Basics of Colored Pencil Sketching

Hello ‘xplorerz’! The medium we will be exploring today is pencil colors. Some people are very much addicted of blending rather than shading/sketching with pencils. Using your fingers to blend is never a good idea with color pencils as is doesn’t really blend, infact it puts oil on the paper that makes it look dirty, too much used and the freshness of drawing is also moves away. This article introduces some basic colored pencil strokes that you will find effectively  useful in your drawings while mixing and blending the shading together. It is a good idea to spend some time exploring the color pencil medium with small drawing before attempting a major drawing. There are basic strokes that everyone uses while drawing or painting. As with graphite pencil, there are lots of techniques which you can also use when drawing with colour pencil, such as:


Quick, regular, equally spaced lines are drawn leaving a little white paper or underlying color showing. Apply continuous tone, varying your pressure gradually to create smooth shade. Try to create the transition from light to dark in one continuous strokes. You better start with your lightest pencil, as it is easier to make your drawing darker than to make it lighter but do not force the pencil to make values out of its limits. Pushing your pencil to make darker shade will create a metallic sheen, very undesirable in areas of shadow or could cause dents in your paper. Smooth shading can use combinations of circular shading and contour lines to bring more depth into your drawing. This technique may create realistic shade till an extreme level.


Hatching overlapped in the chequered pattern is what cross- hatching is. These cross and are lines are usedThis can be done with different colors or carried through multiple layers to create a textured effect. My favorite of five. Crosshatching with lots of space between the lines creates an open, fairly light value, whereas lines drawn closer together or with heavier pressure produces a darker value and a more saturated color layer having less white space.


In this,small overlapping circles are rapidly drawn. Again, it can be used to build up a single color or multiple shades. This is an excellent stroke technique for areas where you need to fill in color quickly, but you don’t want a linear pattern to show. This shows the variety in stroke with a sharp pencil, blunt pencil or with the edge of a pencil. Use small circular strokes with very little white space for more even color.


Short directional lines in the form or in the direction of hair or grass or other surfaces. These can be closely overlapped to form a rich textural effect. These lines all go in the same direction and flow in the direction.


In this, two thick layers of color are overlaid, and then the top colored layer is gently scratched or marks are made with a blade or toothpick.


In this multi-layers of colored pencil are overlaid with strong pressure so that the projection of the paper is filled that results in a smooth surface. 


This is sometimes also called as Tapping. It look like dots in a bunch. They may vary in size. These would sometimes be used for shadowing on the edges of picture. To create the stapling effect, use heavy pressure each time you tap but be careful that it may damage the paper and leave unwanted marks, use softer pencils whenever possible as it reduces the amount of pressure necessary to leave marks.

Let’s have a glance on the drawings below that I’ve created using these techniques:)

Just like in the image below, I’ve used “hatching and cross-hatching technique”.

“Cartoon couple”

cartoon- cross hatching- sketching -technique

Image below is an example of an“modern abstract design” using colored pencil shading.

“Modern abstract- design”


The pictures shown below are done with directional marks and mix.

“Rocking Surfer Pencil Sketching”


“Comic Characters Sketching”


TIP: The best drawings usually combine most or all of these strokes to simulate a variety of textures. As you look at your subject matter, imagine which stroke would work best to depict the texture that you see, and then experiment.

Thanks for sharing your worthy time here. Have a colorful day!  🙂


  1. by stewie griffin on September 26, 2013  10:14 pm Reply

    You actually make it appear so easy together with
    your presentation. it's just awesome
    I'm looking ahead in your next publish, I'll try to get the cling of it!

    • by Ojal Sharma on September 30, 2013  1:26 pm Reply

      Thanks a ton! keep visiting! :)

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