Coloured Pencil techniques

Photo by javier gonzalez on

There is so much more to coloured pencils than just colouring in. There are techniques that you can use to get your artwork and your adult colouring looking realistic. Below are a few techniques that I use when I am creating a coloured pencil art piece.


This is done by creating lots of dots on the paper. This technique would be great for creating sand texture, concrete or even freckles. I haven’t used this technique much but I am definitely going to give it a try in one of my future projects.


This is one of my favourite techniques when I am creating hair, fur and grass. You can create some interesting textures with this one.


I have not used this technique with my coloured pencils but I have a few ideas. You can really create the illusion of depth using this method. the crosshatching pattern always reminds me of metal, barbwire fences and industrial textures.


This is how I used to colour as a child but this technique is a great way to get a base layer of colour down in a lighter tone. I always create a base layer like this and ten add the texture or new layers on top of this.

Watch this video to see how I create each texture in real time

Other techniques include:

  • Scumbling – continuous circular motions (as shown in video)
  • Sgraffito – this is the method of applying colour and then scraping it away with an exacto/craft knife to reveal the white paper underneath. (You can see this technique in the video)
  • Frottage – This is the technique of applying pressure to the side of the pencil tip across the paper to reveal the paper’s textured surface. This technique would be great for concrete or a rocky texture. (see video)
  • Indenting/embossing – This is achieved by creating a fine dent on the paper. (You can see this in the video)

I hope that this gave you some ideas to start creating realistic texture on your artwork. I can’t wait to start.

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