Moores Art Gallery & Design

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Colored Pencil Tips & Techniques:

Colorless Blenders

It's All About Colored Pencils!

Colorless Blenders

Colorless blenders are a colored pencil artist's wonder-working art tool. The results achieved when using a blender can be smooth, deep, rich, lush and vivid. There are two types of colorless blenders - a colorless blender marker and a colorless blender pencil. The colorless marker consists of a colorless solvent that dissolves and melds the colored pencil pigment. On the other hand, the colorless blender pencil base consists of either a non-pigmented wax or non-pigmented oil-wax that blends and burnishes the colored pencil pigment.

Colorless Blender Markers

There are four brands of colorless blender markers that I use - Prismacolor Colorless Blender Marker, Tombow Colorless Blender Pen, Copic Colorless Blender Sketch Marker, and Finesse Colored Pencil Blender Marker. These type of blenders contain a colorless, fast-drying, and an acid-free alcohol-based solvent. All have broad and fine point tips to work on large areas or small areas. The solvent breaks down the color pencil pigment allowing you to create or achieve super smooth layers or to create a blended effect. The best way I can describe it is, it is a lot like painting with watercolors, but you have more control because you are applying the solvent with a large or small nib, instead of using a brush and water.

Some Tips When Working with Colorless Blender Markers

•  When working with colorless blender markers you have to be careful to wipe off the nibs of the pencils after blending, or colors will mix.

•  Try purchasing several blender markers for each color, so there is not a constant need to wipe off colored areas on the nibs.

•  Be careful of over-blending and over-saturating your paper, you will not be able to add any more layers of colors or blend with the blender.

• Allow your drawing to dry from the blender marker before adding any more layers of colors.

Colorless Blender Pencils

There are four brands of colorless blender pencils that I use - Prismacolor's Colorless Blender, Lyra's Rembrandt Splender, Derwent's Blender and Caran d'Ache Full Blender Bright. They are non-pigmented and contain a special formula designed to blend the colored pencils. They are great artist's tool for blending colors, creating rich vivid colors or giving layers of color a polished loo, They can intensify colors, create smooth layers and soften hard edges of colored pencil artwork. I usually use them for small detail work, for example blending the layers of colors around the eye area. However, they can leave a buildup of wax or film over the colored pencil layers.

Some Tips When Working with Colorless Blender Pencils

• Use the colorless blender pencil for burnishing and smoothing layers.

• When working with colorless blender pencils you have to be careful to wipe off the tips of the pencils after blending, or colors will mix.

• Be careful of over-blending and filling up the tooth of your paper, you will not be able to add any more layers of colors or blend with the blender.

Keep on Creating!

Colored Pencil Artist Carol Moore