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Pencil and Crayon Coloring Tips

Updated April 17, 2017

There are a number of techniques that any aspiring artist can benefit from when using coloured pencils or crayons, whether you're a child or adult art student. If you are searching for tips, there are a variety of things to consider.

Using Colored Pencils

If you are using coloured pencils for an art project, like a still-life drawing, avoid smudging your drawing by resting your hand on areas of your work already drawn. To add depth to your drawing, you can create shadows with a wet sponge. You can purchase a fixative from an art supply store to protect your drawing or, for a low-cost alternative, use hairspray. Just because you've added a fixative to your drawing doesn't mean you can't work on it more later.

Experiment With Surfaces

Drawing and colouring on different types of textured surfaces will give children and adults the opportunity to explore varied results. For example, colouring on canvas board gives the illusion of a painted picture. Children will also enjoy covering a sheet of paper with crayon colours, then using a toothpick to create shapes by scratching in the crayon colour. It is important to supervise young children when using coloured pencils or sharp objects, like toothpicks.

Types of Crayons

When young children try to use thin crayons, they often become frustrated because it is difficult for them to hold the crayon when colouring. Therefore, big or "fat" crayons are preferable for young children who have not mastered gripping a more narrow crayon or colouring pencils. You should also make sure these crayons are nontoxic.

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About the Author

Daniel Ketchum holds a Bachelor of Arts from East Carolina University where he also attended graduate school. Later, he taught history and humanities. Ketchum is experienced in 2D and 3D graphic programs, including Photoshop, Poser and Hexagon and primarily writes on these topics. He is a contributor to sites like Renderosity and Animotions.