All About Colored Pencil Art

Using Color Pencils

Guide to color pencils.
Learn how to use a watercolor pencil by experimenting with the pressure and amount of water you apply to the surface.

Colored pencils allow artists to work with a drawing tool that has the control and precision of a hard-point pencil but obviously these pencils are “in color,” as opposed to a graphite or charcoal implement. The popularity of colored pencil art has increased greatly in recent years, and there is a variety of them on the market. Artists should always look for colored pencils with rich color, that are lightfast, and with no gritty feel to them. Colored pencil techniques are similar to those of other drawing media, including hatching and crosshatching to create complex colors and tones on paper, and mastering how to build up color gradually while working with the white of the drawing surface, which is usually paper.

This topic page will guide you towards links, resources and youtube tutorials to help you on your way to mastering the color pencil. For more inspiration, follow Artist Daily’s Color Pencil board on Pinterest.


Color pencil techniques

learn how to use a watercolor pencil.
Learn more about using colored pencils with our free color pencil tutorial.

Watercolor pencil
While some artists like to dip their pencils directly in water, most fans of this medium prefer to apply pencil to paper and follow up with a soft, wet brush. However, it’s not as simple as it sounds, since the effect is controlled by the amount of water on the brush as well as the pressure used.

Reverse grisaille
Invented by drawing artist David Dooley, reverse grisaille adds a new twist to the ages-old painting technique in which artists create a monochrome underpainting to depict light values before applying color. It involves drawing on black paper instead of the traditional white surface.

Creative color pencil techniques.

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Courtney Jordan

About Courtney Jordan

  Courtney is the editor of Artist Daily. For her, art is one of life’s essentials and a career mainstay. She’s pursued academic studies of the Old Masters of Spain and Italy as well as museum curatorial experience, writing and reporting on arts and culture as a magazine staffer, and acquiring and editing architecture and cultural history books. She hopes to recommit herself to more studio time, too, working in mixed media.