Blending with Colored Pencil

When I took my first drawing class as an adult (about 12 years ago), colored pencils quickly became my favorite medium. I was using my kids’ Crayola pencils and they were doing the job quite nicely. This brown bear was one of my first drawings.

Over time I became frustrated with my small selection of colors. You might think the answer is to buy a larger set of pencils. But, you’ll never have enough colors and what about darks within an object? Another student in the class – a skilled woman named Donna – had the answer. She taught me how to blend the colors.

I was thrilled when I was able to create the terra-cotta colored pot for this kitten to sit in.

The key to blending is to color with the side of the tip of the pencil not the point. The color goes on lighter, leaving some of the paper exposed. Notice the difference in the photo below. The brown and green vertical lines are colored with the tip, the brown and green to the right of that is colored with the side of the tip.

After applying a color, add your second color on top of it. Then use a third color – a lighter color like white – to blend the two colors. I used yellows and light tans to blend the colors in my leaf coloring page. I love how it came out!

Download the leaf coloring page from my Etsy shop here.
Fall Leaves coloring page

Colored Pencils (Throwback Thursday)

About 8 years ago, when my third child was still a baby, I finally signed up for a drawing class. For years, I had looked longingly at the course catalog, but the class times were never convenient. Finally, I realized I needed to make it happen, and I’m so glad I did!

In that class, I quickly moved from pencil to colored pencils. You’ve probably seen my bear – my first proud moment! For a long time I continued to work in color pencils and I created pieces that, til this day, I am proud of.

Eventually, the limitations of working only in colored pencil started to frustrate me. Pencil was perfect for the hair of an animal, but it was really hard to create smooth surfaces, like skin. Blending colors wasn’t easy. I wanted to draw the beach – sand, sky, surf – but landscapes in colored pencil were a challenge. Without know it, I was longing for watercolor. (to be continued…)