Saturday, January 3, 2015

Coloring with colored pencils

Hey stampers, Anni here! Happy new year!

Recently I've got a lot of questions about coloring with colored pencils. That's why I decided to make a tutorial. It is my first one, so please be kind! And be careful: A LOT of photos ahead!

At first a few words about the stuff I use:
Colored Pencils: For most of the time I use Polychromos from Faber Castell. I have a few colored pencils from Prismacolor, too! I can't say which one I like better I think that is a question of taste! Prismacolors are softer, a little bit like wax crayons. Therefore blending is easier but when you add too much color to the paper you get "crumbs" of color!
Paper: To use the "right" paper when you color with colored pencils is quite important in my opinion.  I layer up a lot of color so I need a paper that can take the color and is smooth enough to get an even result! I use Strathmore 300 Bristol Smooth and like it a lot but again you have to try for yourself what you like!
Blending solution: The most frequent question: What do you use for blending? The answer: NOTHING! No baby oil, no gamsol... It takes some time but I like the effect by blending the colors with themself better! On very, very few occassions I use Zest it!

Step 1:
At first I choose three shades of one color and one really dark one that goes well with this color. For the little monster I chose three shades of turquoise and a very dark blue (it looks like black in the picture but it isn't).

Step 2:
I add the first layer of color with the lightest pencil and with just a little pressure! I don't spend much time and it doesn't have to be perfect at all!

Step 3:
With the darkest shade of turquoise I add the shadows - again with just a little pressure.

Step 4:
Now I take the medium shade and color over the shadows and a little further. I color in circular movement! You can see the colors already start to blend.

Step 5:
To blend it even more I color over it with the lightest shade. I avoid the parts that I want to be the lightest.

Step 6:
If you want to you can stop at this step, the monster is already good looking! I take it one step further: I add dark accents with the dark blue pencil, just a few lines here and there - I hope you can see it in the picture.

Step 7:
Now I repeat step 3 to 5, sometimes two or three times untill I get the result that I want! I add more pressure to get more color down and to blend the colors!

Step 8:
I avoided to color over the lightest areas untill now. For them I take a white pencil and blend these areas. Often I color over the whole area to blend the colors even more! But be careful: You can only do this if you have a lot of color on the paper otherwise you lighten up your mosnter more than you want to!
I colored the rest of the monster, too!

Step 9:
And now to the last step which I think is very important when you color with Polychromos or Prismacolor. Most of the time the lines of the image are not really crisp anymore because you colored over them. I use a fineliner to draw over the lines to make them real black again!

I hope you liked my tutorial! If you have any questions, suggestions, please leave me a comment!


Release countdown starts on Monday! There are awesome stamps ahead you don't wanna miss!


  1. Great Tutorial..LOVE your coloring!
    never tried this...

  2. Awesome seeing how you create your wonderful coloured images!

  3. Thanks for your tutorial - awesome colouring!

  4. FAB tutorial and gorgeous card Anni!

  5. I love the tutorial and will have to try it out. Lovely card

  6. Thanks for the tutorial - gotta pull out my colored pencils again! Can't wait to get my new Create a smile stamps.....

  7. Gorgeous coloring. The little monster is adorable. :) happy new year

  8. Your coloring tutorial was exquisite and I learned "way lots." I've always been a fan on gamsol but with your in-depth run down on coloring, I can't wait to try this. Thank you so much!

  9. Thank you so much for this, it has helped me so much!! Just purchased my first lot of pencils and didn't know where to start so this couldn't have come at a better time!

  10. Very well done, Anni, the explanations and the pictures. Now I know why your images are always so crisp... thanks to the last step! Almost makes me want to start coloring cute images ;)

  11. mengapa harus memilih Staedtler sebagai pensil terbaik untuk anak. Staedtler Pensil Terbaik. Seorang anak sekolah tentu memakai Merk alat tulis Staedtler pensil terbaik untuk menulis dalam menuangkan segala hasil pikirannya dalam bentuk tulisan