Moores Art Gallery & Design

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Colored Pencil Tips & Techniques:

Impressed Line Technique & Sgraffito

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Impressed Line Technique and Sgraffito

Impressed Line Technique

The impressed line technique is used to achieve fine white lines, such as whiskers, whispy hairs, details in flowers and leaves, and so on, by using a blunt object such as a wooden stylus to make indentations or impressions onto the surface of the paper. Once you start to apply layers of color over the impressed lines, the impressed lines of the paper will become visible.

Here are few tips:

•  Make sure the instrument you use has no sharp point, as it will tear the paper's surface.

•  Make sure you mark the impressed line areas on your paper first, before applying any colors.

•  You can apply layers of a light color first, then make your impressed line over that layer of color.

•  You may add light layers of color to the groove later if you wish.

•  You can also create impressed lines with a white or light colored pencil revealing an impressed line of the colored pencil used instead of the color of the paper.

•  Impress or indent your lines carefully, maintaining same constant pressure throughout the length of the whisker or hair.

• Decrease pressure or indentation near the tip or end of the whisker or hair, to suggest realism.

Sgraffito Technique

Sgraffito is a technique in which you scratch the surface of the paper with an X-Acto knife or any other similar tool, in order to expose a layer of color beneath the first layer of color. To accomplish this technique, you must add several layers of colors. First, add layers of light colors onto the surface of the paper and then add darker layers of colors over top the light layers of color. Next, use an X-Acto knife or another tool to scrape away the top layer to reveal colors underneath. However, be very careful as to not damage the surface of the paper when scraping away the colors. Make sure to brush away any debris from the surface of the paper, so as it doesn't smear onto the paper. This technique can be used to create whiskers, whispy lines of hair, other minute detail and textures.


Samples of Impressed Line Technique and Sgraffito


Keep on Creating!

Colored Pencil Artist Carol Moore