Top 4 Colored Mechanical Pencil Leads
Colored pencils are a very specific (and might I add, addictive) artistic choice. Many artists choose colored pencils because they allow for tight control and are exceptional tools for creating highly detailed work. In this post, we’ll be looking at mechanical pencils with colored leads- Yes! There’s such a thing!
The Advantages of Using Mechanical Colored Pencils
Mechanical colored pencils have four key advantages over regular colored pencils and all of them have to do with technique.
The first and most obvious advantage of using a mechanical pencil is that it does not need to be sharpened. While sharpening your colored pencils in itself is not necessarily an inconvenience, this feature contributes to a mechanical pencil’s ability to create a consistent line. This latter feature makes a mechanical pencil ideal for engineering and technical drawings since the width of the lead will always remain the same, producing precise, clean lines.
Mechanical pencils are also convenient because they are always balanced. When using traditional colored pencils, sharpening slowly but surely decreases the length of the pencil, forcing you to readjust your grip until you’re eventually left with a stub that’s a hassle to work with. A mechanical pencil is always the same length and the lead is always the same size.
The last advantage of using a mechanical pencil is that they are refillable and you can get many years’ worth of consistent performance from one original purchase. Many mechanical pencils are universal, meaning that as long as you choose the appropriate lead thickness, different brands are interchangeable.
The Top 4 Colored Mechanical Pencil Leads
Finding a good colored mechanical pencil can be a hassle, so we’ve done the research for you and rounded up four awesome choices. While many mechanical pencil manufacturers offer colored leads, these are often limited to red and blue because of their use in technical and engineering work. This list includes mechanical pencils designed for artistic use, featuring full ranges of colored leads. Let’s get started!
Pentel’s Quick Dock COLORS Mechanical Pencil
Pentel is an extremely successful company that produces some of the world’s most coveted writing instruments. Known for their innovative technology, including their Super Hi-Polymer Lead, Pentel manufactures some of the world’s highest quality pens, pencils, erasers, correction fluid, and today’s special, mechanical pencils and leads.
Quick Dock COLORS is a recent extension of the Quick Dock Mechanical Pencils line, featuring four different combinations of mechanical pencils with blue, violet, pink, and light green colored leads.
Each colored mechanical pencil comes individually packaged with one lead refill cartridge and three refill erasers. Each barrel is designed for grip without the use of latex and textured to allow for precision and control. Sliding Sleeve technology provides a continuous feed of lead for uninterrupted drawing. The lead itself is made with a 0.7 mm core of Pentel’s premium Super Hi-Polymer Lead with a hardness equivalent to a No. 2 graphite pencil.
Price per Pack: $6.79
Refill Cartridge: $2.60
Pilot’s COLOR ENO Mechanical Pencil
Pilot’s line of colored mechanical pencils is more varied than most, offering eight different colors whereas others offer only four. Color Eno mechanical pencils are lightweight, yet very well constructed and the barrels perfectly match the colored lead within (although you don’t have to play match).
Available in blue, light blue (ideal for drafting work), pink, red, violet, green, orange, and yellow, and designed with a cushioned precision grip tip, these are excellent for detailed coloring or drawing projects.
While most refillable colored leads for mechanical pencils are quite basic as far as the formulation of the core goes, Pilot makes a softer lead that goes on easier with softer pressure. That being said, with a 0.7 mm core, the lead wears down faster and since each cartridge comes with 6-10 pieces, they are not ideal for coloring large areas.
Color ENO mechanical pencils are sold in separate units, meaning that you will have to purchase the mechanical pencil and lead cartridge separately.
Price per Pack: $2.75
Refill Cartridge: $1.65
Art Mechanical Pencils for Drawing
This is the novice-grade of the colored mechanical pencil brands, simply called “Art Mechanical Pencil”, and designed for children.
If you’ve used Color ENO or Quick Docks, you’ll notice very quickly that Art Mechanical Pencils are far less sophisticated with their plain black barrels and flat, chunky colored lead.
Similar to Crayola’s Twistable colored pencils, Art Mechanical Pencils are designed mainly for transportation and durability. Available in five different colors (black, red, blue, green, and yellow), and designed with a thick, rectangular lead, these are formulated with a hard wax core that resists breakage and is versatile in application.
Each pack comes with the complete set of 5 mechanical colored pencils; refillable lead cartridges must be purchased separately.
Price per Pack: $4.65
Refill Cartridge: $2.15
Pentel Multi 8 Lead Holder
Marketed as a “lead holder”, the Pentel Multi 8 colored pencil is basically an all-in-one, multi-lead mechanical pencil. As its name suggests, it holds 8 different colored leads and dispenses them one by one via a simple switch mechanism.
Lead holders are different than mechanical pencils in that they utilize thick leads- these are 2.0 mm, which is more than twice the thickness of a regular mechanical pencil lead.
The Pentel Multi 8 lead holder is a convenient coloring tool not only because it holds eight different color options, but because its thick core is ideal for coloring large areas. Most colored mechanical pencils are only useful for drafting or detail work.
At 5.5 inches long and 0.5 inches in diameter, the barrel has a tapered design that makes it comfortable to hold, despite its capacity. Each pack contains one lead holder equipped with the eight different colored leads. Refillable lead cartridges are sold separately.
Price per Pack: $33.00
Refill Cartridge: $1.65
Multi-Function Pencil-Pens: A Shootout | by Craig
I bribed my kids, ages 13 and 10 (both big fans of all types of writing implements), to help me evaluate these 6 units.
Daughter slightly annoyed by having to wait on her younger brother to finish his writing test.
We unpackaged them, wrote with them, used the switching mechanisms pretty extensively, and noted our thoughts on the ergonomics, pen & ink quality (they’re all ballpoints, so set your expectations accordingly), pencil usability, and switching mechanism quality. Price was not considered when evaluating and comparing the units.
My writing samplesMy daughter’s writing samples
If Medium.com would let me embed a table easily, I’d present these results that way. Since not, here’s an image of a table:
The Pilot scored well across comfort and writing quality, but the switching mechanism was a bit more finicky than we liked. We often had to push down on a pen color tab more than once to get it to lock into position. This pen was one of only a couple that used metal in the barrel and on the tip, which lent a feeling of heft, solidness, and quality.
The Uni also had a metal tip. The extra-thin pen points (0.5mm) produced thinner and more precise lines. However, the smaller ball-point also produced some “scritchiness” when writing that we didn’t notice with the other pens. The ink colors were a bit lighter than most of the other pens. The comfort-grip offered good pressure relief and the overall pen felt quite nice in the hand. This was my son’s favorite pen of the bunch.
The Zebra unit had two failings, one major and one minor. First, and most importantly, the pencil extension mechanism (built into the clip as with all the others) is not well designed and is easily retracted into the body by accident. Even brushing the clip with a finger can cause the pencil to click back into its retracted position. This happens a lot when trying to advance the lead since you have to do so by pushing down further on the top of the clip. This failing was especially disappointing to me since I’m actually a big fan of Zebra’s mechanical pencils (I have several M-301 pencils floating around my home and office). For them to screw up that on this unit is really frustrating. The other less-than-impressive bit was the pen quality, which didn’t produce as clean and consistent a line as we’d hoped or as we noticed most of the competing pens did.
BAZIC was not a brand we’d heard of before this, but we were both impressed and irritated by this pen. The pen quality was suprisingly good. It produced really strong, clean lines across all 4 colors. The selection mechanism wasn’t very sturdy, however, and we noticed that it sometimes took more than one attempt to get a pen tip to come out and remain in place. What really knocked this pen out of contention, however, was its ergonomics…it was just not a comfortable pen to hold. The “comfort grip” area is hard rubber and there’s a sharp, annoying ridge around the pen where the tip screws into the body (at the bottom of the comfort grip area). While we ignored the color, the see-thru body gave this pen somewhat of a kitschy, novelty appearance, which didn’t help its overall perceived quality.
The BIC pen was a solid performer across the board. Apart from having only three ink colors (black, blue, and red), we struggled to find any faults with it. Its switching mechanism was especially sturdy, which is probably the result of the company making and perfecting essentially the same design over the decades. Interestingly, though, the BIC was the only unit we tried where you pushed on the end (the eraser part) to advance the pencil lead — all others relied on you to push down on the clip to do so. This felt much more natural and similar to regular mechanical pencils (good if you use those a lot and have pushing on the top as part of your muscle memory). Writing comfort was helped by its narrower-than-normal barrel, which my daughter actually did not prefer (more on this later). It was also the only unit to come with extra supplies (leads and erasers). Given that it was close to the cheapest pen we ordered, that was a nice surprise. And while it may seem like a small thing, the BIC’s slightly larger eraser felt quite luxurious in comparison to those on most of the other pens. The wider pen tips and pencil lead potentially make this less appropriate for people doing small or technical annotating, but for general note-taking, it’s not a problem.
Finally, the Nitto unit was deemed to be somewhat in a class of its own, at least in terms of price, packaging, and overall aesthetics. It, too, was a solid performer on all fronts, despite only having three pen colors (black, blue, and red), but what set it apart are its switching mechanism and its pencil quality. The switching mechanism, while feeling and looking pretty different from that on the BIC, was just as enjoyable to use and as reliable. The pencil felt uniquely solid, with no wobble, no misalignment, and a confident click when advancing the lead. Adding to the better pencil experience is the fact that the 019 had the largest-diameter eraser (by far) of any of the pencils. The kids, especially, appreciated that. Beyond those, however, the all-black design with white writing gives the pen a rather sophisticated, technical appearance. I would actually consider giving these as small gifts, something I wouldn’t say about any of the other pens.
Looking at the scores and discussing our feelings about these pens, we came to a series of conclusions.
Ranked top to bottom, overall scores on the left, and the prices we paid on the right.
First, if you require four different colors of ink in your multi-function pen/pencil combo, our recommendation is the Uni Jetstream 4&1. This unit is delightful to hold and provides a solid experience top to bottom. If you need, or are OK with, a thinner pen line, then you’ll likely be quite delighted. The other pens offering 4 ink colors just don’t compare as favorably to the Uni. This was my son’s favorite of the bunch.
If, however, you can make do with black, blue, and red inks, both the BIC and the Nitto are terrific pens. If you prefer a thicker-bodied pen, we suggest you get the Nitto Stalogy 019, as it has a 14mm diameter body. If you prefer a thinner-bodied pen, then the BIC 4-Color 3+1 is probably going to make you happier, as its slender barrel is just 12mm in diameter. Two millimeters doesn’t sound like a lot, but the hand-feel difference is quite obvious when you hold both back-to-back. My daughter prefers thicker pens and liked the Nitto most, whereas I prefer thinner pens and liked the BIC.
When you consider cost, the BIC is hard to pass up. At just $5.49 for one (or less than $10 for a 3-pack), it represents an excellent value overall. Plus, BIC products are pretty easy to find, making it trivial to get a replacement should yours wander off, get borrowed, or just wear out from use.
Anyway, I hope this helps if you’re in the market for a multi-function pen & pencil combo writing device. Feel free to leave a comment and I’ll answer questions if I can.
The Best Multi-pencils of 2020
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Everyone knows about multi-pens — pens that contains multiple colors and sometimes a pencil — but what about multi-pencils? These are much rarer, but they do exist (and they are quite cool).
What is a Multi-pencil?
A multi-pencil is a writing instrument that contains more than one mechanical pencil. By convention any writing instrument with a pen in it is generally known as a “multi-pen” but when it only has pencils inside, the name shifts to “multi-pencil.” The pencils in these tools generally have more than one size, but they could also contain multiple lead grades.
Pro-Use Mecha 357
The Mecha 357 is a 0. 3, 0.5, and 0.7 mm pencil in one. With a heavy (28 grams) brass body and Rotring-like good looks, it’s a cool pencil, albeit not a very popular one. This pencil looks a lot like the Rotring Quattro but lacks some of its design finesse.
The Tutto3 is another multi-pencil with 0.3, 0.5, and 0.7 mm lead sizes that comes from a basically unknown brand. With a $49.00 retail price it’s cheaper than the Mecha 357 and has very good reviews, with users remarking on the usefulness when drawing. The pencil was, for a time, promoted by artist Leonardo Perenzierto.
Also like the Rotring Quattro, this has a gravity-assisted selector, where the direction the pencil faces will determine which tip is extended.
Uni Color 3 Mechanical Multi-pencil
Uni sell it’s Nano Dia lead in multiple colors, so the obvious thing to do is to put multiple lead colors into a multi-pencil. The Uni Color 3 is exactly what you are expecting: a 3-color multi-pen body with three pencil components and no pens! The Color 3 is a simple offering with a plastic body and typical Uni styling.
Pentel Function 357
The Function 357 is no longer made, but this was Pentel’s 0.3, 0.5 0.7 mm multi-pencil. This is a fully plastic device, that looks like a Sarasa multi-pen (or the Uni Color 3 for that matter).
While the pen is no longer made they do hit Ebay now and then. It’s not exactly a collector’s item so finding them can be a challenge.
This is something you could do yourself if you pull the pencil parts out of multi-pens, so long as the slides on the each of the pen colors supports a pencil movements (extend and click, not just extend). You’ll need two pencil components if you start off with a 2+1 pen. The good news is that the pencil components are cheap (about $3) the bad news is that they are generally sold in 0.5 mm and it can be hard to find other sizes.
- Zebra Prefill mechanical pencil part for multi-pens
- Hi-Tec-C Coleteo Pencil part (does come in 0.3 mm)
9 Must Have Colored Pencil Supplies
Whether you’re just starting out with colored pencils, or if you’ve been at it for a while, there are several materials and supplies that I consider to be “must haves”.
Every time I sit down to work on a drawing, I make sure that each of these supplies are within my reach. I may not use them for every drawing that I create, but they are an essential part of any colored pencil artist’s tool box.
Let’s have a look inside…
1. Colored Pencils
Okay, so this one is fairly obvious. You must have colored pencils to create a colored pencil drawing. But there’s a little more to this.
The quality of the brand of colored pencil that you use greatly affects the results that you will see in your drawing. You cannot expect to use sub-par materials and get professional results.
Even if you are just starting out, I would suggest going right for the higher quality pencils. Using a lower quality brand may just lead to unnecessary frustration.
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My favorite brand is Prismacolor Premier. These pencils are soft and layer easily, producing rich colors quickly.
They are wax-based, so wax bloom could be an issue, and many people complain about how easy it is to break the core of the pencil. But despite these issues, they are still “far and away”, my favorite.
Of course, there are lots of great brands of pencils out there and I’ve tried many of them. A couple of other great brands out there include:
If you want to learn my opinion on each brand that I have tried, you can check out the colored pencil comparison chart.
2. Bristol Paper / Illustration Board / Toned Paper
Okay, so two obvious ones on the list. You also need a quality to surface to work on. While your standard 60 lb. drawing paper in a sketchbook will accept the marks produced by colored pencils, it won’t produce the professional results that we’re after. You’ll need a higher quality surface that is better suited to accept multiple applications of color.
My favorite surface on which to work is Bristol paper. There are two different surface textures (tooth) to choose from – smooth or vellum. I prefer to work with the vellum surface which does have a slight tooth. The slight surface texture accepts the colored pencil applications with ease, allowing multiple layers of color.
Illustration board is also a great surface for colored pencil applications. Illustration board provides a surface that is similar to Bristol paper, but is backed with a rigid core. It is a bit pricer and it is hard to find in some art stores, so I tend to stick with Bristol paper.
With any colored medium, you may find it an advantage to work on a toned surface. Working on a toned surface provides a neutral starting point for adding color, allowing you to work the values darker or lighter. You may also choose to allow parts of the paper to show through the finished drawing, with specks of color that enhance the overall appearance.
There are lots of toned paper choices, but my favorite is Canson’s Mi-Teintes paper.
This paper is designed for pastel applications, but also preforms well with colored pencils. It features a heavy tooth, so multiple applications of color are required (and so is a bit of patience).
3. Hand-Held Pencil Sharpener
It may be tempting to use that shiny electric pencil sharpener that sharpens pencils to a precise point in a matter of a second. However, an electric pencil sharpener can be ruined by colored pencils.
Wax-based colored pencils produce wax-based shavings that can get caught in the blades of an electric pencil sharpener. These shavings create havoc for an electric pencil sharpener and can cause it to stop working.
This is why I use a metal hand-held pencil sharpener. It is cheap and gets the job done. If the blade becomes dull, I can easily replace it, or just pick up another sharpener all together.
4. Kneaded Eraser and/or Vinyl Eraser
Every colored pencil artist needs a couple of erasers. I suggest having both a kneaded eraser and a vinyl one.
A kneaded eraser is great for “lifting” an underlayment of graphite before applying colored pencils to the surface.
However, a kneaded eraser is not strong enough to remove colored pencil applications from the surface, so this is where the vinyl eraser comes in. The tougher vinyl eraser is able to remove a good bit of material from the surface. However, you’re likely to find that it doesn’t remove it completely.
5. Colorless Blender
Burnishing is a process of layering colored pencils in order to create a solid area of pigment. It is done to eradicate the texture produced by the drawing surface. By removing much of the surface texture, a colored pencil drawing resembles a painting.
For wax-based pencils, burnishing applications of colored pencils is an integral part of the process. While lighter colors such as White or Cream can be used to burnish areas, a colorless blender is another option.
A colorless blender is a pencil (or marker) that features a waxy core of un-pigmented colored pencil medium. It can be applied directly over colored pencil applications to work the color into the tooth of the paper. It can also be used to smooth transitions of color and value in the drawing. Without a doubt, a colorless blender is a “must-have” for artists that work with wax-based colored pencils.
Another way that colored pencils can be burnished is with a solvent. Solvents can be brushed directly onto colored pencil applications thinning the material “just enough” to work it into the tooth of the paper. Like with a colorless blender, applying a solvent can also smooth transitions between colors and values in the drawing.
Different solvents can be used to create this effect. Some people prefer to use rubbing alcohol, but I tend to stick with a product called “turpenoid”.
Turpenoid is a relatively odorless, clear liquid that shares many of the same properties as turpentine. It thins the colored pencil applications with a good deal of control, just without the fumes.
7. Nylon Brushes
If you decide to use a solvent to blend your colored pencil drawing, you’ll need to have a few brushes. I prefer to use nylon brushes because they are strong and flexible, while providing control and precision.
My favorite nylon brushes are the Grumbacher Goldenedge brushes. They are a bit pricey, but well worth the investment.
8. Drafting Brush
Although you won’t have to worry about any dust or powder with colored pencils, you may experience a few small pieces of the material landing on the surface as you make marks. These small pieces of color can accidentally get smeared by the palm of your hand if you’re not careful.
To prevent unwanted smearing, I use a drafting brush. An occasional swipe over the drawing removes these small specks of color.
If you try to swipe the specks away with your hand, you’re likely to smear the color. However, the fibers of the drafting brush are able to pick up the material and remove it without any smearing.
9. A Blade
Another important tool is a blade. It could be an X-Acto knife, or a box cutter.
The blade serves multiple purposes. It can be used to cut down the drawing surface or to sharpen the pencils to a very precise point, which is sometimes necessary. If you do sharpen with a blade, be sure to make cuts away from your body.
One more supply that I use frequently is a masonite drawing board. I left this one off of the list because it isn’t considered a “must have”. Since most of my colored pencil drawings are relatively small (11″ by 14″ or smaller), I use a small board. I can tape the drawing on to the surface to prevent any “buckling” of the paper, but I can still turn the board to draw from different angles, if the need arises.
Fast & Easy Background Options for Colored Pencil Drawings
By Carrie Lewis in Art Tutorials > Drawing Tips
Colored pencils are wonderful tools for creating artwork of all types. . . if you’re doing a vignette-style composition, however, the last thing you want is to spend a lot of time on the background.
Today we’re going to explore a few of the background treatments that have worked well for the type of portrait art I make.
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The first, and most obvious choice, for a fast and easy background treatment is a colored support. I balked at trying colored paper for a while because I wasn’t sure how it would work with colored pencils, but I shouldn’t have worried—it’s great!
(And that was years ago when my choices were pretty much limited to regular paper and mat board.)
Today, there are a wide range of papers and mat boards available in acid-free, archival versions that not only look great but that help preserve your work for years. In addition to a rainbow of colors, you also have a choice of textures from very smooth (ideal for detail work) to high-textured surfaces. Other options are sanded papers, pastel and printmaking papers, even wood and other rigid supports.
To give you an example, here is a colored pencil painting on gray mat board. I added some slightly darker tones to the corners, but it would have worked even without that.
An additional bonus with mat board is that you can use the same color and type of mat board when you frame the piece, thereby creating a unified work of art with museum quality framing.
Colored pencils are ideal for creating “whisper soft” tones and tints.
My favorite drawing paper is white, but I rarely leave a white background in my finished work anymore. The closest I get is a lightly tinted background like the one below.
Use a well-sharpened pencil and apply color with the side of the pencil using very light pressure—no more than a 2 on a scale of 1 to 10. You want to almost breathe the color onto the paper.
To get an even lighter “tint” or stain, use paper towel or a cotton ball to blend the color. Fold a piece of paper towel into a small pad and rub it over the area. Use light pressure for minimal blending or heavy pressure for more blending. Depending on the pressure, it may look like you’ve removed a lot of color, but don’t worry. The color that is left will look almost like stained paper. You can then deepen the color either by repeating the process with the same color or with another color.
Another option is to burnish the color you want to use on a piece of scrap paper, then rub it with a cotton ball or piece of clean cloth to pick up color. Rub the drawing paper with the cotton ball or clean cloth. Not much color will come off on the drawing paper, but it is possible to create tinted color fields with an almost ethereal look.
Sometimes a dark, bold color is just what the doctor ordered.
Beginning with the paper of your choice, layer color over the background. You can begin with heavy pressure and use only one or two colors, or you can layer multiple colors and use heavier pressure with each color.
With the unfinished image below, I used six colors beginning with the lightest (Limepeel) and ending with Black. Each color was applied with slightly more pressure and I concluded work by burnishing with the lightest color.
Keep your brush handy as you layer color like this. Heavy pressure produces pencil crumbs, especially in the later layers. You don’t want to smear or smudge the white areas of the subject, so brush the painting frequently to clear it of colored pencil crumbs. When you finish, you will have a highly polished, richly saturated background.
Watercolor colored pencil
Water soluble colored pencils are wonderful tools for paper tinting, whether you put it on wet or apply it dry and wash over it. You can tint the paper with a single color, producing a soft, “blooming” tint, or layer several colors for a more saturated tone.
Because you’re still using colored pencil, all the usual methods of application apply. Layering with light pressure and multiple layers, burnishing, or a combination can be blended with water to create a variety of effects.
Watercolor “tricks” can also be used to create random patterns and interesting designs. For example, try sprinkling a bit of salt into the wash on your paper and see what happens.
Ink or acrylic paint are also great ways to tone a background. In both cases, you have numerous colors from which to choose. Simply paint the background with your color of choice and let it dry thoroughly (I prefer overnight drying times myself).
India ink, which was used in the illustration below, is transparent, so you’ll need to apply multiple layers to get an even color field.
And whether you use ink or acrylic, make sure your support is sturdy enough to withstand the dampness without excessive buckling, especially with larger pieces.
Just for fun
If you’re interested in creating some fun-loving, random color fields as backgrounds, here’s a technique that I guarantee will never to produce the same effect twice.
Fill a large plate or pan with a half inch of water. Drop watercolor paint or acrylic paint into a couple places, then lay your paper onto the water. Don’t let it sink in. . . you just want just enough surface contact for the paper to pick up the swirls of color in the water. I’ve tried this with acrylics on ACEOs and the effect can be delightfully random.
The abstract image shown above began with blue acrylic paint and was finished with colored pencil highlights once the paper dried.
Most of the backgrounds shown in today’s post were fast and easy. The only ones that required more than an hour or two were the wet media options, and they just needed extra time to dry.
If you want to simplify the process even further, plan to do several backgrounds at a time. Multiple sheets of paper or mat board can be prepared for work in one afternoon, leaving you with a ready supply whenever inspiration strikes or a client calls.
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How to Blend Colored Pencils
Working with colored pencils is a lot of fun and you can create amazing drawings with this medium. One way to enhance your artwork is to learn how to blend the colors and it’s relatively easy once you understand the factors at play.
There are two main areas of difficulty with blending colored pencil: your materials and the blending application. Let’s explore how you can overcome these hurdles and get great blended colors.
Your Materials Affect the Blendability
The right paper makes a huge difference if you’re going to be layering and blending colored pencil. The short fibers in cheaper wood pulp-based paper break off easily and don’t hold pigment well. They become flattened by pressure and the paper can easily distort and tear. It’s best to use a good quality paper designed for colored pencils.
You will also get varying results with different brands of pencils, as well as different pigments within each brand. Some pencils tend to look a bit chalky when blended and they are not easy to smudge. Others, such as Prismacolor, have a softer wax base that helps make them a little more transparent and malleable.
In high-quality pencils with a lot of pigment, you’ll also notice that some colors blend more easily due to the type of pigment they contain. Some are noticeably drier, others may be granular, and still, others may be more opaque than others.
Since they vary so greatly from pigment and manufacturer, it’s difficult to point out the qualities of every pencil. You will want to experiment with your set and see how they behave.
How to Blend Colored Pencil
You can take a few different approaches to blending colored pencils. Each will produce a slightly different look and some require a few extra supplies. Again, experimentation is key, so be sure to test out each on a scrap of the drawing paper you’re working with before applying any of these to an actual drawing.
The easiest way to blend colored pencils is to use the pencils alone. However, adding a colorless blending pencil to your art box makes this method much easier.
Blend colored pencils by overlaying lightly applied layers of each color. Applying too heavy of a layer first is one of the biggest mistakes you can make, so start slow and build up the colors. When a gradual change is needed, start off with a slight overlap in the middle, then progressively overlap each layer a little further.
You can also use a colorless blending pencil to help blend colors without adding any further pigment. To do this, lay down a fine layer of colorless blender first and then add your lightest color. Dark colors can be difficult to blend once they stick to the paper fibers, so this base helps alleviate that issue.
Smudging With Paper and Tortillons
If you find that the pencil-only option is not giving you the blend you want, you can use a paper product to blend the pencils. It doesn’t have to be fancy, either. A small piece of soft tissue, a paper towel, or even toilet paper can do the trick.
Tortillons (blending stumps) are commonly used for charcoal, but they’re great for smudging pencils as well. They offer fine-tuned blending and can be a valuable addition to your pencil kit. For a cheaper option, cotton swabs can be used.
When using any of these dry blending tools, begin with a heavy layer of colored pencil to maximize the effect. Burnishing—adding as much pigment as your paper will hold—is often used, but you can get away with lighter layers with the right pencil-paper combination.
These methods do lift the pigment a little, giving a slightly grainier effect than a pure layered pencil. Try using it along with the layering techniques and experiment until you find the perfect blend for your drawing.
Blending With the Help of Solvents
Another option that can be used to even greater effect when blending is to employ a solvent. These are applied over top of the colored pencil and should only be done on really sturdy paper. To make sure your paper can withstand your solvent of choice, test it and let it dry. Watch for any warping or damage.
Colorless solvent markers can be used to soften and blend colored pencil and can create a watercolor-like effect. With watercolor pencils you can get the best of both worlds, using water to blend and overlaying it with burnished color. These do look very different from a straight colored pencil drawing. They saturate and fill the paper, leaving less white paper grain than more lightly applied colored pencil will.
Oil-based solvents, such as turpenoid, can be used to blend colored pencil because they dissolve the wax. It is one of the strongest blends you can get. These are toxic, however, and should be used with care, so be sure to observe safety precautions.
For a lighter blend, apply rubbing alcohol that’s 70 percent or less (any stronger and you’ll lose pigment). For a really deep blend that is stronger than turpenoid, you can turn to rubber cement thinner.
Whenever you use a solvent on colored pencils, work gently with a paintbrush, cotton ball, or cotton swab. It’s easy to disturb the paper surface or rub off the pigment. Also, the thicker the colored pencil base you have, the better the blending effect will be and the less likely you are to damage the drawing.
Different pencils and pigments will work differently with each solvent. Always test out new combinations and keep notes if you want to remember a success. You might even consider doing swatch samples in one of your drawing books.
What are the Best Colored Pencil Holders? – Best Colored Pencils
Updated by Brandon F. on July 13, 2020
Many of us enjoy taking our colored pencils with us on trips, to school/work, and any other place that we might have the chance to work on a piece. Compared to many other artistic mediums such as paints and pastels, colored pencils can be much more mobile and less messy, making them a great solution for artists on the go. However, if you have tried transporting your large 72 or 120 piece set in its case you will quickly realize that there are still some challenges.
The original case, while attractive and a good protective barrier for your colored pencils, can be way too large and burdensome for most. It will struggle to fit in any sort of purse or backpack, which means you are stuck carrying it around in your hands.
To help combat this issue, several companies have created pencil holders to assist with this. Before we go into greater detail of our top picks we have provided a convenient table the displays our choices and essential information. If you want to read our more detailed review, scroll down past the table!
|Product||Price (Amazon)||# of Slots||Dimensions|
|WooCrafts Canvas Pencil Wrap||$||72||19.6″ x 15.7″ x 0.2″|
|CreooGo Canvas Pencil Wrap||$$||48||7.9″ x 4.8″ x 1.4″|
|Miraclekoo Multi-Layer Pencil Case Pen Bag Pouch||$$$||72||7.9″ x 3.4″ x 4.9″|
|Tran Deluxe Pencil Case||$$$$$||120||14.5″ x 3″ x 8.5″|
There is a pretty diverse array of pencil holders, ranging from colored pencils binder cases to colored pencil bags and even colored pencil wrap holders. Many of these find creative ways to minimize how much space your pencils take up while still protecting them and keeping some sort of organization. But there are certain things you need to look out for when shopping for the best colored pencil case.
So what types of things should you be looking for when shopping around for a colored pencil case?
You want to make sure that your holder is large enough to hold whatever sized set of colored pencils that you have. The worst thing is having to pick which pencils to take and which to leave because you always end up needing one of the colors you left at home! There is a huge range of capacity sizes available.
You can buy small micro-cases that are only intended to hold a dozen or so pencils and on the other end of the spectrum, you can purchase huge cases intended to protect several sets at once!
Colored pencil holders find unique ways to minimize how much space they take up, but it is still important to make sure that you will have adequate carrying room in your purse or backpack. If you are severely restricted in size, going with a colored pencil wrap case will likely be your best bet.
There will be a roughly direct relationship between capacity and size. Colored pencil holders that can hold more pencils will typically be larger, but there is still plenty of variabilities. As we will show, there are unique ways to carry pencils that can significantly reduce the volume that they take up, which can make them much more convenient.
Many of the higher-end colored pencil lines come in lovely and well-protected cases. Unfortunately, cases can be large and heavy. While most mobile-friendly cases will be much smaller and lighter many give up some of the protective features that the hard cases have. For instance, many will be made of thin plastic or fabric vs wood or metal, so accidentally dropping the case or stepping on it can have much more detrimental effects.
Figure out what type of environment you will be in when using and transporting your colored pencils and let that decide what type of style to go with. If you will be in an area that is prone to impacts or extreme conditions then you might have to give up some of the space-saving qualities of one of the more mobile cases and go with something that has a bit more protection via thicker walls or extra padding.
Another benefit of a normal case is that it is much easier to categorize and sort colored pencils based on color. The best colored pencil organizers make finding the color we want much easier. We have noticed that some pencil holders use a much more reckless approach and simply have you jam the colored pencils inside all at once. This can make finding a particular color much more difficult.
You might end up simply dumping out the contents on the table to avoid having to try to sort through all of your pencils while they remain in their holder. If you are someone who likes to have your colored pencils well-sorted then be sure to shop for a case that has individual storage grooves.
Ease of Access
Another price you pay for mobility is potentially making it a little more burdensome to access all of your pencils from the case. In a conventional hard case, many have hinges where you simply open up the top and have full access to all of the pencils at once.
However, in mobile cases the solution used often involves multiple “sheets” of colored pencils in a binder or have them wrapped up, only being accessible by various pockets on the top. This can make it a little more inconvenient to get to all of the colors at once, so if this is an issue for you then perhaps avoid this type of case design.
Colored pencil cases have a pretty diverse range of colors and stylings, which can set them apart from the case that they came in. These range from fun and vibrant patterns intended for kids to very professional-looking designs made of leather and quality metals that resemble more of a briefcase than something that is holding art supplies.
For some, the case is nothing more than means for easily transporting their pencils but for those looking to have a more unique or professional appeal then you might consider going this route.
The common metric that we consider in almost everything: price. Like most products, there is a large range of prices that you can pay (although almost all offerings are still relatively cheap). If budget is your top priority then you might want to skip over some of the features that the higher-end cases have and stick to the basics.
With that being said, what are the best colored pencil holders? We list a few of our favorites and why we like them. Feel free to check out some of our recommendations below and check out their prices if you are interested in trying one out!
90,000 Pencil Sketches MULTICOLOR!
Looking at these multi-colored sketches, many people ask, “What is this? Colored pencils? Do you take a whole set with you on the road?”
“No, – I answer, – these are sketches with a multicolor pencil. One single pencil instead of a whole set!
What kind of pencil is this?
The Magic Pencil is a multicolor pencil from Koh-i-noor.
Unlike ordinary colored pencils, this one has a multicolor lead.It has 3 colors (yellow, red, blue) arranged in a spiral. However, color combinations may vary.
Now there are even sets of multicolor pencils on sale, each of which has a lead composed of different colors.
These pencils are produced by different companies. They are sold in almost all office supplies. And in souvenir shops.
But the best, in my opinion, multicolor pencil is from Kon-i-Noor. It is soft, the color distribution is spiral.This gives a constant color change as you paint.
In addition, the same leads are sold that can be inserted into a collet pencil. In the photo he is above.
Take a closer look at these pencils in the store. And be sure to buy yourself. A very handy thing. They make their sketches lively and atmospheric!
Such “multicolor” pencil sketches can be supplemented with colored pencils, pens, liners.
I have quite a few sketchbook pages filled with such travel sketches.
I will be pleased to show you my drawings in multicolor pencil.
The “Magic” multicolor pencil lead is a trademark of KOH-I-NOOR HARDTMUTH, first patented in 1936.
Initially, the use of the mosaic lead was intended to ensure the originality of the signature, that is, for use in offices.
These days Magic colored pencils are popular with children and artists around the world.
Multicolor pencil: undeniable advantages
– easy-to-use material
– convenient for travel
– decorates graphic sketches by adding color to them
– gives a beautiful color overflow that visually looks quite complex
– no need for preliminary drawing simple pencil
pencil sketches multicolor
(examples from personal archive)
I hope my examples will inspire you, and you will definitely try to sketch with this pencil.I wish you success!
I would be grateful for your reposts and comments!
Other materials in the context of the topic:
Magic Tropical pencil with multicolor lead KOH-I-NOOR
Magic Tropical Lead Pencil KOH-I-NOOR
Magic Tropical KOH-I-NOOR is a special “magic” pencil with a multicolor shaft, designed to get unusual strokes and create interesting effects. The colors in the lead are staggered, so that when drawing, smoothly passing one into the other, the shades create a 3D effect.High-quality paper will help to fully reveal the possibilities of such a pencil.
Magic Tropical KOH-I-NOOR pencil is suitable for both professionals and amateurs. Ideal for sketching, coloring, or art therapy. The pencil will definitely be liked by children who can give free rein to their imagination.
KOH-I-NOOR Hardtmuth a.s. Is a world-renowned Czech company that produces high-quality goods for artistic creation, stationery, writing and drawing utensils.Koh-i-Noor products are made from environmentally friendly materials and meet the highest standards. The company was the first to patent a wooden pencil with a lead inside, and also added refined clay to graphite for strength. The pencil production technology has remained unchanged for over two hundred years.
– thickened pencil with multicolor lead
– lead colors: yellow, purple, blue
– hexagonal body made of wood, pencil length 175 mm, diameter 10 mm, lead thickness 5.6 mm
– sold already sharpened
– manufacturer: Koh-i-Noor, Czech Republic
Instructions for use and nuances
The thickness of the Magic Tropical KOH-I-NOOR pencil is 10 mm, which is more than the standard, so a special sharpener or a stationery knife is required for sharpening.
You can rotate the pencil while drawing for a more beautiful trace.
Pencil with multicolor lead UNLANDIA MAGIC, 1 piece, thickened, sharpened, 181373
Pencil with multicolor lead UNLANDIA MAGIC, 1 piece, thickened, sharpened, 181373
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- Pencil with multicolor lead UNLANDIA MAGIC, 1 piece, thickened, sharpened, 181373
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The unusual pencil lead combines four colors – yellow, green, red and blue. The thickened hexagonal body prevents the pencil from rolling off the table surface during drawing and fits comfortably in the child’s hand. The pencil is made of high-grade white fine wood.The body is covered with color printing. The 5 mm diameter soft lead made of natural materials and pigments has increased durability. The pencils are packed in a transparent plastic tube with a colorful sticker.
Pencil with multicolor lead UNLANDIA MAGIC promotes the development of creative thinking, fine motor skills of hands, color perception, fantasy and imagination of the child. Fill your life with inspiration – order UNLANDIA products today in our online store!
|Number of colors||1|
|Easy to sharpen||yes|
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Pencil KERAMA MARAZZI Carnival in Venice multicolored 20×1.4 cm
Article No. 4036778
Pencil tiles in the form of miniature multi-colored pebbles will help diversify the monotonous interior, focus on certain decor items. The product is made of natural ceramics, which provides it with high performance characteristics. The tiles are supplied in boxes of 40 pieces.
About the collection
The Carnival in Venice collection is dedicated to one of the most exciting and pompous festivals on earth.The line includes background tiles in black and white with a smooth and embossed surface, as well as decor depicting a city and luxurious floral designs. The predominance of delicate, light shades in the collection creates the illusion of expanding space.
– High resistance of the material of manufacture to moisture and temperature extremes.
– Original design.
– Simple installation and maintenance.
The Venice Carnival Pencil Tile is intended for the decoration of bathrooms.Ideally combined with background tiles and decor from the collection of the same name.
KERAMA MARAZZI is one of the leading European manufacturers of high quality ceramic wall and floor coverings. The products of the brand of the same name are a successful combination of the latest Italian technologies and Russian production facilities with their huge potential. The quality of the products meets high international standards.