Colored Pencil Shading Techniques

Mastering colored pencil shading techniques is the key to adding depth, volume, and realism to your drawings.

By understanding how to manipulate colors and create different shades, you can bring your artwork to life.

One of the most common shading techniques is layering colored pencils.

This involves building up multiple layers of color to achieve a desired effect. Start with a light layer of color and gradually add more layers, increasing pressure as you go.

This technique creates smooth transitions between colors and allows you to achieve a wide range of shades and tones.

colored pencil shading techniques

Another shading technique to explore is cross-hatching. This involves drawing closely spaced lines in different directions to create texture and depth.

By varying the density of the lines and the angle at which you draw them, you can achieve different shading effects.

Colored Pencil Shading Techniques: A Comparison

LayeringBuilding up multiple layers of colorSmooth transitions, realistic shading
Cross-HatchingDrawing closely spaced lines in different directionsTexture, depth, and volume
BurnishingApplying heavy pressure to blend and smooth colorsShiny, polished finish

Experimenting with different shading techniques allows you to develop your own style and create unique artwork.

Take the time to practice and explore the possibilities of colored pencil shading. With dedication and patience, you can master these techniques and bring a new level of realism to your drawings.

Achieving Smooth Blending with Colored Pencils

Blending colored pencils skillfully is essential for creating smooth transitions and achieving a professional-looking finish in your artwork.

Whether you are a beginner or an experienced artist, mastering blending techniques can take your colored pencil drawings to the next level.

Here are some tips to help you achieve seamless blending with colored pencils.

1. Layering:

One of the most common techniques for blending colored pencils is layering. Start by applying light pressure with a light-colored pencil and gradually build up the layers with darker colors. This gradual layering will create a seamless blend of colors and add depth to your artwork.

Remember to work from light to dark to maintain control over the blending process.

2. Burnishing:

Burnishing involves applying heavy pressure with a white or light-colored pencil to blend the colors together and create a smooth, waxy finish.

This technique can be used at the end of your drawing to intensify colors and achieve a polished look. Use a circular motion to blend the colors effectively and evenly.

3. Solvents:

Another way to achieve smooth blending with colored pencils is by using solvents such as odorless mineral spirits or blending pencils. These solvents help dissolve the pigment of the colored pencils, allowing the colors to blend together seamlessly.

Apply the solvent sparingly with a brush or blending stump and work in small areas at a time.

blending colored pencils

If you’re new to blending colored pencils, here’s a step-by-step tutorial to get you started:

  1. Choose two or more colors that you want to blend.
  2. Begin by lightly applying one of the colors to your paper.
  3. Layer the second color over the first, gradually increasing the pressure to build up the intensity of the colors.
  4. Use a circular or back-and-forth motion to blend the colors together, ensuring a smooth transition between them.
  5. Continue layering and blending the colors until you achieve the desired effect.

Experiment with different techniques and combinations of colors to create unique blends and effects in your artwork. Remember to practice and be patient, as blending colored pencils can take time to master. Enjoy the process and let your creativity flow!

Recommended Blending Tools:
Blending stumps
Soft brushes
Blending pencils
Odorless mineral spirits

Choosing the Right Paper for Colored Pencil Art

Selecting the appropriate paper for your colored pencil artwork is crucial to achieving the desired effects and ensuring the longevity of your creations.

The right paper can enhance the vibrancy and texture of your colored pencil drawings, allowing you to showcase your artistic talent to its fullest potential.

When it comes to colored pencil art, heavyweight paper is recommended as it can better withstand the pressure and layering techniques involved.

Look for paper with a weight of at least 140 pounds or more, as this will prevent the paper from buckling or tearing under the weight of multiple layers of color.

In addition to weight, the surface texture of the paper also plays a crucial role. Smooth-surfaced paper is ideal for colored pencil art as it allows for precise control over details and smooth color application.

Texture, on the other hand, can add depth and dimension to your artwork, making it more visually appealing. Consider experimenting with different textures to find the one that best suits your artistic style and preferences.

WeightSurface TextureRecommended For
140+ poundsSmoothColored pencil drawing for beginners
140+ poundsTexturedColored pencil art techniques

It’s also important to note that the color of the paper can impact the overall appearance of your colored pencil drawings.

White or off-white paper is commonly used and allows for accurate representation of colors. However, experimenting with colored paper can create unique effects and enhance the mood of your artwork.

colored pencil drawing on paper

When it comes to choosing colored pencil brands, there are several reputable options that cater to artists’ varying preferences and artistic needs.

One of the most popular choices among artists of all levels is Crayola colored pencils. Known for their vibrant colors, durability, and erasability, Crayola colored pencils are a versatile and affordable option for both beginners and professionals.

With a wide range of colors to choose from, artists can easily create stunning and vibrant artwork.

Another well-regarded brand is Prismacolor. These high-quality colored pencils are beloved by professional artists for their rich pigments and smooth application.

Prismacolor pencils offer excellent color blending capabilities, allowing artists to achieve seamless transitions between colors. They are available in a wide range of sets, with options for both beginners and experienced artists.

Faber-Castell is another brand that artists trust for their colored pencil needs. Known for their high-quality pigments and excellent lightfastness, Faber-Castell colored pencils produce vibrant and long-lasting artwork. These pencils have a smooth and creamy texture, making them ideal for layering and blending colors. Faber-Castell offers a variety of sets suitable for artists of all levels.

For artists looking for a luxurious and professional-grade option, Caran d’Ache colored pencils are a top choice.

Made in Switzerland, these pencils are known for their exceptional quality and rich colors. Caran d’Ache pencils are highly pigmented and offer excellent lightfastness, ensuring that your artwork will not fade over time.

While they are on the higher end in terms of price, many artists consider them a worthwhile investment.

CrayolaVersatile, affordable, and vibrant colored pencils
PrismacolorProfessional-grade colored pencils with rich pigments and smooth application
Faber-CastellHigh-quality colored pencils with excellent lightfastness and blending capabilities
Caran d’AcheLuxurious Swiss-made colored pencils with exceptional quality and rich colors
DerwentWide range of colored pencils suitable for various artistic styles and techniques
ArtezaAffordable colored pencils with a wide range of colors and smooth application

Other notable brands include Derwent and Arteza, which offer a wide range of colored pencils suitable for various artistic styles and techniques.

erwent pencils are known for their quality and versatility, while Arteza pencils provide affordability without compromising on performance. Both brands offer options for artists of all levels, making them popular choices in the art community.

When selecting colored pencils, it is essential to consider your artistic needs, preferences, and budget.

Each brand has its own unique qualities and characteristics, and experimenting with different brands can help you find the pencils that align with your artistic vision.

colored pencils

Preserving the vibrancy and integrity of your colored pencil artwork requires selecting lightfast colored pencils and taking appropriate measures to protect your creations.

Lightfastness refers to the resistance of colors to fading when exposed to light over time.

It is crucial to choose colored pencils that are labeled as lightfast to ensure the longevity and quality of your artwork.

When selecting colored pencils, look for information on the packaging or product description regarding the lightfastness of the colors. Different brands may use different rating systems, but generally, colors labeled as “lightfast” or with a high lightfastness rating will have better resistance to fading.

It’s advisable to avoid using colored pencils with low lightfastness ratings for art pieces intended for long-term display or exhibition.

Lightfast colored pencils

In addition to choosing lightfast colored pencils, it is essential to take proper care of your colored pencil artwork.

To prevent fading, avoid displaying your artwork in direct sunlight or under harsh lighting conditions. Ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun and artificial sources can cause colors to fade over time.

Consider framing your colored pencil art with UV-resistant glass or acrylic to protect it from harmful UV rays and dust.

Another important factor in preserving your colored pencil artwork is the choice of paper. It is recommended to use heavyweight, acid-free, and archival-quality paper for colored pencil drawings.

Acid-free paper prevents yellowing and deterioration over time, ensuring that your colors remain vibrant and true for years to come. The smooth surface of the paper also allows for better color application and blending, enhancing the overall quality of your artwork.

By investing in lightfast colored pencils, taking protective measures, and using the right paper, you can ensure that your colored pencil artwork retains its vibrancy and beauty for generations to come.

Remember to handle and store your artwork with care, avoiding exposure to extreme temperatures and humidity. With these precautions, your colored pencil creations will stand the test of time and bring joy to art enthusiasts.


Colored pencil drawing offers endless possibilities for artistic expression, allowing you to unleash your creativity and create vibrant and visually striking artwork.

Whether you are a beginner or an experienced artist, exploring the world of colored pencil art can be a rewarding and inspiring journey.

With a wide range of techniques to enhance your artwork, you can create stunning pieces that capture the beauty and intricacies of your subject matter.


Q: What are the different types of colored pencils?

A: There are wax-based, oil-based, and watercolor pencils.

Q: What are the benefits of wax-based colored pencils?

A: Wax-based colored pencils are known for their smoothness and blending capabilities.

Q: How about oil-based colored pencils?

A: Oil-based colored pencils offer rich and vibrant colors.

Q: What is unique about watercolor pencils?

A: Watercolor pencils allow for a paint-like effect when water is added.

Q: Which colored pencil brands are recommended for artists?

A: Recommended brands include Prismacolor, Faber-Castell, Caran d’Ache, Derwent, and Arteza.

Q: What should I consider when choosing colored pencils?

A: Consider the type of art you will be creating and your own preferences.

Q: How can I ensure my colored pencil artwork doesn’t fade over time?

A: Check the lightfastness of the colored pencils and protect finished artwork from direct sunlight.

Q: What kind of paper should I use with colored pencils?

A: Use heavyweight, smooth-surfaced paper for optimal results.

Q: How much do colored pencils cost?

A: The cost varies depending on the brand and set size. Choose a set that fits your budget and artistic needs.

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Colored pencil drawing