The ultimate guide to blenders

Learning how to blend your colouring pages can really help take them to the next level, creating silky smooth colour and seamless shading. They’re an essential colouring supply for most colourists. There are lots of ways to blend colouring pencils and lots of different materials you can use. We’re bringing you the ultimate guide to blenders to help guide you through the process!

What is blending?

Blending is a technique that merges your colours into one another so they seamlessly flow from one to another. There are lots of different ways that you can blend your colouring, from everyday hacks, to special materials bought just for this purpose. Take a deep dive into blending in this Colouring Heaven video with Jenny and Honey.

What can you use to blend your colouring?

There’s lot of different options for how to blend your colouring. Finding the right fit for you will depend on your materials, your budget, and your willingness to try new things!

Blending pencil

Blending pencils

Blending pencils are colourless pencils made with the same binder as colouring pencils. They can be used to blend two colours together and are helpful for burnishing.

blending stump

Blending stumps

Blending stumps create a velvety look with darker shading and can be useful for blending large areas of colouring pencil. 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 can 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

Cotton swabs

Believe it or not, cotton swabs 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!



One of our cheapest and favourite kinds of blenders is actually Vaseline (petroleum jelly), which can be used to blend colouring pencils together. This is an inexpensive and popular option, and can be applied directly to your coloured pencil, or 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.

Copic blenders

Blender markers

It is also possible to blend colouring pencils with an alcohol based blender marker. This works in a similar way to Gamsol in that it dissolves the colouring pencil to blend it together for a smooth finish. These colourless markers can also be used for alcohol markers.

Enjoyed this guide about how to use sharpeners? 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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