These basic colored pencil techniques form the foundation for any type of colored pencil art that you would like to create.
These colored pencil techniques cover the 5 main ways that you make marks with colored pencils: stippling, hatching, cross-hatching, back and forth stroke, and scumbling. You can see examples of these 5 techniques on the left!
Once you master these colored pencil techniques, you can use these colored pencil techniques to layer colors over top of one another to create a rich, luminous depth.
this colored pencil instruction, I used Prismacolor Colored Pencils.
These are my favorite brand of colored pencils because they are waxy
and full of pigment. This allows them to create color that is so rich
and luscious that your drawings actually resemble paintings! All of
the drawings that you see on the right and left hand side of this
page were created using Prismacolors.
Although I prefer Prismas, you can use any brand of colored pencil when following this colored pencil instruction. The techiques are totally the same!
stippling - Stippling involves placing lots of tiny dots on your paper. The dots can be close together, far apart, or anywhere in between! Practice stippling by drawing dots that are close together and also by drawing dots that have more distance between them. Also, notice the difference between dots made when the pencil is sharp vs. when the pencil point is dull. Stippling is a great way to add some interesting texture to a drawing.
hatching - Hatching involves drawing a series of parallel lines. These lines all go in the same direction. The lines can be close together, far apart, or any variation in between. The pencil is lifted from the paper after each line and then placed down again to create a new line.
cross-hatching - Cross-hatching involves drawing a series of parallel lines (hatching) and then drawing another series of parallel lines going in another direction on top of the first set of lines. This is a great way to create shading in a drawing. You can create some interesting textures through cross-hatching.
back and forth stroke - The back and forth stroke is probably the most common of all the colored pencil techniques. This is probably how you drew with crayons as a kid! Basically, you just put your pencil on the paper and draw in a continuous back and forth motion, without lifting your pencil off of the paper. This is a good way to fill different areas of your drawing with a lot of solid color.
scumbling - Scumbling is another technique you probably used as a kid without even knowing that it had a name! Scumbling involves making continuous circular marks on your paper, without lifting your pencil. This is another good way to fill in different areas with lots of color.
These 5 colored pencil drawing techniques form the basis for any colored pencil work that you will do. You can use each of these techniques alone or in various combinations to create some really interesting effects!
Richard Klekociuk's beautiful colored pencil art depicts stunning Tasmanian landscapes. Come see his colored pencil drawings that often blend realism with Christian symbolism and abstract imagery!
Discover how to sharpen a colored pencil to a nice, fine point! Learn how to prevent your Prismacolor colored pencils from breaking.
Want to learn more about colored pencils? Pick up some handy colored pencil tips and learn some new colored pencil techniques in this handy FAQ about using colored pencils. If you have a question about how to use colored pencils, this is the place to ask!