Technique Tuesday–Basic Colored Pencil Tutorial

The Bullet Journal Addict Technique Tuesday

Technique Tuesday…catchy, huh?

I’ve had a few people ask me how I do certain things in my bullet journal, so I thought it would be fun to pick a technique each week and go over it.

For the next couple of weeks, I’m going to show some of the colored pencil techniques that I use.  I’ll lay it out step by step and try to share the tips I think are useful.

Today, I’m going to cover some very basic steps that I use. Next week, I’ll go into detail about how I layer colors for even more depth.

1. First of all, I sketch out my design in pencil, refining things until I get it right.  There is usually a LOT of erasing that goes on at this point.

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2.  Then, I use my Pigma Micron to ink the outlines. The nib sizes I use the most are 03 (0.35 mm), 02 (0.30 mm), and 01 (0.25 mm).  I do have an 005 (0.20 mm) for very fine detail, but it often is too thin for most things.  My favorite size for most things in my bullet journal is the 02.

I ink the outlines at this point so I can erase the pencil lines after.  If I color everything in before I ink the design, I end up erasing a lot of of the color and the regular pencil will still show up under the colored pencil.

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3.  Then, I’ll erase the pencil lines and try to clean up the inked-in lines where I can.

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4.  I always start coloring with my lightest color, since it’s always easy to make something darker, but a lot harder to make something lighter.

For this one, I’m going to start with a light yellow-orange.  Make sure your pencil has a very sharp, fine edge.  I use a very light touch, always going in the same direction.

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**Pro tip:  Rotate your pencil slightly every time you pick it up, to help the sharpness last longer.
crayolapencils

For this bullet journal, I’m using simple Crayola colored pencils.  I have almost a full set of Prismacolor pencils, but I haven’t drug them all out yet, and probably won’t until I start a new bujo.

Since I’m going to blend it with another color, I’m only going about 2/3rds of the way down, making that middle section softer and fading away. This is only one soft layer of the yellow-orange to begin with.

 

5. Then I add a soft layer of the magenta, using the same technique and going up about 2/3rds of the way.

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6. I’ll add another layer of the yellow-orange at the very top (about 1/4th of the way down) and another layer of magenta at the bottom (about 1/4th of the way up).  I’m still using a very light touch, it’s simply just another layer.

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7. Next, I added regular orange to the very top and regular red to the very bottom. I’m still using the same light touch, the darker colors just help to add depth (the lighting in my photo is kind of wonky, but it’s not as blotchy on the right side in real life).

 

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At this point, you could use a blending pencil to get it to the blend you’re happy with.

This is the kind that I have:

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You can usually find it with the Prismacolor pencil display at your local art store or online here.

8. Next, I decided to add a little color to the banner itself so I used an aqua green for that.

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9. Then I added a darker green-blue for deeper shading.

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10. Then, finally, I used a deeper pine green only in the darkest areas to give even more depth. Again, you could take a blending pencil to it all to give it a smoother look if you want.

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So that’s it!  It probably took longer to type this all out (and probably to read it too!) than it probably did to actually do it, so if it’s something that you’d like to add to your bullet journal, don’t think it’s not worth your time to try!

Now it’s your turn to suggest what kinds of things you’d like to see here on Technique Tuesday.  Share your ideas and questions in the comments!  🙂

 

 

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