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colored pencils basic

coloring techniques

by JuliannaKunstler.com


Use Prismacolor pencils for better results (or any professional quality soft colored pencils)

Print out the worksheet

Choose a medium tone colored pencil as your main color for this exercise..


choice of colors

Once you chose a main color (medium blue) - you need to find two more pencils:

  • lighter tint of your main color (light blue), and
  • darker shade of your main color (dark blue)

White pencil is always helpful to lighten areas, blend light colors, fix mistakes, etc.


Sharpen the pencils before work. Continue sharpening them as you work on your assignment.


Practice shading with small strokes.

Your wrist should rest on the table, don't move it as you shade - move only the pencil - this way your strokes are tight and they are small. Reposition the wrist, then apply a new set of strokes - they can overlap, can be placed at different angles, or you can rotate the worksheet itself - whatever is more comfortable for you.


Strokes should be small - this way it is easier to control you shading.

Try shading while changing the pressure that you apply to your pencil - from full coverage (full strength) to fading.

coloring strokes shading

If you move your wrist while shading - the strokes will become longer and sketchy - this is not the result we want for this particular assignment.

area 1: solid shading

solid coloring

Stay inside the square.

No strokes and none of paper should be visible - solid, full strength coloring with small strokes.

Overlap strokes, make sure they fill in the entire area.

area 2: gradation from color to a darker shade


Use two pencils: medium color and the darker shade.

Follow the steps below.

Transition should be smooth, without a define border between the colors.

fade color

Shade the square with the main color:

Start on the left with the full strength, lightening the pressure towards the middle, then completely fading.

mix color

On the right:

Shade with the dark color - full strength on the right, fading towards the left side.

color blending

Use the first (main) color for blending.

Use small strokes in all directions, or use circular strokes.


Always use the lighter color for blending.

area 3: gradation from color to a lighter tint

value gradation

Repeat the steps above with the main color and the lighter color.

Use the lighter color for blending.

area 4: dark to medium to light

sphere coloring

Create a 3-D shading (coloring) using all three pencils (main color + dark + light).

You can use WHITE pencil in the center for blending.

Strokes should follow the form.

area 5: two-color gradation

two colors

Create a smooth transition from one color to another.

Remember to use the lighter color for mixing and blending.