Tips for Achieving Smooth Blending with Colored Pencils

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Being an artist, I’ve faced many challenges, but I think that learning how to blend colored pencils was the most satisfying. I’ve learned a lot along the way, from making mistakes and having times of pure inspiration. This guide will give you the important tips that have changed the way I mix colors, letting me make art that is full of color and depth.

I highly recommend focusing on enhancing artistic expression, utilizing the medium’s versatility, and dedicating sufficient time to practice when achieving smooth blending with colored pencils.

  • Enhanced Artistic Expression: Smooth blending with colored pencils enables artists to express themselves creatively, adding depth and vibrancy to their artwork with seamless color transitions.
  • Versatility of Medium: Colored pencils offer versatility, allowing artists to experiment with blending techniques on various surfaces. Whether working on paper, canvas, or other textured surfaces, colored pencils provide a versatile option for artists of all skill levels.
  • Patience is Key: Achieving smooth blending with colored pencils requires patience and attention to detail. Artists must be willing to invest time and effort into layering and blending colors to achieve professional-looking results.
  • Practice Makes Perfect: Like any skill, mastering blending techniques with colored pencils takes practice. Through experimentation and dedication, artists can refine their blending skills and unlock new possibilities for creative expression.
  • Accessibility and Affordability: Colored pencils are accessible and affordable art supplies, making them a popular choice for artists. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned professional, colored pencils offer a cost-effective option for exploring blending techniques and creating stunning artwork.

Selecting the Right Paper

When I started to mix colored pencils for the first time, I quickly learned how important it is to use the right paper. I discovered that smooth paper made it easy for my colored pencils to slide across it, creating smooth mixes that caught the eye. Drawing paper or smooth Bristol board became my first picks because they were perfect for starting my art projects.

Trying out different kinds of paper was a key part of my trip. I learned that smaller papers couldn’t handle more than one layer of colored pencil, which caused annoying smudges and uneven shading. I set myself up for success and made it possible for me to make art that looks like it was made by a professional by buying good paper.

Layering Techniques

In my quest for smooth blending, I learned the art of layering. I didn’t use a lot of pressure right away. Instead, I started with light, delicate lines and added layers of color over time using colored pencils that are good with layering techniques. With this method, I was able to change how intense the colors were and make the changes between them look smooth.

I tried changing the direction of my strokes and found that different mixing effects happened when I made the strokes circular, horizontal, or vertical. I also learned how important it is to mix colors carefully, starting with lighter ones as a base and adding darker ones over time. This method kept the colors from getting muddy and made sure that my art was clear.

Blending Tools

As I honed my blending technique, I discovered the power of blending tools in enhancing my artwork. Blending stumps, also known as tortillons, became very important to me as an artist. Using these round tools, I softened and smudged the lines between the colors to make the whole thing look smooth and put together.

I also liked using neutral blender pencils, which are made to blend colored pencil lines smoothly. The wax in these pencils made rough spots smooth and made it easy to blend colors. When I added blending tools to my process, my blending skills reached a whole new level, giving me a lot of new ways to show my creativity.

Learning About Color Theory

The path to success wouldn’t be complete for me until I learned about color theory. With a basic knowledge of the color wheel and concepts like hue, saturation, and value, I set out to make color combinations that worked well together and captivated the senses.

I learned to think about the color theory I used and how warm colors move forward and cool colors move backward. Exploring complementary, analogous, and monochromatic color schemes opened up a world of creative possibilities, allowing me to craft artwork that exuded depth and dimension. By learning about color theory, I felt more confident in my ability to mix colors and saw how color could change the look of my art.


  1. Enhanced Artistic Expression: Mastering smooth blending with colored pencils allows for greater artistic expression, enabling artists to create vibrant and dynamic artwork with seamless transitions between colors.
  2. Versatility: Colored pencils are a versatile medium that can be used on various surfaces, making them accessible to artists of all skill levels. The tips provided for achieving smooth blending enhance this versatility, allowing for experimentation and creativity.
  3. Accessibility: Unlike other art mediums, colored pencils are relatively affordable and readily available, making them an accessible option for artists looking to explore blending techniques without breaking the bank.


  1. Time-Consuming Process: Achieving smooth blending with colored pencils can be a time-consuming process, requiring patience and meticulous attention to detail. Artists may need to invest significant time and effort into layering and blending to achieve the desired results.
  2. Limited Coverage: Compared to other mediums like paints or markers, colored pencils may offer limited coverage, especially on textured surfaces. Artists may need to apply multiple layers to achieve intense colors and smooth blends, which can be time-consuming.
  3. Potential for Smudging: Colored pencils have a wax-based composition that can lead to smudging if not handled carefully. Artists may need to take precautions to prevent smudging, such as using fixatives or working from top to bottom to avoid resting their hands on already colored areas.


For me, getting smooth mixing with colored pencils has been a fun process of trying things out and learning what works. Following the advice in this guide has helped my art grow, making it more interesting to look at with smooth transitions of bright colors. Choosing the right paper has been very important for giving my projects a smooth base, and learning how to layer has helped me add depth and intensity to my work over time.

Adding blending tools to my process has changed everything. I can now finetune my blends with accuracy and style. Learning about color theory has also been very helpful; it has given me the tools I need to make beautiful compositions that move people. With hard work and skill, I’ve found that colored pencils are a very flexible way to express myself as an artist.

As you start your journey to masterfully mixing colors, remember to enjoy the process, be proud of your progress, and let your imagination run wild. Each move of the pencil will open up new options and show off the true beauty of your work.

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Shawn C

Hi! I’m Shawn and I Love Coloring and Art and the people in it! I created this website as a resource to help those who are considering getting into adult coloring. My website is your one-stop destination for all the inspired instruction and resources you need to start and grow your adult coloring hobby. From geometric to floral to zen doodles and from time to time even mandala’s when I am in the mood. I have researched and gathered the information to help you in your goal of starting your adult coloring hobby.

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