Colored pencils and their blending tips!

colored pencils

Van Gogh, Frida, Picasso, etc. are all painters who, regardless of their particular style, all saw painting as a way of expressing themselves and thus showing their creativity. There are countless tools to show this creativity, colored pencils are one of them.

The combination of colors is an important issue in painting. The color combination of each painting tool has its own techniques, although sometimes difficult, but at the same time it creates a clear, precise and beautiful art.

If you are painting with a colored pencil, and you want to have a painting with a high standard, here are some useful tips on color combination and its different techniques. These tips are for your easier use of colored pencils. Well let’s go!

Color combination in painting

Before learning the techniques of combining colors with colored pencils, it is better to get acquainted with color combinations in painting. The choice of colors is very influential in our emotions. So to properly convey a feeling through painting, we must learn to use colors in the right place.

In general, all colors in a painting are a combination of the three primary colors, red, blue, and yellow. From the combination of these three colors, thousands of different colors are obtained. It is also important to know that colors are divided into cold and warm categories in the knowledge of color composition.

For this purpose, colors that convey a feeling of warmth, excitement and joy, such as red, orange and yellow are called warm colors. In contrast, colors that convey a feeling of coldness, calm, and sadness, such as green, blue, and purple, are called cool colors. Mostly, colors that do not fall into these two categories, such as white, black, gray, etc. are called neutral colors.

a picture of color wheel

Combining in painting with colored pencils

It is true that one can create a beautiful and artistic work without learning to combine color with colored pencils. But combining colors always gives a beautiful effect to the painting. One of the easiest tools for combining color in painting is colored pencils. Because this painting tool can easily combine colors. In combining color with colored pencils, we first use light colors, then we put dark colors on light colors. For this reason, darkening a color is much easier than lightening it. Because it can be easily darkened by adding a color complement.

In combining color with colored pencil, in addition to adding complementary colors, you can also add white, gray and black to the desired color and darken it. In this way, by adding white, the desired color becomes dull and light, and by adding gray and black, the desired color becomes dull and dark.

an image of a feather painted with a red, blue and yellow colored pencils

Useful tips for blending with colored pencils

Combining color and blending with colored pencils in a painting makes the lines blurred and the colors look smoother. This way, your drawing design is much more like a professional painting. To achieve such a painting, it is important to observe a few points:

I. Use quality colored pencils!

If you want the color combination of your painting to be beautiful and professional, it is essential to have high quality colored pencils. Because using poor quality colored pencils may stain your work or create colors different from what you have in mind. This way, you will most likely get a lovely painting!

an image of several blue pencils in different sizes

II. Use the right paper for drawing with colored pencils!

The most influential part of a painting is choosing the right surface and the right paper. Because the wrong choice of a suitable paper makes the final design look poor in quality. In fact, to paint, you need a surface with a special texture and tone to the tools you want.

For example, watercolor paper is a rough surface on which you can create multiple layers of paint. But you can never use a colored pencil to show detail on such a surface. So the best option for creating color combinations and layers with colored pencil is white paper.

an image of different paper textures for colored pencils

III. Pay attention to the amount of pressure you put on the colored pencil!

The intensity of the pressure that the hand exerts on it when using colored pencil must be different in different parts of the drawing. Because the intensity of the pressure affects the result and the final color of the design. Paying attention to the amount of pressure in the color combination is also effective. The amount of pressure for a desired color and its shades can be soft, medium and hard.

picture of a person drawing with a colored pencils

Methods of combining color with colored pencils

If you want to have an amazing painting with a colored pencil color combination, you need to know the techniques and tools of color combination with a colored pencil:

1. Colored pencils layering technique

The fastest, easiest and best technique for combining color with colored pencils is the color layering technique. In this technique, the only tool you need is your pencils. To use this technique, just put layers of your favorite colors on top of each other. Just be careful not to start the first layer too heavy as it will ruin your design.

In this way, start the combination with light layers and gradually add other colors to it. Finally, cover each layer with another. You can also use a colorless pencil to combine the colors of each layer without pigment and better.

A few tips on layering

• Increasing hand pressure on the colored pencil, increases the color concentration but does not darken the color.

• If the layers are made with complementary colors, they darken both colors.

• Never use black as the top layer on another color.

• To darken a color, you can darken the desired color with the closest dark color to the same color.  For example, use purple to darken red.

• To lighten a color, place a layer of bright colors on it.

• Creating a white layer on any color makes it clear and bright.

drawing of a rose with colored pencils by layering technique

2. Combining colored pencils with solvents

Another way to combine paint with colored pencils is to use a solvent. In fact, the solvent is rubbed on the tip of the colored pencil and is used when the colored pencil is to be used on thick and sturdy paper.

When you use a solvent in your paint, your effect looks like a watercolor effect. There are also more benefits to using a solvent than using water to mix colors, and the end result is much better.

The positive point of using solvent with colored pencils:

The use of oil-based solvents helps a lot to dissolve the wax and is very effective in color combination.

The negative point of using solvent with colored pencils:

The only downside is that solvents are toxic. So you have to use them with caution.

picture of a person drawing with colored pencils by solvent

3. Combine colored pencil with water

When using a watercolor pencil for painting, you can use water for ease of work. Although using watercolor pencils is a difficult task and is done by professionals, the first use of watercolor pencils may seem difficult.

For this color combination, draw water with a brush on the painting. Then let the first layer dry. And then drag again on the next layer. You should always pay attention to moisturizing light colors first. Because drawing dark colors towards light is wrong. The reason for this is that the colors show a darker shade when wet.

an image of a glass of water and a colored pencil inside it

4. Combine colors with colorless blender

A colorless blender is a pencil that every artist should have. These pencils contain substances such as wax and are pigment free. They also help painters a lot in combining colors. Because colorless blenders work great at fading and changing colors.

Of course, you should pay attention to the fact that if your painting is on a large scale, using these pencils is very time consuming. In addition, these colorless blenders make the painting smooth and even. And most of its use is suitable for shades of colors and soft colors.

an image of a person drawing with a color pencil blender

5. Combine colors using white or gray pencil

Unlike a colorless solvent or colorless blender, the use of white or gray pencils makes the surface of the painting look very smooth. And illuminates the painting naturally. So, if you are looking to lighten your skin tone or depict the afternoon fog, using these two tools is helpful.

picture of a gray pencil next to a notebook

How to combine color with colored pencils

I said earlier that combining color with colored pencils is very easy. The combination of colors gives a sense of dynamism to the painting. First of all, a thorough knowledge of colors and color wheel can be a great help to you in combining colors. In this section we will learn how to enter a color combination in a painting. Let’s go:

1. First draw the outlines.

Draw the lines of your desired subject in a light color. Because then you can hide the original color you want on the lines you drew.

2. Add shadows.

I said before that you should switch from light to dark colors. So to create highlights and shadows, you should use the lightest colors. Next, apply the base color by combining the top layers.

3. Add the main color.

After adding the shadows and the base color, add the main color to your chosen design. You can even add another layer of dark gray to the light gray you used for the shadow.

4. Add the final details.

Finally, use dark colors to determine the center shade and darker points of your design. If you are going to use light colors in the last layer, it is better to work on it. Also, use a small amount of white paint to lighten the desired areas to finish.

a picture of a pomegranate painted with a pencil

A few common color combinations

Main colors: blue – red – yellow

Sub-colors: green – orange – purple

Bright colors: main color + white

Dark colors: main color + black

Warm colors: red – yellow – orange

Cool colors: blue – green – purple

The combination of colors

Red + Yellow = Orange

Blue + Red = Purple

Blue + Yellow = Green

Green + Black = Sludge Green

Blue + White = Sky Blue

Red + Black = Crimson

Red + Pink Garlic = Crimson

Yellow (light) + Blue White = Turquoise

Orange + Brown = Henna

Green + Blue = Colorful Turquoise

Blue + Slightly Black = Crimson

Black + White = Gray types

Blue + Yellow + White = Light Green

Blue + Yellow = Light Neutral Green

White + Red + Yellow + Brown = Normal face color

Yellow + White = Lemon

White + Black = Gray

Red + White = Pink

Black + Red + Yellow = Light Brown

Black + Yellow = Greenish Brown

Brown + Red = Peach

Orange + Yellow = Mustard

Black + Orange = Brown

White + Dark Blue = Light Blue

Red + Purple = Purple

Pink + yellow = Cream

Sky blue + Black = Gray

Brown + Yellow + White = Acre

Yellow + White + Brown + Acre = Golden

Blue + Yellow + White = Purple

Green + Red = Oak (Chocolate)

Low black + Yellow + Blue = Jade

Low red + Blue = Indigo

High red + Blue = Magenta

Red + White = Pink

Red + Black = Liver

High red + Yellow + Blue = Brown

Low red + Yellow + Blue = Brown

Blue + Yellow = Green

Blue + Red = Purple

Blue + Black = Crimson

Blue + White = Celestial

Blue + Black + White = Gray

Yellow + Red = Orange

Yellow + Blue = Green

Yellow + White = Pea

Low yellow + Blue + White = Turquoise

Yellow + Light Blue + White = Lemon

High yellow + Blue + Low White = Pistachio kernel

Green + Orange = Brown

Black + yellow = Greenish Brown

Black + Red + Yellow = Light Brown

Red + Green = Brown

Black + Orange = Brown

Color palette inspiration of colored pencil painting

Below are some inspiring color palettes of pencil drawings. Go to Dopely color palette for more color palettes!

color palette inspiration of colored pencils by Dopely color palette generator1
color palette inspiration of colored pencils by Dopely color palette generator2
color palette inspiration of colored pencils by Dopely color palette generator3
color palette inspiration of colored pencils by Dopely color palette generator4
color palette inspiration of colored pencils by Dopely color palette generator5

The last word

The effect of colors in today’s world is not hidden from anyone. It is one of the manifestations of color in paintings. There are several tools for drawing, the simplest and most practical of which is a colored pencil. Because you can draw beautiful and extraordinary designs with colored pencils and combine colors easily. I hope this content is helpful.

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It's Nazanin. For me who loves the rainbow after the rain. What could be more beautiful than writing about colors ?! Well, I'm here now, in Dopely, to share my writings about colors with you and take you with me to the world of colors!

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