Adult Colouring Course

Blending Techniques

There are several things you can use to help you blend colours. All of them are very inexpensive. Here are a few of them:

Water, that's right... plain old water. It works best when you're using watercolour pencils. When you finish colouring your page, simply wet a paintbrush and "re-paint" the areas you want to blend.

Nail polish remover is another great blending medium. Some colouring pro's say it's their number one choice. Pour a little bit of the remover in the cap. Dip your brush in it and paint over the areas you want to blend. If you happen to be using coloured pencils, this is a great way to remove the grooves.


You can also use an regular eraser to blend colours. A large school-type eraser works best for larger areas. Use a pencil eraser for smaller areas.


A blending marker is another idea. It works like the blending pencil, mentioned below, by dissolving and blending the colour right on the paper. It's a good idea to use these markers in a ventilated room, because they have a strong smell.

If you're working with crayons, try using a Q-tip (Cotton Bud) and mineral oil. Dip the swab in the oil and rub it over the colors you want to blend.


Shading Techniques


Practice blending the colours together, in the middle.

Gel Pen Techniques with Shading
Many adult colouring fanatics LOVE using gel pens to pull off several fun techniques and pretty decent shading. One big benefit of using this type of pen is the fact that the tip stays the same size. It doesn't change shape like a crayon or coloured pencil. Here are two popular gel pen techniques to consider:


It's entirely possible to achieve shading techniques with a gel pen. Yay!  However, it does take practice on your part and the blending pen of your choice.
A blending pen, which comes with two tips, is filled with clear fluid. When you draw over a colour, with the pen, that colour blends into the colour or colours next to it. Cleaning the pen is easy. Simply scribble on a piece of paper, until the pen runs clear.
Most artists recommend that you use the gel pens nearest to the outlines of the picture you're colouring. Then, use the blender pen to draw the colour from the outline to the middle of the section you're working on.

Coloured Pencils 101 - Mixing and Layering
If you've never coloured before or haven't coloured in what seems like a million years, you probably want to start out with the basics and work your way up to "Colour Maestro." Coloured pencils are great for this. They're available in a rainbow of colours and a variety of price points, starting out at just a few dollars. The overall cost depends on the brand and quality you prefer.
One of the first rules of basic mixing and layering is practice. It makes sense, right? Like almost everything else, the more you practice, the better you get.
For best results, keep your pencils sharp. This makes it much easier to fill in small areas. Remember, not to press too hard. The goal is to build up colour and not continuously break the tip of the pencil.
One important secret of successful layering and blending is colouring on the right texture of paper. You want something with a fine texture, as opposed to a smooth surface. The texture holds the pencil, which allows you to add multiple layers of colour.
The second part of good layering has to do with the colours you choose. Always use complementary colours when blending to create shadows. It's recommended you never use a black pencil for shading. Doing so, makes the shading look dull and flat.
Complementary colours are those that are situated on opposite sides of the color wheel... shades of violet-blue and yellow, orange-red and cyan, green and magenta, etc.  Always start out with a light color. If you start with a dark one, you won't be able to see the lighter one.
Because they layer so well, coloured pencils are one of the most preferred colouring tools. It's not uncommon to apply three to five different layers, to create a whole NEW colour. How cool is that?
In case you're not aware, these pencils are waxy. When you press too hard, your colors end up shiny. If this happens, you won't be able to build up layers. Use even strokes and a light to medium touch.


Now watch the video below, there will be a couple more techniques used in the video that we haven't discussed yet. After you have watched the video please have a go at all of these techniques yourself. The extra materials are very inexpensive. You do not have to submit this as this is a self assess exercise but it will be very good practice for you.



Did you know?

A stump is a cylindrical drawing tool, usually made of soft paper that is tightly wound into a stick and sanded to a point at both ends. It is used by artists to smudge or blend marks made with charcoal, Conté crayon, pencil or other drawing media.