How to blend with colouring pencils

Blending colouring pencils using layering and varied pressure allows you to create a smooth transition from one colour to another. It can make a piece of colouring more realistic, textured and well thought out. We’re bringing you a blending tutorial about how to blend with colouring pencils, so you can get creative and up your colouring game!

For this blending tutorial, I’ve used Faber-Castell Polychromo pencils to demonstrate how to create a blend of light to dark that could act as shading within a design. You may want to increase or decrease the number of layers depending on the size of the element you are colouring. In this tutorial, we’re colouring an image of Gromit from our Aardman issue. For more exciting Wallace and Gromit designs, get your hands on our Wallace and Gromit Collection issue.

Want to learn more about how to blend beautifully? Take a look at this episode of The Colouring Heaven Show, where Jenny and Honey explore different techniques for blending.

Step 1

Colour using small circles and light pressure. Leave the area nearest the light source uncoloured, blending into it for a seamless graduation of colour. I am aiming for a red area so have selected Dark Chrome yellow 9201-109 to represent the highlighted area.

Blending tutorial: How to blend with colouring pencils - Step 1 Use light pressure

Step 2

Blend into the previous layer with lighter pressure building to medium pressure as you move away from the light source, leaving free an area of the previous layer nearest the light source.

Blending tutorial: How to blend with colouring pencils Step 2 Add medium pressure

Step 3

Repeat Step 1 using a slightly darker shade. This is where I introduced the red, using Geranium Lake 9201-121 which reflects the truth colour the object. You can see this is starting to build the graduation.

Blending tutorial: How to blend with colouring pencils Step 3 Use darker colour

Step 4

Repeat Step 2 using the slightly darker shade used in Step 3.

Blending tutorial: How to blend with colouring pencils Step 4 Use darker colour

Step 5

If you want you colouring to look vibrant, you can now add another layer using firm pressure, leaving an area of the previous layer, nearest the light source, free. Be careful no to not press too firmly and flatten all the tooth in the paper. If you want a more delicate finish, skip to Step 6.

Blending tutorial: How to blend with colouring pencils Step 5 Use firm pressure

Step 6

Add an area of a darker colour at the edge farthest from the light source, using medium building to firm pressure, to create the shaded area. I have used Dark Red 9201-225.

Blending tutorial: How to blend with colouring pencils Step 6 Use darker colour

Step 7

To really accentuate the shadows use your darkest shade, I tend to favour a purple, Mauve 9201-249, as it adapts to whatever colour it’s worked over, and use small circles and directional strokes along the edge of the area furthest away from the light source.

Blending tutorial: How to blend with colouring pencils Step 7 Use purple for shadows

Step 8

Finish by burnishing to create a smooth finish. This can take some practice as using a firm hand flattens the pigment into the texture of the paper to make it look nice and smooth, but it also can move the pigment around. I burnished using white 9201-101 over the highlight and up to the colouring laid down in step 3, then swapped to the Dark Chrome Yellow 9201-109 feathering back up to step 3 and down to step 6. You can subtly change the colour of you area by burnishing with different colours so it’s worth having some fun experimenting!

Blending tutorial: How to blend with colouring pencils Step 8 Finish with burnishing

Watch our blending tutorial video

If you loved this tutorial and want to learn more about how to blend with colouring pencils, take a look at this video! Jenny and Honey explore different techniques for blending.

Enjoyed this blending tutorial? You’ll love our other how to colour guides about colouring pencils and markers.

Coloured a beautiful page and want to share it with your friends and family? Take a look at this article about how to photograph colouring pages.

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