Illustration Concepts

Colored Pencil Skills


Colored Pencil Skills

Download file: skills.pdf


Colored Pencils

Colored pencil is a popular medium with illustrators. The brand of colored pencils that we will be using for class is Prismacolor colored pencils. Your Art Kit includes a set of 24 Prismacolor colored pencils and a colorless blender. The colorless blender is used to blend two colors together without adding any additional pigment. Prismacolor colored pencils offer a range of advantaged to illustrators and artists.

color pencil photo


Colored Pencil Supplies Needed for Class

These supplies come with the graphic design art kit for sale in the bookstore. They are also available individually in the bookstore, or at Hobby Lobby or Michaels.

I will supply the colored pencil paper for your skills and projects

colored pencil supplies



  • Color pencil is easier for some artists to control and blend. There is no paint to mix, the color application is immediate
  • Prisamcolor offers 120 different colors of colored pencils. The colors range fits almost anything you need to draw
  • The pencils can be blended together (layered over each other) to create many other colors
  • The large, soft lead allows the artist to lay down a little or a lot of color
  • The color pigments are bright, bold and lasting. Prismacolor colored pencils are lightfast. Meaning they will not fade over time. This is of special importance to fine artists who want to see their work maintain its quality of color for years to come
  • They are relatively inexpensive. Stores like Hobby lobby and Michael's sell individual Prismacolor colored pencils for about $1.30


  • Because the pencil leads are still relatively small, it takes more time, effort and colored pencil to fill large areas of your art
  • The large, soft lead breaks easily. Don't drop your colored pencils or the lead may break inside the pencil
  • A hand held pencil sharpener tends to break the lead more easily. I suggest using an electric pencil sharpener

Helpful hints using colored pencils:

  • Don't press too hard when you first start using colored pencils. It is best to use several light layers and slowly build up to the color, darkness and blending gradient you want.
  • When blending colors, start with the lightest color as the base and blend the darker color over it
  • The more you blend colored pencils, the smoother they look, and the "wetter" they will look. "Wet" refers to the watery smoothness you can achieve when colored pencil is heavily layered and blended.
  • A "dry" colored pencil style retains the slightly grainy texture of color pencil by using light layers of color that don't blend to a watery smooth finish. With the dry style, you can still see bits of the paper showing through the color pencil.
  • You can achieve great illustration work with either the wet or dry colored pencil style. I suggest you try both.

Blending Colored Pencils



  1. Fill a shape with a solid color
  2. Apply a darker color and blend it over the lighter base color. (This is a "dry" look)
  3. Blend the two colors together using a third layer of the lighter color or a colorless blender. (This is a "wet" look)

Websites with More Colored Pencil Samples & Techniques