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Drawing with Colored Pencils is Also Art

Many artists consider colored pencils to be children's tools for drawing. Nevertheless, the disregard of colored pencils has reasons. Previously, colored pencils were characterized by low resistance to fading; the set of colors was very scarce and did not include all important shades. But the main drawback of old color pencil models was the problems that arose when mixing colors.

The situation completely changed about 30 years ago, when colored pencils of a new generation appeared. Thus, it included natural pigments that were resistant to fading. The range of available shades has expanded significantly. Finally, it became possible to mix colors and get smooth color transitions, no worse than, at least, when using watercolor paints.

Naturally, professional color pencils are many times more expensive than graphite pencils. Nevertheless, it is still not recommended to use such pencils for beginners. The fact is that professional colored pencil sets have not only bettered characteristics but also are more difficult to use. Therefore, we recommend using professional artist pencils after you have learned the basics of pencil drawing.

However, the world of art is very conservative. Therefore, for such a short period, by the standards of painting, a powerful community of artists with lobbying resources has not formed so far. Meanwhile, critics have not yet determined the category to which the drawings made with new generation pencils belong. That is why drawings with colored pencils have not been so popular with prestigious exhibitions so far.

Colored Pencils

What are the Best Colored Pencils?

Artists are always looking for a quality product. Below we will talk about how to use colored pencils correctly, as well as about the characteristics that quality coloring pencils should have.

  • High stability of the lead parameters both from pencil to pencil and along the length of the pencil. An artist can accurately imagine what the color of the line, he is going to draw, will be.
  • Very fine grinding of graphite or dye. Large lead particles that could scratch the paper are not allowed in the quality colored pencil. The body is made of special types of wood. Besides, the casing can be made of varnish directly applied to the lead.
  • The composition of the lead is optimized for professional grades of paper. Each type of drawing pencils, not only for professional use, corresponds to certain types of paper on which they are best to draw.
  • If one takes a plain paper and start drawing on it with professional colored pencils, the result will be disappointing. On the other hand, one cannot benefit from the advantages provided by professional paper when using ordinary graphite pencils.
  • Pencils are usually sold as colored pencil sets from 48 to 120 colors each. Besides, pay attention to the fact that pencils of some colors run out faster than others. Therefore, choosing colored pencil sets, you must find out if there are additional pencils of the most popular colors for retail sale.
  • For the manufacture of professional pencils, varieties of wood are used, characterized by small deformation under the influence of time as well as external conditions, for example, Siberian cedar. Wood reduces damage to the lead inside the body that is important for professional colored pencils which leads are usually more fragile than in graphite pencils.

Types of Drawing Pencils

There are two main types of pencils:

Art Pencils

Black and white graphite pencils

Drawing Pencils

Colored pencils

By the way, graphite pencils have a much wider range of hardness variations. The graphite grading scale could be based on different data. For example, in the USA we use numbers. Hardness is higher when the number is accordingly, higher. In the EU one uses letters. "H" means hard pencil, while "F" is responsible for sharpness and "B" – its blackness. Thus, HB pencils mean a hard and black one. In such a way, the U.S. number 2 corresponds to HB pencil in Europe.

Colored pencils, in turn, also divide according to their structure. Professional colored pencils are characterized by a wide variety of shades. There are:

Sketch Pencils

Wax colored pencils

Wax mixed with pigments and some strength-enhancing additives is in the core of the lead. You can mix colors and create smooth gradients with the help of the solvent for oil paints.

Watercolor Pencils

Watercolor pencils

One can wash out the lines with the help of water. Accordingly, you may obtain smooth color transitions by mixing colors and working on certain areas of the picture with a brush previously dipped in water. Thus, your picture will look like the one drawn with watercolor. Nevertheless, watercolor pencil art is easier to work with.

Pastel Pencils

Pastel pencils

In these pencils, the lead has a composition identical to pastel crayons. The drawing technique is the same as when using crayons, but pastel pencils allow you to draw thin lines with a stable width. Furthermore, in most cases, it is more convenient to draw with pencils.