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Drawing Forum and Art Community • View topic - My Collective Knowledge of Colored Pencils
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My Collective Knowledge of Colored Pencils

PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2010 9:45 pm
by bravoc-88
Hey everybody it's been awhile. Anyway I haven't done any pencil renderings or colored pencil in a while. (A lot of painting though) I've missed it terribly so I wanted to do a few over my winter break. I thought I'd start by sharing what I know so far about colored pencils with anybody who is thinking about trying them. This is just my own knowledge gathered from much trial and error. I am by no means a professional and there are a lot of things I have yet to learn.


Colored Pencil Quality
The core of a colored pencil is composed of pigments, minerals, and binding agents which is then soaked in wax to impregnate it and give it smoothness. The quality of a colored pencil is not determined by the variety of colors but in the pigment concentration in the lead. Cheaper brands use less pigments and have a higher concentration of wax. This makes it harder to blend and produces more wax bloom. Cheaper brands are basically any brand made to be used by school children or Student Quality. Higher quality brands are Artist Quality like Prismacolor.

Verithin colored pencils have a much thinner and harder core. The advantage of these pencils is in very fine and intricate details. They can keep a very sharp point. But because of their hardness are much harder to use for smooth blending

Papers
Colored pencils require a few layers to build up a solid color. The type of paper used with colored pencils depends largely on how much “tooth” it has. Tooth is the roughness of a paper therefore rougher paper will have more “tooth” and smoother papers will have less. Rougher papers can take many more layers of color because the tooth in them is deeper.
Image

Choosing a paper with little tooth will result in smooth shading and take less color to fill. On the other hand you’ll have a hard time trying to add more color once the tooth of the paper has been filled. Rougher paper will take in a lot of layers of colored pencil but will also require a lot more color to fill it.

Bristol board paper (Hot or Cold Press) is one of the best. It’s a great paper that can be bought in many different sizes and textures. This paper can take enough layers to build colors and is smooth enough for blending. Also fairly cheap and readily available.

Illustration Boards are very sturdy boards and come in a variety of textures and colors. These are my favorite boards to draw on but can be a bit pricey.

Watercolor Paper, even hot pressed, is considered a rough paper.

Layering and Blending
Image

Colored pencils work best with a sharp point allowing more control in layering and color to fill the paper. With a dull point you will have the paper show through and may result in uneven blending.

Blending colored pencils is very different from graphite. Colored pencils cannot be smudged like graphite so smooth blending relies solely on pencil control. My preferred method is building layers of colors with increasing pressure to achieve a rich color. Since they are transparent and not opaque I found that on white or light colored papers it is easier to define the dark colors and then add the lighter colors on top. While on darker papers I define the lighter areas first and work toward the darker colors.

Burnishing is basically laying color down with a heavy pressure so that the tooth of the paper is flattened and completely filled with color.
Image

Layering vs. Colorless Blender: I have found that a colorless blender pencil really helps with lighter colors. Rather than using white and ending up with chalky colors.
Image


#-o That was really lengthy but hopefully useful. I'll probably keep adding to this later maybe I'll do a tutorial too if anybody wants it.

Re: My Collective Knowledge of Colored Pencils

PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2010 9:56 pm
by Russ
bravoc-88, Thank you,everyones wisdom is a yard less :D

Re: My Collective Knowledge of Colored Pencils

PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2010 11:41 pm
by Larc-Romeo
Hi bravoc-88,
Thank you for sharing that with us all.
I have been thinking about giving CPs a try, but I have looked at purchasing some and they seem very expensive for a full set.
What would be the smallest set I could buy, and still have a good enough range of colour to produce good realism in my drawing?
Father Chrismas has already bought me a set of Tombow mono-100s and enough strathmore to wallpaper a mansion, and insists the budget will not stretch to a full set of CPs. :lol:

Re: My Collective Knowledge of Colored Pencils

PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2010 2:40 pm
by bravoc-88

Re: My Collective Knowledge of Colored Pencils

PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2010 3:14 pm
by Larc-Romeo

Re: My Collective Knowledge of Colored Pencils

PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2010 4:31 pm
by zach97
one day ill have to give cp's a try

Re: My Collective Knowledge of Colored Pencils

PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 8:24 am
by shabbysketchpad
Thank you for the tips, bravoc-88.
I recently bought a set of 24 colors steadler aquarell colored pencils. Is it enough for a beginner? I usually only doodle with ballpoint pen and not much else.
Drawing with colors is a huge step for me.

Re: My Collective Knowledge of Colored Pencils

PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 5:09 am
by bravoc-88
I made a new video. This time on white paper, still pretty rusty on it though :oops: I really prefer gray paper. Anyway this is a start to finish drawing of an eye. My purpose was to show the various layers of colored pencil and how they blend.


Full length is 1hr 8min.

Final:
Prisma Colored Pencils on Strathmore 300 Series Vellum Bristol Paper (2.5" x 3.5)

Re: My Collective Knowledge of Colored Pencils

PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 7:04 am
by Russ
Stunning!!! =D>

Re: My Collective Knowledge of Colored Pencils

PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2011 2:38 am
by annenon
Thank you so much for this. I hadn't realised just how good a coloured pencil drawing could be.

You have inspired me so much that I have been out and bought some from my local art supplier. Now it's down to pure practice.

Re: My Collective Knowledge of Colored Pencils

PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 5:13 am
by abestine
reading ur post open my eyes to unlimited benefits present in dis forum, i'v always wanted 2 try PC's, but just dont knw wat i need and hw 2 go 'bout it, thank God i bumped in2 ur post. Thanks man

Re: My Collective Knowledge of Colored Pencils

PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 12:23 am
by jamkel12
Hi There, I am new here and have only been using CP's for portraits for a short time. I posted something in the other section just before I read this. It's very informative for me, but just one question, is it recommended to mix different brands when using CP's, especially portraits, or best not to some being wax based others oil based? Cheers

Re: My Collective Knowledge of Colored Pencils

PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 10:20 am
by Russ