Colored pencil drawing
Colored pencil drawing illustration

The Magic of Drawing Color Images

How to use drawing color realistically

Coloring is fun, and it can also be therapeutic. Over the years, there have been advancements to make coloring seem as realistic as possible. New shades of color pencils are being developed by the day, which adds to the realism that colored pencils come with. Drawing color images added also the perfection. If you ever feel stuck on what to do with your colored pencils, here are a couple of ideas.

How colored pencils have evolved over the years

Colored pencils were initially considered to be for children. Artists would mostly use oil paints and leave colored pencils for the younger generation. As time went by, this notion changed. It is now clear that colored pencils can be used by everyone else and still produce lifelike results. All you need to do is get the right colored pencils but for the fastest improvements, we strongly recommend using the professional guidance that can be found here: Draw Like a Master Artist.

Parts of a colored pencil

Just like your normal pencils, pigmented pencils are made of more than one part. Different companies use different materials for these parts, and that affects the overall look of the pencil. Knowing what to expect with your pencil will help you choose the right one. Here are the parts of the colored pencils:

  • pigmented core. This is where all the color in your pencil is. Without the core, then it would just be a block of wood. The core can have wax or oil binders. You get a delicate core with the wax binders, but the oil ones are recommended for intense pigments.
  • The wooden shaft. The wooden shaft is what holds the core together. Many companies make it out of cedar, but there are affordable versions made out of cheaper wood. You get to choose this based on your budget.
Drawing lessons of drawing color pictures, (Image credit: kace💋)
Drawing lessons of drawing color pictures, (Image credit: kace💋)

How to use your colored pencils

If you want to make realistic colored pictures, you need to use colored pencils right. So many people think that all there is to colored pencils is the shading. While shading is the main way to use pencils, how you shade it will determine how your painting turns out. Other techniques make the shade of the pencil seem less or more. Here are the main ways you can ensure that you get the color right from the start. If you are still struggling, check this tutorial.

Use sharpened pencils

The one thing you need to do before you get started is to sharpen your pencils. A sharpened pencil will get you more depth in color and ensure that you can get into the smaller, tighter spaces you need to color. It also ensures you get to use the pencil longer without needing to stop and sharpen it along the way. Get a good sharpener that will not break off the tip of your colored pencils. That way you get a better finish.

Start gradually with drawing color pictures

the one thing you will realize with coloring is, you can always build upon the intensity of the color, but you cannot reduce it. It is therefore recommended that you start shading lightly before you layer it with other colors. The lighter strokes enable you to get the chance to add to your shade. You can also see what areas need more and what areas are good with what you have.

Mix the colors

One of the things most people think is impossible when coloring with pencils is the layering of colors. Many people believe that this will not affect the picture or the overall look. The truth is far from it. Layered colors help to bring out more depts. In the picture, you are making. The only thing you need to ensure you do is not lay it down so heavily. Start slowly, and then mix it in gradually. You can also use the two colors separately on a test patch to see how they work together. Once you are sure that everything fits perfectly, you can then use them on your main painting. It requires practice and a good foundation which can be achieved only with hard work or by following the professionals, therefore it is good to consider asking the professional or participate in the course.

Drawing lessons of drawing color pictures, (Image credit: Evie Medoff)

Finish with the outline

Most people are in such a rush to outline the work that they do at the start. While that might give you boundaries of where you want your colors to get, it will also look messy once you are done. If you want something that looks so put together, color the inside first, then finish with the outline.

Take your time when drawing color images.

Coloring is meant to be peaceful and therapeutic. If you rush the process, then chances are you will end up with something messy. For this reason, it makes sense if you took your time and colored our drawing in peace. You do not have to finish it in a day as long as you do it right. Once you are done, you will appreciate taking your time with the picture.

Coloring pencils are changing how we view pictures and colors. Using them right ensures you get the results you desire. Take your time with it and create something beautiful. A lot of information? Maybe it is better to try asking the professional, I have used this tutorial: Draw Like a Master Artist.

The of drawing color on apple

Step 1

“The apple is positioned so that the light source is on the left of the apple. As you can see, the highlights and shadows are clearly visible on the surface. Use thin lines to sketch the contours of the object. A highlight will be in the upper left part.”

Drawing color apple
Drawing color apple, (Image by: Anastacia Haiduk)

Step 2

“Use A150 to color the apple with light hand movements and without pressing on the pencil. Make sure to leave an empty section for the highlight. Use A126 to create a gradual transition of tones from light to dark (from highlight to shadow). Use A155 to draw the apple’s shadow.”

Drawing color apple
Drawing color apple, (Image by: Anastacia Haiduk)

Step 3

“The subsequent shades will be added in layers to make sure that the transitions between light and dark areas are smooth. Use A009 and A006 to color the area where the stem is. Reinforce the shadow using A029.”

Drawing color apple
Drawing color apple, (Image by: Anastacia Haiduk)

Step 4

“Continue to achieve the desired saturation by adding all of the above colors and in the dark parts of the apple use A029 and A155. Draw a stem with A112 in the light part and A111 in the shadow. Make the shades of the apple more saturated by using a lighter touch at the end of each shade.”

Drawing color apple
Drawing color apple, (Image by: Anastacia Haiduk)

How do you like this tutorial? Are you stuck with a particular approach? It’s time to take action and start experimenting with different colors, you’ll start to see some improvement. It may feel a bit strange at first, but with a touch of practice, you’ll start seeing the benefits of using these different colors in your drawings.

Now when you have learned drawing color pictures, you can move to the next important step below.


The next step in the drawing tutorial after drawing color images.

Thanks to Anastacia Haiduk for helping with the drawing apple tutorial.

Title Image, (Image credit: Mackenzie Ruszkowski)

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