Do’s and don’ts for blending coloured pencils

One of the biggest mistakes that I made when blending my coloured pencils was to blend too early. Over time and with lots of practise I have learnt that it is so important to build up light layers of colours first. If you don’t have enough pigment down on the paper to blend with then it will be difficult to get the result you want. You need to have enough pigment down to be able to blend it out otherwise you are left with grainy looking art.

If you look at the drawing of the Parrot you can see that I have built up a few layers of colour before I am ready to blend it all out.

So build up lots of layers lightly for a smoother look and to get more depth in your drawing. If you blend out lightly enough you can go in and add more detail and texture afterwards.

Like I did after I blended the colours in the Parrot. I went in and added the finer details.

Another mistake I made when I first started out was that I thought everything on the paper had to be blended. But this is not the case. Sometimes a drawing needs that extra dimension, detail or texture to take it to the next level. As I said before you can go in and add detail after lightly blending your colours.

One huge mistake I made when I started creating art with coloured pencils was that I was pressing much too hard, way too early. I was worried about the white paper showing through and didn’t realise that it was the layers that were important to achieve the smooth painterly effect. Pressing too hard flattens the tooth of the paper and making it difficult to add extra layers on top because the pigment has nowhere to grab onto.

I never thought that having super sharp pencils was the way to go but I have learnt from this mistake. Having a blunt pencil will flatten the tooth and it won’t be able to get into the tooth of the paper. Having a super sharp point enables the pencil to get into the tooth and thus get rid of white paper showing through.

I swear by Derwent’s Superpoint Sharpener and I have noticed that my art work is looking so much better using sharper pencils.


Always think of the colours that you are going to blend with. It would make no sense to blend out a dark colour with a white pencil as it will make is washed out and lighter. I always blend the colours together with a colour that matches I can always go in later to darken if I want to.

Blend lighter areas first and then the darker areas to avoid getting smudges etc. Working from light to dark, will protect your lightest parts of your drawing getting contaminated with the darker pigment.

These tips have helped me to hone my skills and therefore make better art. I hope that these tips have helped you in some way.

Here is a quick recap:

Don’t Blend too early

You don’t have to blend out everything

Don’t blend with the wrong colours

Do create many light layers

Do have super sharp pencils

Do blend from light to dark

Come and join my Facebook group where you will learn more about using coloured pencils, to take your art to the next level. COLOURED PENCIL HELP AND COMMUNITY

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