Burnishing, Blending & Layering Techniques
Burnishing with color pencil
can create a beautiful rich glazed look. Burnishing is layering
multiple colors and
then applying heavy pressure with a light color pencil or with a tool.
The wax melds together and causes the drawing surface to become slick,
filling up the entire tooth of the paper's surface.
For example, after layering colors, apply heavy pressure with
Prismacolor Cloud Blue PC1023. Repeat the process again, until
a polished or vivid effect is achieved. Burnishing is ideal for
creating sparkling glass, polished surfaces, and metals.
Burnishing works best with a light colored pencil, such as Prismacolor
cream, white, light grey or cloud blue, apply heavy pressure over
layered colored area to be burnished.
By burnishing with certain colors you can achieve certain affects, such
as, burnishing with pale ochre you can give the illusion of an aged or
Use the metal scoop part of a ceramic clean up tool (Duncan TL-401 USA
9), a spoon, or any other smooth metal device and apply heavy pressure
in circular like motions to the colored layers to be burnished.
Use a stump or tortillion to blend and burnish the colors together.
Burnish your light areas first so that you do not drag any dark pigment
where you don't want it.
Blending is the process of
layering colors and merging the layers of color together with layering
techniques and/or combination of blending tools.
As a result you get rich photo like works. Layering colors gradually,
building the layers of colors up using light to medium pressure can
give your works an illusion of depth, deepen colors, modify colors, can
give the work an impression of light or luminosity.
- Prismacolor's blender pencil (PC 1077), Lyra's
Rembrandt Splender Blender, Derwent Blender and Caran d'Ache Full
Blender- Bright are very effective and valuable tools for burnishing
and blending colors. They are great for finishing touches on detailed
areas, overlay applications, blending finished layered colors, or use
throughout the color
layering process. For example, after layering colors, blend with
blender. Repeat the process, to achieve deep, rich and vivid colors.
To blend or burnish colors try using a stump or tortillion. Tortillions
come in 3 sizes: small, medium and large. Stumps are very similar to
the tortillions, but are much bigger. Blend the colors in a circular
motion and apply heavy pressure to blend the colors. Make sure you keep
the tips clean if you are using it to blend selective colors.
A colorless marker/pen can be used to blend layers of color together.
The marker/pen is great for making washes, or under-paintings in color
pencil paintings. Some top rated brands are Tombo, Prismacolor or
Try using make-up sponges, q-tips or a Alvin Dry Cleaning Pad, for
blending layers of color.
Layer colors using crosshatch, horizontal, diagonal, vertical, or
circular strokes. Start off with a light layer of a color, then keep
adding different layers of color on top of one another, using light to
medium pressure, until the desired results are achieved.
Color Pencil Artist Carlynne
Hershberger has discovered a "new blending tool called the
Crayon Eraser." It is similar to Prismas colorless blenders, however it
does not change the saturation of the colors as the blending markers
and pencils can do.
Color Pencil Artist,
Linda Lucas Hardy, uses a drybrushing technique for blending
her layers of color. She applies multiple layers of color pencil
gradually, to a heavy pressure, and then takes a stiff bristle paint
brush or pastel brush, no longer than 1/2 inch, and blends the colors
Try applying mineral spirits with a q-tip or paint brush to blend
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