How to Get a Smooth Look With Prismacolor Colored Pencils

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Prismacolor Premier colored pencils are "soft," which means they lay down saturated color easily. This is a medium that is easy to control and fun to use. The trick to getting a smooth look with Prismacolor colored pencils is to practice and relax. Practice builds confidence and skill. Relaxation eases tension and helps an artist to move more freely--to worry less about what he is coloring as he immerses himself in the pleasurable activity of art.

  • Prismacolor Premier colored pencils
  • Drawing paper
  • Cotton swab
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Prismacolor blending pencil (optional)

1 Exercise 1: Coloring a Shape with Even Color

2 Select a Prismacolor Premier colored pencil

Select a Prismacolor Premier colored pencil, preferably one with a dull point.

3 Draw an irregular shape on a piece of practice paper

Lightly draw an irregular shape on a piece of practice paper.

4 Fill in the shape

Fill in the shape by making vertical strokes, side-by-side, trying not to overlap the strokes.

5 Draw another

Draw another shape and practice the same coloring process using horizontal strokes.

6 Exercise 2: Creating a Gradated Color Bar

7 Choose a Prismacolor Premier colored pencil

Choose a Prismacolor Premier colored pencil with a dull point.

8 Practice even

Practice even, vertical strokes, 1-1/2 to 2 inches long, increasing the amount of pressure on the pencil as you go across the page. This should produce a light to dark gradation.

9 Create another color bar

Create another color bar, but do not vary the pressure on the pencil. Make the color as uniform as possible.

10 Color

Color the darker area of the gradation by overlaying strokes to achieve greater saturation of color.

11 Practice

Practice making a gradated color bar by using two Prismacolor colored pencils in the same color family. Example: Use a light blue pencil and a deep blue pencil for the darker, or shaded, areas.

12 Blending

13 Dip a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol

Dip a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol. Use it to blend the colored pencil in one of your practice shapes.

14 Go

Go over one of your practice color bars with the optional Prismacolor blending pencil. Notice that the wax lightens the colors beneath.

15 Continue to practice coloring

Continue to practice coloring and blending Prismacolor colored pencils until you get the smooth look you desire.

16 Practice drawing and coloring a simple object

Practice drawing and coloring a simple object, such as an apple, using the techniques you have learned.

17 Make the apple

Make the apple look round by shading the darker areas with curved strokes to match the contours of the fruit. Soften the edges with the blending technique you have practiced.

  • Use a fresh cotton swab when blending a new color.

Rae Casto began writing professionally in 1982. She writes on a variety of topics including health, nutrition, art and culture for various websites. Casto holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and art from Guilford College and a Master of Public Administration in health administration from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.