An Introduction to Coloured Pencils

Imagine gazing at a intricately shaded portrait of an owl, its feathers so soft and realistic looking, its beak shiny and smooth. Or picture a still life of juicy fruit, the peaches and grapes glowing with a warm, inviting light.

With our expert guidance, you'll learn the secrets of creating stunning coloured pencil art that will garner oohs and aahs from all who see it.

Master techniques like layering, blending, and burnishing to add dimension and texture to your drawings.

Discover how to capture the subtleties of nature, from the delicate patterns on a butterfly's wings to the rough, weathered bark of an ancient tree.

In this comprehensive guide, you'll learn how to wield your coloured pencils with precision and control, creating breathtaking artworks.

Say goodbye to flat, lifeless sketches and hello to striking, realistic pieces that will leave viewers in awe.


Join us on a journey to unlock your distinctive style in coloured pencil art. Our site goes beyond mere technique tutorials, guiding you to develop a personal artistic voice that reflects your unique perspective.

Through a series of exercises and projects, you'll learn to break free from colour by numbers and explore new ways of expressing yourself. 

As you create, you'll discover a sense of fulfilment and happiness that comes from bringing your imagination to life. 

Get ready to tap into your creative potential and experience the joy of artistic self-expression.

Where do you start when it comes to choosing the right pencils, paper, and techniques?

Where do you start when it comes to choosing the right pencils, paper, and techniques for coloured pencil drawing?

Don't worry, we've got you covered.

We'll explore all the top artist-quality pencil brands, including Faber-Castell and Prismacolor, and provide a step-by-step guide on how to select the best pencils for your style and budget.

We will look at the different types of drawing papers along with tools that you will find helpful.

For those with a little more experience, we'll discover advanced techniques like glazing and scraffito, with video demonstrations and exercises to help you master these skills. 

Whether you're just getting started or looking to improve, our lessons walk you through projects like colour theory, drawing landscapes, creating a still-life composition, and more. Soon you'll be able to confidently create stunning coloured pencil artwork you are proud of.

Have you ever seen a coloured pencil drawing so realistic that you had to do a double-take?

Barn Owl drawing on drafting filmIs this Barn Owl a photo or coloured pencil? Find the answer at the bottom of the page.

The vibrant hues and intricate details can be downright mind-blowing when mastered by a skilled artist. But how do they achieve such depth and richness with humble colored pencils?

The secret lies in the unique translucency of the medium.

By layering pigments, artists can create an infinite array of colours that blend and meld in breathtaking ways. From the smoothest gradients to the brightest highlights, each stroke adds nuance and dimension.

So don't underestimate the power of the coloured pencil. In the right hands, it can produce artworks as striking as any oil painting or photograph...

Take this barn owl, for example. Photo or pencil drawing?

Making the most of colour

The ability to breathe life into any subject - from sweeping landscapes to intimate still life scenes or realistic animals - is what makes coloured pencils such a captivating medium.

However, achieving those rich, saturated colours takes a bit of know-how.

Many artists struggle with muddy, dull pencil work because they don't understand colour theory

On this site, you'll not only explore colour theory but learn the insider tricks to make your coloured pencil art pop off the page.

Adjusting the pressure can completely transform a colour's impact, with light strokes creating gentle washes and heavy pressure producing bright, lively hues.

Pencil strokes like cross-hatching and stippling add incredible depth and texture.

Creating Depth and Dimension with Coloured Pencils


Have you ever marvelled at how a simple coloured pencil drawing can look almost three-dimensional?

The secret lies in the ability to indicate depth and realism on a flat surface through meticulous layering and blending of shades. Colored pencils are more than just tools for adding splashes of colour - in the hands of a skilled artist, they can bring drawings to life.

However, mastering the art of colored pencil drawing requires more than just a box of pencils and a sketchpad. It demands a delicate touch, a keen eye for detail, and an understanding of how colours interact.

Imagine being able to render the velvety petals of a rose, the intricate feathers of a bird, or the weathered textures of an ancient monument – all with the humble coloured pencil.

By maintaining a loose grip for precision and control, layering colours slowly to avoid murkiness, and considering the paper's texture for desired effects, you can learn the true potential of this medium.

With practice and commitment, and learning the basics of coloured pencil art you can create stunning artwork that captures the world's beauty in all its glory.

So grab your pencils, let your creativity flow, and explore this fantastic medium.

And that owl?

Carol Leather drew the owl shown further up the page using coloured pencils. But you already guessed it was a drawing, didn't you?