By Matt Fussell
Colored pencils, when used correctly can produce beautiful results. In fact, a proper colored pencil drawing may even resemble a painting when completed. Some beginning artists become frustrated when they don't see these results in their own drawings simply because they don't understand the steps that need to be taken to ensure success.
Colored pencils are everywhere. They can be picked up at a local art store, online, or even at convenience stores. Because they are easily available, they are often misused. Often people simply start using them without really knowing the correct way to use them, which often leads to poor results and frustration.
There are five things to keep in mind when using colored pencils. If you do these five things when handling this material, it will lead to some level of success.
1. Color Heavy - Your goal when using colored pencils should be to build up the colors on the surface so that they appear heavily applied at completion. Doing this will lead to richer, fuller colors.
2. Layer Colors - In order to achieve a heavy application of colored pencil material on the surface, you must layer the colors. Layers of applications will lead to realistic depth in the color.
3. Mix Colors - Some natural mixing will occur as colors are layered. Mixing colors to make new colors leads to natural colors. Unmixed greens, purples, oranges, and so on tend to look unrealistic. Instead, mix these colors to achieve realism in the color.
4. Take Your Time - Work slowly with the colored pencils. Colored pencils, when used correctly, are time-intensive. Layering and mixing colors requires attention.
5. Outline Last - If your drawing requires a defined outline, wait and do this last, after you have built up the color. This will allow you to draw the contours directly over the finished colors already on the surface.
One more tip is to use a toned paper. Toned paper will provide you with a mid-tone value right from the start, allowing you to push values to their full potential. The paper that I recommend is toned gray paper.
The following video tutorial is excerpts from a 1 hour recorded Live Lesson on drawing with colored pencils. In this video, cherries are drawn using the medium. To learn more about colored pencils and see more tutorials click here.
Here are some more art lessons that you may like...