Five Tips for Colored Pencils Shading

In this article, we will explore five tips or techniques that make shading with colored pencils easy and enjoyable. These techniques can add depth to any design and expand the range of a limited number of pencils to hundreds of variations.

1. Pressure Shading

To achieve shading, you can adjust the pressure on your pencil, which is the easiest and most natural method. Start by sharpening the pencil to a fine point, then make small overlapping circular marks with a light pressure. Begin by covering the area smoothly with light pressure and gradually increase pressure as you work towards the darker end, where the area is filled in almost entirely.

2. Colorless Blend

To achieve a polished surface and smooth out white specks in pressure-shaded areas, burnishing with a colorless blender is a simple technique. Start with the lightest area and use a firm pressure to make slightly larger overlapping short or circular marks. Work from light to dark within value areas to darken and intensify the color, resulting in a polished surface.

3. Add Darker Colors to Intensify Shading

After using the colorless blender, the contrast on the large petals decreased. To increase it, I added Tuscan Red on top of the burnished area along the dark edge. Prismacolor colored pencils are translucent and blend smoothly with the layers underneath. Although it didn’t become as dark as it would have been using Tuscan Red alone, it still added depth to the flower. To create a smoother transition, I added a small strip of Crimson that overlapped into the pink area.

4. Shade Light Colors over Dark to Blend

I used multiple values within the same color group to shade, rather than relying solely on pressure. For reds, I used Crimson Red, Carmine Red, Blush Pink, and Deco Pink (adding Tuscan Red for the large petals), and for greens, I used Olive Green, Apple Green, Chartreuse, and Yellow Chartreuse.

5. Use Solvents

If you possess watercolor pencils, select one with a texture that is comparable to your other colored pencils. I have used Prismacolor Premier as an example. If you don’t have any water-soluble pencils, various solvents can still be used with colored pencils.