5 Ways to blend Colored pencils — Blending methods explained

You can meld colored pencils in so many different rooms, but I am going to show you the most used skills by me. You can try them all and elected what works well for you. I frequently combine different the methods for a unique take according to the nature of objects that I am outlining. So without further due let’s get started. I use Strathmore Bristol 300 series vellum article for this expression. I have published 5 chests and 5 butterflies to this paper. I will show you the technique in detail on the boxes above, and I will use the same method to draw the butterflies below. I am going to use the same given of dyes to get an idea of what’s the real inconsistency between these techniques.

All the dyes are listed below. The first program I am going to discuss is layering. This technique is the most difficult, most season depleting but gives you the best available outcome. This technique is perfect for the regions that need a flawless rank of dyes without any hard shapes. So I use this method for outlining bark. I never use any other skills to extort bark because I want that smooth, seamless blending for the bark. For this technique, I use very light stress and many thin seams to gradually build the color up. I am going to draw in this box exercising three different dyes. A dark complexion a medium to bring skin because I want that smooth, seamless blending for the skin. For this technique, I use very light pressure and several thin layers to gradually build the color up. I am going to draw in this box using three different colors. A dark color a medium color and a light color. For this technique, you have to go from lightest color to the darkest color. As you can see, I put several thin layers of the lightest color first. You can increase the pressure slightly in some areas where you want a solid laydown. But never use a heavy pressure at any stage, just a small increase in pressure is enough. Here I have concentrated the color more on the upper part because this color is going to be the primary color of that area.

Now I am using the next darker color with several thin layers. I am varying the pressure so as to get a gradation of color. Make it lighter towards the lightest color. But never completely cover the lightest color you already put down. And you can see that I am correcting some imperfections in between by using thin layers. After adding sufficient layers with the second color, I am moving on to the darkest color. Just like I did before, I am starting from the bottom towards the top. Along with that, I am varying the pressure to get a thinner layer towards the top. So that finishes the essential layering. At this stag you can still see the white of the paper showing through. You should do layering up to this stage for doing all other techniques except the second technique I am going to discuss next. So the difference between the other techniques and this layering is that you should layer again and again until the white of the paper disappears. This gives you the smoothest result, but that’s why it’s also the most time consuming. So you have to repeat this layering process back and forth until the paper is not showing through.

Now that you have seen the process in real time I will speed up the remaining process, and you can see the butterfly I did with the exact same technique. Like I said before layering is suitable for skin or whatever object that needs perfect seamless blending Now coming to the 2nd method, I call this burnishing because you have to apply the pencils slowly from the very beginning so that the paper is not showing through at any stage. This has some advantages over previous layering techniques. This looks much more vibrant and has better contrast than layering techniques. But there are several drawbacks as well. The end results are not as smooth as the layering technique, and you should have a collection of wide variety of colors to start with. And you cannot blend colors of the different color group with ease. But in layering method, you can use different color groups and get a smooth gradation of colors because of intermixing of colors. So in this method, you have to slowly apply the colors where they are most predominant. Here I am only using 3 colors, but if you are going to draw an area with a wide color range, you have to use a lot more colors to match the corresponding area.

After you apply the colors, you will have a sharp edge between the adjacent colors. So next thing you have to do is blend those two adjacent colors till that sharp edge becomes smooth. For that, you can use both the colors back and forth and mix the colors on the paper itself. This technique can be easily done if you are using a wax based pencil like Prismacolor or Derwent color soft. Whereas the layering technique is more suitable for oil based pencils like Faber Castell polychrome. This technique is much less time consuming than the previous method. I took around 25 minutes to do the square and the 1st butterfly, but I finished this box and butterfly within 15 minutes. This method is suitable for areas with solid color or shiny objects like colorful plastic and bright fruits. I don’t usually use this method for my drawings. But I usually start with layering and finish it with burnishing on drawing fruits and shiny objects.  The next technique I am going to discuss is Blending with blender pencil. Like I said before you have to pull a color gradation with the same technique I showed you in the layering method before applying the blender pencil.

The only difference is that you don’t waste time by layering over and over until the paper becomes saturated. You just have to put down a basic color gradation with sufficient layers. Then all you have to do is to apply the blender pencil slowly. This flattens the tooth of the paper, and the color spreads evenly across the journal surface. So this saves a lot of time by not having to repeat the layering process again and again. But this technique also has some drawbacks. Blender pencils desaturate the darker colors by dragging the intense pigments across the paper. So this gives a little contrast result. And blender pens tend to lower the vibrancy of some colors by taking away the pigment. So this makes blender pens a useful tool for blending light skin tones, where we don’t want intense hues.

But I always prefer layering method for drawing skin tones. So that makes a blender pencil nearly useless for me. But I still use them for making colors a bit lighter. All I have to is to apply a thin layer of the color and implement the blender pencil over it. This way I can make a slightly lighter color if I want to. And you should remember that before using blender pencils you must put down a basic color gradation. Many beginners make the mistake of not applying the pencils correctly before applying colorless blender. You cannot make a seamless color gradation with the blender pencils alone. So if you are starting with a blotchy layering of colors, then the end result is also going to be blotchy no matter how much you use the blender pencils. Now coming to the technique no. 4. Blending using a solvent. You can use solutions like an odorless mineral spirit or turpentines. They readily dissolve the pencils and covers the paper quickly. And they dry fast without leaving any residues. But I am using baby oil for this demonstration because I have a bit more control with baby oil.

Baby oil is also a mineral oil and dries fast without leaving any residues, but they don’t dissolve color as soon as the other solvents do. You can try them all and decide what works best for you. And always make sure to use them in slight quantities. You don’t want your brush dripping with the solvent. I usually dip a flat synthetic brush in the solution and wipe off the excess with a paper towel before applying.

So just like the previous technique, you must start with a reasonably good gradation of colors. It should not be very thin either. You can drag the brush perpendicular to the color gradation. Otherwise, you may spread the intense colors to the lighter side. You can get a vibrant result instantly by using solvent. It’s very evident when blending colors like reds and purples. It immediately gives a vibrant color by dissolving the pigment. And you can layer pencils quickly on top of that and use the solvent again.

This way you can make very vibrant results. In this demo, I am only using a single layer, so this is not going to be very vibrant. The drawback is that it doesn’t give you a very smooth result. But you can overcome this by layering again and again up to a certain level. This technique is suitable for the areas where you need strong colors but doesn’t need a perfect color gradation. So this is my go to method for drawing birds, garments and first layers on animals before adding fur. But since this approach may oversaturate the colors and don’t give a perfect color gradation I never use this technique for drawing skin. The final technique I am going to discuss is the good old method of burnishing with a white pencil. For this method also, you need a basic color gradation to start with. Then you can use the white pencil to spread the color evenly until the paper is not showing thru. Almost all pencil set come with a white pencil, so this method doesn’t need any extra tools to start with.

This technique works better with wax based pencils than oil based pencils. And cheaper student grade pencils usually don’t give a good result. In this method, you only have to apply the white pencil heavily after drawing a necessary gradation of colors. This provides you with the least vibrant result of all. So if you want to make colors a bit less dynamic and whitish, you can use this method. You can also use other light colors similarly, but you will add that particular hue to the final drawing. I used this technique only when I was a beginner.

But I sometimes use this method to get softer colors like in a flower petal. You can also watch me doing this burnishing in my lavender rose drawing tutorial here. So that’s all for today. Thank you so much for watching and don’t forget to subscribe to my channel for more art videos like this. You can watch drawing tutorials, art supply reviews, and all that stuff on my channel. And you can follow me on all social media linked below.