Drawing has always been one of the most excellent forms of expressing inner emotions and creativity. It can be done with several tools ranging from regular pencils to high-quality pencil colors available in the market. However, colored pencils are one of the most exciting drawing mediums because they produce precise, clear, and detailed art pieces when appropriately used.
While learning to draw with colored pencils is an exciting and enjoyable experience, the art of getting the perfect blend can be a little challenging. Blending is a critical element of drawing, even more so if your work is more than a leisurely pastime.
So, to make a high-quality, professional-looking color painting, you need to master the art of using color pencil blenders. There are a lot of blending tools and blending techniques that you can adapt depending on your colors or demand. However, we will be discussing the use of colored pencil blenders.
What is a Colored Pencil Blender?
Apparent from their name, colored pencil blenders are the blending tools that allow artists to blend colors effectively without using any solvent. We can say that they give watercolor effects to the painting without even using any water.
However, no one will suggest using a colorless pencil blender on a smooth surface. On the other hand, they work remarkably well on rigid surfaces. If you use oil-based colored pencils or wax-based pencils, these blending methods will work perfectly fine.
So, without further ado, let us dig into the working of colorless blender pencils.
How Does Pencil Blender Works?
Since pencil blenders come in the shape of pencils, these work just the same way as colored pencils. They will work perfectly the way you use color pencils for creating burnishing effects.
There is no need for you to learn a new skill only for holding the blenders. Either you will be blending them in the opposite direction of the color layer, or you could blend in circular motions. It depends on the painting you are making or the layer of color you are dealing with.
How to Use Colored Pencil Blender/How to Use a Colorless Blender Pencil
Following is a detailed guide that you can follow as a beginner. Or, even if you are a professional, you may find something beneficial.
Step 1: Pick Up the Right Blender
There are a few variables to consider when it comes to color smoothness: your blender, for one. While some colorless blenders leave the colors with a more diluted and less opaque look, some colorless blenders do not influence the color’s opacity whatsoever.
Just like a white pencil used for blending decreases the intensity of the pigment, and a Prisma blender doesn’t affect the opacity of color at all.
So, you need to be more careful with the type of color or paper you are using. You can not use an oil-based solvent to blend on a soft paper, nor can you use a Caran D’ache full blender on a heavier paper. It will leave you with many white spots on your drawing surface, which you can reduce with the help of burnishing.
They work exceptionally well on the smooth surface of papers. As long as you don’t apply heavy pressure and keep the pencil strokes in medium pressure, you can easily add more color layers.
Step 2: Sharpen the Blender
We all know that applying heavy pressure can result in the tearing of paper. So, to minimize this damage, keep the blender sharp. Tips of sharp pencils will naturally make you use less pressure to avoid breaking the tip.
Stepv3: Start With a Nice Layer
Starting with a nice layer of the colorless blender before adding the lightest color will set your roots well. It will make the blending easier as it doesn’t allow the pigment fibers to get attached to the paper.
Deep colors are often harder to blend when they stick to the drawing papers. And a colorless pencil base helps prevent such stickiness. Allowing you to get desired results with a minimum amount of work and pressure.
Step 3: Create Burnishing Effect
Solvents give a vibrant color effect after blending, which is impossible when using simple pencil blenders. However, it can be accomplished by creating a burnishing effect after blending.
Usually, the same color pencil is layered repeatedly to get the desired look to achieve a burnishing effect. In this way, you can try out different shades after combining colors.
Using Dual Tip Blender for Wax-Based Pencils
For those artists who use wax-based pencils, the Artist Loft Colored Pencil Blender is a perfect choice. It contains two tips. One is a brush tip, and the other is a pointed tip perfect for working on tiny details.
You can easily use the tip on your colored pencil drawing in slow circular motions unless you need to follow a discrete pattern.
This blender breaks down the binders in the wax and melts the pigment to create a blended effect. It dries pretty fast and allows the artist to apply different color layers over and over. However, you need to wait for the pigment to dry out complementary before using the next layer.
Remember not to press hard, or you will tear your paper.
No art is without a set of rules or warnings that you need to avoid so you can become a master of that particular skill. The same rule goes with using colorless pencil blenders. You need to avoid the following list of warnings if you want to create flawless colored pencil artwork.
Choosing low-quality pencils will result in low-quality results. Your work may get smudged or a different hue than you intended. On the other hand, high-quality pencils will boost your drawing chances as they have an excellent quality pigment inside.
- If you use a blender for blending colored pencils, you just need to use high-quality paper. Otherwise, the paper will tear out after experiencing repetitive friction.
- Always clean up the tip after using it in the dark color; otherwise, your colors will get smudged. It will make a mess you won’t be able to fix. You can either use sandpaper or a paper towel for this purpose.
- Do not over-blend the area that has already been blended and is still wet from the previous actions. It will cause a paper tear and make a mess for you. And if you are the one who gets easily offended, you might not want to try this. Just be a little patient because it doesn’t take long to dry at all.
Q: What can you use for blending colored pencils?
You can choose a blending method from a bundle of options. Some of them are paper towels, oil-based solvents, rubbing alcohol, cotton swabs, same pencil color to create a burnishing effect.
Even white pencils can be used to blend the colors. However, they change the intensity of the pigment and give it a new look.
Q: How do you blend Prismacolor pencils?
Prismacolor pencils are perfect for layering and blending colors on various surfaces since they are artist-quality colored pencils. With Prismacolor’s rich, saturated colors, mixing and shading become a piece of cake.
These are wax-based pencils and can be easily blended by applying medium pressure.
Q: Can you blend colored pencils with alcohol?
Yes, rubbing alcohol is also one of the finest methods to blend colors. The solvent is perfect for blending light colors as it breaks the bonds between the binders of the wax in pigments.
However, for this method to work properly, you need to have the alcohol on a cotton swab or paper towel.
Apply the swab with a light or medium pressure to see the results if your paper can allow such treatment. It is recommended to test the solvent blenders on a practice paper before applying directly to the colored pencil artwork that you have been working on for hours.
What are the Best Coloured Pencil Blender?
We’ve compiled a list of the finest blending tools based on our own experience with several products.
1. Prismacolor blender
Prismacolor blender pencils are perfect for artists as they work the exact way a color pencil does. The binder and the wax are the same but without any color pigment.
● High-quality pigments and wax
● Available in water-soluble color pencils to give liquid effects
● Create beautiful ombre and burnishing effects
1. Caran D’ache full blender
There is no doubt it’s one of the best pencil blenders available in the market for artists. It comes in different ranges and quantities so you can buy whatever you want, depending on your need.
● It provides a smooth texture
● Comes in an eco-friendly packaging
● Pigments used are of high purity and resistant to UV
● It would help if you were extra careful with the tip; otherwise, you can face the problem of repetitive tip-breaking
● They offer a limited range, including dull colors
3. Artist loft dual-tip blender
This dual-tip blender is one of the best you can get in the least amount. Moreover, it is the cheapest among all and can be a perfect base setter for beginners.
● It offers the easiest blending method you can use as a beginner
● Doesn’t require heavy pressure at all. So, it will save your hand from many aches
● You need to clean the tip after every color
● It doesn’t come with a defined warranty
The art of blending is the spice to a recipe of color drawings. Without this, your painting might look amateur and unattractive.
So, if you want to become a professional artist, you need to keep trying different colorless pencil blenders or oil-based solvents to find the one that works best for you.
Let us know if you have any queries left unanswered.