How to color better with color pencil (beginners)

What can we do to improve the quality of our paintings with crayons and cheap materials?

Well, there are several reasons that make the result of our colored designs not look so cool, and most of them you can put into practice even today, even if you have never colored with crayons before.

1 – Flat and smooth surface

It is common to use any notebook or table to color, but some surfaces have texture or grooves that will compromise your work.

As the leaves are thin and we will press the pencil on the paper, it will happen that marks will appear on your drawing that will hinder the final aesthetics of your work, so we avoid soft surfaces, or hard ones that are damaged.

If you have a glass table at home it may be the perfect place to color, but if not, the most effective way to get around it is to buy in any stationery a clipboard like this one of MDF or acrylic. It is a cheap and effective option.

With a clipboard you have a flat, hard, imperfect-free surface, and you can still easily transport it to any other location.

Another tip is to use at least two sheets of paper under your main sheet, this way you avoid the little texture you have on the surface you are using affect the paper of your drawing, and still get a smoother painting.

2 – Pencil tip

I don’t know if to save the pencil, because I can’t make the tip or even laziness, but avoiding pointing the crayon is not a good option. Having sharp, long working tips will give you a better result and material savings.

When we have fine tips the pencil can better fill the grooves it has on the paper, that is, it will penetrate the paper better and provide a more uniform painting. With this we get a much better finish in our work.

The long tips (especially those made with the use of the stylus) will also provide greater durability to the pencil mine, thus preventing you from pointing it at any time or break easily.

Otherwise, the thick and short tips have more difficulty in penetrating the paper and wear the pencil more easily. So if the goal was to save, the effect is the opposite.

So “saving” by not pointing the pencil is not interesting unless you are willing to have bad paintings.

3 – Ways to hold the pencil

How do you hold your pencil? Have you ever stopped to think about it?

The most common way is to hold the pencil very close to its tip, and at the beginning it is easy to exaggerate to the point of holding it almost on top of the tip. This not only hinders the visualization of what you are doing, but also naturally causes us to end up pressing the paper a little more.

On the other hand, holding it closer to the tip of the pencil will give you more precision, which is ideal for detailing.

Now when we hold the pencil a little further, a little more to the middle of it, we have more lightness when making the scratches, and this is interesting when coloring in several layers until it reaches the desired color. This way we avoid pressing too much at the wrong time.

We can use both ways, we just need to know when you will change the pencil footprint, if you need more precision or when you are filling larger and shading areas.

4 – Applied pressure and color layers

Our first colored drawings are made so hard that they spoil the paper, do you know when the paper gets all corrugated? That’s the way it is. And all this because we think we need it to get the most vibrant and dark color of our pencil, and in fact the result is a rough finish.

When we squeeze the pencil too tight on the paper:

we spend the tip of the pencil more quickly;
we can break the tip easily;
we can’t make an interesting shading or mix the colors right;
we spoil our paper, especially when we work with the most common and thin ones like 75g/m²;
and the result is a marked drawing.
The ideal is to work through layers of color, that is, making an overlay of colors until it reaches the desired color (and not at once pressing the pencil with all the force on the paper). This way we get a more uniform painting.

5 – Direction of lines and movement

Feeling the traces
Together with the previous tip you can also think about the movement and direction the traces will have, and in general it is important not to change the direction too much for all sides.

Choose a direction and fill it with a layer, then change the direction and fill it with another layer. This way you can also fill as much white paper as possible without leaving marks on the drawing.

Also consider the direction of the objects, threads or texture you are making, this can help make things more convincing.

Trace movement

As for the movement, there are 3 most basic movements that you can try the next time: circle, go and come and squeeze and pull.

What you will probably use most at the beginning to fill things in a uniform way, are the circular movements. It is a good way to fill the whites of the paper better little by little.

The back and forth will help to fill larger areas, always remembering not to squeeze the pencil too much on the paper. And the squeeze and pull is quite common in realistic drawings of hair strands or hairs, but both can be used in other situations as well.

6 – White pencil

The white pencil is also useful in several situations:

it is used to make drawings on dark paper;
it helps to mix colors better, that is, it helps to mix colors;
gives that little help in removing the white dots from the paper as well;
and softens the colors (e.g., if you put white on top of red, you can get smoother red);

7 – Make color tests

To avoid the risk of spoiling the drawing do tests on another sheet of paper before you start coloring, this will help you to choose before you even start coloring: which combinations, mixes and color pencils you will use throughout the drawing.

Doing this will not only help prevent mistakes, it will also speed up your painting process after you start.

Well, there are many other ways to improve the result of your paintings on paper with color pencils, from the use of other materials to the application of techniques and knowledge such as the study of colors. But for a beginner these tips will be important to start the journey.

At the end, he adds to this list of 7 tips on how to color better with color pencils, patience. Coloring is an activity that demands a lot of time, dedication and patience, especially when you want to achieve better and better results.

So be ready to face hours and hours to color a single drawing. And be willing to study and practice a lot to evolve.

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