Blending color pencils

May 22nd, 2019 / Drawing Techniques, Illustrations Basics

Recently I worked more in color and I used many more markers, watercolors and crayons. Color pencils are not my favorite medium, so I have only cheeper ones – Koh-i-noor Hardmuth Polycolor, Progresso and treeless Bambino from St. Majewski. They are far from ideal, but they are enough for my needs. Perhaps in a while I will choose something more expensive.

Blending with Copic Blender Turdus Concept
Koh-i-noor Hardmuth Polycolor color pencils blended with Copic Blender.

You need to know that all of the above-mentioned brands have their limitations, those for a higher price (Caran d’ache, Prismacolor Premier , Faber Castell Polychromos, Derwent Coloursoft etc.) combine very well with each other and blend. If you did not know what is going on in the subject of this post, you already know – about mixing color pencils with each other. These cheaper types do not take on too many layers (approx. 3) and do not combine with each well (they are not so soft, have a different consistency, create a different coating than typical artistic products). It is very difficult for them to draw, for example, eyelashes on previously blend skin around the eye on a drawing. Of course, you can create with them, but it will be more time consuming.

When choosing pencils, you have to think about what you will use them for. Not whether you are a beginner or not – but what will be their purpose, because it is the most important thing. If, like me, you create illustrations in a more cartoon style, stylized, with a strong outline that does not accurately present reality, cheaper pencils will be ok. Later, if you want you can invest in something more expensive. However, if you want to do work with many tonal gradations with a smooth finish, requiring many layers, very realistic or even hyper-realistic works, immediately reach for more expensive  color pencils. There may be fewer of them, you can buy pencils one by one, but you will work better with the typically artistic ones. In this case, reaching for a mid-range brand can discourage you from coloring and stop your development. If you want to do such things in coloring books, also go for better products.

In any case, if you treat the drawing a little seriously, do not buy school crayons or poor quality, which are considered to be color pencils for beginners and brands from supermarkets, etc. They are very poorly pigmented, very poorly connected, poor quality wood, etc. The pencil has a tendency to crumble, it is a disaster. Of course you can also create amazing works using them, if you use the tricks described below, however, the amount of time you need to accomplish it does not compensate for their low price.

Okay, since we’ve already explained the differences between different brands of colored pencils, we can go on tricks related to blending. To obtain a smooth finish of the drawing and mix colors we have several options to choose from:

ways of blending Turdus Concept
Ways of blending color pencils.
Color pencils plus other media

Remember also that the crayons can be very well mixed with other media such as alcohol markers or watercolors and create interesting works with mixed techniques. I often use these methods and I am very happy with the results. color pencils imposed on water techniques or in my case on Copics add a fantastic contrast. However, the use of these techniques as a primer can significantly speed up the work with the use of colored pencils. So it is a combination worth considering.

I do not know more tricks, but I think that those presented by me are enough for some nice experiments. Write in the comments whether you used one of them and how you went. If you know any other solutions also let me know 🙂