How to Color With Prismacolor Pencils | Tips and Technique

I have been a big fan of Prismacolor pencils. Not only me, but I have also been recommending them to others and my kids for their school. Everyone liked them very much.

Their color pencils are top-notch. Be it for academics or professional uses or in your children’s kindergarten; they are always ready to serve.

The pencils are special, bound with unique quality and color texture. That’s why you must know how to color with Prismacolor pencils.

Let’s hear about my experience developing the usage of the Prismacolor pencils and how I have nailed the characteristics till now. I’ll also be presenting some questions asked by general people to clear all kinds of perceptions.

Important

Before getting started with Prismacolor colored pencils, we need to know about Prismacolor properly. We need a good visualization of this before working with it. So, I’m giving detailed information about their characteristics, functions, specialty, and variations below.

Characteristics

Characteristics Prismacolor pencils
Image Credit: theartgearguide.com

Let’s talk about its characteristics first. It is one of the famous wax-based colored pencils. One of its primary characteristics is that it contains more pigments and fewer binders. This works as a differential factor in this case.

The higher number of pigments makes it more vibrant and enriched with color. And guess what? If you’re skilled enough and use heavy layers of color while drawing, you can even resemble paintings!

Prismacolor colored pencils are softer than regular colored pencils. That’s why it’s easier to blend, create shades, easy transition from light to dark and hue variations.

Besides, they are more lightfast, resistant to fading, and comes with various color variation.

Specialty

The number of pigment colors is higher than average pencils. It is also very soft because of its core. The core usually consists of wax, clay, and other elements.

Another specialty can be its intense color and easy blending ability. It is suitable fade resistant as well. Ordinary pencils won’t perform well when it comes to these matters.

And Prismacolor pencils will enable the creation of art close to actual paintings. To me, this is something huge! Not many pencils can do such.

Variations 

As the name suggests, you can understand that Prismacolor pencils come in many variations. The vast color combination and collection make this pencil the first choice of any artist.

Some of the companies are even able to produce 100+ color combinations. You can even add more than one color.

If I want to talk numbers, Prismacolor premium comes with 150 colors, Prismacolor everything comes with 36 colors, Prismacolor scholars comes with 60 colors, and this list can go on.

So, you see, this pencil undoubtedly provides a vast range of color combinations that ordinary pencils cannot. And, there’s no tension in variations.

Tips to Color with Prismacolor Pencil

Before you go on to use the Prismacolor pencils, here are some fantastic tips to follow. These are aimed to elevate your work to the next level with zestful perfection.

1. Getting the right paper to work

First, you need to prepare your art supplies. This is the first and one of the most critical steps. Sometimes we don’t pay much attention to the surface we’re working on. But it plays a vital role in the overall process.

Using a smoother surface like the Bristol paper will give a smoother surface but limit the number of color layers.

Watercolor papers are rougher, but multiple layers of color can be added easily. And they can produce a fine finish. So, choose your paper accordingly, depending on how you want to draw your painting.

2. Sorting the Colors

Sort the colored pencils according to your type and the level of deepness. Sort out the light-colored pencils and the dark-themed colored pencils. Sorting out the colors before starting will make things easier for you. So can just pick your desired color accordingly and start drawing.

3. Starting with a light shade

This is the first thing you need to do. After you’re done with your drawing, you need to start with a light shade. Especially the significant areas.

Say you’re painting the color blue. So, you need to pick the lightest shade of blue color over the significant areas.

This will work as the base value color.

4. Following a definite stoke

You need to maintain a definite stroke when you’re coloring. You need to be super smooth and gentle with your pencil. The same goes for the blender pencil.

Pressing hard will ruin the overall painting. So, maintain a definite stroke and add layers of color instead of pressing it hard on the paper.

5. Blending the Colors

Color blending is a fantastic feature of these Prisma color pencils. Blending color properly can give it the right hue you were looking for and take it to the next level.

To do that, you need a blinder-colored pencil. Also known as colorless blenders. These types of pens are functionally built to blend in the colors. 

You need to take a blender and apply it back and forth to your desired color. Do not press it hard. And continue until you reach your desired effect.

Blending can also create a glaze effect or give it a darker shade. Blending makes shading easier.

So carefully use your blender and make sure it’s not that sharp.

6. Giving Outlines

Giving outlines to your sketch is very important. You need to pick your first color. Say you want to paint your sketch the color green.

So, you’ll need to take a green Prismacolor pencil and carefully give the outlines. The colored pencil you want to use is up to you. You must sharpen your pencil before you give the Outlines. 

Outlines work as a boundary to your color layers. So you must carefully follow the procedures while giving it.

7. Adding Layers

Adding layers can give your painting the desired effect and highlight the specific areas you want. Ideally, added layers can turn your simple colored drawing to a whole new level. It’ll look like an actual painting.

It’s putting one color over another to create the desired effect. You can create or signify a shadow, highlight flat colors, add more depth, or even create colors that you don’t already have in your color set.

If you want to do any of those mentioned above, you need to have a clear idea about color combinations. For example, to add the Shadowy effect to a yellow color object, you need to use the violet color.

Finally

You can give your artwork a good finish by

  • Adding layers smoothly and
  • Blending smoothly

Smoothly adding layers and not giving extra pressure can easily give it a smooth finish. Giving Outlines or adding color depth should be done correctly to give it a smooth finish. 

Use a blender or a soft paper towel for this process. Apply light pressure to the parts where you want to blend. Smoothly running the blending operation for a good finish.

Be super careful around the edges and the outlines. The fineness and thoroughness of the color should be maintained. Keep an electric eraser close to you.

Blending Techniques with Prismacolor pencils

Done with a briefing on the ways of nailing the Prismacolor pencils. But the ways of implementing them are still due. You must know that perfection doesn’t come so quickly. You need to know the methods of doing the right thing in the right way. And here are the techniques to do so.

Blending Techniques with Prismacolor pencil

Step 1: Blending without solvent

We will use a white pencil instead of using any solvents for this process. Step by step procedure is given below.

Layering

Of course, the blending steps come right after layering. So first, we need to learn the colors.

According to your design or sketch, there can be different types of layering. So, you need to add the layers first.

First, sort out your colored pencil. You can use layering to add shadows to add an effect or simply create more color depth, et cetera.  

Some artists prefer a minimum of 6 to 7 layers before getting into the blending operations.

In the additional layers, smoothly blend, add another layer and repeat the whole process. But this solely depends on the type of art you are willing to create. So, you’re going to be blending according to your preference.

After correctly adding those layers, we will go to the blending step.

Blending with a white pencil

As previously mentioned, we will be using a white pencil for the blending process. This is an important way of blending

because blending with a white pencil doesn’t include chemicals or complex processes. You need a simple blending white pencil, and you can start going on.

There are many good companies out there who are producing some fine white color pencils for blending. You need to do some research to figure out which type of pencil suits you the best.

Buy yourself the desired pencil you’re looking for we can start to get going on.

You need to blend with the same pressure you’ve added to your layer song. Don’t try to apply any extra pressure while blending because that might ruin the entire thing. Be super gentle and smooth, and apply light pressure while blending.

Using brush

 Many people love to use a brush to spread out the colored particles after blending. I’ve seen some of the artists skip this part in particular. But I prefer using they’re using a brush too. Spread the color thoroughly.

 It keeps a constant concentration of the colors in the entire sketch, so there’s a good amount of fineness, evenness, and good surface finish seen in the art.

So, I recommend you do this. Use a simple paintbrush and truly just spread the color particles after you’ve done blending. And you will see for yourself the difference it creates.

Smudging

This margin technique is mainly used to give your portrait a more realistic and aesthetic looking. By simply smudging, you can turn your ordinary portrait into this more realistic and beautiful piece of artwork.

Now there are two ways you can do this. You can simply use your finger to smudge. All you need to do is put your finger to the area where you want to just spread the color and do it according to your preference. Many people don’t want to get their hands dirty while doing so.

So they use a cloth, tie it onto their thumb, and spread the color. You can also use removable tape.  Do it yourself and watch with your own eyes how a simple touch of your finger can turn a simple piece of artwork into something much more extraordinary tried out and see for yourself.

Step 2. Blending with solvent

Another form of Blending is using a solvent. Using a solvent can be a very effective way of blending colors. Step by step process is given below.

Choosing a solvent

The first step is choosing a solvent. There are many types of Rubbing alcohol which can be oil-based, mineral-based, fruit-derived, etc. They serve the same purpose and perform the same.

If the smell bothers you, go for an odorless one or a scent that doesn’t bother you. You can go to any of the art supplies stores to get them. 

Using a brush

Choosing a brush is more of a personal preference in this case. You can simply use the type of brush you’re comfortable with and get ongoing. I am personally fond of bristle brushes.

Choosing the right paper

Similar to the brush, paper is also a matter of personal preference. But in this case, the type of paper you choose will affect your blending because the chemistry between the solvent and the coloring medium needs to work out.

The smoother and denser the paper, the less solvent you’ll need to use. Like bristol, papers will require less solvent.

Softer, more absorbing watercolor papers will need more solvent. And the absorbing paper will require more drawing time. Make sure that you are not coloring on damp paper.

Using solvent

You need to decide how and what amount of quality you’ll need to use. But the good news is there is no less quality solvent used. Because using less solvent simply means it’ll take longer to blend in the colors.

But don’t use it too much! It’ll cause an uneven, blotchy effect. The simple formula is more layers on your paper, the less solvent you’ll need to use. Using too much may disrupt the artwork overall.

Start doing your blending slow and steady. With practice and time, you’ll figure out the right amount of solvent.  Do experiments. Try out different things and use solvents of various categories. Figure out which suits you the best and stick to it.

Read Also: How to Blend Prismacolor Pencils Without Blender

Step 3. Finishing 

Finishing means giving your work the final touch. So you’ll need to take care of a couple of things in this process.

Ensure you have a delicate and smooth border and outline because an even and pleasing color combination is all you need. You will also need to remove the wax bloom. Paper towels can do the trick. Simply use a soft, lightweight paper towel and start swiping in the opposite direction. Any waxy part will simply come off.

FAQs

What is blended mostly with Prismacolor pencil?

There are many blending techniques. The most common element used to blend in Prismacolor is Rubbing alcohol. 

Using rubbing alcohol will give your color a more paint-like gesture. It also Smoothly blends in with the color. It will remove any sort of wax bloom or any unnecessary layers of particles from your paint.

Using a blender pencil is quite a suitable method. But if you want to give your color a more natural and aesthetic look, these solvent-based elements are recommended. And that’s why people use this mostly.

Are Prismacolor pencils recommended for newbies?

To put it in simple words, Prismacolor pencils are the perfect pencils recommended for newbies. By newbies, I mean beginners and the people who want to start doing coloring artwork.

There are mainly three reasons why they are the ideal ones.

Firstly, they are super easy to work with as soft and smooth.

They were very cheap compared to the others. And they can produce good artworks which will work as a confidence boost for the new ones.

What makes Prismacolor unique from the other brands?

Some factors make the Prismacolor pencils unique and more effective.

The reasons are simply its characteristics. It is enriched with a higher number of pigments. And this enhances the overall color quality of the artwork. They are available at most art supply stores.

Another specialty is its color variations. It can create darker shades. Some of the Prismacolor has more than 100 color combinations. No other pencil has this many new colors.

How to smoothen Prismacolor pencil?

A colorless blender is the most effective way to smoothen a Prismacolor pencil.

Yes, a simple piece of colorless blender will easily do the trick and give you a smoother finish while using the Prismacolor pencil.

Since it has no pigment, it’ll easily dissolve the wax and give it a smooth finish. So, go for a colorless blender for a smooth finish.

Conclusion

So, I’ve talked about many things regarding the Prismacolor pencil. I hope you found this article helpful.

By reading this article, you know how to properly color with Prismacolor pencils. The tips and tricks for the work will reach your outcome to a whole new level. What are you waiting for now? Get along with the color and spill your creativity in a brand-new colorful manner.

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Maria Tanish

Hello World! Tanish here, a student of Fine Arts. Drawing was my passion from an early age but I also love to do some DIY projects to spend my leisure. Even I work as a writer, to share my knowledge about the ins and outs of drawing and the art industry itself. As an artist, I always wanna share my experiences with you all.

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