The Colored Pencil Course: Introduction and Materials

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This course features:
5 Hours of Instruction
22 Videos
21 eBooks
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Lesson Discussion

  1. Is there any other drawing paper I could use instead of Bristol? Cause I have trouble getting my hands on some. Is it the smooth or the vellum btw?


    • Andres it would help if you stated where you live, before telling you where to get Bristol paper, Amazon is one site you could try to get your paper from. Vellum paper comes in different textures, I personally use a good quality paper, 170g/m2. Hope that helps.


    • Hi!
      Just started my Color Pencil course and I’m having trouble with the videos. Every minute or so they stop and come back for a while then stops again. Suggestions?

      • Hi Braulio,
        This is called buffering and if you internet connection is slow is inconsistent, you’ll see this pop up. You can scroll over the video player and click on the “HD” icon to switch to a lower quality version which will make the video load quicker.

  2. I ordered my Bristol Vellum ( the same one you see here ) from and only paid around £16 inc p&p and had it within 24hrs if ordered before 2pm and the size of pad is A3 large (additional 1 wider) and the shipper was in London, hope that helps

  3. Hi Matt,

    Just out of curiosity: I can see you selected also derwent studio pencils, but they were never used in this course. Is there any chance that you might do a video/live lesson on how to use them?

    I ask because these pencils receive very “mixed” reviews. Some people think that they are great (and I have seen some amazing work done with these), others complain about the hardness and lack of pigment.

    It would be great to get your opinion on them and also some tips on how to use them.

    Thanks a lot!

      • I love the CARAN D’ARCHE Swiss made color pencils. They are however pretty expensive, I only tried these after I had spent many hours practicing with the Faber Castell and Derwent brands. Once you use the Swiss made however, you will not want to go back to the less expensive. I ordered mine in the USA online from Dick Blick

        • Dick Blick is my fav for art supply shopping. Strathmore 400 Series Colored Pencil Pads works best for me and its relatively inexpensive.

  4. Perhaps you should update the materials section of this video. I ordered the Derwent 12 that you had listed prior to reading these comments. I already have the Prismas but wanted to follow along with the modules. Lulkily, I was able to cancel before they shipped.

  5. As an instructor I keep a supply on hand of many of the above mentioned brands of Colored Implements for laying down color which are mentioned above. By the way, I am also including in my mix, Lyra oil based pencils, Derwent Inktense etc. and of course Prismacolor Premier and Derwent Watercolor Pencils… What we have determined is that each brand truly does serve different purposes for us. Some for fine detail, some for laying down low saturation of a precise hue without oversaturating… sometimes allowing one to press harder to lay down the wax or oil for further layering into but not increasing the saturation of the chosen color/hue. There is never enough time in a day (for creating even more detailed comparison charts), or funds in the wallet to have it all…We find that once we do color studies for the project we are planning we mix and match the ‘pencils’ from the different brands to form a project pack. BTW, I wonder if there is a way to clean an electric sharpener of the material that colored pencils leave behind…our/my wrists would rather draw and color!!!

  6. I noticed that the materials video shows Bristol 300 series smooth paper. But folks here mention using Bristol Vellum. So which one should we use? Also, I use Cretacolor Karimina colored pencils. Would it be possible for you to do a review of them, Matt?

  7. Hi Sir.
    This is the first time i take up drawing lesson. Time after time i cannot make up my mind.I want my dream to come true. I loved drawing but not in proper way. I am in your hand let me the way. Thank you. God Bless. amen.

  8. Hi Matt could turpenoid come under a different name here? please have a look at this website and let me know what product i can get.
    (url removed)


    • Hi Jaleh,

      Thanks for your question. (I removed the url since posting links in the comment section is not allowed.) The store that you are linking to does have Turpenoid but it’s hard to find. Here’s where you can find it… Go the website, choose “Mediums, Diluents, Varnishes, and Solvents”. Then choose “Oil”. Then “Weber Odourless and Natural Turpenoid”. Not exactly easy to find on the site, but it’s there.

  9. Each sheet of Mi-Teintes Paper is $8 here, and Bristol, $2/sheet. I’m just going to use print paper then, because most, if not all of them will be trashed in this learning process anyway!

  10. Hi, I’m new to drawing and art. I’m finding the questions and comments the best part of each module as they cover so many of my own! Also, Matt, I’m learning so much from your tutorials. It’s a terrific website as well as forum. Thanks, Susan.

  11. I am finding your site is a little difficult to navigate and the materials are sometimes difficult to negotiate as well. Some of the videos are a little tedious and don’t get to the point, but have a significant amount of editorial that does not really address the technique.

    • Hi Sandy,

      Thanks for your criticism. I’m always open for you to run some of your ideas by me on how we can improve your experience. It looks as though you have had a chance to spend quite a bit of time on the site in the relatively short period in which you’ve been a member. So, I would value your opinion. Please be reminded however, that the “Lesson Discussion” should be a place to ask questions or to provide your own insights to the benefit of the others. Feel free to send me your suggestions through email or you can use the contact form. A link to the contact form can be found in the menu at the bottom of this page.

  12. I am sure there is somewhere on the site that will tell me this Matt but is it O.K. to print out the eBooks for my own personal use? I am not well versed in I-Clouds and recently lost several course notes which is very annoying. Technology and I do not always mix! Having a printed version that I can continually refer to is so much simpler. I am finding the course videos very helpful.

  13. Also Matt, with a print out of the module, I can then make reference notes in the columns such as which colours have been used and which pressure used.

  14. I want to print out the ebooks but somewhere I read that’s it was 1000 pages. Is that per module..Help me understand. As you can see, I would like to get started but as often don’t hathe colors that are suggested

  15. Action
    I want to print out the ebooks but somewhere I read it was1000 pages. Is that per module..Help me understand. As you can see, I would like to get started but often don’te have the colors that are suggested or to draw an outline
    have to buy another set or individual pencils(is that even possible) . Get so frustrated with preperation I am ready to hang it up for the day. Another “almost painting day” gone by. I’ll appreciate any advise for 79 year old newby beginner. In do mean beginner. Maybe I should take a drawing 101 class istead of diving right into the watercolor because at some point I w

    • Hi Diane,

      There are 1000s of page of ebooks across the entire site. Each ebook from each of the course modules is small enough in file size and length to be easily downloaded.

      As for the colors used, you don’t have to use the exact colors or brand that I use in the course. You can substitute similar colors. This shouldn’t prevent you from learning from the course.

  16. Hi Matt,
    I am really learning a lot from your tutorials, although I’m not sure where to find terpenoids or similar in Australia. Can you suggest a product available in Australia.
    Cheers 😊

  17. Hi Matt,
    I am really learning a lot from your tutorials, although I’m not sure where to find turpenoid or similar in Australia. Can you suggest a product available in Australia.
    Cheers 😊

  18. Hi, Matt! I’ve been reading a lot lately about different colored pencil brands and the lightfastness ratings the manufacturer assigns each particular color. Some, I’ve heard, will fade in a matter of weeks when exposed to natural light. I love, love the wonderful, almost-paint-like feel of the Prismacolor Premier line, but have had to weed out low lightfast colors, of which there are quite a few in the 72-pencil box. Since one of your course goals is to help folks create professional colored pencil works, perhaps it might be worth a materials update around this, or adding extra guidance about what to look for on the LF scales?

    I’ve been filling my set in with pencils from other lines and am still trying to determine which brands play nicely with each other, particularly around blending.

    • Hi Gail,

      I still love Prismacolor Premier pencils, so there’s nothing to update here. There are advantages and disadvantages to any brand that you work with.

    • Hi Claire,

      Yes, there are plenty of them. You can use any brand pf pencil that you wish. Another high quality colored pencil are the Luminance pencils by Caran D’Ache. Derwent and Faber Castell also make very good colored pencils as well.

  19. I am just getting started and am having a little trouble finding my way around. But I’ll get there, so don’t have a lot to say about progress. Jan Ellis

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