There are lots of ways to blend coloured pencils. Here’s an overview of the different types and products you can use:
• Blending pencils
Blending pencils are colourless pencils made with the same binder as coloured colour pencils. They can be used to blend two colours together and are helpful for burnishing.
• Blending stumps
Blending stumps create a velvety look with darker shading and can be useful for blending large areas. Thinner stumps can be used where more detail is required though use them carefully as they create quite a dark area when blending. It is also quite easy to destroy the tooth of your paper if you don’t use it correctly.
A tortillon looks visually quite similar to a blending stump, but they are to be used for slightly different purposes. A tortillon is to be used for finely detailed areas and you must use a light pressure otherwise you can damage both the tortillon and your paper.
• Cotton swabs
These can be used much in the same way as a blending stump or a tortillon but they offer a much cheaper and more accessible alternative.
Vaseline (petroleum jelly) can be used to blend coloured pencils together. This is an inexpensive and popular option and can be applied directly to your coloured pencil or applied afterwards with a cotton swab.
Gamsol is a type of solvent that can be used to blend coloured pencils. The solvent dissolves your coloured pencil blending it together for a smooth finish. It can be applied with a cotton swap or with a brush – though a cotton swab is easier for beginners.
• Blender markers
It is also possible to blend coloured pencils with an alcohol based blender marker. This works in a similar way to Gamsol in that it dissolves the coloured pencil to blend it together for a smooth finish.