Blending Colored Pencils

Hello Fellow Artists! 🌻 👩🏻‍🎨

I hope your July 4th Holiday was safe and fun! I’m just now catching up and back at the drawing board! Yay! 🤗

I recently surveyed all my email subscribers, it was the best thing to do! I now see what everybody is having challenges with regarding colored pencils. And the number one challenge beginners have; is blending their pencils..layering came in a close second.

So, I jumped on it and created a review of three different blenders and did layering over them to see how the paper handled more layers after certain blenders.

The blenders I used are; The Derwent Pencil Blender, White Polychromos and Luminance pencils, and of course, Odorless Mineral Spirits. The paper I used is Strathmore Bristol Vellum.

There is an obvious winner when you look at the swatches which is Odorless Mineral Spirits; however, the Derwent Blending Pencil and your White pencils have their place for blending too.

I used the Derwent pencil blender a lot when I did this portrait below, it’s on brown PastelMat. The white pencils were looking chalky I think because of the paper color I chose, so I broke out the Derwent Pencil Blender and used it like a regular pencil to blend the white and grey pencils and I was able to smooth out the blender pencil and make whispy hairs.

Molly’s Fine Art Pet Portrait

Your white pencils are a dream come true in some situations, and a lot of artists just use a white colored pencil to blend and nothing else. I’m amazed by their work it looks creamy and smooth. I personally don’t have the patience to just use my white pencil for all my blending, that’s why I prefer OMS for my base coats.

It all comes down to preferences and the paper that you’re using so it’s best to experiment and pick up supplies when you can and try them out.

I created a PDF with the steps I used to blend the blue swatches in the photo. I used all three blenders plus the slice tool on the final layers because I wanted to see how the paper handled it and how much pigment would come off. 🤓 (yes I’m a colored pencil nerd).

Leave a comment below and tell me what your challenges are with colored pencils! 💜

You can download the PDF document here

Thanks for reading and Happy Drawing!


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