This page provides links to advice and information about Coloured Pencils
on this website plus related art materials and books
My Favourite Brands of Coloured Pencils
I use various brands of coloured pencils. However I make a distinction between what I use for sketching and what I use for fine art and base my choices on test results for lightfastness (referencing the ASTMS 6901 accredited brands and the CPSA workbook). The pencils I use - in order of preference - include
Faber Castell Polychromos;
Caran d'Ache - Luminance (6901)
Talens Van Gogh (6901)
Caran d'Ache - Pablos
Sanford Prismacolor / (Berol Karismacolor - no longer available)
It's VERY important to understand that not all manufacturers produce lightfast pencils which meet the technical standards set for calling a coloured pencil "lightfast".
If you want to keep or sell artwork, it's VERY important to find out about which brands and colours are vulnerable to fading - and which brands and colours meet the lightfastness standards
Find out about to test the lightfastness of coloured pencils. The Colored Pencil Society of America has a Lightfastness Test Result Workbook which is extremely useful. I think it's essential for any artist who's selling their work. You have to be a member of CPSA to buy the workbook.
These are my coloured pencils which FAILED to make the grade in terms of lightfastness. Which were the main offenders? Well there were a lot of reds, pinks, purples, and light blues. For more details click the link above
Paper, supports and other helpful products
My coloured pencil drawings are completed on a variety of media:
Arches, Fabriano or Saunders WaterfordHP - usually 300gsm.
Arches HP blocks are especially useful for travelling - the block replaces the drawing board.
Amazon UK: Colored Pencil Portraits Ann Kullberg is a very popular workshop instructor. This is her first book and focuses on her particular area of expertise - creating portraits using coloured pencils.
Colored Pencil Painting Bible: Techniques for Achieving Luminous Color and Ultra-Realistic Effects by Alyona Nickelsen In her first book Alyona Nickelsen reveals her techniques and processes for achieving intense colour in her coloured pencil paintings. These include layering, the proper use and advantages of the translucent properties of the medium, as well as her use of odorless solvents to achieve rich, luminous color and ultra-realistic effects - all backed up with highly detailed step-by-step demonstrations.
This book focuses on basic art concepts and answering lots of common questions asked by artists wanting to learn more about how to use coloured pencils - plus provides the answers to some questions people frequently haven't yet thought to ask.
Amazon UK Colored Pencil Explorations Amazon.com Colored Pencil Explorations by Janie Gildow For the coloured pencil artist who wants to take the next step. Techniques incorporate the use of pastel, solvents, airbrush, watercolor, acrylic, ink and more. Each chapter clearly demonstrates how readers can re-create techniques in their own work.
Amazon UK The Colored Pencil: Key Concepts for Handling the Medium Amazon.com The Colored Pencil: Key Concepts for Handling the Medium, Revised Edition by Bet Borgeson. The first book I bought and still a standard. This best-seller is a book which many professional coloured pencil artists read as they were starting out with coloured pencils. It provides the information on materials, lessons on color mixing and techniqLinkues, and demonstrations of various methods for drawing.