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Coloring with Pencils

Hello, hope you are all continuing to have a great summer and enjoying the heat! In this post I am going to attempt to share with you my method for coloring with colored pencils. It may turn out to be a long post, so I’m going to jump right into it.

Here’s what you will need to get started:

  • Colored Pencils
  • Blending Stumps (rolled paper pencils)
  • Images stamped on smooth white cardstock ( I used memento black tux ink)
  • Gamsol blending solution (Hobby Lobby or Michaels)
  • small jar with cotton balls
  • Sandpaper paddle
  • Pencil sharpener

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  1. Soak your cotton balls with some gamsol and store them in the container. The gamsol will evaporate, so I like to keep them covered when I’m not wetting a blending stump.
  2. Lay down color on your image
  3. Wet a blending stump by pressing it into your gamsol soaked cotton balls.
  4. Run the tip of the stump in a small circular motion on the color, slowly blending it out.
  5. Use the stumps over and over on the same colors, ( I have a red stump, blue stump, green stump, etc) or you can use the sandpaper paddle to sand the stump each time you switch colors.
  6. The pencil sharpener is just for your pencils, you’ll find this method wears the pencils down pretty quickly.

The pencils you work with do make a difference. I like the prismacolors the best. I’ve also used the pregresso no-wood pencils and the dual-tipped Chameleon pencils. I’m sure others would work as well. The more wax content in the color the better.

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Lay down your color & Blend it out:

To begin, lay down the color. Most stamps you can follow the outline or lines provided. Below are a few pictures to help explain what I mean. The leaves on the right, I put my color around the edges, when I blend this, the lightest area will be in the middle of my leaf. The leaves on the left, I concentrated the heaviest color towards the bottom of the leaf. When blended, the lightest area will be at the tip. Hopefully you can see the difference in the blended leaves.

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Now, lets add a twist. One of the reasons I like this method so much, is because it is easy to blend multiple colors. Notice on the next set of leaves I’m laying down pine green on the bottom of the leaves with Kelly green in the mid section. Notice the look I accomplish with this technique! It’s so fun and easy! For the next set, I’m going to stay with my two-tone colors, but this time add the pine green on the outside edges and the Kelly green down the middle spine of the leaves. Blend it out and wow, an all together new look! As you can see, the possibilities are endless.

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So now that you get the idea lets move on and try flowers. As you can see, I add the darkest color where I think the darkest shading would be on my image and add a lighter tone where I think the light would hit. I will blend it so the tip of the flower is the lightest. On the second  flower, I felt it needed more warmth so I added some orange as a buffer between the red and pink. Blend it and see. I like it, I did the third flower the same way. Next I added yellow and blended it out for the centers of each flower.

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Lets move on to some more complicated images. Below I’ve added color to a cute raccoon waving from a stump. For the brown, I traced the lines in the image, this is usually the easiest way to go. Because I wanted my raccoon gray, I laid down more color on the outside lines of the image, but I also lightly colored him in. Sometimes lighter colors are harder to blend than dark colors. I find gray does better if its lightly colored in all over, then blended out.

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On this large raccoon you can see the difference between where I’ve just colored (his face and legs), and where I colored and blended with gamsol (his arms). I love the smooth look the gamsol makes.

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For the last image, I’m going to use this new mermaid stamp. I’ll follow the three easy steps for each part of her. Lay down darkest color where I feel it should be shadowed, lay down lighter color on the edges, and blend it out. I think she looks great!

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The more you practice this method, the easier and better you will get at it. Give it a try and let me know how it turns out. I have a feeling you’re going to enjoy it as much as I do.

(All the images in this post are from Stamps of Life stamp sets)


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