Colored Pencil Techniques

After you’ve gathered your tools, begin working on your technique. Colored pencils’ translucence lets you use them in glazing layers. The process is similar to watercolor techniques but produces an oil painting effect. For example, if you use an underpainting of lighted areas with various yellows, the light will shine through subsequent layers of pencil. When I work, I slowly build my values from the lightest to the darkest and use complementary colors for the shaded areas. This method gives the illusion of depth and almost a three-dimensional quality.

Occasionally, a simple composition, such as one of an orange peel, requires showing rough or bumpy textures. This effect is achieved easily with the help of a roughening technique where you use tools or objects with rough textures (such as a pumice stone) to make impressions with random patterns on the opposite side of the paper.


See Alyona Nickelsen’s five-step demonstration for using these colored pencil techniques in The Artist’s Magazine’s January 2007 issue, available on the 2007 annual CD.
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