Colored Pencil Art
Colored pencil art is rapidly experiencing a whole new level of appreciation in the art world. I'm here to show you how fresh and innovative color pencil art can be!
Just take a look at some of my colored pencil drawings along the right side of this page to get an idea of the amazing versatility of this fun art medium!
If you're interested in learning to draw, check out my new review of the How to Draw course by The Great Courses Plus! You can try it free for 14 days!
Colored Pencil as Professional Art Medium
While colored pencils were once considered to be primarily for kids, throughout the years they have been steadily gaining respect amongst artists, galleries, and collectors. Artists are exploring the creative potential of this art-making medium, while art collectors and enthusiasts are marvelling at their output!
Chances are, you probably used colored pencils when you were a kid, so you already have some degree of familiarity with them. But there is a big difference between artist grade colored pencils and the colored pencils usually used by children. Professional artist-quality colored pencils contain a higher degree of wax and pigment than the colored pencils used by children. These pencils allow for a really rich, deep and luminescent color. Finished drawings can be so smooth and pigmented that they resemble paintings!
Colored Pencils for Fine Artists
Artist-quality colored pencils are light-resistant or lightfast. They can be sharpened to a fine point to allow for exquisite detail. My favorite brand of colored pencils, which I used to create the drawings you see on this page, are Prismacolor Colored Pencils (this links to Blick Art Materials, and if you make a purchase I get a small commission that helps support this site). Prismacolors come in a range of 132 colors... more than enough to draw just about anything! But this is where it gets even better - the colors can be easily blended together in endless combinations to create even more shades, tints and hues. You can basically draw anything with colored pencils that you would be able to depict with paint. Colored pencil art can easily rival paintings in luminosity and depth of color!
As you can see from my colored pencil art that lines the left and right columns of this page, colored pencils can be used to create artwork in a variety of styles, such as photorealism, abstraction, whimsical, and composite (combination of styles).
Advantages of Working with Colored Pencils
Colored pencils have many advantages. For one thing, they are extremely lightweight and portable. They don't require any intensive set-up - you can just take them wherever you go, open your sketchbook or drawing pad, et voila! An artmaking session with colored pencils is just as quick and easy to clean up as it is to set up. This makes colored pencils very non-messy compared to other art mediums.
Colored Pencils Lessons and Examples
How to Draw a Marble
Learn how to draw a photorealistic marble using colored pencils in this step-by-step drawing lesson.
How to Sharpen a Colored Pencil
Discover how to sharpen a colored pencil to a nice, fine point! Learn how to prevent your Prismacolor colored pencils from breaking.
Learn 5 Colored Pencil Techniques
Need colored pencil instruction? Find out 5 important colored pencil techniques that form the basis for everything you will ever do with colored pencils!
Realistic Drawings of Karen Hull
Get inspired by the realistic drawings of Karen Hull featuring whimsical animals and stunning people portraits! See a gallery of her work and read an interview with the artist.
Detailed Drawings of Doreen Cross
Check out the detailed drawings of Doreen Cross. She works in graphite and colored pencil to create realistic drawings of animals, people and architecture.
Art of Richard Klekociuk
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!
Painting Light with Colored Pencil
Painting Light with Colored Pencil shows you how to use colored pencils to create beautifully realistic still lifes. Learn more about this 128-page book by Cecile Baird in this review!
Frequently Asked Questions
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.
How to Draw Course
I recently spent 6 weeks reviewing the How to Draw course from The Great Courses Plus. It’s an incredibly comprehensive 18-hour video course that can be streamed to your TV, computer or mobile device.
The course covers everything from the fundamentals to advanced topics like linear perspective and the figure. The professor guides you smoothly with a step-by-step approach and lots of practical exercises.
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