How to Color with Colored Pencils for Beginners

How to Color with Colored Pencils for Beginners

How to color with colored pencils for beginners is a huge query to address because the list of the technique is endless. You may have heard of hatching, cross-hatching, or stippling but how to start with the basic may confuse you.

It is creative and intelligent to focus on fusion but a clear understanding of the techniques can give you a push forward. For this reason, here’s our colored pencil guide to motivate you in the right way and channel your imagination in a purposeful avenue.  

Play with Simple Graphite Colored Pencils

If you think the paste colored pencils are only for children, you could not have been more wrong. These pencils can give you wide hues and practical drawings only by following a few of the basic and advanced methods.

Take a look at the following techniques and get your imagination flowing on the paper.

Tip 1: Start with Back and Forth

Basic and forth is a basic colored pencil guide where you need to move the pencil back and forth in a repetitive motion. You have used the technique in your childhood for sure but this time, you need to keep doing it until the part is covered.  

Also, you need not lift your graphite colored pencil off the paper and it is an easy way to fill several areas with a range of solid colors.

Tip 2: Try Layering with Paste Colored Pencils

Layering is an important part of your answer to how to color with colored pencils for beginners; especially, if you are up for a vibrant drawing. Put 30% pressure for the strokes and go with a light touch.

Now making the color more vibrant, you can put a 30% pressure layer and get a dark vale after doing 7 steps. In this way, you can get 12 layers without destroying the paper texture.

Of course, you can use full pressure with the graphite colored pencil or blending pencil but the mentioned method adds more value. In addition to the context, you may use the linear and circular strokes for working without putting into many thoughts.

Tip 3: Burnish away for Smooth Finish

Colored Pencil Guide

Burnishing is another essential section for the colored pencil guide because it leaves a waxy and smooth finish much desired in many paintings. This technique starts with building light layers with any kind of mark.

You can get a realistic touch only through layering the shades of violet, green, gray, blue, and orange for creating style. Of course, regardless of whether you are experimenting or not, the waxy finish a must have in the end and for that, you may have to fill the entire area.

Tip 4: Hatching for Parallel Lines

Hatching is a simple way of designing parallel lines according to the guide on how to color with colored pencils for beginners. Keep in mind that every line should go in one direction but the lines can be far apart or close together.

When you lift the pencil off the paper after finishing every line, only then you can make another line. Therefore, the lines can be angled, horizontal, or vertical until they touch each other.

Use sharp graphite colored pencil and draw evenly spaced basic lines that can leave an underlying color in the display. The close-ups will have an irregular look and the little variation may not even be dramatic.

Always practice in a paper at first because the entire work needs to be very exact. Of course, you can lift the pencil only to add a graded effect.

Tip 5: Go for Cross Hatching now

After learning the hatching through colored pencil guide, you need to do cross hatching by creating intersecting lines. It is an easy way to add texture and shade in your work.

In your way to grasping how to color with colored pencils for beginners, make parallel lines in one direction and then another set above the set of parallel lines. In this way, you can make shading easy.

Additionally, it is essential to use a sharpened graphite colored pencil for getting a precise and clean design. Cross-hatching is primarily for the dark areas and creating a visual blending effect between two separate colors.

You can further experiment with the pressure put in the pencil, color, sharpness, and spacing.

Tip 6: Stippling with Graphite Colored Pencils

While going through the tutorial of how to color with colored pencils for beginners, you can create many tiny dots on the paper. Now, these dots can be far apart, in between, or even close together.

When you are exercising stippling by making dots that do not have much distance between them, look at them closely. You can then figure out the difference between the dots created when the graphite colored pencil’s point becomes dull or remains sharp.

Tip 7: Understanding Shading or Tip Shading

While checking the guide on how to color with colored pencils for beginners, you need to learn about shading and side-shading. As there is no particular way to do shading but it all depends on the effect.

Now side-shading can be coarser and open and the tone is quite limited. However, when you are shading, the tonal range is broad and the paper grain seems to be fine.

Tip 8: Become a Master at Scumbling

The end of ‘how to color with colored pencils for beginners’ requires a mention of scumbling where you just need to make marks in a circular way. It is an age-old technique that can pan out beautifully with the use of different pastel colored pencils.


No matter whether you are trying cross-hatching or stippling, it is essential to keep practicing the methods with which you are comfortable. Generally, all the above-mentioned pencil work can be done by any rookie but these basic ones can only help excel in your own work afterward.

Also, be careful about how much pressure you are putting because it plays a main role in lightening and darkening the tone. The paper surface adds texture and coarseness but continuous practice makes you professional graphite colored pencil artist.

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