5 Easy Ways to Use White Colored Pencils for Adult Coloring

Learn five simple ways use white colored pencils to your adult coloring advantage.

By Thea Voutiritsas

Few coloring tools are overlooked as often as the white colored pencil. But foregoing this seemingly useless tool is a rookie mistake: Despite its lack of pigment, the white colored pencil is a pretty practical tool. From blending to highlighting to creating unexpected doodles, we’ve rounded up five reasons for you to give your white colored pencils a second chance. 


5 Ways to Use White Colored Pencils in Adult Coloring

white pencil highlights
Credit: Alisa Burke / Posh Coloring Studio

1. Heavenly Highlights
Give a flat-looking coloring page some dimension by adding highlights with white colored pencil. The simplest way to do this is to color right on top of a darker area. See how artist Alisa Burke adds highlights to her coloring pages in this video tutorial.


blending with white pencil
Credit: Cher Kauffman / Posh Coloring Studio

2. Better Blending
Use your white colored pencil as a blending tool by coloring directly on top of your other colors, which will help move the pigment around. But be careful—this technique can also lighten the initial color you put down, so you may want to darken those areas a bit with your darker colored pencils afterward. Check out our video tutorial on blending with white colored pencils to learn more!


burnishing with white pencil
Credit: Katie Vaz / Posh Coloring Studio

3. Burnish, Burnish, Burnish
If you’ve already put several layers of color on your paper and you’re ready to add finishing touches, burnishing might be the step to take your adult coloring page to the next level. Just be sure to use a thicker paper like cardstock or multimedia paper for best results.

Simply put, burnishing is coloring with enough pressure to flatten out the tooth of the paper and create a smooth, polished finish. Burnishing will also help meld your previous layers of color together for a seamless look. Learn the perfect burnishing technique from artist Katie Vaz in this video tutorial.


toned paper
Credit: Lisa Ann Watkins via Flickr

4. Toned Paper Pairing
Print your coloring pages on off-white paper to give your white colored pencils a better chance to shine. On this paper, any areas you apply white colored pencil will really pop. While these Strathmore toned paper drawing pads are already 8.5 x 11, you can find cheaper options in larger sizes and simply trim them to size to print your coloring pages.


wax resist with pencil
Credit: Thea Voutiritsas / Posh Coloring Studio

5. Wax Resist  
If your colored pencils are wax based (which is pretty common) you can use your white colored pencil as a water-resistant base. Color patterns with your white pencil, and then apply watercolor paint to reveal your hidden doodles. Just make sure you press hard enough to make crisp designs before adding the watercolor!


These five white colored pencil tricks are pretty simple, but there are nearly endless ways to use them! Feel free to experiment with these techniques to figure out the best way to make white colored pencils work for you. If you’re not sure where to start, we recommend trying out one of our flower coloring pages for plenty of opportunities to blend and highlight as you color.


Show us your white colored pencil tricks on Facebook and Instagram using #MyPoshColoring or upload your creations to our Member Gallery!


Tags: Tips & Techniques