• Kirsty Partridge

12 Genius Drawing Hacks for Colored Pencils

I thought it would be really fun to go through some drawing hacks with you guys, and this time they will be colored pencil hacks. These hacks will help you get even better results with your drawings! Let’s get straight into it.


Hack 1

If you are fed up with your colored pencils always looking grainy and not vibrant enough, then there is a quick and easy way to solve this. Solvent. Simply apply solvent with a brush and it will fuse your colors together, giving a really smooth finish. This is great for layers, as more color goes on top easily.


Hack 2

You can make your own black by layering a dark blue and dark brown together. This is great if you don’t have an actual black pencil or you want a more natural-looking black.



Hack 3

I really like scotch magic tape. If you make a mistake it is good at lifting off color pencil without damaging the paper. Also, if you stick some over the top of a layer of color and then draw over it with a ballpoint pen it will indent your paper. When you take off the tape and go in for another layer the indent will magically appear.


Hack 4

You might find your pencils are going blunt very quickly. To prolong the sharpness of your pencil, you can rotate it every couple of seconds when shading. You can also hold it on the side (so not straight down vertically) to help keep it sharper for longer.


Hack 5

Pencil extenders are a genius idea. When you have all those annoying little pencil ends that you can’t control but don’t want to throw away, this is the way to go!





Hack 6

Shading with coloured pencils can leave little crumbs behind on the paper. You can brush away all those little bits of coloured pencil with a big, clean paintbrush. Using a brush, instead of your fingers, prevents smudging.




Hack 7

Use a kneaded eraser to prevent your sketch outline from peeking through your colored pencils. It is really annoying when your sketch shows through, but a kneaded eraser erases your graphite evenly and means this isn’t a problem anymore. Don’t worry your outline will still be there – just very lightly!


Hack 8

Colored pencil drawings can take forever! If you’re struggling for time, I would recommend using toned paper. This is amazing as it means you already have your mid-tones there; you just need to worry about shadows and highlights.



Hack 9

Try holding your pencil further back and shading on the side for even pencil strokes. This should prevent darker pencil strokes from showing through.





Hack 10

When drawing white whiskers or bits of hair it can be a nightmare to shade in around them. With an X-acto knife you can etch them into the paper first and then you don't have to worry about shading around them, as coloured pencils won't be able to get into the etched dips in the paper.



Hack 11

It can be quite tiresome to fill in all of the white grain of the paper. Using another medium, such as markers, to apply a base layer is great to get over this. Then you can simply add the colored pencils on top.




Hack 12

Colored pencils can be expensive. If you only have a few pencils available, you can create a color chart. Mix two, then three, etc., colors together and you can end up with hundreds of colors.




For more tips and ways to improve your drawings, visit my online colored pencil courses.


To see these hacks in action, watch the video below:

Materials used:

Polychromos: http://geni.us/Polychromos120Set

Prismacolor: http://geni.us/Prismacolor150Set

Toned Tan Paper: http://geni.us/StrathmoreTonedTan

Mixed media paper: http://geni.us/StrathmoreGrayMixed

Scotch Magic Tape: http://geni.us/ScotchMagicTape

X-acto knife: http://geni.us/XactoCraftingKnife

Pencil Extenders: http://geni.us/PencilExtenders

Caran D'ache Luminance coloured pencils: http://geni.us/Luminance76Set

Strathmore Bristol Smooth 300s: http://geni.us/Bristolsmooth300s

Derwent Superpoint Sharpener: http://geni.us/DerwentSharpener

Disclaimer; some links are affiliated.

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