Blending technique



60 min

What you need:

 Coloured Pencil Goldfaber
The new Faber-Castell colour pencil range Goldfaber is ideal for this technique. Blending one colour into another is generally achieved by shading—using the side of the pencil and moving it back and forth across the paper. Using the side of the pencil leaves a softer, more open mark than the point, especially on grainy paper, which can be gradually blended into an adjoining colour by subtly overlapping the edges of the two colours so that neither is dominant and there is no discernible join. This is known as feathering.

An effective blend is made by loosely shading over an existing colour of a similar hue or tone; the two mingle and appear as a blend although there are two distinct layers. This is more pronounced when shading on previously coloured paper with a grain, as the pigment sits on the surface and leaves the “dips” in the lower sheet free—the eye will blend two colours used in this way, achieving a lively surface quality.

The effect of sunlight in Formal Garden shown here is emphasized by shading with yellow over large patches of previously worked colour. This helps to pull the composition together, brightening even the shaded areas. The watercolour paper used for the drawing is soft, with no obvious grain, which aids the merging of the pencil strokes, seen particularly in the light and shade of the hedge in the background.

Artist's Tip

The seascape shown here, Dinas Head, has been worked on black paper, with yellows and pinks blended by means of shading and heavy pressure to cover the paper. The colours appear light on the dark ground, evoking a quality of light characteristic of this coastal area.

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Excerpt from “The Colored Pencil Artist’s Drawing Bible,” published by Chartwell Books, a division of Quarto Publishing Group USA Inc. All rights reserved. Artwork © Jane Strother. Visit