Moores Art Gallery & Design

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Colored Pencil Tips & Techniques:

Creating Textures and Patterns with Colored Pencils

It's All About Colored Pencils!

Creating Textures and Patterns with Colored Pencils

When using colored pencils, one can achieve very realistic textures and patterns. Some realistic textures may be obtained by creating many layers of colors whereas, others are obtained by using various tools. The following are various tips and techniques, for creating different textures or patterns, when using colored pencil.

•  Try using the side of the pencil lead to create different patterns and textures.

•  Rub the colored pencil onto fine grit sandpaper and apply the colored pencil powder onto the surface of the paper.

•  Scrape the lead of a colored pencil with an X-Acto knife or other sharp object and apply the shavings to the surface of the paper with the tip of a pencil or another tool.

• After applying many layers of colors and a thick layer of color has been developed on the surface of the paper, use an X-Acto knife to scrape different textures or patterns onto the surface of the colored pencil layer. Be careful, because if you begin to scratch too soon, you can damage the surface of the paper.

•  Find a fairly flat textured or patterned object and lay beneath the paper, such as sandpaper, and do a colored pencil rubbing onto the surface (known as frottage) of the paper in areas desired. The heavier the pressure, the more visible the texture will be.

• Try creating various patterns and textures using a textured rubbing plate under the paper.

• After layering many colors, try using an electric eraser, such as a Sakura Electric Eraser or a Pentel Clic Eraser to make different patterns onto the colored pencil layers on the surface of the paper.

• To create a pattern, take a sharpened woodsie dowel, sand the tip to desired bluntness and use it to indent the paper with a desired pattern. Next, apply layers of color on top of the indented surface. The white of the paper or colored paper will show through revealing the pattern.

woodsie dowelwoodsie dowel

•  To create a pattern, try crosshatching two different colors. First, lay down an area of straight strokes, at right angles with one color, and then overlay another area of straight strokes, at right angles with a different color.Try using complementary colors to add some spark.

•  To create a texture, try 'Scrumbling'. 'Scrumbling' is a colored pencil technique in which you lightly overlap layers of color, in a small circular motion, forming tiny circles. It is also referred to as the 'Brillo pad' technique, as the texture resembles a steel-wire cleansing pad. The texture you create depends upon the size and pressure you use to draw the tiny circles. Try varying the size of the circles and colors to create interesting textures.

•  To create a pattern, try stippling, a technique in which you apply dots sparsely or densely using a single or multiple colors.

Keep on Creating!

Colored Pencil Artist Carol Moore