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February 1, 2013


Replies: 13

Traditional Art: Colour Pencils

Cobbdog22 Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
First I didn't know where to post this.

The names Jacob, I've always been fascinated with detail in drawings. I currently mainly use graphite/charcoal on sketchbook or canvas. Usually always black and white, I want to expand my horizons with colour.

I haven't got a clue what sort of colour pencils to get nor the best way to use them? If that makes sense? For example I love graphite, (worked with it the longest) I know how to manipulate it well, but can't stand using smudge sticks i prefer the good old use your finger haha.

I'm currently saving for a graphical computer and an intous5 so I can get digital with my colour. I would prefer having some sort of background with mixing and blending colours. I have had a fair amount of experience with painting, but I usually stick clear from colour pencils.
Any help would be appreciated.

~ Jacob

PS. Colour is spelt right, I'm Australian :)

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Devious Comments

InkySnowflakes Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I use Faber Castell pencils for my colouring. There are probably better brands of colouring pencil out there, but Faber Castell are affordable and do a really god job.
Sarosna Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Got a 120 Faber Castell's Polychromos set myself and I love it. It's rather easy to blend but not too soft (I'm not exactly a painting/smudging friendly person). I seem to have a bit of a problem to make certain colors really intensive but my works are usually a tad desaturated anyway so it doesn't bother me.
Rutinka Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2013  Student
I've never tried Prismacolor pencils (they are not available where I live, but I'll order them one day), but as I know (and like most of the comments here say) they are considered as the ultimate.
I use Koh-I-Noor color pencils (I have a 72 set), and I'm more than pleased. They are soft enough so you'll be able to control the shade, the variety is great, I love them a lot. A LOT! :date:

I don't know the range of the prices in Australia, but if Prismacolors are too pricey for you - you can try these out.

As for mixing and blending - it's a lot like regular pencils. If you'll have good quality pencils you'll be able to change the shade by different pressure and by layering light layers of colors (using different type strokes).

Color pencils are fun!! Enjoy ^_^
SpaceTurtleStudios Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2013  Professional General Artist
Prismacolor pencils are standard for most artists, but the other brands listed can be equally good, it just depends on your preference. You will get 'wax bloom' with Prismas and other wax-based pencils, which is a waxy buildup that can dull the colors. The way to avoid this is to lightly wipe the finished painting with toilet paper or paper towel (until it has a slightly shiny surface when tilted) and then use fixative on the piece.

Personally I prefer to work on either dark or neutral colored paper (canson is a good brand with lots of colors) or to put down a base of watercolor first and block in the colors. That way you don't get a lot of white specks that are hard to fill in.

For blending, usually I lay down strokes and texture in a variety of colors, then use the lightest color I want to go over and blend them together. You can also use a blending stick or blending pencil. Honestly I'm not sure I can really describe a good way to learn colored pencil technique; you might try picking up some books and just experimenting.
Vineris Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Be sure to get artist-grade pencils. Student-grade have more binder and less pigment, and can be frustrating to use.
PetiteHands Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I used to be scared using colors too but I tried it anyway. Prismacolor is a great choice but I'm still saving up for it. Currently, I'm using Faber-Castell Classic CP and Watercolor Pencils for practice. But I think it's up to you which one you're comfortable with.
I can't give you enough advice because I'm still learning. But I'll share with you one of my favorite sites about using Colored pencils is: Moore's Art Gallery
He'll tell you his experience with colored pencils.

Take some time to read it. I'm sure it will be a great help.
Cobbdog22 Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
Thanks everyone for all the help!
RainbowFeet85 Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Hm I only just started using cp so definitely not an expert, but from YouTube videos and such:
They will not smudge with a finger however most brands have some version of a colourles blender that helps to smooth out the strokes.
There are different types, oil based or wax based. Also different colours have different colourfastness ratings, with regards to fading caran d'ache luminance are the best out there.
The softnes of the led (and blendability) varies between brands.
You can't properly mix the colours like you do with paint, hence try to get the biggest set you can.
Paper matters as you work in layers and if it is to smooth you won't be able to put down as many layers as you need for a good result.
A lot of people use turpentine to achieve a painting like look.
Some prefer to use watercolour pencils for painting effect as you only need to use water with those, however the colourfastness is better in normal cp. I've seen a lot of works that use a combo of cp and watercolour pencils and I find that it looks really good together.

Finally I have a Lyra Rembrandt set which are oil based and are the cheaper ones from the professional ranges and really like them, just need to get used to a slightly different style of drawing than with graphite.
Cobbdog22 Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
That's all the information,
So in order for me to blend better i will need a blending stick for pencils? Also what's so good about oil ?
RainbowFeet85 Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
A colourles blender wich is technically a pencil [link] like this, but other brands do them.
Well with oil pencils you don't get wax bloom and don't really need fixative unless you want to. With most wax pencils you need to use fixative.
If you draw on unfinished wood oil pencils are really good for this.
The lead oil pencils is a little harder so they don't break as easily.
They handle differently e.g. You can apply heat to help blend wax pencils but not oil based ones. It comes down to personal preference.
Most popular professional cp:
Faber-castell polychromos are oil based
Caran d'ache pablo are oil based
Prismacolor are wax based
Less popular professional cp:
Caran d'ache luminance wax based (these are the most expensive pencils prob why not as widely used)
Derwent coloursoft wax based
Lyra Rembrandt polycolor oil based
Nashiil Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I used Prismacolor for a few years in high school (many many years ago!). They are a little expensive, but they are smooth and easy to blend. The method I learned for blending is to put down a solid layer of white, then layer your shades of color on top and smudge in with one of those shader sticks (as you can imagine, you use a lot of white colored pencils). It works really well and the finished product looks almost like a painting. We used hot press board (I think. Could have been cold press), which has just enough textue hold the colors. It's a good idea to keep scraps of this material around to practice with color blending, and to help achieve the desired shade before laying it down on your artwork.
Urus-28 Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
My experience with colour pencil is that you need to go to good brands to have nice results, cheap colours pencils are too hard to make good work. The brand quoted by opiumtraum are excellent :thumbsup:
You have also to take care about the quality of the paper, too rough will make it difficult to fill with colour, too soft it will not take enough colours.
opiumtraum Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2013
Prismacolor pencils are the industry standard. But Derwent, Faber Castell, Caran D'Arch all make really nice color pencils. For something slightly different there are Lyra Rembrandt polycolor pencils which are oil based instead of wax based which removes any worries of "wax bloom".

To mix color you layer, cross hatch, circles & burnish...experiment a little & find what works for you.
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