Blending Colored Pencils [Methods Explained]

How To Blend Colored Pencils [Different Blending Methods]

The most common method for blending colored pencils is to layer colors. This process is also known as burnishing, which involves applying heavy pressure to grind several layers together. This method is best used with lighter colors.


The burned color can be different from the one used for the burnishing process. It is also important to blend colors in threes, not twos.

To blend basic colored pencils, start by lightly coloring in the area you want to blend. Next, use a lighter pencil to go over the area you just colored. Finally, use a paper towel or your finger to blend the colors.

How is color pencil blending different from other mediums

Unlike other mediums, pencils allow for very precise control over the amount of color or tone that is applied to the paper. This makes it possible to create very subtle gradations between colors.

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3 Main types of pencils you can blend

There are three main types of pencils that you can use to blend: watercolor pencils, oil-based pencils, and wax-based pencils. Each type of pencil has its unique properties that make it ideal for blending.

Watercolor pencils are the most popular type of pencil for blending because they are very easy to use and produce beautiful results.

Oil-based pencils are also a good choice for blending, but they can be more difficult to control.

Wax-based pencils are the least popular type of pencil for blending because they can be difficult to work with and produce less consistent results.

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Tips on blending using solvents for colored pencils

Using solvents to blend colored pencils can create beautiful effects. The solvents break down the binders that hold the pigment and make it easier to push the colors on the paper.

While using solvents, you should test the strength of your paper first to make sure it will not warp or become damaged. One of the best ways to create a flawless blending effect is to mix colors that are similar in shade.

You can do this by gathering similar shades from different brands. Also, you can use rubber cement thinner if you want a deep blend.

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To apply solvents to your colored pencils, use a paintbrush, cotton ball, or swab. The thicker the base, the better the blending effect will be and the less likely it is to damage the drawing. To achieve the best results, practice applying a bit more pressure to your pencil.

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Practice makes perfect, so don't rush into it! Start by laying down the darker color first. It will be easier to blend later if you build up the colors gradually. You will notice a smoother finished piece after a few attempts.

Once you've mastered this technique, you can apply it to any color you choose. Blending with solvents is a great way to get unique effects and create art that is uniquely yours.

What is a solvent?

A solvent is anything that will dissolve another substance, such as a water-soluble pigment.

Some solvents can be found in household products such as lotions or mineral oils. Some solvents work better when applied before the color, while others are best applied after.

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You should always check the instructions on the packaging to ensure it works with your colored pencil before you use it. If you use solvents to blend colored pencils, it is essential to choose a high-quality, odorless version.

You can use rubbing alcohol that contains 70 percent or less, as stronger solvents will reduce the pigment. You can also use rubber cement thinner to achieve a deep blend. Always use a paintbrush, cotton ball, or swab when using solvents to blend colored pencils.

For oil-based pencils, you can use odorless mineral spirits or turpentine. Be sure to use artist-grade solvent, as the solvents in hardware stores might contain impurities and leave a residue. If you want to try out a new solvent, keep a swatch sample in your drawing book.

Tips on blending using water for colored pencils

The best way to blend colored pencils with water is to soak them in water for at least five minutes before you begin.

Longer soaking times will produce deeper pigment, but make sure not to overdo it. Oversoaking can cause the pencils to mold or fall apart. To achieve dramatic pigment, use rubbing alcohol.

Depending on the type of colored pencil, some will become stiff when they're dry, and others will remain in a soft, wet state.

Once you're finished, let the artwork dry completely before working on it again. Let the drawing sit overnight before you touch it again.

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Tips on blending using mineral spirits for colored pencils

Mineral spirits are a versatile medium for blending colored pencils. You can use a cotton swab or lint-free cloth to apply the liquid.

You can also use different brushes, from soft watercolor to stiff round ones, to apply the fluid. Whichever method you choose, make sure to use enough mineral spirits to cover the bottom of the brush.

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You should blend only the areas you want to blend. To get the best results, use solvents with odorless mineral spirits.

Mineral spirits are a non-toxic solvent that is odorless and ideal for use with colored pencils. Avoid using turpentine or rubbing alcohol, as these solvents have strong odors.

You may want to use a combination of both. The ideal solvents are rubbing alcohol and mineral spirits. Using turpentine is not recommended, since the solvent may damage the surface.

How to blend colored pencil drawings with rubbing alcohol

To blend colored pencil drawings with rubbing alcohol, first color your drawing with colored pencils. Next, use a cotton swab or brush to apply rubbing alcohol to the areas where you want the colors to blend.

The alcohol will cause the colors to spread and blend together. You can also use this technique to lighten or darken areas of your drawing.

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Blending colored pencils with baby oil

Baby oil is a great way to easily blend colored pencils. Simply apply a small amount of baby oil to your drawing, and then use a blending stump or your finger to blend the colors.

The baby oil will help the colors blend smoothly and prevent the pencils from smudging.

How to blend colored pencils without a blender?

To blend colored pencils without a blender, you can use a piece of paper to rub the colors together. This will create a smooth transition between the colors.

7 ways of blending colored pencils for beginners

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