Pencil Coloring Tutorial

Written by zoe van-de-velde
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Pencil Coloring Tutorial
Coloured pencils can be used to create stunning effects. (coloured pencil image by Anatoly Tiplyashin from

Using different techniques when applying coloured pencil will make a picture stand out. Understanding tested methods is key to creating a stunning image. There are many different techniques when using pencils, but knowing the basics will help you to discover what works for you. You can experiment with different shades, colours and tones to get the effect that you want.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Coloured pencils
  • Eraser

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  1. 1

    Use the tip of your pencil and apply dots onto the page. You can do this in one colour or a mixture of colours. For instance, if you were creating a skin colour you would use lots of different colours to make the face colouring match the people you intend to portray.

  2. 2

    Use many dots close together to create a dense, heavy pattern. For example, if you were making a shaded area of a piece of wood you would need a heavier effect.

  3. 3

    Use dots sparsely and far apart to create a lighter gentle effect. You could do this to give suggest a gentle breeze in a picture.

  1. 1

    Draw a layer of straight lines at a right angle to the page.

  2. 2

    Draw another layer of lines in the opposite direction on top of the first layer. This should give you a cross-hatching effect.

  3. 3

    Use different colours on the lower lines than on the upper lines, so that the colours blend and create an interesting effect or give you a different colouring. You can use this technique throughout a picture or just in places you feel that it will work.

  1. 1

    Place a textured object underneath your piece of paper. This could be a piece of tree bark, a bunch of coins, a piece of sandpaper or a piece of wood.

  2. 2

    Using the side of your pencil lead rub across the object. The texture underneath should come through onto the page.

  3. 3

    Use different colours and try to incorporate this into an original drawing. For example, try using the bark rubbing as part of a tree.

  1. 1

    Use the tip of your pencil and gently colour part of your picture with light pressure. This could be part of the sky or a wisp of hair.

  2. 2

    Use a heavy pressure to colour dense bushes or dark caverns. Changing the pressure throughout the image will create an interesting overall effect.

  3. 3

    Layer the colours on top of one another to create different hues and tones. Layering with different pressures will give you varying results. Experiment with what works for you.

Tips and warnings

  • Use an eraser to create a contrast by lightening and darkening colours or add an effect.
  • Use blendable pencils, these colours can be rubbed once on the page with your fingers to blend the colours easily.
  • Choose a good set of colouring pencils from an arts supply store. They will last longer and will be of higher quality than those purchased at a general store.

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