How to Boost Your Coloring Game with A Blending Pencil

This simple tool can totally transform your next work of art.

By Cher Kaufmann

Have you ever wondered what a blending pencil is and how it works? Well today you’re going to find out! Blending pencils are just like colored pencils, just without pigment. They do, however, have the same binding agents as your colored pencils, which means they work the same way. But they do have a different purpose — they’re a completely different tool!

In this example, I’m using three different colored pencils in the turquoise and green family. I’m going to show you how to use a blender pencil to blend these colors together.

As you can see, the blender pencil looks just like my colored pencils only you’ll notice it has no pigment, there’s no color inside of it. That’s on purpose because my blending pencil is not supposed to be adding color, it’s supposed to move color around the page.

As I begin to put my layers down, I’m just going to build up some color here as I would with any colored pencil project. I can use this layering technique with large pieces or small pieces. This is a really handy tool in learning how to crate soft layers. As with any piece where you want to blend a few different colors together, I’m going to begin to add my three colors to the page, overlapping a bit where the colors meet to begin to blend together my dark teal, to my mid green tone, to my light turquoise. If I work at this, I can get a really nice overlap with my pencils and they start to blend a bit on their own.

I like to introduce my blending pencil when I feel like I’m at the place when I want the colors to move together more seamlessly. This is where the magic happens! I’m going to introduce the blending pencil using small circles, starting with the lightest color. You’ll notice that the blending pencil moves the pencil wax around the page, filling in the white spaces left from the tooth of the paper. As I keep working with the blending pencil, the pigments on the page begin to soften and blend.

I keep moving around the colored area in small circles so that I can begin to move the pigment in all directions, taking extra care to blend well where two colors meet and begin to overlap to help achieve that seamless transition of color. This technique adds a sort of richness to your colors because the binding agent in the blending pencil is the same as the wax in your colored pencils, so it really helps the pigment move really easily around the page.

Once I have the initial blending done, I can go back over those areas with longer strokes if I want to, just like I could if I was using only colored pencils. That said, you do want to be mindful of how your colors are moving on the page. You’ll notice using the blending pencil just enriches that color and it also moves them together better than some other techniques. For comparison, the small leaf at the bottom of the page was done with pencil by itself, and the two leaves above were done using a blending pencil just to show how rich in color it can be.

Isn’t that amazing how quickly and easily a blending pencil can help you smooth and combine your colors together? Now it’s your turn. Show us your blending pencil works of art on Facebook and Instagram with #MyPoshColoring!  

Tags: Tips & Techniques