Colored Pencils

By now you may have come across many tips, (or as the kids call them today, hacks) to help your colored pencils do what you want them to do. Below is a list of our top tips including a new favorite eraser everyone should own.

1 - BLENDING: To help smooth-out areas of colored pencil, create gradations or to help blend multiple colors, try a blender. These solvents help break-down the vehicle to move color around for a new look.

* Prismacolor has the #3503 blending pencil (same size and shape as their standard colored pencils) and the #3533 colorless blender (found in the Prismacolor marker rack).
* A new favorite is the Finesse blender pen available in a single or 3-pack. An alcohol-based solvent that is low odor, fast drying and non-bleeding and comes in a pen for easy use.

* Gamsol odorless thinner. This has taken the place of our once top seller, Bestine. It comes in a small, 4oz size and can be used with a brush, Q-tip, brush or any other applicator.

2 - SHARPENING: There are a lot of subtle options you have when sharpening your colored pencils. One tip we have enjoyed immensely: if you have a colored pencil that is continually breaking as you sharpen, microwave it for 5 seconds. Since we've offered this advice we've not had to replace a defective, poorly sharpening pencil. That little jolt of radiation seems to re-set the lead and salvage bad pencils.

* With hand-held sharpeners, try turning the sharpener and not the pencil. In theory when you hold the pencil to turn, you may put a bit of torque on the casing as you turn the barrel.
* Try a sharpener like the KUM Automatic Long Point or the Blackwing Long Point. They both have two sharpening spots, one meant to sharpen the wood and one to sharpen the point.

* Sandpaper Paddles. You can always use a touch of sandpaper (sold in convenient paddles) to help get the perfect point on the end.

3 - BRAND CHOICE: Every range of colored pencils is built slightly different. Pencils can be wax-based, oil-based, thick-leaded, thinileaded and manufactured in many different countries. If you are having trouble getting the desired effect with one style of pencil, check out our selection and see if there is a pencil out there better suited to your needs.

4 - ERASER: Tombow Sand Eraser. Yes, it is a $3 eraser, but it is amazing. If you can imagine a soft white eraser that has been lovingly caressed by angels who then fill the eraser with a sandpaper-like grit. This roughness will help pull off the wax or oil-based colored pencil better than a standard eraser. Truly one of the must-have finds of the art store.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.